NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 7 Needs
1. RB - 3.5
2. QB - 3.0
3. CB - 3.0
4. WR - 3.0
5. DE - 2.5
6. OT - 2.5
7. LB - 2.0
Position by Position Breakdown
Quarterback - Hasselbeck's strong performance in their playoff win likely won him another opportunity to be the starter next year. The Charlie WHitehurst experiment netted them limited results and besides a quarter or so of solid play against the Rams, he still looks like he's a career backup. The Seahawks will think long and hard about using their top pick on one of the signal callers in this year's draft, considering even if Hasselbeck returns, it'll likely be for one season and one year only. NEED: 3.0
Running Back - Lynch's run vs. the Saints was the highlight of his season, but probably still isn't enough to merit this position not being addressed in the off-season. The combo of him and Forsett isn't terrible, but it's certainly not to the level that the Seahawks want in order to take pressure off their limited passing attack. A priority will be re-signing Leon Washington to a long-term deal due to his value as a return threat. NEED: 3.5
Fullback - The team used Michael Robinson in this role for most last year, and he was probably a lot better than any would have initially wagered. He's a free agent and the team could look in another direction for a more traditional lead blocker. NEED: 2.0
Wide Receiver - The team got surprisingly strong play from Mike Williams for most of the year, and Obomanu and Butler also showcased some skills. But they would love to get a bit more reliable playmaker at this position. Williams and Obomanu are both potential free agents, and the team may not be able to afford to keep both especially if they try and upgrade in the draft. NEED: 3.0
Tight End - Carlson's production was down in their new offense, but he's still a valued asset. Baker's return could be in doubt with young guys like Morrah and McCoy on the roster. NEED: 0.5
Offensive Tackle - Okung definitely had his moments as a rookie and looks like a solid piece for the future. Locklear had a decent rebound season, but he's a free agent and the team certainly isn't going to bend over backwards to re-sign him. So they'll likely prioritize drafting a right tackle this April, although they could potentially move Stacy Andrews there as a stopgap. NEED: 2.5
Offensive Guard - Unger is a solid piece for the future, but missed all but one game with a toe injury. He should be back for next year and is considered a key piece up front. Andrews was the starter at right guard for most of the year, but was replaced by Gibson at the end. Neither are special, but both are decent and that gives them the ability to move one or both to a new position. They could also tinker with the idea of moving Unger to center as well. Either way, their biggest concern here is depth. If any of these guys move to a new position, it'll stretch their depth very thin. NEED: 2.0
Center - Spencer is a free agent and has never quite developed into the foundation piece at the pivot initially hoped for. They would probably like to bring him back, but he could be allowed to test the market. If so, then Unger is the best candidate to slide in here. But they would probably look to add a veteran to shore up depth or potentially use a late round pick to do the same. NEED: 1.5
Defensive Tackle - Mebane is a free agent and a promising player. His production as a pass rusher has slipped, but he's still a valuable commodity in the middle and one they should work hard to re-sign. Cole is a solid run stuffer beside him. Depth will be undermined if they also can't re-sign either Terrill or Siavii. They'd also probably try and draft some depth to go here as well, although it won't be a high priority if they keep Mebane. NEED: 1.5
Defensive End - Clemons had a strong season as a pass rusher, and before he was hurt, Red Bryant was having a strong year. Balmer, his replacement wasn't nearly as productive. Brock was a valuable role player as a pass rusher and they should want to keep him for another year. They'll probably try to draft another pass rusher and improve depth here in case Bryant can't shake the injury bug. NEED: 2.5
Linebacker - Curry has been a bit of a disappointment, but his play stepped up in the second half of the year. Hawthorne was a solid addition to the lineup and likely will spell the end of HIll's tenure in Seattle. Tatupu is solid in the middle. Herring is nice depth, but they will need to add more. NEED: 2.0
Cornerback - Trufant hasn't been the same since his Pro Bowl year in '07, and while the team is hopeful for Walter Thurmond, they need to find more help here. Jennings is a free agent and played well enough to merit a return, but he's best in a nickel role rather than as a starter. Thurmond would be slated to replace him if he goes elsewhere, but they need to find another guy that can add depth and potentially push Trufant down the road if he doesn't get better. NEED: 3.0
Safety - Thomas had a solid rookie season. Milloy looked old as the other starter, and probably won't be back. He'll be replaced by Kam Chancellor, who only got limited looks as a rookie. Babineaux is a good backup because he can play both safety and corner, but he could seek greener pastures elsewhere as a free agent. Losing him would leave a hole here. NEED: 2.0
Kicker - Mare is a free agent, and will be 38 in June. But he's had three strong years in Seattle and they could afford to bring him back for at least another year. But they might go for a youth movement with a late round pick. NEED: 1.5
Punter - Ryan saw some dropoff in his production, but is developing nicely into a solid directonal punter. NEED: 0.0
The year's upcoming draft and the college game can be discussed here.
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