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February 17, 2015 at 9:15 PM

Some thoughts on Seattle’s top draft priorities

I’ve made it to Indianapolis, where it is just not warm. Not warm at all.

But fortunately for everyone involved, everything happening here at the NFL Combine is indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium and local hotels.

I wrote this preview of the Combine for the Wednesday paper and possible story lines for the Seahawks here.

As noted in that piece, a lot of analysts think this is a good draft for running backs, which could fit nicely with Seattle’s needs depending on what happens with Marshawn Lynch — or maybe even regardless if they decide they need some more depth at the spot, assuming Lynch’s time is shorter rather than longer in any scenario.

That’s not to mean the team has given up on Robert Turbin and Christine Michael. But so much of what Seattle does is based on the running game that the Seahawks are never going to want to be caught short at that spot.

It’s hard to say that’s Seattle’s top priority at the moment, though, without knowing what happens with Lynch — my guess remains that he’ll be back. What will also happen between now and the draft is free agency, and Seattle could address running back at that time, as well. But given the strength of this draft class at that position and the Lynch uncertainty, at the moment I think you’d say that’s one of Seattle’s top needs.

Here are what I’d list as four others, based obviously on the information we have at the moment:

Tight end: Zach Miller’s health and the fact the team could save $3 million by releasing has led to some speculation that the team might indeed consider cutting him loose. Luke Willson had some good moments as his stand-in the last 13 games and the post-season, but also battled inconsistency, and Tony Moeaki and Anthony McCoy — who has missed two straight seasons with Achilles tendon injuries — are free agents. The Seahawks could look either for an immediate Miller replacement or just add more competition for down the road.

Receiver: While the Seattle receivers will protest that this is a spot that needs any additions, the trade for Percy Harvin and the knee injury to Paul Richardson — who given the nine-month normal recovery for an ACL injury is iffy to be back for the start of the season — make this a spot where the Seahawks will undoubtedly look for both depth and immediate help. Consider also that Ricardo Lockette and Bryan Walters are free agents.

— Offensive line: You could probably always say the offensive line is a position of need given the importance of it and the number bodies needed to get through a season. But what could add some specific urgency this year is the fact that James Carpenter is a free agent. Alvin Bailey could certainly ascend to that spot, but especially if Carpenter is gone, they’d need to add some competition there.

— Defensive line: Recall that injuries left Seattle in a situation that I think was a pretty underrated reason for some of what happened at the end of the Super Bowl, having to give some significant playing time to Demcarcus Dobbs and Landon Cohen, each late-season pickups. If young injured guys such as Jordan Hill, Jesse Williams and Cassius Marsh all get healthy, Seattle could have a lot better depth than this season. But you can never have too many.


| Topics: 2015 Draft


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