Saturday, March 7, 2009

Crabtree Still in Hawks' Draft Plans?

by: Mike Parker

Mike Sando answered a mailbag question today from a reader inquiring about how the signing of TJ Housh affects the Seahawks' plans going into the draft:

Jon from Seattle writes: Hi Mike, how does the acquisition of T.J. Houshmandzadeh affect the Seahawks' strategy going into the NFL draft? Is Michael Crabtree still an option? If so, where does he fit into our WR corps?
Sando responds by saying there aren't any glaring needs on the team at this point, which reinforces the fact that Ruskell has done a great job in free agency so far. The team may still need pass-rush help, but that largely depends on how healthy Patrick Kerney is going into the season. Also, I'm probably speaking for a lot of us when I say I'm hoping for a big year from Lo-Jack in 2009.

But Sando doesn't dismiss the need for youth at wideout:
We should not dismiss the need for a young receiver, however. Houshmandzadeh turns 32 this season. Deion Branch turns 30 in July. Nate Burleson is coming off reconstructive knee surgery. Ben Obomanu has some potential at age 25, but the Seahawks still need to develop receivers for the future.
The Seahawks have 12 receivers on the roster at this point, with that number likely to be trimmed down to 10 after the likely departures of Bobby Engram and Koren Robinson.

With all this, the No.4 pick in the draft is turning out to be much more of a question mark than we originally thought. I wouldn't mind seeing Ruskell take a bruising playmaker on defense such as Aaron Curry, or even a potential Walter Jones replacement like Jason Smith. But at the same time, I think Crabtree could bring a level of excitement downfield that the Seahawks have never had before. Decisions, decisions. It's a good thing to have too many options, though. After a 4-12 season, it'd be easy to assume that we'd be in dire need of pretty much every position, but we'll save the desperation for the Lions and Lambs. (There's something oddly poetic about that.)

But still -- no pressure, Ruskell! -END-