What is Seattle’s second biggest need?

February 3rd, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Could Arthur Brown be an option at #25?

It’s a subject we touched on in this weeks mock draft and also the conversation I had with the guys at Field Gulls. Are you more likely to take the ninth or tenth defensive lineman with the #25 pick? Or are you more likely to try and fill a different need?

There’s a lot of other teams needing to improve their pass rush. It’s a deep class for defensive tackles. There’s some quality at end and outside linebacker. If you’re a Seahawks fan hoping the team gets a first round pass rusher, you could be sat there mid-way through the first round having watched most of your preferred options leave the board.

If the plan is to go defensive line early, there will be a tipping point for the Seahawks in round one. Well, unless they’ve identified another guy nobody else is focusing on. You can never rule that out. It may even be probable. But there’s at least a chance there’s going to be better options at other positions by the #25 pick. Assuming that’s the case for the purpose of this article — what would you do?

You might disagree but for me the two other greatest needs are a big, athletic target at receiver/tight end a WILL linebacker to replace Leroy Hill. I’m not sure how many run-ins with the law Hill can afford before he starts getting lengthier suspensions. He’s 31 in September and while there’s still a chance he’ll return for another year in Seattle, his latest arrest could be a deal breaker. It also stands to reason that the Seahawks will try to get faster at the WILL — speed within the front seven remains a key feature for this team.

Inevitably Seattle’s group of receivers and tight ends looked a lot better as Russell Wilson grew into his rookie season. Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Zach Miller were all productive, it just seems all three hit their peaks at different times. Doug Baldwin’s year was severely hampered by a lingering pre-season injury. Look for him to bounce back in 2013.

I think there’s room for at least another target. Why else were they looking at Terrell Owens in pre-season? Or trying to rekindle Braylon Edwards’ career? Why did they trade for Kellen Winslow? There’s a hole in that roster for a big, athletic target. Whether’s it’s a tight end who can play a little receiver, create mismatches and exploit coverage or a receiver who wins 1v1 battles, goes up to claim the ball and compliments Rice and Tate — it’s a need.

While the options at defensive tackle or end might be limited by #25, it could be a good range to look at pass catchers and linebackers. When the first receiver leaves the board, we could see a domino effect. The first might not go until the 20’s. By the time Seattle’s second round pick comes around, five or six could be gone. Getting the pick of a pretty good bunch in round one is enticing.

It’s unlikely prospective top-15 pick Alec Ogletree will be around (shame) but he might be the only 4-3 outside linebacker prospect off the board early. Arthur Brown and Khaseem Greene stand to be of interest to Seattle. Both are athletic, instinctive players who can get sideline to sideline. Greene is stockier and a better blitzer with safety speed, while Brown is smaller and more agile.

All of the tight ends could be on the board. While Anthony McCoy did a good job as the #2 tight end, the Seahawks could still look for a hybrid type who can line up in the slot, out wide and at the line of scrimmage. Zach Ertz featured all over the field as Stanford’s leading receiver but also worked within a run-heavy offense that utilised a lot of two tight end sets. I still think he’d be an ideal weapon for this team. He’s also the most likely tight end to go before the #25 pick.

Gavin Escobar has great size but didn’t do a great deal of blocking for San Diego State — he could develop into a real difference maker as a receiver. Tyler Eifert is more of an orthodox tight end in terms of frame but his blocking is seriously hit and miss. Jordan Reed is gaining momentum as a joker-style receiver and could be one of the stand-out performers at the combine.

Of the highlighted needs, the WILL could be the biggest ‘must fill’ need. If Hill isn’t re-signed they’ll have to do something. At the same time, is it possible Brown or Greene could be available in round two? It’s not unrealistic. Could you even consider trading down if that’s your target, given they’re unlikely to be snapped up by any of the teams picking right after Seattle? Carroll and Schneider have also done a good job filling linebacker needs later in the draft — Bobby Wagner was drafted in round two, K.J. Wright was a fourth round pick. Malcolm Smith may get the chance to replace Hill and he was a seventh round choice.

The receivers and tight ends might have the biggest impact early. Russell Wilson developed into a big-time playmaker as the 2012 season progressed. Keeping him stocked up with a strong arsenal is key. He deserves as much help as possible. Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldin have all suffered their fair share of injuries. There’s not a great deal of depth out there and a bit like the cornerback position — you can never have too many good pass catchers. Aaron Rodgers is a fantastic quarterback, but he also benefits greatly from a loaded receiving corps. The Packers know who their superstar is. Wilson will only get better the more targets he has to aim at.

