Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
No. 1 Team Need: Offensive line
Contrary to popular belief, Seattle has not fielded a strong offensive line during the John Schneider/Pete Carroll era. They've relied on Russell Wilson's ability to move and escape, as well as Marshawn Lynch's capability of creating yardage that isn't blocked for him. Hence why the Seahawks made no attempt to re-sign free agent LG James Carpenter, and were comfortable trading away C Max Unger to upgrade another position. Still, Seattle's offensive line could afford upgrades, beginning with center and left guard. OL coach Tom Cable runs a zone-based blocking system that emphasizes athleticism and a nasty demeanor in the trenches.
No. 2 Team Need: Wide receiver
The Seahawks have one of the NFL's weakest receiver corps, though it isn't for a lack of trying. They paid big money to Sidney Rice early in the Schneider/Carroll era, and invested heavily in Percy Harvin later on. Seattle used a top-45 pick on Paul Richardson last year. Richardson shredded his knee and can't be counted on for 2015, while Doug Baldwin is a slot receiver only. Jermaine Kearse would be better utilized as a reserve sub-package wideout. In the Super Bowl, Chris Matthews gave the Seahawks a taste of what Wilson could do with a size-gifted, jump-ball-winning receiver. The trade for Jimmy Graham certainly helps Seattle's pass-catching corps, but I'd still expect Schneider to draft an imposing wide receiver with an early-round pick.
No. 3 Team Need: Cornerback
Newly signed Cary Williams is theoretically a good fit for Seattle's Cover 3 scheme, and should prove an adequate short-term replacement for Byron Maxwell. Williams is on the wrong side of 30, however, and has a history of maddening on-field inconsistency. He's gone through long stretches where he's been easy to beat. Slot corner Jeremy Lane has been ravaged by injuries and tore his ACL in the Super Bowl. He isn't due back until midseason. Slot is the Seahawks' most pressing need, though they could use a reinforcement on the perimeter, as well.
Norris’ Mock Draft:
Round 2 (63): WR Devin Funchess, Michigan - I understand the issues people have with Funchess. He dropped too many contested catches for his size. But it would be difficult to find a receiver in this area of the draft like Funchess with the level of ability to be a primary outside, red zone or even big slot target. He dealt with a toe issue since the early parts of last season. The Super Bowl and acquiring Jimmy Graham makes it seem like Seattle is putting an emphasis on contested catches. I also think Seattle might move up or trade down from this spot.
Round 3 (95): EDGE Frank Clark, Michigan - Clark had major off-field issues during his time at Michigan and recently agreed to a plea deal relating to a domestic violence charge. On the field, Clark is an outstanding athlete who flashes bend and a conversion of speed to power. If the team has to move on from one of its edge rushers in the next few seasons for cap reasons, Clark can make an impact.
Round 4 (112): OL Mark Glowinski, West Virginia - As Evan mentioned, the Seahawks have an obvious need at left guard and center. You might think I’m crazy, but in a league where interior linemen are playing earlier and earlier, Glowinski has the talent to start immediately. He fits the athletic profile the Seahawks look for.
Round 4 (130): CB Tye Smith, Towson - Wingspan is a major part of cornerback evaluations for the Seahawks. Smith has a large one at 78 inches. I don’t think he can play inside in the slot, a position Evan pointed to as a need.
Round 4 (134): C Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech - One of my favorite prospects in this class. Mason has taken snaps at center during pro days, but I think he can play guard as well. Few players are as powerful and create as much space in the running game as Mason. His pass protection absolutely needs improvement, but that might just come with repetitions.
Round 5 (167): WR Ty Montgomery, Stanford - The team is still in need of a returner, and Montgomery is one of the best in that area in the draft. That is a very specific role, but the Seahawks understand drafting for roles is wise. As a receiver, Montgomery is best with the ball in his hands and might need those touches to be manufactured.
Round 5 (170): RB Zach Zenner, South Dakota State - Another running back for Seattle? Robert Turbin has one year on his deal, Christine Michael has two. Zenner is an awesome athlete who flashes balance and long speed in a variety of weather conditions.
Round 6 (181): DT Quayshawne Buckley, Idaho - The Seahawks have so. many. third. day picks. Buckley is an upfield penetrator and could have a role as a disruptor in sub-package situations.
Round 6 (209): LB Alani Fua, BYU - Fua has size, athleticism and is one of the more comfortable linebackers in coverage. He played a drop-end role and might fill the on-line-of-scrimmage strongside linebacker position when Bruce Irvin moves down as a pass rusher. Or Fua could just be a special teamer.
Round 6 (214): S Cedric Thompson, Minnesota - Thompson is unlikely to still be on the board here, but I could see him being a target in a trade up. Other teams have sniped backup safeties for the Seahawks and they need to reload their depth.
Round 7 (248): CB Damian Swann, Georgia - I don’t know if the Seahawks value length at slot corner. If so, Swann doesn’t fit. Seattle has a method and rarely strays from “types,” so keep that in mind if others say they “reach.”
Seahawks Current First-Team Offense
QB: Russell Wilson
RB: Marshawn Lynch
WR: Doug Baldwin
WR: Jermaine Kearse
TE: Jimmy Graham
TE: Luke Willson
LT: Russell Okung
LG: Alvin Bailey
RG: J.R. Sweezy
RT: Justin Britt
Seahawks Current First-Team Defense
LE: Michael Bennett
RE: Cliff Avril
NT: Brandon Mebane
DT: Tony McDaniel
MLB: Bobby Wagner
WLB: K.J. Wright
SLB: Bruce Irvin
CB: Richard Sherman
CB: Cary Williams
FS: Earl Thomas
SS: Kam Chancellor