Life without a 1st round pick are not that bad...
It has been a while since we actually picked a player in the first round. So far, every year that started with us trading our first round pick, during the JSPC era, has also ended with us playing in the SB. That's not to say it's a great thing but it does not seem to hinder our success lately.
To be honest, when compared with other teams, our "draft needs" are more like luxury picks. The last 2 drafts were almost luxury draft classes.
And yet, we as fans and pundits alike are seriously debating the "needs" and mocking how the Seahawks will address those needs. It really is a fun game to play.
When you take a step back from the draft game and give a realistic look at the team and its FO you notice that whatever "needs" we talk about are more like "nice to have" or "possible improvement" rather then actually a need.
So, instead of jumping into the crowed pool of ranking players I'll try and rank our "needs" on a scale of 1 to 5. (One is "maybe after a red shirt year we'll find room for him at the bottom of the roster" and Five is "Without a starter at that position we are dog meat")
OL – Yes, the position of greatest need according to most. Yes, we lost Ungar and Carp and we will pick 2-3 of those guys at least. We'll be really happy if any of them will be able to compete and win a job over the likes of Lewis, Lem, Gilliam and Bailey. We will also be surprised if they do beat them since this FO looks quite happy with those guys. They have been there and have valuable knowledge and experience. In any case they will add valuable depth in this draft. I'd call it a level 3 need but since all other "needs" are of lesser value we'll make it a level 4.
WR – Every team in the NFL can use another great receiver on rookie contract. Even the team with the best WR core would be happy to add one (maybe not in the first round…but…). The evaluation of need starts at that level. A team that played in the last SB and lost none of its top 5 receivers is not a level 5 need no matter who they are. If said team has added a Jimmy Graham in the off season their need drops to Level 3. If we did not need a PR/KR to improve special teams I would make it even lower.
DT – The esteemed members of the DT ranks of the best defense in the NFL are all coming back. KW was replaced by Rubin. March, Scruggs and Williams are coming back from injuries etc. The only "need" we see has to do with next year and the end of Mebane, McD and Rubin contracts. With our shrinking cap I'll give this one a 3.
DE/LEO – Like WRs, you can't have too many pass rushers. That's the base level for need. Schofield left and we need depth etc. Since this is a very important position for the D we'll call that one a 3 too.
CB – The starters are there and they are the best in the NFL by far. We replaced Maxi but the depth is an issue. I can't really call it a 3 so it's a 2.
RB – Lynch and who cares. We may want someone for next year in case Michael remains what he was or on the off chance that Lynch will give up on 9 million dollars. Level 2 it is.
LB – Everybody is back and they are really good. But maybe…next year….cap space…bla bla bla – Level 2.
QB – Level 0, ok…backup, call it 1.
So, once again JS will set his war room and boards. The Seahawks will not save any effort to scout and find their guys. They will form strategies and do their best to improve this team as much as they can. When the 53 men roster will be finally set it'll have at least 5-7 new faces from this draft class. Maybe even 8-9 if they nail this draft and the UDFA signing.
But you have to understand why most of the pictures you see of JS have him smiling. What's not to smile about on this team?
I know it is frustrating to wait for the draft and not be mentioned at all during the first day when all the other teams are picking the top players of this class. If you look at the above you may realize it is better this way. We know what it is that earns teams the right to pick at the top of the draft and we can live without it. It's a small price to pay for being that good.
Let the draft games begin.