Saturday, April 4, 2009

Position by Position: Summary

by: Michael Steffes

Over the last few days on the blog, I took a look at what positions the Seahawks needed to add to prior to training camp. This was done by comparing the current number of players at each position to how many the Hawks regularly bring to camp. Obviously the Hawks can add to these positions in numerous ways, such as free agents still available, undrafted free agents, the draft, and even possibly trades. In no way are the Hawks precluded from taking players in the draft even if they have the requisite numbers. Here is a summary of the positions the Hawks need to address if only to round out their camp roster.

To continue....

Running Back- 3 or 4

The Hawks have regularly taken 7 or 8 running backs to camp. With the loss of Mo Morris and Leonard Weaver, the Hawks are currently pretty thin at the RB position. They currently have 3 tailbacks and 1 fullback. Expect them to address this position through multiple means. Likely they will draft a RB, sign a veteran fullback, and find camp fodder from the undrafted ranks.

Linebacker- 3

For the second year the Hawks linebacking core has been thinned during the offseason. Last year Niko and Bentley left looking for more playing time. This year the team traded away their most durable linebacker in Julian Peterson. Even with DD Lewis and Lance Laury re-signing, the Hawks need to add to this number. With Lofa and David Hawthorne as middle linebackers, and DD Lewis' ability to play the middle as well, look for the Hawks to target players who play on the outside. There are still veteran linebackers available and the draft class is said to be fairly deep. This bodes well for the Hawks who currently have 6 on the roster and have regularly taken 9 to camp.

Guard- 2 or 3

As I write this, Guard may be Seahawks biggest need. If you count Vallos as a center, the Seahawks really only have 3 guards on the roster; Sims, Wahle, and Wrotto. Even if the team views Steve Vallos as a guard, the team still needs to find some depth. When you consider that Rob Simms remains both unproven and a free agent after this year, the Hawks have no choice but to address this position through the draft. This predicament stems from the Hawks failure to take an offensive linemen last year. The team can use Ray Willis as a guard as well, but he would also be the first replacement for an injured tackle. Look for the Hawks to strengthen their interior line in April.

Safety- 2

The Hawks have a definite need at safety whether you think Russell needs to be replaced or not. They currently have 4 on the roster. Two of them are over 30, and two of them are undrafted free agents who have yet to make an huge impact. The team can use Babs as a safety if they get desperate, but instead they should fortify the position by taking one of the plethora of safeties in this year class that have the skills to be a solid NFL starter. The Hawks brought in several undrafted safeties to fill out the camp roster last year, and unless they find really good value in the late rounds and draft two safeties, they may have to do that again in 09'.

Center- 1 or 2

The Hawks should be locked into finding a center in this years draft. It is one of the deepest center classes in history, and it couldn't come at better time. Even if the Hawks view Steve Vallos as a center and not a guard, the center position still needs to be addressed. Chris Spencer has had trouble staying healthy and thus has failed to reach his true potential. He is a free agent after this season, and it is possible they will let him walk if he doesn't make a strong statement in 09'. Finding a possible replacement is something the Hawks would be foolish not to address.

- 1

The Hawks are defintely looking at Qbs at the top of the draft. Whether or not this is a smoke screen wont be clear until the 25th. However, even if they don't land one of the top guys, the should be drafting a QB anyway. They haven't shown any interest in the veteran free agents available this offseason, but that could change if they don't get the guys they are targeting in the draft. Lets hope they find a signal caller they like, because Charlie Frye starting again in 09 would cause many Hawk fans to lose sleep.

Tight End
- 1

The team is one tight end short of its usual camp #, and the team has been sniffing around a few possible draftee's. This is a position that will not be prioritized like it was last year, but that doesn't mean it won't be addressed. The Hawks could use a versatile tight end as insurance behind Carlson. John Owens wouldn't be capable of coming in being a threat, or commanding the attention at that position that Carlson does. Joe Newton has been given his run, and it doesn't seem that the Hawks are sold on him ever being a major contributor.

Punter- 1

Even if it is only to compete with Jon Ryan, the Hawks could look at the fresh crop of punters. It has been a revolving door in recent years, and considering the Hawks have 4 7th rounders, it makes sense to look at the draft class. They could also draft another long snapper in the 7th, assuming they don't mind Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock making fun of them for another year. Of course last year Tyler Schmitt qualified as the Seahawks pick that got the most network attention during draft day weekend.