2014 NFL Draft: The 5 biggest areas of need for the Seahawks
By Colin Floyd
Dec 2, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll (left) and general manager John Schneider during the game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Saints 34-7. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
With free agency slowing down, and most of the UFA’s on the Hawks either gone or re-signed, there are a few areas that need to be addressed…
Offensive Line– T Breno Giacomini signed with the Jets and G Paul McQuistan is questionable to return; it looks as if the Seahawks will have to draft smart to shore up Russell Wilson’s protection unit. With guards Xavier Su’a-Filo (UCLA) and David Yankey (Stanford) and tackles Cyrus Kouandjio (Alabama) and Morgan Moses (Virginia), the Hawks have some nice options available to immediately fill at least one of those positions.
Defensive Line- DE Red Bryant, DE O’Brien Schofield and DT Clinton McDonald are all gone, and the defensive front’s depth is lacking. Re-signing DE Michael Bennett to a bargain deal was a good start, but at least another DE as well as DT are needed to ensure a competitive and dominant unit. Keep your eyes on defensive ends Stephen Tuitt (Notre Dame) and Kony Ealy (Missouri), if they are still available at pick No. 32, along with defensive tackles Louis Nix III (Notre Dame) and Ra’shede Hageman (Minnesota). Jared Allen is another option if signed at the right price.
Wide Receiver- Golden Tate got his payday in Detroit, and Sidney Rice has been cut (although there are rumors he could be brought back at a lower price), leaving Seahawks fans wondering who will take over in 2014. Right now they will be returning Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Ricardo Lockette and many want to see a big-bodied receiver drafted to pose an eminent threat to defenses in the red-zone. Look for guys like Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin (6-5, 235 lbs) or Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks (4.33 40-time) to still be on the board in the first round.
Tight End- There has been speculation since the end of the season that Zach Miller could become a cap causality, and while he has yet to be cut, the Hawks would benefit from a catch-first type of TE. There are reports than Green Bay’s Jermichael Finley could be close to signing with the Seahawks but if that falls though there are a few explosive options in the draft. Watch for Austin Seferian-Jenkins from Washington, or Jace Amaro (Texas Tech) to fall into John Schneider’s hands as it would be difficult to pass on either one of them.
Cornerback- While Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell seem to be comfortable in their starting roles for the foreseeable future, Brandon Browner is now a member of the Patriots and Walter Thurmond is ready to sign with either the Jaguars or 49ers. The Seahawks will look to the draft to add depth and potentially find their new nickel back; look for TCU’s Jason Verrett, Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller, or Stanley Jean-Baptiste from Nebraska to catch the eyes of the front office if they are still around early on.