On the other hand, none of Rodgers’ receivers or tight ends were drafted in round one. Green Bay has a history of success targeting those positions in round two. And the depth at receiver in this class means the Seahawks could get a good one at #55.

So what direction do you go if defensive line quickly becomes an unattractive option at #25? Maybe you have a different suggestion? Below you’ll find tape of the guys highlighted in this piece.

92 Responses to “What is Seattle’s second biggest need?”

  1. dave crockett says:

    Done!
    And Beyonce isn’t even done.

    Great Google Hangout the other day, btw.

  2. Zach says:

    If not DT I feel we should fill the WILL position in the first round. It’s our weakest area and either Greene or Brown would be immediate starting impact players. Personally I feel Arthur Brown would be a better player to have against QBs like Kaepernick who we have to play and beat to win it all every year. Brown always seems like he’s around the football and he moves so well from side to side. Also he would be good against slot receivers which is a need for us.

    • Snoop Dogg says:

      I would rather draft D.J. Fluker or Jonathan Cooper before a Will. Both project to be stars at the guard position, which in my opinion is the spot on our team that will determine how much we dominate in 2013. (I dont mean to discount your opinion, this is simply mine)

      On a side note, Jordan Reed has to be the worst blocking tight end I have ever seen! It is almost laughable. However, if he can caught like a monster then this might not be a problem.

      • Rob Staton says:

        We had good guard play pretty much all year in 2012…. surely what will determine how much Seattle ‘dominates’ will be an improvement in the weak pass rush?

        • JW says:

          if there’s a run on D line as you lay out in this scenario, then it’s likely that Cooper is available in this hypothetical. Even DeCastro fell to 24 last year, so it’s no stretch. If Cooper is there he’d be a massive upgrade over any of the Guard talent currently on the team. Given the depth at WR and LB as you identify, and the run on D line in your scenario, going with Cooper if he’s there would make a ton of sense. He’d likely be the best player available in this case, and calling Seattle’s guard play good last year is certainly up for debate.

          Cooper projects to be a perennial pro bowler, so I’d have no qualms with his selection if the draft fell they way you ask in this post.

  3. John says:

    I’d take Ertz in a heartbeat if he’s there at 25. Wilson needs a good target, and Miller came on late in the year, but I don’t want to depend on him all that much. I also like the matchup problems that we can create with two TEs that can block and catch.

    Now ask me if Ertz is off the board, and we are on the the #9 DT and my choice gets way less definitive. I would seriously consider trading down.

  4. Kenny Sloth says:

    Could we take an Inside Linebacker and move Wagner outside?

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      Or move kj into the middle, wagner to will, and draft a strongside guy. If Dion Jordan fell, he would be a PERFECT fit there. His coverage is better than his pass rushing and he’s used to playing up at the line.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think it’s unlikely given Wagner’s superb first season inside. Little reason to move him.

    • John says:

      I’d like to take an ILB prospect and kick him outside. I’ve said this before but one person who really intrigues me is Kiko Alonso as a mid round option. He’s quick instinctive and can penetrate so well. I’d love to kick him out to WILL. Now I don’t think he’s a GREAT fit for Seattle because Carroll likes to rush four and keep the LBs in coverage. Alonso does not have great coverage skills in my opinion. But he’s got a ton of potential as a mid round guy. I don’t think Seattle would rate him that high, but I like him alot.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Ducks fan. Watched every game. Alonso is SLOW.

        • Snoop Dogg says:

          I love that idea about Dion Jordan! He seems built to play that position in Seattle!

          • JW says:

            I would hate to move wagner outside. don’t mess with success. Finding a WILL who gets pulled out often in 3rd and long shouldn’t be hard enough to warrant moving a legit defensive rookie of the year player to a new position

  5. Ed says:

    Like your article, I don’t think PC/JS reach for a DT/DE just to fill the hole unless it’s someone that fits the scheme (Richardson/Floyd). A drop back with a team in need of QB (maybe Barkley & Smith stay on the board).

    What do you think about Kruger to fill Clemons spot or play opposite him? That could help the rush as well.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not crazy about Kruger as a LEO. If we’re looking at free agents in this class I think Umenyiora and Avril are more suited to the role.

      • Michael says:

        what about Freeney? Think he could be a fit?

        • Rob Staton says:

          He’s shorter than most LEO’s… one of the key aspects is length. He’ll also be 33 on February 19th.

