With the free agency period all but over in terms of impact players, all eyes now turn to the draft as NFL teams look to complete their rosters and get ready for the 2013 season. Our Seattle Seahawks currently have one of the best rosters in the NFL, but it is not complete. They still have needs that need to be filled.
Lets take a look at those needs:
Defensive Tackle – This was the #1 positional need for the Seahawks before the start of free agency, and it remains so now. The Seahawks have still have yet to replace or re-sign starter Alan Branch. All the pass rushers in the world can’t replace one of the big uglies in middle of the defense. At least Michael Bennett can replace Jason Jones inside against the pass, but the team still needs a starter here.
Offensive Tackle – The Seahawks only have 3 offensive tackels on the roster, and one of those they’d love to cut so some salary cap relief if they get the option to (Breno Giacomini, who was mediocre (at best) as a starter in 2012 and have a bloated $3.5MM cap number). While they don’t need to draft a starter, getting one would help both in terms of roster talent as well as with the cap. I expect them to look at OT early in the draft if the right player is there.
Tight End – Zach Miller is an under appreciated talent at TE for the Seahawks, but behind him the roster is empty of players worthy of a roster spot on this team. ok, thats a bit of an exaggeration Anthony McCoy is a decent athlete that shows promise, but he needs to be on the bench in case of an injury to another player, and not regularly on the field at this point. The Seahawks need to find a true #2 TE in this draft, preferably one who can stretch the field and create matchup problems in the passing game.
Weak Side Linebacker – This need was reduced when the team announced that Cliff Avril will play some strong side LB. That will move KJ Wright over the weak side in those sub-packages. It also means that the true starting weak side linebacker will be on the field even less than before. That said, I still think it’s a need for the Seahawks. There’s no way the Seahawks will use Avril regularly in coverage, meaning they need players in place so they can run their base defense.
Wide Receiver – Getting Percy Harvin definitely helped at receiver, but the team is still only 4 deep at a position where teams like to have 5 or 6. Plus, Golden Tate has just one year on his contract and will likely be allowed to walk next offseason. With this being one of the deepest draft classes in memory at receiver, the Seahawks can wait to mid to late rounds to draft a player, but they must draft a player.
Free Safety – The Seahawks need a true backup to Earl Thomas; someone with the speed to play the single high safety roll should Thomas get hurt. If the Seahawks truly are going to make a run at the Super Bowl, then it will help to have depth at key positions, and few are more key in this defensive scheme than their single high safety.
Nickel Corner – I’ve placed this down here at the bottom of the priority list, but I don’t believe the Seahawks need to acquire another player at corner despite the fact that many fans continue to insist that this is a major position of need. Walter Thurmond is dreadfully under appreciated by Seahawks fans, and will do outstanding in this roll. The team also has Jeremy Lane, who developed nicely last season and is more than ready to take on a bigger role in this defense. With Maxwell also on the roster as depth, the Seahawks are free to skip this position in the draft if they choose to.