2014 NFL Draft: Ranking the Seattle Seahawks’ Top 5 Needs
Top 5 Needs for Seattle in 2014 NFL Draft
In one of the best team-building jobs in recent memory, GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll turned the Seattle Seahawks into Super Bowl champions. Their ability to fine value throughout the draft in recent years has been a key in taking their team from a sub-.500 club to the champions of the toughest division in football. Now that they have reached the top, however, their challenge is to stay there.
With the success of their draft picks over the years, Seattle faces the realities of the NFL and free agency picking away the best pieces of the team to the highest bidder. For Seattle to maintain their spot atop the NFL power rankings in 2014, they will have to continue their strong drafting in the upcoming NFL Draft this May. That means targeting players who can fill a need on their club and make the best team in football even better next season.
It might be difficult at first to see where the defending Super Bowl champions need to improve on since they just went out and won football’s highest prize. But the NFL is a constantly evolving race and if your team isn’t improving every year then they’ll get passed by in the blink of an eye. The Seahawks have some key areas that need to be addressed this offseason and they have a perfect opportunity to do so at the draft this spring.
So without further ado, here are the Seahawks’ top five needs for the 2014 NFL Draft.
5. Defensive End
Michael Bennett was a steal in free agency last season and led the team with 8.5 sacks in 2013. He’s set to make a lot of money on the free agent market which might price the Seahawks out for his services in 2014 as they focus on retaining other key pieces of their roster. Seattle has also already parted ways with long-time DE Red Bryant this offseason to avoid paying him a hefty 2014 salary. The team will still bring back Cliff Avril (8.0 sacks) and Chris Clemons (4.5) to man the defensive end position next season but adding a third pass rusher off the edge would help Seattle keep their tenacious defense strong next season.
4. Offensive Tackle
Breno Giacomini is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason but the team could stand to upgrade the position even if they are able to re-sign him. Giacomini is an excellent enforcer for the offensive line but his blocking skills can be a big average. On the other side, Russell Okung has shown a propensity for injury and the Seattle line struggled mightily early in the season when they had to overcome injuries. Adding depth (and an upgrade in talent) would be a huge plus for the Seahawks in the draft and allow their mauling offensive front to get even stronger in 2014.
3. Defensive Tackle
The No. 1 rated Seattle defense in 2013 seemed to have a slight weakness when it came to defending the run up the middle. They gave up more than 100 yards per game on the ground (though they still ranked No. 7 in the league). This offseason, they’ll face the possibility of losing both their starting defensive tackles, Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald, via free agency which makes the defensive tackle position an even more pressing need this offseason. If they can add a big-bodied mauler in the middle of their line, it will only help strengthen the best defense in the NFL for next season.
2. Tight End
Having a reliable target down the middle of the field for Russell Wilson could be a major boost to the Seattle passing attack in 2014. While Zach Miller has been good, catching 33 passes for 387 yards and five touchdowns in 2013, he’s wildly overpaid for the amount of production he’s offering. This draft is deep in tight end talent that could help the Seahawks improve their passing attack for a very reasonable price in 2014.
1. Wide Receiver
Looking at the Seattle roster, there appears to be one thing that they do not have: a true No. 1 receiver. Golden Tate was very good in 2013, leading the team with 64 catches for 898 yards and five touchdowns, Doug Baldwin has been solid (50 catches, 778 yards, 5 TD in 2013) as well and Percy Harvin should prove to be a game-changer when healthy for the start of the 2014 season. But none of them are the prototypical, big-bodied receiver that can high-point a ball and snag it away from defenders on a fade in the corner or burn past man-to-man coverage on the outside. Sidney Rice was supposed to be that guy, but injuries kept him from fulfilling his potential with the team before getting cut this offseason. Adding that No. 1 receiver type would take this Seattle offense to the next level in 2014.