We’ll continue the Countdown today looking at something I ran across today while reading Hub Arkush’s Pro Football Now season preview magazine (which basically used to be Pro Football Weekly, for decades one of the more-respected voices in the business).
The magazine gave grades for the position groups for every team.
And they had the Seahawks graded this way, from best to worst:
Defensive backs: A
Running back: A
Special Teams: A-minus
Defensive line: B-plus
Offensive line: C-plus
It’s hard to disagree too much, especially in terms of rating where Seattle seems the strongest and where it is the weakest.
Few would debate that Seattle’s best overall position is its secondary, and that they have one of the better running back set-ups in the NFL. And I think few would debate that the offensive line was where the Seahawks had the most struggles a year ago.
The one that might draw the biggest eyebrow-raise is the B-minus ranking for the receivers.
The grades don’t come with an explanation so readers are left to make their own interpretation.
Inside the locker room, though, I think the expectation is that the receiving corps can be better than a year ago if Percy Harvin stays healthy, if draft picks Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood produce as expected, and Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse keep doing what they did last year, and maybe take another step forward.
Linebacker is another spot where I think the thought inside the team is that the corps could be one of the best in the NFL this year. Depth, though, is something of an issue, as is seeing how Bruce Irvin comes off of his hip surgery and exactly how the strongside linebacker job develops.
The rest seem pretty much in line. You could maybe debate why the QB spot (led by Russell Wilson, above in a John Lok photo) isn’t given an A. But the mag doesn’t exactly throw A’s around. The only teams to get higher grades were the Patriots, Broncos, Packers and Saints. And the only other given an A-minus is San Diego.
You could also maybe argue the defensive line grade. But Seattle did lose three proven vets, and while there are high hopes for the younger players, it’s something of a question of how well Seattle will be able to replicate the depth of a year ago up front until we see it in action.
And while Seattle’s special teams were just about flawless last season, there is the well-chronicled question of who will return punts this season.
Anyway, with now just a few days left I figured I’d let you tell me what you think is Seattle’s best position heading into the season: