Dec 9, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice (18) participates in pregame warmups against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Adding Sidney Rice means Seahawks can shift focus in draft

Sidney Rice has returned to Seattle and that’s great news for the Seahawks for a couple of different reasons.

For one thing, adding Rice will help fill a void at the wide out position Seattle has had since Golden Tate jumped ship and signed with the Detroit Lions last month.

Rice, having played with the Seahawks for the previous three seasons, knows how the offense works and though he has been plagued with injuries, at 27-years-old, he is still in the prime of his career. If not given enough attention by defenses, Rice could have a very productive year for the Seahawks.

Furthermore, Rice is only under contract for a year, which means he has less pressure to live up to his contract and the Seahawks don’t have to worry about having a ton of money tied up in the wide out.

Now that he is under contract officially, Seattle can re-focus on the upcoming NFL Draft and signing Rice may affect how Seattle chooses their No. 32 pick.

The Seahawks’ biggest needs over the offseason were always at wide receiver and at the offensive line.

Picking up Rice means the Seahawks might go after an offensive lineman in the first round, rather than a play-making receiver. They will still likely draft a wide out, but they may wait until a later round to fulfill the need.

A number of lineman should still be available to the Seahawks by the time their No. 32 pick rolls around, and it would make a lot of sense to pick one up then.

Gabe Jackson out of Mississippi State would be a nice addition, as would David Yankey (Stanford), Xavier Su’a-Filo (UCLA), Antonio Richardson (Tennessee) or Morgan Moses (Virginia).

A number of recent mock drafts have suggested the Seahawks take Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin or Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks with their first pick in the draft, but now that Seattle has Rice, Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse ready to go for next year, Seattle should probably pass on a receiver in the first round.

Sidney Rice’s addition makes a great offense even better.

What should Rice do next? Head down to Southern California and start working out with Russell Wilson and gang and get ready to help the Seahawks defend their championship.

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