Jan 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Zach Miller (86) runs after a catch in the third quarter of the NFC divisional playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 30-28. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Reassessing Seattle Seahawks Draft Needs

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.

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  • http://Allcougdup.com/ All Coug’d Up

    Good List.

  • Trakar

    I’m having a hard time accepting your “needs list,” when your assessment of team member weaknesses seems so far from my perceptions of team weaknesses and needs. Or maybe we just have different understandings of what the team is doing and how it is progressing toward its ultimate objectives.

    I believe that Branch will be re-signed, and that we will probably draft at least one DT and probably pick at least one more UDFA at the position to take into the camps this season. I don’t consider the need to be number 1 on the list but it is something that will be addressed.

    Breno’s (who is one of the better players, and one of Cable’s favorite players -for very good reasons) only real problems is that he has a hard time keeping his nasty under tight control. I’d like to have a rotational RT who was a bit more rounded in protection and run-blocking, but again, for most opponents the threats of Wilson, Harvin, Lynch/Turbin and Miller should put the brakes on some of the kamikaze rushes we witnessed towards the end of last year.

    As for TE, it might be nice to have an additional blocking TE on the roster, but I really think we are actually in acceptable shape at this position currently (Miller, McCoy, McGrath, Fells, Helfet, Morrah) and while I am all in for bringing in competition, I think this is a position I’d rather develop from within, and really wouldn’t want to reach for, I expect Miller and McCoy to show a lot more value this year, it’ll be interesting to see if Morrah can hang-on to a roster spot.

    the LB/DB slots are always open to athletes and reshuffling, but again, that’s more of an evolving gang competition issue. Not something that we need target hard in the draft or offseason pickup. If a piece opens up or falls to us at a value, snatch them up and throw them into the mix, but not something that should be a priority or overspent on.

    Receiver corps should not be on anyone’s list. That’s not to say that developmental pickups are out of the picture but I would really rather have rotational players who Wilson and Flynn are already familiar with onboard rather than bringing in raw talent that may take another season or two before they are field ready. Harvin, Rice, Tate, Baldwin, Butler, Kearse, Martin, Obomanu, Bates, Williams, Walters – I’m sure the list will change some over the coming months but I certainly don’t see the top four changing and it will be interesting to see who works their way into the other 2-3 slots.

    Free safety is not a need, it would be great to have rotational/backups that can step up when superman wants the rare breather (likewise with our SS wood layer) but nothing that needs to be a priority or reached/overspent on.

    I do agree fully with the sentiments you expressed regarding nickel-corner.

    I would like to see a concerted effort towards a long term solution at Kicker, and perhaps some special teams specialists, but for the most part I really think we are more in a fine-tuning, depth and BPA mode this year and it feels good.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      These things are always subject to opinion, and I appreciate you choosing to share yours. We differ on our perceptions on the team’s backups, and that’s normal. I tend to believe that good teams can’t just depend on them taking massive steps forward. Some do, and that’s awesome, but I think that during the offseason you can’t just expect it.

      I will add that many of the things are in the list aren’t high priorities. Many are 5th-7th round needs. Nothing that the team should “reach for.” That wasn’t the point here. This roster is in very good shape, but there needs to be a strategy for those late picks as well.

      Safety is a good example. No chance the team takes one early, but getting one on the roster that’s capable of playing as a single high safety would be a nice addition, but it obviously isn’t a major concern.

      I should also add that Breno is not one of the team’s better players in any way. I don’t care if Cable likes him or not. He was the one of the worst tackles in the entire NFL in 2012. PFF has his performance at -11.6. Only 2 full time starters were worse.

    • Green Apple

      What do you think we should do with our 10 picks then?

    • Hanley H. Bonynge

      Outside of Miller, our TEs are nothing to write home about. Cutting 2 or 3 of the ones that aren’t name Zach and drafting a guy like Vance McDonald would be huge. McCoy and Morrah have had time to show if they can improve into anything great and I’m not impressed.

      Seattle definitely needs an OT/OG. Breno is not great and his penalties can be killer.

      Would like a kicker but not sure if it’s worth drafting one.

      Definitely want a back up for Thomas. You never know when a shitty field like Washington, Chicago, or elsewhere might cause a fluke injury.

      Also a WLB. Hill is hopefully gone for good and we were weak there even with him.

    • http://Allcougdup.com/ All Coug’d Up

      So, I’m not understanding. Do we just not need to draft anyone?

  • KAK

    I cant believe you get paid to be an analyst. This list is horrible

    • 12thMan_Rising

      Care to explain? What would your list be?

  • GTO

    I’m guessing Keith Myers isn’t aware the Seahawks signed Tony McDaniel on March 21…i don’t know if McDaniel will be a huge impact. However it should be noted they did, in fact, address the issue in the event Branch doesn’t come back…..Don’t forget about Red Bryant either…with all these pass rushers coming in it doesn’t seem that absurd to think they might move the 323 lbs end back to the inside.

    • Green Apple

      Was there official news on this? I remember hearing that he was here for a workout. Not sure if there was news on him undergoing a medical nor signing with the team

      • 12thMan_Rising

        do we have 2 GTOs. I’m getting confused. Either way, thanks to both of you for the thoughts/ideas. Differing opinions should be celebrated, and are always welcomed here.

        • 12thMan_Rising

          that’s better. Welcome Green Apple. Not sure if you were just showing up as GTO in my browser or if you changed it, but either way I’ll be a lot less confused now.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      Seattle brought in McDaniel for a workout and visit, but his name still does not show on the league’s official transaction wire. I expect it to happen soon, but until we get official word. I’m not assuming anything.

      Looking over the McDaniel tape (there isn’t that much) and his ratings from PFF. suggest that McDaniel isn’t a great fit at 3-tech. Greg Scruggs is a more likely contributor, and his performance was good for a rotational player, but not one I’d be excited about seeing in there full time.

      McDaniel has had only 1 good year, and that was in 2010 when he played as a 5-tech DE similar to Red Bryant. My guess is McDaniel’s addition has more to do with Bryant insurance than the starting 3-tech spot.

  • Green Apple

    Good list Keith. With around 10 picks and an already strong squad, I see Seahawks drafting for the positions you mentioned above.

    However my priorities are little different. My priority #1 is DT (even if we resign Alan Branch). I see we bringing in atleast 2 DTs (or one run-stopping DT and one Bennett type DT/DE) in this draft.

    A Right T is my joint Priority #2. Games are won in the trenches and if there is one weak link, it is in RT/RG. So a strong RT who can play RG if needed would be good for the squad.

    The other joint priority #2 – to me is Free Safety to backup Earl Thomas. With the current squad and the way our secondary play, I think the success of our team is more Earl Thomas dependent than even Russell Wilson. With how physical albeit slightly slower secondary, we depend heavily on the range of coverage Thomas gives. We have players to cover if any other player misses few games but we don’t have one for ET. Ofcourse you wont find a ET easily even in round #2. But this position is of super importance that we need a backup.

    Priority #3 is a kicker for me. We need one. We draft or find one in todays combine or in FA – we need one.

    Priority #4 is WILL.

    A blocking TE is priority #5 (more of Miller than McCoy).

    Lane like CB and a tall WR would be next.

    • Green Apple

      Disclaimer: I relocated to United States from India just 3 years back. My knowledge in American football is very very minimal. Feel free to point out if I got something absolutely wrong.

      • 12thMan_Rising

        nope. it’s a good list. There’s a lot of differences in opinion right now, which is actually a good thing. If the teams had major weaknesses, then everyone would point to that and we’d all agree. The fact that we can’t agree on list of priorities means that the roster is in very good shape.