          • Rugby Lock says:

            Why wouldn’t you want Kruger??? 6’4″ 270… Can rush the passer, play the run and drop into a zone… the versatility needed for the LEO.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I’ve never been that crazy about his play. Not the most sudden pass rusher, quite stocky for a LEO. He’s going to be incredibly expensive and not worth the money IMO. If I’m spending a premium amount on a pass rusher I want more than Kruger.

  6. Kenny Sloth says:

    We need an Anquan Boldin.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      Chris Harper is a prospect you’ll be interested in then. His physicality is appealing and he could well be available in round 2. Reminds me very much of Boldin — that ability to get the ball even with a guy all up in his shirt. Excellent blocker at the position. A very tough WR with excellent skills and he’s still developing rapidly.

      • Snoop Dogg says:

        Not to mention that Chris Harper dominates at blocking in open space! Additionally he is projected to run a 4.4 by nfldraftscout.com.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          I’ve heard that one before. That would be shocking to say the least. He doesn’t run like a 4.4 guy at all. In particular, he doesn’t have a really quick get off from the line.

          If you’re one of the Seahawks fans that feels that the WR corps is not at par because of the inability to create separation, then Harper probably isn’t going to help that very much. It’s not that he runs poor routes or is slow. But he’s not really quick. He doesn’t have an innate ability to burst into the clear. Not to the same degree as Hopkins or Wheaton.

          But Harper does have skills and abilities that really don’t make that creation of separation such a necessity. He’s a prospect I really like despite that. He has excellent body control, and has displayed outstanding and very strong hands. I also like the fact that he’s a converted QB — meaning he’s developed in a rather short amount of time. He’s a guy I can definitely see becoming a much better pro than he was a collegian.

          This is a guy that could fit here in Seattle nicely.

  7. Belgaron says:

    The front office drafts based on talent, not on need. However, I do think they let needs creep into their evaluations just a bit so their draft board represents needs intrinsically to a degree. But then they draft based on the board which is heavily influenced by talent and potential. And that potential could have been demonstrated at the combine, the senior bowl, or at any time during their previous years all the way back to prep and college recruiting. They aren’t afraid to draft a guy who hasn’t been consistent in all of those opportunities. They simply look for upside and a projection to fulfill their vision of the role they would take.

    If either the pass rush were to be quickly addressed in free agency or the talent pool at #25 didn’t include a guy that will help in the pass rush, I’d want to make other areas in the defense that much stronger, so I’d be looking for a Mingo, Ogletree, or Vaccaro slide. Two linebackers who can cover a lot of ground in the run game and drop into coverage as well. Hawks middle-of-the-field coverage is their weakest link after the pass rush. Regarding Vaccaro, the Seahawks’ interest in Barron last year speaks volumes to how much PC as a defensive backs coach would love to have another Earl Thomas to run a shut down style cover 2 in their nickel/dime packages.

    If those guys are long gone as most current mocks project, then it really opens it up to go with the best available player. They could go anywhere except K/P. I think their are some really talented players currently projected in the teens that could drop to 25, especially when a few names really get buzz in the coming weeks from the combine or just the trends around the league. Some names will move up forcing some known guys back. They could also opt to drop back with their 1st pick and move up later picks to try to corner the market for a round they really like.

    But Seahawks could ultimately go with someone projected by pundits to go as high as 50-60 if they feel they are the perfect fit and wouldn’t be around the next time they’ll pick as we’ve seen the last few years.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Regarding your first sentence, I would argue this team has drafted exclusively based on need in round one. They were up front about the teams needs each year, and drafted accordingly. And there’s nothing wrong with that because every team drafts for need early. You want impact guys. What they won’t do is force the issue, but if there’s a pass rusher available worthy of #25 and three other players at different positions who are graded marginally better, the chances are they’ll go pass rusher.

      • Belgaron says:

        They had so many needs in 2010, it was hard not to take good players and not have them fill needs. Okung and Thomas have been fantastic but I think they were chosen based on their talent versus the alternatives when those picks came up.

        Had they drafted round 1 of 2011 based primarily on positional need, the choice would have been Andy Dalton, and there many who felt that should have been the selection both before and through the season (but I can’t say I was in that camp). I’m sure they thoroughly vetted the option internally and went the way they did. Similarly in round 3 when they selected Moffitt, guard was not the top positional need on the team, at least in my opinion. They seem to contrast players available against the prototype as they perceive them and there are some tradeoffs they are willing to make and some not. When they acquired Charlie Whitehurst and Tarvaris Jackson, they clearly were making due with what they could get. They sometimes settle for incremental improvement over perfection.

