The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8 to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. Seattle got to the postseason behind an NFC-best 13-3 record in the regular season.
The defending champs have been relatively quiet when it comes to adding to their roster this offseason. Seattle’s only notable free agent signing was backup corner Phillip Adams from the Raiders. The Seahawks were also able to re-sign the likes of defensive end Michael Bennett, kicker Steven Hauschka, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel. They also tendered wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
Seattle did have a number of key players sign elsewhere. The list of players who have left town include the likes of defensive lineman Red Bryant, defensive end/outside linebacker Chris Clemons, wide receiver Golden Tate, corner Walter Thurmond III, corner Brandon Browner, offensive tackle Breno Giacomini, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, guard Paul McQuistan and defensive end/outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield. Sidney Rice is also a free agent, but there’s a possibility that he could re-sign.
Despite losing more than they brought in, the Seahawks don’t figure to suffer a big set back in 2014. Seattle has one of the deepest rosters in the league, thanks in large part to their ability to repeatedly find quality talent in the middle to late rounds of the draft. General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have seven picks at their disposal this year. While they don’t have a 3rd selection, they do have two picks in the 5th round. Here’s a quick look at the five postions the Seahawks could target when they are on the clock this May.
Seattle didn’t have much at the receiver position before losing Golden Tate and potentially Sidney Rice. It was pretty remarkable what Russell Wilson was able to do with so few weapons at his disposal. The hope is that Percy Harvin will be able to stay healthy and be the dynamic force they envisioned when trading for him prior to last season, but health is a major concern. There’s a lot of talent at the receiver position in this year’s draft and I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle used a couple picks at this position.
The loss of Giacomini leaves the Seahawks in a need of a capable player to start opposite of Russell Okung. As good as Wilson played, he was under quite a bit of pressure. Keeping their star quarterback healthy has to be a huge priority. Even though their may be a bigger need at receiver, I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle used their first round pick on someone who can come in and start at right tackle.
Not only do the Seahawks need help on the outside, but they would be wise to look to find a better option than J.R. Sweezy at right guard. I’m also not huge on 2011 first round pick James Carpenter, who is slated to start at left guard. The strength of Seattle’s offense is their ability to run the football and it would certainly make running back Marshawn Lynch happy if they added improved in the trenches.
While Seattle has arguably the best corner in the game in Richard Sherman and a quality starter opposite him in Byron Maxwell, the losses of Walter Thurmond III and Brandon Browner leave them thin at the position. While they signed Adams in the offseason, I don’t think its enough. Look for the Seahawks to use one of their picks to bolster what many consider the best secondary in the NFL.
A lot of the attention defensively goes to the secondary, but Seattle has been strong up front as well. While they have a lot of talent coming back, I expect them to add some depth here after losing Bryant, Clemons and McDonald in free agency. If they feel they can address their other needs later in the draft, they could go after someone like Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman with the final pick in the first round.
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