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NO. 1 TEAM NEED: Offensive Line
Thanks in large part to position coach Tom Cable's masterful teaching, Seattle has emerged as football's premier team despite average offensive line talent. Only LT Russell Okung and C Max Unger can be considered plus starters, and neither is coming off a particularly strong season. Replacement-level RG J.R. Sweezy, disappointing LG James Carpenter, and 2013 seventh-round RT Michael Bowie are currently penciled in as the other three first-teamers. Seahawks linemen need to be able to move in Cable's zone scheme, with run blocking as a foremost prerequisite.
First day option: Joel Bitonio, Nevada - Bitonio will be a top 40 prospect and has a legitimate shot at being a first-round pick. He played well on an island against Anthony Barr and Demarcus Lawrence, showing an athletic lower half and an ability to absorb despite not being the tallest of tackles. Many teams will view him as a guard, and Bitonio gained some experience there at the Senior Bowl.
Second day possibility: Billy Turner, North Dakota State - Turner could fill the mean on-field mentality lost when Breno Giacomini left in free agency. Turner has bad technique but excellent functional strength. He will lose on occasion and will frustrate offensive line coaches, which could push him to guard. Turner is athletic when allowed to move in space.
Third day flier: Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt - Johnson will be a third day pick, as many coaches will cringe when selecting an offensive lineman that has weighed in below 300 pounds. The thing is, Johnson can move, which is a useful skill to have in Cable’s system.
NO. 2 TEAM NEED: Defensive Line
The Seahawks' roster is so loaded and rich with young talent that we have to reach a bit to identify team weaknesses. Seattle could probably enter the season without upgrading its defensive line at all, and still field a top 5-10 group across the league. The one question mark up front is at "five technique" defensive end, where there is no obvious in-house replacement for salary cap casualty Red Bryant. Bryant, now a Jaguar, was a two-down edge setter at 6-foot-4 and 323 pounds.
First day option: Dominique Easley, Florida - Easley has experience as a five technique, playing it throughout his junior year, but Easley was at his best as a zero or one in 2013. His burst and explosion off the ball is ridiculous. Easley was reportedly ahead of schedule with his medicals and could be ready during training camp. He is a top five talent in this draft.
Second day possibility: Kareem Martin, UNC - Martin is an athletic prospect with a great frame. Too often he played like a speed rusher rather than embracing his power at the point of attack. However, he flashed tremendous upside when moving inside, playing there 30 percent of the time in 2013. The Seahawks value rushers with this trait.
Third day flier: Aaron Lynch, USF - Lynch has played a variety of spots. First, he looked like a budding star at Notre Dame in an odd man front. Then he transferred, lost 30 pounds, and looked uncomfortable on the edge. The Seahawks are so good at implementing specific talents into their scheme. Landing spot will be important for Lynch.
NO. 3 TEAM NEED: Wide Receiver
I don't necessarily see wideout as some glaring need for Seattle, which plays run-first football and returns a respectable group of Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Sidney Rice, and Jermaine Kearse. I think they could easily contend for another Lombardi Trophy with the receiver talent in place. I do think it wouldn't hurt to upgrade, as the roster currently lacks a true No. 1 alpha-type pass catcher. The Seahawks like wideouts who block in the run game and win in contested situations downfield.
First day option: Cody Latimer, Indiana - Latimer is a big body who is fast in a straight line and is a consistent catcher. Teams are obviously buzzing about him over the last few weeks. I do wonder if Latimer can separate consistently on the ground, but he is very good at creating a sliver of space at the catch point with good body control.
Second day possibility: Jarvis Landry, LSU - Landry will do his best work in the slot. He is not fast, but Landry wastes very little movement. He sets up corners with a stem move and makes contested catches in the middle of the field. He can regularly win in the short to intermediate game.
Third day flier: Jeremy Gallon, Michigan - Gallon has always reminded me of Golden Tate, albeit a little shorter. He fights for the ball at the catch point extremely well and plays to a much bigger size. I’ve seen him battle physical DBs and come out on top.
Seahawks 2014 Draft Picks (6)
First Round (No. 32)
Second Round (No. 64)
Fourth Round (No. 132)
Fifth Round (No. 146)
Fifth Round (No. 172)
Sixth Round (No. 208)
Current Seahawks First-Team Offense
QB: Russell Wilson
RB: Marshawn Lynch
WR: Percy Harvin
WR: Doug Baldwin
TE: Zach Miller
TE: Luke Willson
LT: Russell Okung
LG: James Carpenter
C: Max Unger
RG: J.R. Sweezy
RT: Michael Bowie
Current Seahawks First-Team Defense
LE: Michael Bennett
RE: Cliff Avril
NT: Brandon Mebane
DT: Tony McDaniel
MLB: Bobby Wagner
WLB: K.J. Wright
SLB: Bruce Irvin
LCB: Richard Sherman
RCB: Byron Maxwell
FS: Earl Thomas
SS: Kam Chancellor