Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Need for a Defensive Tackle

by: Chris Sullivan

I think most of us agree that one of the biggest needs facing the Seahawks this offseason is at the defensive tackle position. With Bernard likely gone, and not producing at peak levels anyway, the Hawks need a big DT who can stand up against the run and get some pressure on the passer. It remains to be seen whether that can be Red Bryant or not, but the Hawks will need to be looking around regardless. I've been hesitant to cover this mostly because John Morgan has already done a good job of doing so, but I thought I'd throw something up here anyway.

The main free agent DTs that the Hawks could find themselves pursuing are Jovan Haye and Shaun Cody (I think we've all concluded that Albert Haynesworth is simply out of our price range and quite probably not a "Ruskell guy"). While Haye is more expensive and accomplished in the league, Cody clearly has a fair amount of upside -- he's been stuck in the Whirling Vortex of Suck since college (i.e. Detroit), but disappointed each and every year. His concern for the game has been called into question, as has his work ethic. While he's got size, strength and stamina, he uses almost none of that while he's on the field. Haye, on the other hand, has been a good to very good player and, coming from Tampa (and the Tampa 2) might be a sought-after guy for the Hawks. I think of all the Free Agent tackles, Haye is the most promising and the best choice.

In the draft, we've got a number of guys, among them B.J. Raji (who I've said time and time again I don't like and would be a huge stretch at 4), Peria Jerry (who John Morgan points out is already 25 years old), and Evander "Ziggy" Hood. I agree with Morgan that Hood is the most exciting prospect -- he's young, strong, fast and has a lot of upside. As Morgan puts it:

He bursts off the snap, shows impressive hand fight techniques, but is easily eluded by lateral moves. That may not be a problem on a Seahawks team replete with quick, agile defenders in its front seven. Should Hood reach his potential, he'd present a matchup nightmare alongside Mebane. Two tackles requiring double teams, each capable of aborting run plays or sacking the quarterback if single blocked.
There are a few dark horse candidates too. Shaun Rogers is apparently demanding a trade from Cleveland and, barring that, may be cut outright. Rogers is a beast, but also a baby. The best situation involving him would be him essentially become the second most coveted guy and dropping the value of a Haye or Cody down a bit. I don't think Ruskell would go after Rogers, but hey, anything is possible. ~END~