Part 6 in an eight-part series that takes a position-by-position look at the Seattle Seahawks' needs heading into the NFL Draft on April 25-27.
Today: Defensive backs.
Depth Chart: Cornerbacks: Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Akeem King, Jeremy Boykins, Neiko Thorpe. Safeties: Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Delano Hall, Shalom Luani.
Expectations: Seattle likes its starters but could use a nickel corner and a backup safety.
Potential targets: Ashley Young provides a list of potential draft targets at safety and cornerback.
Picks: After trading defensive end Frank Clark to Kansas City for a first-round pick this year, a second-round pick in 2020 and a swap of third-round picks this year, the Seahawks now have five picks in the draft: first round (No. 21, No. 29), third round (No. 92), fourth round (No. 124) and fifth round (No. 159).
The Legion of Boom has officially been completely wiped away with the departure of safety Earl Thomas, who signed with Baltimore, although the injured Kam Chancellor remains on the roster.
Such a reality, however, didn't spell doom for Seattle's secodary thanks to the rapid growth of Griffin, Thompson and Flowers, to go along with the quality veteran acquisition of McDougald.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll loves coaching the secondary and covets big cornerbacks. So the rapid development of Flowers, a 6-foot-3 rookie selected with a fifth-round pick last year, has put the Seahawks in a firm situation at the starting corner positions.
"Expectations are high," Carroll told reporters regarding Flowers during the league meetings last month. "We’re not going to count on him being the same, we want him to be better, and hopefully draw on the strengths that he has, because he’s got obvious strengths in his size and his tackling ability and the physical side of it. His ability to knock the ball out and force fumbles really stood out last year, it’s something we really cherish about his play, I think he can get quite a bit better there too."
Maybe the only true hole is the nickel corner position. Justin Coleman signed with Detroit during free agency but the Seahawks return the 215-pound King, who played in dime packages, and signed Boykins during the offseason. While both have potential, neither is a guaranteed impact performer.
That reality could lead Seattle to select a cornerback in this draft to add to the mix. A backup safety that could become a future starter could also be needed.
Seattle has selected a defensive back in all but one draft (2016) since Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over in 2010.