        Personally, I don’t think it’s bad to consider the draft from a need perspective but Schneider detests being described as drafting based on need. I would describe it as they need the greatest impact players and they do draft based on need from that perspective. I’m still curious to know if Wilson was actually number one on their board but they knew they could get him in round 3 and still beat the other interested teams. They described Wilson and Irvin after the draft as the two guys they had to come away with.

        • Attyla the Hawk says:

          This team has been really transparent about what it’s goals are for the offseasons. They’ve picked exactly the positions they’ve preordained at the post season presser.

          I’d have to agree with Rob. We’ve followed the need model in a strict way.

          • Belgaron says:

            Loosely defined group of needs sure, but strictly based on the highest need position, you could poke holes in that for all three drafts so far. They approach it strategically. They are very big on taking “what comes to them”, Golden Tate is a perfect example of this as they had a higher grade on him and considered him to have slid down to where they picked him; they didn’t have WR as the highest need at that point.

            Ultimately, I don’t disagree with you guys, I just think the needs play into how they build the board, not how they select. So the needs do play into the process, just not the final selection process. After the fact it can certainly look that way though. A perfect example of this is Barron last year. If you believe what they said after the draft, and I agree they have been helpfully transparent for the fans, if in an alternate reality Kuechly and Irvin were off the board when their pick came up at #12, they would have selected Mark Barron. They already had Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor and this set off a wave of questions about moving Chancellor to LB. PC said they would not have moved him and that Barron would have been used in different ways in their packages. Nobody would have described safety as a need, it would have been a selection based on the guy they liked the best based on his talent and upside.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I disagree on the Dalton thing… I think they’d decided pretty early in the process to go offensive line in round one in 2011. Carroll insisted his focus was to build a running game as soon as he arrived in Seattle and I think he got the #31 or #32 ranked running game in 2010. He’d traded for Lynch and I think it was always the desire to build up the o-line with two early picks that turned out to be Carpenter and Moffitt. So while conventional wisdom was saying, “must get QB, must get QB”… Carroll knew he wanted to build up the run first.

          • Belgaron says:

            This is what I meant when I said the build their needs into their board which pushed elements of building the run game higher that year. Within their board, though they go with highest rated talent when their picks come up. I think the fact that they don’t build their board solely on need is why Schneider doesn’t like that description. Their process incorporates a lot and other teams are starting to take notice, the Jets paid them a huge compliment when they snagged Idzik.

      • A. Simmons says:

        I agree. Our front office drafts for need and scheme. Prime examples are Carpenter and Irvin. Carpenter was rated lower than their picks, but they wanted a run blocking RT. So they drafted Carpenter. Irvin the same. Our FO definitely focuses on need and their own scheme. I think that is the best way to draft. The whole BPA approach is not how the best teams draft. Pittsburgh drafts for need and scheme as well. So does New England. Teams that uses that whole BPA theory are basically saying they don’t know what their scheme is or how they will use a player, that is a bad way to draft.

        • Belgaron says:

          Irvin was described as having extremely fast reaction off the snap as well as overall speed, a case could be made that this pick jumped up their board based on talent. While they needed depth at Leo when Brock became less effective, on paper there were similar areas of depth concern such as behind ET (which is still a need). In Carpenter, they say a drive blocking talent that was a plus. In hindsight, it appears like they filled needs but there was some acknowledgement of talent as well in these selections in post draft interviews. I agree with Schneider that they don’t draft based on need but I do think needs impact their draft board.

          • A. Simmons says:

            Scheme definitely impacts the draft board. Teams always need something. They usually spend their highest picks on need. You have to draft a player with an idea of how that player will be used, otherwise you’re wasting draft picks. That means your coaches and scouts have to work together to provide parameters for players. That’s why I like how Schneider and Carroll work together during the season.

  8. Zach says:

    How relieved are you that the 49ers lost?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not particularly relieved. They earned the right to be there. It’s up to the Seahawks next season to make sure they don’t get another chance to play in the big game by winning the NFC West and then winning the NFC.

      • Rugby Lock says:

        I had to watch it with three faux Niner fans… I enjoyed the result!! Not to mention I live in the middle of whiner territory so I would not have enjoyed the aftermath of a whiner SB win…

  9. Michael says:

    Hallelujah!!! We don’t have to put up with those punk ass ‘Niners celebrating a Superbowl victory all offseason!!

