I strongly believe the Seahawks will draft an Offensive Lineman with one of their first two picks in the 2013 Draft. Right now, the Seahawks have only four tackles on the roster: Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini, Paul McQuistan and Mike Person. Giacomini and McQuistan are unrestricted free agents after the 2013 season. Mike Person will have to fight for a roster spot this summer. The Seahawks need a long term solution at the Right Tackle position at a cost-effective price. The Seahawks have loaded up with spending on skill position players. Harvin is costing only $4.9M in 2013, but his cap charge will balloon in 2014. Having a good Right Tackle on a four year rookie contract is very important for the Seahawks' cap health in the next three years.
If the Seahawks sign Antoine Winfield, and it sounds like this signing has some legs, I have suggested that the corresponding "cap casualty" could be Paul McQuistan. I don't think this will happen in the next few months, but may develop at the end of training camp. It is important that the Seahawks find a player that can be a solid Swing Tackle in 2013 and start at Right Tackle in 2014. If this player can play Guard too, even better.
In the 2nd round, the Seahawks could spring for Arkansas-Pine Bluff's Terron Armstead or possibly Oregon's Kyle Long. In the 3rd round they may take someone like UNC's Brennan Williams or Louisiana Tech's Jordan Mills. Other possibilities could be San Jose State's David Quessenberry, LSU's Chris Faulk, or Ohio State's Reid Fragel.
In 2011, the Seahawks were reportedly high on Nate Solder, who is 6-8. I saw Breno Giacomini on the street in Bellevue, and he looked all of his listed 6-8 in street clothes. The player doesn't have to be 6-8, like a Fragel, but I think Seahawks' draftniks should be checking arm length and/or wingspan. You want to find an arm length over 34" and a wingspan over 80", in my opinion.
Lastly, you may find the Seahawks spring for a 7th round Tackle to compete for that last spot on the offensive line. This could be a Alabama State's Terren Jones or Alabama A&M's Jamaal Johnson-Webb. Perhaps another late round player could be Wisconsin's Ricky Wagner, who you may be able to find in the 5th round.
The Seahawks have now signed Brady Quinn as their (presumptive) backup QB (or at least to compete for that job). Without seeing contract numbers, the Seahawks have to be looking hard into the draft for a long-term solution at backup Quarterback, but they won't go in desperate or reach for anyone.
I don't think the Seahawks would spend the draft capital necessary to take a Matt Barkley or EJ Manuel. I wonder if they would spend their 3rd round pick on Arizona QB Matt Scott. Many fans are aware that the Seahawks did a private workout with Scott in California recently. Scott is a hot name, but I think their ceiling to take him could be the 4th round. I do not think they would burn their 2nd round pick on a QB, and perhaps not their 3rd round pick. Matt Scott could be gone by the 4th round and the Seahawks' slot.
The name I keep coming back to is Miami of Ohio QB Zac Dysert. Dysert is a fairly mobile QB who could be had in the 4th or 5th round. Scott would be a luxury, but I think a Dysert would be more realistic. Barkley or Manuel would probably be overkill and I don't think either would be there at #56 when the draft comes.
The Seahawks have only four RB/FB on the roster right now: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Michael Robinson, and Derrick Coleman. They need a 3rd Running back and have shown interest in possible late round H-back types like Latavius Murray and Willie Carter. Robinson has an interesting contract in that he is an unrestricted free agent in 2014, and when he signed his current deal, there was no signing bonus. This means there is no dead money if cut this year. Something to watch for. Other names could be SMU's Zach Line or Harvard's Kyle Juszczyk. I can see Mike Robinson on the roster in 2013, but I think the best long term solution at fullback is someone on a manageable rookie deal.
The Seahawks have dug into many late round running backs that are around 225 lbs (Danny's post on that subject). A name that keeps coming back to me is closer to 200 lbs, Utah State's Kerwynn Williams. He could be that 3rd running back and can return kicks like Leon. You could likely get him in Round 5 or 6. Could the Seahawks spring for a running back early in the draft? Sure, as they are one of the few running teams left in the NFL, but I think the high draft pick on a Running Back may be a year or two away.
The Seahawks could take a WR at any of their 10 draft slots and it would be a smart move. For now, I have the Seahawks drafting a WR late, basically to be the 5th WR on the roster. This could be someone like an Elon's Aaron Mellette in the 5th round, or an Eric Rogers out of Cal Lutheran in the 7th round (Seahawks have been linked to both). I do believe the WR they draft, and I believe they will draft one, somewhere, will be 6 feet tall or taller. Harvin, Tate and Baldwin are already pushing the sub-six-foot-club and we know that Pete Carroll tends to prefer longer players, all things equal.
Could there be a WR that is projected in the 40s, that could slip down to #56? Absolutely. Could the Seahawks pull the trigger? Possibly. I can see 2013 be a testing ground for Golden Tate and Sidney Rice. Baldwin is still cheap and under club control for two more years. Harvin is likely here for the next two to three years (or more) barring a meltdown. Tate has good chemistry with Russell Wilson, but Rice brings elements to the rotation that no one else brings. I can see Tate and Rice battling (for cap purposes) in 2013, with only one returning in 2014. If you drafted a WR high, that could soften the blow of one of Rice or Tate leaving. That being said, I think a high pick on a WR may be on the docket in 2014, perhaps they pull the trigger a year early.
I buy Tony Pauline's idea that there could be a run on TE before the middle of the 2nd round. The Seahawks have been trying to find the answer at the "Move TE" position since John Carlson tore his labrum. I heard the Seahawks were looking at Ladarius Green in the 4th round last year, but he went after Turbin and before Howard.
They kicked the tires on Evan Moore and Kellen Winslow. Before the Seahawks signed Percy Harvin, I thought they would go after Fred Davis. It is my belief that they would have pursued Davis, and I think they would have signed him, as his current deal with Washington is very low. Again, I believe Harvin changed this line of thinking.
Once you add another inside threat, and pay him $12M per year, I simply don't think the Seahawks are going to spend an early pick on a TE that will be battling for snaps against Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Zach Miller. The entire team will catch fewer than 20 passes per game. There simply is not many balls to go around in a run-first offense. Even if the Seahawks pass 30x per game and run 31x per game we are talking 19 to 20 completed balls max and at least 3-4 completions will go to Running Backs.
If you go back and watch the two playoff games, besides Russell Wilson, Zach Miller may have been the best Seahawk on the field. He made key play after key play in Washington and Atlanta - go back and watch the highlights. He is still going to be a factor in 2013. The name I keep coming back to is San Jose State's Ryan Otten. This is a "Move TE" with good, but not amazing, athleticism that could be had in the 4th or 5th round. The Seahawks are said to be looking at Alabama's big TE Michael Williams. To me, someone like Williams makes sense only in the 6th or 7th rounds (or later) because the TE board fell away from you. Williams ran a 5.19 forty and a three-cone over 8! (not good). He is a good blocker, but again - I think he is nothing more than a fallback option.
In Part III, I will cover the defensive side of the ball.