FanPost

2013 Seahawks season Projections

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Projected Record: 11-5 (4-2)

Projected Finish: 1st in NFC West (lose Super Bowl XLVIII)

Quarterbacks: Russell Wilson took the National Football League by storm last year. The 5'11 Richmond kid had an incredible season leading the underdog Seahawks to the playoffs. I am very excited to see what this kid has to offer in his sophomore NFL season as I believe he will just build on an incredible rookie season. The backup job is an interesting competition between Brady Quinn and Tarvaris Jackson. Quinn was signed over from Kansas City where he had a terrible season, along with the rest of the team, tossing just 2 TD's and 8 INT's in 10 games (starting 8). Tarvaris Jackson was the starter for Seattle in 2011 where he was mediocre. He played with the Bills last year and after he was released there, the Seahawks dumped Jerrod Johnson and picked up Jackson. I predict the loser of this competition will be cut due to cap room.

Grade: B+

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch was in 'Beast Mode' the entire 2012 season. Lynch's 1,590 rush yards and 11 TD's were among the top backs in the NFL as Lynch waltzed his way to his 3rd career Pro Bowl game. Russell Wilson was the teams 2nd leading rusher in '12 and behind him was rookie Robert Turbin, Turbin, from Utah State University, had a very productive year running 80 times for 354 yards and catching an additional 19 passes. At 5'10, 220 pounds, Turbin has a very similar stature and style of play to Lynch. Christine Michael was a 2nd round pick from Texas A&M who will most likely be the 3rd back. Over 4 years at A&M, Michael racked up 34 rushing TD's. Spencer Ware is a rookie 6th round pick from LSU. He is listed as a FB, but played HB in college which could help him make the team with a steady FB in front of him (Michael Robinson) Ray Holley is an undrafted rookie from Louisiana Tech. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and caught 34 passes as a senior as a Bulldog. He is a long shot to make the 53 but a good preseason could land Holley a practice squad spot.

Grade: A

Receivers: Percy Harvin's injury is tough but the Seahawks will recover as they return nearly every impact receiver from 2012. Starting with Sidney Rice who had his best season last year since 2009. His 50 catches and 7 TD receptions lead the team. Golden Tate had his best season last year as well. He caught 45 passes for 688 yards and 7 TD's. As Tate enters a contract year, I expect him detonate for a monster season this year. Doug Baldwin was virtually the only receiver who's numbers actually went down in 2012. His 29 catches (down from 51 in '11) were good for 4th best on the team. However, with Harvin's sudden injury, Baldwin will get a chance for redemption this fall. With the injury to Harvin, the Seahawks went out and signed former Cardinal WR Early Doucet who was released within a week for 'not being in football shape'. A player who could really benefit from Harvin's injury is 2nd year man Jermaine Kearse. Kearse enjoyed a nice career at UWashington before going undrafted in the 2012 draft and ending up on the Seahawks practice squad. He played is way onto the active roster and appeared in 7 games, starting 1, catching just 3 passes. But anyone who watched Kearse in college knows he can flat out catch passes and play. Kearse's competition will be 4th round pick, Chris Harper. Harper was orginally a QB at Oregon but transferred to Kansas State where he flourished as a WR. He's a physical, play-making receiver who could have an immediate impact. Phil Bates is also a former college QB at the University of Ohio. He's a talented athlete who spent time with Seattle last year but never ended up making the 53 man roster. 2013 could be a big preseason for Bates. Zach Miller is a solid TE. He was 3rd on the team last year with 38 catches and is a very good blocker. With backup TE Anthony McCoy out indefinitely to injury, I'm curious to see who'll step up. I will be rooting for Cooper Helfet. Helfet is a 2nd year Duke man who, like Bates, spent time with Seattle last year but never saw a 53-man spot. I don't much else about the kid except that my good friend shotgunned a beer with him in Fisher's Island this summer - so he has my vote! Overall though, a solid receiving squad that could be considered among the elite level with a healthy Percy Harvin slotgunning it.