    • SunPathPaul says:

      It’s funny how happy I am about who ‘didn’t’ get a ring…

      Kaep – No
      Moss – No
      Jim H – No

      That’s is reward itself…

  10. Ed says:

    Very glad. On the Boldin comment. With Favre, Rice showed the ability to be that person. Let’s hope the offseason he gets chemistry with Wilson and next year he can just throw him the ball and trust he will get the ball.

    • Zach says:

      Until I see a real full season of Rice being healthy amd dominant I won’t believe he’s a true #1.

      • peter says:

        Then you just saw it…. Rice had an almost identical yards per catch average and just one less TD last year then he did when he was playing with Favre. The only difference in his stats was that he had more catches, (33) which I can’t feel is that many considering Favre had a massive amount more of attempts then Wilson.

        Point is, Rice when healthy…last year and 2009 is a dominate receiver

        • JW says:

          Rice had a very good 2012 and fans should give him his props. Wilson didn’t tie the rookie td record on his own. The wr corps is not nearly as bad as some here seem to think.

          • SunPathPaul says:

            Not that the WR corp is bad, but it isn’t scary!!
            Rice has only ever had one 1,000 yard season, so lets just relax about him being dominant…

            We need a real #1 WR scary threat! An AJ Green, a Wallace, etc player

            I pray that they will arm up the offense for RW’s sake!

            • JW says:

              no, we don’t ‘need’ that. We just saw two teams in the Super Bowl and multiple elite playoff teams without that threat. It’s nice, but it’s not a “need”. You need competent and intelligent receivers to go along with a QB who makes smart decisions, and has an understanding of the offense to go along with his physical abilities. If you have a smart and capable or “franchise” QB, you don’t “need” a Julio Jones, if you have a superior defense, running game and O line, you just need guys who can run routes and catch the ball. While it’s great to have a elite #1, it’s not necessary. This passing offense has and will continue to produce, and with the addition of 1 more competent receiver or TE it will match up with anyone. The offensive production in the second half stacks up to any team in the NFL.

              • SunPathPaul says:

                I’m not saying it is a Julio Jones kind of trade and glamour pick, it can be our 5th round pick!
                I’m just saying we need DEPTH at WR…Rice and Baldwin have been hurt, as is Zach Miller now. In the worst case imagine all of these going down… We would have Tate…That’s IT!

                I know we have Kearse, etc, but when I have researched the best teams at scoring and using QB talent, they have extreme depth at the WR and TE positions. Maybe Stephen Williams at 6-5 that we all ready signed can be an excellent match w RW. I just want at least 1 WR and 1 TE taken, if not 2… Competition is PC’s motto, so let’s have some!

                We focus so heavily on defense, tending to forget the offense counts too…

                • SunPathPaul says:

                  JW, the Ravens won BECAUSE of Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and Jacoby Jones!

                  Really? We don’t ‘need’ that? Come on…

                  I don’t care where from, but an influx of newbies at WR/TE with Russell Wilson now owning the QB spot and locker room, is a must have. Find who works, let the rest go.

                  Build our depth now, so for years to come we can get it done! Seeing the 9ers get beat up so much, we can make this SB ours! The 9ers got beat by WR talent on the Ravens.

                  Let’s get ours

                  • JW says:

                    “Com on” is right. If you think Boldin, Smith and Jacoby Jones are wide receivers that “scare” defenses, I guess that’s your prerogative. But they are not appreciably better than Rice, Tate and Baldwin. In fact, I’d rather take Seattle’s WR group than Baltimores. Its younger and more talented. In one post you say they “need” a “#1″ “threat” that “Scares” defenses, then you say that they need depth. Which is it? I agree they need depth, but you can count on 1 hand how many teams have the former. It’s not any kind of a “need”. Ask Detroit. And it’s not likely to be found in this draft or in this free agency anyways.

                    If you have a great QB, you can thrive on multiple good wide receivers. The number of times a great QB has been paired with a “great” WR in the history of the league is exceedingly few. It’s by no means a “need” by any stretch.

                  • AlaskaHawk says:

                    I find Crabtree and Vernon Davis to be scary. I would love to have both on our team. Which indicates to me that we need more receivers. Realistically we are only playing one drafted receiver-Tate. He is the only high round wide receiver we have picked in three years.

                    While our group looked good this year- it only takes a few injuries to change things. Our backups have not stepped up and aren’t likely to. So please draft some more talent at wide receiver. Yes we need a scary receiver group, and we are only 2-3 picks away from having it.

