Completed with the three W's - Who I want the Seahawks to pick, Where I want them to do so and most importantly, Why.
Doing scouting reports on draft prospects for a specific team certainly isn't of a waste of time, but let's be honest, it can be very difficult work that might not get rewarded. After all, you can write up as many names and reasons as to how they fit with the offense or defense and they still might not be selected come April. Add on to the fact that I'm a 12th man and following a front office known for unpredictability and out-of-the-box thinking, and I might as well draw ten names out of a hat to guess who will be wearing blue and green next year.
With that said, I think that this draft is definitely one of the most unique in recent memory in terms of talent, especially within the defensive ranks. I'm also excited mainly because after three years of watching Pete Carroll and John Schneider build this franchise from scratch, I've become more curious as to where they will turn their attention to in terms of improving the roster. I'm not even being homer-ish when I say that the Seahawks don't have many holes or glaring weaknesses on their team.
Yet there's always somewhere to improve. The pass rush still needs help. Russell Wilson can use another weapon on the offense. Someone can challenge Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond for the nickel spot. Depth has been an issue with the lingering injuries of last year. Of course, how they go about fixing this is a whole different story.
This is my take on it. To start, let me list out some needs I see within the team:
Interior Pass Rusher: Even if we re-signed Jason Jones, we can't count on Greg Scruggs or Clinton McDonald to compensate in a starting/rotational role. We already saw what happened once Jason Jones got injured last season, so a backup plan or a groomer is necessary. This draft is also very deep in terms of these players, so I can't see PC/JS walk away without taking one (or even two) players of this skill. Should be filled by: Round 1-2
Backup LEO: I really hope that Clemons returns to full form, but even if he does he's only on the team for two more years. Worse is the likely possibility that he will be a cap casualty in a few seasons so we can re-sign younger core players such as Sherman or Kam. Bruce Irvin may very well turn into Clemons a few years down the road, but between the injuries, the money and the age of Clemons as well as his partner, Red Bryant, I think it would be wise to invest on a balanced player when you have the chance before it's too late. Should be filled by: Round 1-2
X Wide Reciever: In other words, I think the Seahawks can benefit from a big split-end target with some speed - think Mike Williams back in 2010 and how he managed to complete the third downs, quick gains and touchdowns on goal line passes. This isn't a knock on Golden Tate; he played the part well last year, but I think his potential could be excelled more in terms of in the slot and open space, rather than on the outside. I also want the Seahawks to have a component to Sidney Rice in the event we can run deep fades down the sideline with both our ends if needs be. Should be filled by: Round 3-5
Joker TE: It might be too much to ask for a Zach Miller clone, but this is what the Seahawks might need following an injury he suffered late against Atlanta. Never mind that he might recover completely; like Bryant and Clemons before him, Miller might be a cap casualty in the future. Anthony McCoy is still not a true starter yet despite playing in a lot of 2 TE sets, and I yearn to see what Bevell can come up with when he has two capable and balanced TEs to play with in his scheme (i.e. in 2011 when we signed Miller and kept John Carlson). Should be filled by: Round 3-5
Nickel/Slot DB: As the NFL becomes more of a passing league, teams are putting out more and more 4-5 WR sets on third down situations. We saw last year how many drives were were extended simply because Trufant was too slow in covering the slot WR. This is a situation where I believe that good DB play will trump good pass rush every time. I would be very overjoyed to see the Seahawks put a third cog into the Sherman-Browner wheel, not because I think this will complete our defensive dominance but also because I have yet to see anyone step up into the position in three seasons. Should be filled by: Round 4-6
Weakside Linebacker: With Leroy Hill pretty much out of a job, the competition at WLB will be between Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan, likley. Both have played well when subbed in for Hill, but it never hurts to add more to compete. PC/JS have shown a tendancy to find gems late out of LB's, so unless somebody falls to me in the early rounds, we should not be rushed to fill this spot. Should be filled by: Round 4-6
Backup Tackle: Breno Giacomini is only signed on for the short term as is Paul McQuistan. The Seahawks have already invested in four of the five positions on the line, and it's time to finish the job in a pretty good class for offensive tackles. Likewise, I'm a big fan of Green Bay's model in that they build the line constantly from within; Tom Cable might very well sent out Pro Bowl caliber players when given the right guys and enough time. Should be filled by: Round 5-7
Other positions: Backup QB, Backup Safety, Kicker. These are players that I think can be added in through undrafted FA and should not be addressed until Day 3.
This is my big board within those positions (assuming that we are not trading from our spots). Highlights are included for as many players as I can find.
Interior Pass Rusher:
Jordan Hill, Penn State
Montori Hughes, Tennessee-Martin
X Wide Reciever:
Dan Buckner, Arizona
Uzoma Nwachukwu, Texas A&M
Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
DC Jefferson, Rutgers
Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas
Matt Scott, Arizona
Alex Carder, Western Michigan
(Credit goes to JPDraftJedi, Alex Whiteman, Adrian Ahufinger, Mario Clavel, Aaron Aloysius, CollegeFootballLive, TheFootballMan175, xuesac84, techsideline, Zach Marshall, TMBDraft, Big12Conference, Josh_DB, XOSSports, Jeremy Irons, footballmixtapes, MrSportNut, madmike1951, BIGCHIEFUGAMU75 and Eric Stoner for the film)