A Look at the Draft – LB


The Seahawks have needs at virtually every position. The team needs to select players, especially in the early rounds, that can contribute immediately. During the middle rounds, Seattle needs to select prospects they feel can eventually become starters. In the later rounds, they need to address depth and perhaps take chances on players they feel might be overlooked and underrated who fit into their defensive scheme. That is why the position least likely to be impacted in this week’s draft is linebacker.

It’s not because Seattle is stacked at the position. In fact, the opposite is probably true. Only David Hawthorne is worthy of the playing time he’s received. The play of Lofa Tatupu has declined significantly over the last few seasons. Aaron Curry is on the verge of becoming a massive bust. The team has too much money invested in Tatupu and Curry to release them at this point. Their contracts make them almost untradeable.

It could be worse. The team took advantage of the uncapped year last season to do a major restructuring of Leroy Hill’s contract. He’s now a free agent and definitely will not return.

The Seahawks had a lot of success playing with six or seven defensive backs last season, and I expect them to continue that trend. That means a lot of defensive snaps will be taken with only one linebacker on the field, at most. Building depth at linebacker has become irrelevant. Will Herring is a serviceable backup, but any other linebackers on the roster had better be good at special teams.

The lack of standout draft prospects at linebacker is both good and bad. Good in the sense that a linebacker is unlikely to fall in the draft and they won’t be tempted to select one Bad in that other teams will probably wait until the later rounds to draft a linebacker, and fewer prospects at positions of need are likely to be available when the Seahawks select. I can’t guarantee which direction the Seahawks will go in during the draft, but I would be stunned if they selected anyone at linebacker, even if the selection would seem to be a good value.