2011 NFL Draft | Seattle Seahawks Team Needs
The Seattle Seahawks had the NFL’s worst catch-22 in 2010, as they won their division and made the playoffs at 7-9, but lost 17 spots in the 2011 NFL Draft by doing so.
Seattle is a young team with some solid talent, but they’re far from ready to be earning invites to the post-season on a yearly basis. They got lucky by backing into the playoffs with a losing record, and could arguably start over at just about every position.
The big question is whether or not the team accepts they need to keep rebuilding, or if they actually believe they’re as good as their first round victory over the New Orleans Saints. Whether they’re in denial or not, there’s work to be done. Read on for their glaring holes on both sides of the ball:
Biggest Needs: WR, QB, RT
With Matt Hasselbeck expected back and Charlite Whitehurst still viewed as a possible long-term situation (no, really), the Seahawks will likely put off addressing quarterback as long as possible in the draft. That is, if you believe them.
Pretending that’s the case, the biggest area of concern on offense has to be wide receiver, where “Big” Mike Williams doesn’t have the speed or explosiveness to consistency beat top corners, and Golden Tate very likely won’t evolve into a top threat, either. The team needs an elite receiver that can really do some damage against good defenses. Landing a guy like Torrey Smith or Titus Young could really change the make-up of this offense, as both players have elite speed and play-making ability. Jonathan Baldwin is a bigger, more physical receiver that could help stretch the field, and is more athletic and faster than Mike Williams.
While its fun to think about adding a stud receiver, the Seahawks might have a sudden awakening and realize that Hasselbeck is old and fragile, and Whitehurst is a mountain man with a pipe dream. Neither are truly the answer at the position, so it wouldn’t be outrageous for Pete Carroll and co. to turn the light bulb on and draft a quarterback at the 25th spot. If Cam Newton falls that far, he has to be a solid candidate, while Jake Locker would also be welcomed. Seattle can still wait until the third round and possibly land solid passers like Pat Devlin, Colin Kaepernick, or Christian Ponder.
The offensive line still isn’t consistent, but it’s getting better. However, with right tackle Sean Locklear slated to leave via free agency, Seattle might have to grab a talented tackle to simply keep Hasselbeck breathing in 2011. If they go early, they could nab any number of solid tackles, including (but not limited to), Game Carimi, Derek Sherrod, or the versatile Ben Ijalana.
Biggest Needs: SS, CB, DE
On the defensive side of the ball, the Seahawks need to fix their secondary. Its honestly a nightmare and a horrid reality that Lawyer Milloy was still starting in the NFL last year, so the Seahawks need to eradicate that problem by upgrading immediately. They have a nice, young, and very talented free safety in Earl Thomas, and getting him an elite running mate would help improve the pass defense dramatically. The two big names that anyone searching for strong safety help will target are Ahmad Black and DeAndre McDaniel.
From one secondary position to the next, the Seahawks need to think about their corners, where Marcus Trufant may be slipping, and Kelly Jennings may be leaving a hole due to free agency. Even if Jennings returns, the Seahawks would do themselves a lot of good by bringing some talent and competition to the position. There’s talk about grabbing Brandon Harris with their first pick, but with him almost certainly gone by the 25th selection, Seattle will have to pick between the next best options, Jimmy Smith and Aaron Williams. Rahim Moore could also get into the equation, as he’s a natural free safety, but had the athleticism and versatility to play corner.
Lastly, no matter how they actually do it, the Seahawks need to keep getting better at rushing the quarterback. They could add some help up front in the middle at defensive tackle, or they can make sure they don’t lose any ground on the outside at defensive end. With Raheem Brock entering free agency (9 sacks in 2010), Seattle may need to find a replacement. They can wait until the fourth round and still find a quality pass rusher like Brooks Reed or Jeremy Beal.