In preparation for the Draft, I went through the rosters of all 32 NFL teams and wrote down what I thought were their "Top 3 Draft Needs". These are not in any specific order of priority- but I did color code the positions to align with what I perceived were the Seahawks top 3 needs (Yellow for Tackle, Blue for Edge Rusher, Green for Wide Receiver). I also included a few "Watch Out for" position groups for some of the teams- where perhaps a great value could drop to them- or perhaps they may view that position is a greater need than a typical NFL team due to the style and philosophy that aligns to how that specific team plays.
I color coded the QB position in Orange, not because I believe it is a Seahawk need, but I thought the way the QBs fall (early or late) will impact the amount of good players that could slide down, and also- possible trade demand for Pick 32. Schneider, in an interview on Sirius, transcribed by our own Glen Peer, mentioned he was intrigued by how four positions groups went off the board in Round 1 (QB, OL, WR and "Pass Rusher").
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That being said, the way I arrived at the Seahawks top 3 needs was based on my interpretation of how the Seahawks approached free agency- in terms of their own players and outside players. The two biggest losses on offense were Golden Tate and Breno Giacomini- hence the WR and Tackle need. In outside free agency, the Seahawks went hard after Jared Allen, which to me was a signal that they were looking add an edge rusher with Chris Clemons gone and Cliff Avril a free agent after the 2014 season.
My "watch out for" or darkhorse position group was DT- which I am sort of using as a "catch-all" bucket for an interior D-lineman- This could be a "base 3-tech or base 5-tech" or it could be an interior rusher- perhaps more like a Henry Melton, Jason Hatcher, Aaron Donald, or Dom Easley. The Seahawks did lose Clinton McDonald as well as Red Bryant.
I don’t think CB or LB are a "top 3 need"- but I think they are in play Round 4-6 for Seattle- as they will need this for down the line. Obviously, the Seahawks lost depth at Corner with Walter Thurmond going to the Giants, and Brandon Browner going to the Patriots. This sheet is more a prediction of how I think NFL teams will target their Day 1 (Round 1) and Day 2 (Round 2-3) position groups- not as much a Saturday analysis (Day 3, Round 4-7).
Once I did the roster analysis, I did read up on various reports of team needs, most of which supported my initial instincts. I did tweak some position groups when I read some good arguments or gained additional roster insight. Some of the teams- like the NY Jets- I felt were super easy to read (WR, CB and TE) for their top 3 needs. I thought Tennessee was easy too- QB, RB, and edge rusher. I had trouble with teams like the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers (perhaps because they are AFC teams that I don’t watch much on television).
Hopefully, you find this handy to use around the draft to check off and predict where teams may go in the early rounds.