Grade: B+

Offensive Line: This is an underrated offensive line. Max Unger is a Pro Bowl center who the Seahawks, smartly, have locked up for a few years. Alongside Unger are JR Sweezy, 2nd year player who moved from DT in '12 camp, and James Carpenter, a Crimson Tide alum who missed 9 games to injury last season. Breno Giacomini and the other Pro Bowl Russell, Russell Okung, station as the tackles. It's the depth that I like on this line in Lemuel Jeanpierre, and Paul McQuistan, and project Rishaw Johnson.

Grade: B+

Defensive Line: I'll be very curious to see how this defenses moves on without big man Alan Branch up front. His 320+ pound body is hard to replace but the Seahawks made some offseason acquisitions that could just supplant the big guy. Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett are among the free agents that were brough. Both had monster seasons last year: Avril with Detroit (9.5 sacks) and Bennett with Tampa Bay (9 sacks) They won't get automatic starting time though as competition will include Chris Clemons and Red Bryant. Clemons, 31, seems to just get better with age and experience but is coming off a sever ACL injury. Bryant is a 325 pound player who is listed as an end but can play inside. Foot-surgery delayed a 2012 season but hell be going into camp with that foot on the pedal. Brandon Mebane has been the longtime DT for Seattle. Even there he'll be pushed by Jaye Howard and rookies Jordan Hill, and Jesse Williams. Howard could be the off man out. The former Gator had a disappointing rookie season last year appearing in just 2 games. Jordan Hill is a 3rd round draft choice from Penn State who has a knock for rushing the passer. Jesse Williams is a 5th round pick from Alabama where he played the NT position and dominated it. Greg Scruggs, 2nd year man from Louisville, and Benson Mayowa, undrafted rookie from Idaho, are 2 lesser-known DE's who could be players to keep an eye on throughout preseason play.

Grade: A-

Linebackers: Leroy Hill's loss to the linebackers was like Alan Branch's loss to the defensive line – hard to overcome, but certainly manageable. Bobby Wagner had an extraordinary rookie season last year. The former Utah State (another one) star lead the team with 140 tackles and had an additive 3 interceptions and 2 sacks. He quickly became one of the better linebackers in the league and will be looking to build on it this season. With some much talent on the d-line, expect to see Bruce Irvin lined up more as a blitzing LB. Many people disagreed with the fact that Irvin was taken so early in last years draft but I for one liked it. And it turned out all right as Irvin lead all rookie with 8 sacks. Aside from Irvin and Wagner, 3 USC guys could be competing for 1 outside LB spot. We all know Pete Carroll coached USC, and he coached some great LB – Clay Matthews, Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga among some recent ones. The battle is between Malcolm Smith, Mike Morgan, and Allen Bradford. Malcolm Smith is the favorite with the most experience (16 games played last year, 3 starts) and stats to back him up. Mike Morgan appeared in all 16 games, starting 1, last year but made his contributions primarily on special teams. Allen Bradford was actually a RB under Carroll at USC but will make the transition to LB this year. He has appeared in just 2 NFL games in 2 career seasons with 2 different teams, as a RB. O'Brien Schofield was just picked up from Arizona. He could push the USC guys for the OLB spot but I still wonder why Arizona would release him. John Lotulelei is an undrafted LB from UNLV to watch in the preseason, the only reason being his brother is Star Lotulelei, the 1st round pick for the Panthers.

Grade: B

Defensive Backs: Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman make for a fabulous CB tandem. Sherman's ball-hawking ability combined with Browner's size and tackling ability is a rare combination. Antoine Winfield and rookie Tharold Simon will make for their own good combination as backup corners. Winfield brings his veteran presence from Minnesota and 5th round draft pick Tharold Simon will translate his physicality from LSU to the NFL. Earl Thomas came into his own last year at safety earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. The 24 year old still has a lot ahead of him in Seattle. Jeron Johnson is backup safety who saw limited play last year but made the most of it when he was in. Johnson will be vying for a spot with 2nd year Kentucky safety, Winston Guy.

Grade: A-

Buy: Russell Wilson

Sell: Chris Clemons

On the Hot Seat: Doug Baldwin

Breakout Player: Jermaine Kearse

Follow me on twitter @rickypackard3 for all your sports news and updates!

Check out my blog rickypackard.blogspot.com for all 31 other teams predictions and playoff projections!

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