                    But let’s not forget the line. A few mid to late round picks may work their way onto the team.

                  • Rob Staton says:

                    San Francisco have big, physical receivers. It’s the one thing we lack and require.

                  • Colin says:

                    It will be pivotal to upgrade the WR spot if we want the offense to continue to flourish. I’m not too concerned about the Miller/McCoy combo- you could do far worse.

                    I’m not big on the idea of adding depth guys at receiver. We need a big time game changer. Baldwin, Tate, Obomanu… they are nice guys, but really a dime a dozen.

  11. Cysco says:

    Man Ertz looks like a special player. Watching the game linked above, it’s hard to believe the dude is a 6’6″ tight end. Very fluid and athletic. Catches with his hands, seems to be an adequate blocker and appears to be a pretty bright player. There were a few plays where the QB scrambled and Ertz broke off his route and came free to help out his QB.

    We all know how our front office likes prospects with unique physical traits. 9th best DL or best TE? Give me the TE and grab a LB in round 2.

    • Zach says:

      Ya I would be satisfied if we picked Ertz. But I would rather take Jordan Reed in the second and A. Brown in the first.

  12. Zach says:

    I saw somewhere that we only owe Rice 3.5m guaranteed. So will we really pay him like 9m a year from 2014 to 2016? I don’t think so! We better groom a Justin Hunter/ Patterson type WR in the draft to take Rice’s spot in another year in case Rice doesn’t renegotiate his contract and we have to let him go. I figure Rice is worth about 4m a year.

  13. Stuart says:

    Congratulations Baltimore Ravens, Super Bowl Champions! It’s not that I hate the 49er’s team because I dont, it’s the fans of that team that makes me despise San Fran. Is there a fan base in the NFL that is as annoying as 49er’s fans?

  14. Ryan says:

    Zach Ertz please and thank you. For me its quite simple.. Does the first round talent pass the eye test. I expect scouting to be able to place unique players in talented positions and allow them to rise to the occasion in rounds 2 – 7. Round 1 the person needs to look dynamic in college. I don’t care what position they are, we need to add the most dynamic player possible. Zach Ertz is a play maker, I just don’t see that in brown or greene anywhere near that level. They are good at their position and do things really well associated to their job, but you don’t ever build a gameplan around them.

  15. Recon_Hawk says:

    “Are you more likely to take the ninth or tenth defensive lineman with the #25 pick? Or are you more likely to try and fill a different need?”

    I think it should be noted that “drafting the ninth or tenth D linemen” doesn’t mean we are drafting a player with lesser skills than if we drafted the second or third player at a different position.

    For one, “defensive linemen” as a whole describes four different positions. If the Hawks are focused on addressing only the 3-tech, it removes the need to count any player at either defensive end position or the 1-tech who are drafted ahead of us as any lost on our part. Really, it should be looked at as, is it better to draft the third or fourth 3-tech or another need.

    Secondly, in a deep defensive line class, a fourth DT on the board may still be better than any #1 player on thier board. I mean, each player should be viewed based on their individual grade. Not their not their ranking in their positional class.

    As to our needs, I tend to think of that with our roster in mind, as in who we have on our team, now. IMO, we are in major need of 3 positions, ahead of many others. And all on the defensive line, too, unfortunately.

    1. Base defense 3-tech: Right now, all we have is the unproven 4th round Howard at the position. I don’t expect to spend much in free agency, as we are already spending around 20 million on our defensive line between 3 of 25 defensive players; Red, Mebane, and Clemons. If we look at our cap with the idea that it should be spit 50:50 between offense and defense, thats 1/3rd of defense money between 3 players.

    2. Sub-package defensive end: this was suppose to be Irvin’s spot. Now, it’s empty because Clemons is injured and looks to start the PUP. What’s an even scarier thought? What if this team doesn’t view Irvin has handling the LEO spot full-time. Then it’s a much bigger need.

    3. Sub-package defensive tackle: the Jason Jones role. The next two guys on the list? Mcdonald and Scruggs. Although I like Scruggs, his future is still unknown. Relying on both of them to get the job done would be a mistake. Think about this; our 3rd down defense was our weakness last year. And without any improvement on the D line, there, it’s guaranteed to be worse.

    WLB, Nickel CB, TE, WR – All four positions, while are needs, have adequate fill-ins or starters at those positions.

    • Recon_Hawk says:

      Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that the last 4 positional needs I laid out shouldn’t be addressed early in the draft. Positional/player value should always be considered.

