The Seattle Seahawks are desperate along the offensive line. How they got to this place is path of frustration and failure.
It wasn’t long ago that the Seahawks had a solid offensive line. While some individual pieces were far from perfect, the combination of Okung, Carpenter/McQuistan, Unger, Sweezy and Giacomini (along with TE Zach Miller who was essentially an OT) made for an effective group of blockers.
It made sense that the Seahawks didn’t spend any high draft picks on the line at that time. They had pressing needs elsewhere, and had the luxury developing players that weren’t NFL-ready but had high upside.
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The team never did a medical evaluation before drafting Garrett Scott, and he ended up having a heart condition that prevented him from ever playing in the NFL. All their attempts failed, and the team is paying the price for it now.
There has also been a parade of undrafted players that have come through and disappointed, most of which were college defensive linemen. Drew Nowak was a disaster at center. Kona Schwenke was far worse as an offensive tackle. The list is longer than we probably have space for here, and going through every failed experiment isn’t necessary right now.
With all of these failures at developing players, the Seahawks had no choice but to hope they could draft a starter in 2014 when Giacomini left in free agency. Unfortunately, they ended up drafting a “Tom Cable Special” in Justin Britt. Two years in, Britt looks like a major bust.
Last season they traded Max Unger and let James Carpenter leave in free agency. They thought they had a plan for it to end up being “not that bad.”
They were clearly wrong.
Alvin Bailey wasn’t the answer at LG. Britt couldn’t stick at RT, and Nowak was a disaster at center. The Seahawks managed to cobble together a mildly competent line, but it took a half-season before they got it figured out.
Then this offseason happened. The Seahawks are now a two years behind where they should be in drafting and developing offensive linemen, and all 5 starters from that 2013 Super Bowl team are gone.
Mark Glowinski appears to be legitimate NFL player, but with only one start under his belt, we cannot know for certain. Gary Gilliam has tremendous feet, and looks like he could develop into decent player, but he is still terrible at maintaining proper pad level.
Unfortunately, that means that the Seahawks have only replaced two of the five departed veterans, and both of those replacements still need a lot of development time.
The Seahawks are currently desperate. Don’t let the rhetoric coming out of the VMAC fool you. Things have reach crisis level.
Kelvin Beachum was supposed to be the free agent savior. The same Kevin Beachum that is an unathletic former 7th round pick that is coming off an ACL injury and whose former team didn’t want. Yes, that Kelvin Beachum. Too bad he cancelled his visit to Seattle and never even visited and later signed with Jacksonville.
The free agent acquisitions thus far are Bradley Sowell (who couldn’t seem to get on the field even though he played for a team with a terrible offensive line) and J’Marcus Webb (who has been terrible for three teams and has never once looked like a decent player).
Those two aren’t replacing anyone. They’re downgrades in every way to what the team had last season.
And that is where we are now: desperate.
The Seahawks head out of free agency and into the draft with a starting five of Gilliam, Britt, Lewis, Glowinski and Webb. That might be the worst offensive line ever assembled.
If the Seahawks use their top draft pick on a starter, and I suspect they will, the group still good by any stretch of the imagination. Starting two rookies is never a good idea either, so we can toss out that idea if we’re trying to formulate a competent line.
Things have gotten desperate for the Seahawks. If John Schneider has a plan to fix this, he better start implementing it. Unless something drastic happens, the Seahawks are going to wind up getting Russell Wilson killed.