      • Zach says:

        We really NEED to address the D line in the FA market. I realize we are spending more money than we would like but JS will figure a way to free up cap space. It sucks but we can’t just depend on late draft picks to fix the problem. My goodness I mean with Clems possibility of not coming back full stride and Irvin being a one down player we really have nobody to talk about on our whole D line even worth mentioning. BUT if we picked up Melton/Starks every player on the D line gets upgraded by their presence.

        • Recon_Hawk says:

          I agree we are probably going to have to address D line needs in free agency, but that doesn’t mean we need to spend big. We could spend smart on role-players, like nickel DT/DE, and address base defense 3-tech with our first round.

    • Sawker_Dawg says:

      I agree, that really the Seahawks could be drafting one of the top three 3-technique DT’s in the draft. When you look at the past drafts, there has never been more than five DT drafted in the first round and for most drafts, the third best DT was available at #25.
      http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/DT-1980-now.htm

      I’ve seen Rob mention 5 DT’s that might fit for the Seahawks (Lotulelei, Floyd, Richardson, S. Williams and Short) and I think at worst the 4th best should be available. Personally, from the limited tape I’ve seen of them I’m more impressed with Floyd and Sylvester Williams. They both seemed to attract double teams or beat single teams.

      Anyway, I think that the Seahawks second need (whatever that truly is) will have to wait until the 2nd round since they draft a pass rushing DT in the first. Seeing tape of the WR they signed from Arizona, Stephen Williams, he looks like a big athletic target they wanted when they drafted Kris Durham. I would see them drafting the guy they had rated the highest out of WLB, TE, or WR that somehow fell to them in the 2nd round. There will always be someone they want more than others.

      Of course, there is always the wild card of Matt Flynn and the possibility that they trade him to switch 2nd round picks with someone (Jacksonville?) and they get an even better choice in the 2nd round.

  16. A. Simmons says:

    If Chance Warmack falls to the 25th pick, I want to take him. If we had Warmack and Carpenter as our guards. Or Warmack and McQuistan or Sweezy as guards, we would dominate the LoS on offense.

    If we can’t get Warmack or a quality DT, I’d go with a pass catcher.

    I feel confident with Ken Norton Jr as our LB coach we can find a talent in the 2nd round or later.. Ken Norton Jr produces high quality LBs. He doesn’t tolerate poor LB play. He will take any LB candidate with the physical and mental ability to play and turn them into a Pro Bowl or borderline Pro Bowl player. When you have a coach like Ken Norton Jr. you can look for LB talent later in a draft.

    • JW says:

      would be totally shocked if Warmack dropped that far. Many have him as the best player in the draft.

      If made it to 16 and then St L passed on him two times, something really bizarre is happening in the draft.

  17. Clayton Russell says:

    If I am drafting, I am taking the best DT and DE/OLB with the first two picks and addressing the WR position 3rd taking Da’Rick Rogers. I then look at RT and depth for the others. McCoy has shown enough to me to give him more opportunities and the TE position can easily be filled yearly while key positions that we say we need (Pass Rushers) are not as easily filled.

    • Rugby Lock says:

      Basic TE needs can be filled yes. But a special playmaker like Ertz is worth the pick.

    • relaxxin says:

      I like this strategy. Da’Rick Rogers off field issues would be taken care of by our strong locker room. He’s a straight baller.

      • JW says:

        I don’t know much about Da’Rick specifically, but I like the idea of drafting DE/LB in the first two picks. I also like the idea of swapping #2’s with JAX or another team picking high in round 2. This WR class is pretty deep. It seems like there’ll be quality guys in the mid rounds. As I mentioned in another thread, I also like the idea of going after some of the young athletic TE’s that might hit free agency. This team could cover a lot of needs in the first several picks and FA, freeing their hand for intriguing guys in the later rounds.

  18. diehard82 says:

    Zach Ertz please. More two tight end sets with guys who are both capable blockers and excellent receivers, and we can call that the Zach Attack!

    • Tomahawk says:

      Zach Attack, I love it! They can come out to the theme song “Friends Forever.”

      • Clayton Russell says:

        Last I read, ZacK Ertz does not play defense, wouldn’t be able to correct our current issues (closing out games Miami, Detroit, Atlanta) Nice pick for someone just not the Seahawks with 1 or 2..

  19. drewdawg11 says:

    It is probably time to end the Red Bryant at DE experiment and move him inside. Mebane is making way too much money at DT to not have a high impact on the game. If there is any way to cut ties with BM, please do so. Melton is a decent player, but Randy Starks is a superior 3 tech because he can do it all. Now, if you are forced to keep Mebane, I guess you stick with Red outside and work on getting Clemons healthy, Irvin stronger, and drafting a young guy to add to the pass rush. Branch is the odd man out, along with his $4.5 million in slary. It may also behoove the Hawks to try and restructure Miller and Rice, (pointing towards resigning guys for next year).

  20. Jeremy says:

    I can’t see the team reaching beyond its board to fill the biggest need. There was an article in the National Football Post today that mentioned that Dan Quinn may bring more blitzing packages than Gus Bradley did. If this is the case, a WLB may be an upgrade to pass rush, nickle coverage and the BPA. This front office seems to let the draft come to them and use their advantages in unique scheme and scouting process to identify talent that can contribute to this roster throughout the draft.

    While it looked like they may not have many holes heading toward the end of the season, the injury to Clem and the domestic violence situation with Hill make a couple spots ripe for upgrade. I would expect the team to tweak its schemes slightly if needed to maximize the strengths of the players on the roster and to mitigate any weaknesses that the players may have.

  21. AndrewP says:

    Rob- What is the difference between a Zach Ertz for the WR/TE position, and a guy like UCLA’s Fauria? I only ask because Fauria is a guy who really intersts me in the middle rounds.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Ertz is a much more polished and accomplished receiver, with a frame that lends itself to acting almost as a bigger receiver.

      • AndrewP says:

        Ok… I guess I can see where Ertz is a bit more nimble and has incredible hands; but I was VERY impressed with Fauria every time I watched him, and I think he has a definite future in the league and provides great value in RDs 3-4

        Can the same be said for Toilolo, in regards to comparing him to Ertz?

  22. drewdawg11 says:

    Farria isn’t in the same class, athletically, skill-wise, etc. He’s basically a mid-round guy like you’ve said. Ertz is a potential Gronkowski type who is a mismatch, especially in the red zone. He’s almost impossible to cover one on one.

  23. Scott Allen says:

    I love the clips. Great examples but I can’t help noticing that Reed, while a decent target, seems to let go of blocks almost immediately. Time and again he dropped his assignments and his match up was the key contributor to tackles on run plays. If he was going to be an Aaron Hernandez type joker then I guess he might be a decent pick but he looks like a serious liability in a run situation.

    In regards to the same issue you mentioned Escobar not being a good run blocker. In all the clips I’ve seen he’s been highlighted on pass plays only. Rightly so, this guy looks like the next Jimmy Graham. I can easily see Russell hitting a guy like that in stride on a roll out. I just wish I could see his run blocking. Any clips you can suggest?

    • Scott Allen says:

      Okay. I’ll suggest one on my own. It’s hard to find SDSU games that aren’t shot by an amateur at field level but the poinsettia bowl coverage is decent and BYU is a good team to survey against. It seems that when Escobar lines up at the standard tight end position he almost always goes out in to pass route either to pull LBs away from screens or to be a target. On a few rare occasions they have him block and while its nothing that makes you go wow, I get the feeling his blocking is better than Reed’s.

      Check out the clip at;
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d_lPU5_XOQ

      Escobar blocks at
      35:16 (handles his assignment adequately)

      35:50 (Escobar holds a bit but the block is the standout element of a long run play)

      38:00 (after a great Escobar catch he contributes nothing to a run to his side of the field)

      39:20 (an OK initial block but the fullback nails Escobar essentially causing Escobar to push the tackler into the RB. I don’t fault Escobar on that one)

      Okay so I only had time to preview the first half. If anyone is interested in this prospect you can help out and continue the process by siting Escobar run blocking plays in a reply.

      My best to you all and may we all have a fortuitous off season!

  24. amattson says:

    I hope that we can get one of the top WR’s and DL’s in free agency – for example, I think Mike Wallace would really take Russell Wilson’s game to the next level. If Miller and Tate were open before, wait until Wallace stretches the defense! Also, I think Starks from Miami would be a great addition on the d-line (he’s young and he’s a pro-bowl caliber interior pass rusher). Then Greene can be our starting Will and bring athleticism and a linebacker who really knows how to blitz as well as cover.

    Overall, if we can add Wallace, Starks, and Greene, I think this team that was 30 seconds away from the NFC Championship just got a lot better!

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks and Go Hawks!

    P.S. This is just a little research I’ve done on the top free agents out there. Any other free agents that you think the Seahawks should target?