After analyzing the draft needs of all 32 teams, PFT will review how well each team addressed those needs. Up next: The Seattle Seahawks.
What they needed: Linebacker, guard, tackle, tight end, punt returner.
Who they got:
Round 2: Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M
Round 3: Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State
Round 4: Chris Harper, WR, Penn State
Round 5: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama; Tharold Simon, CB, LSU; Luke Willson, TE, Rice
Round 6: Spencer Ware, RB, LSU
Round 7: Ryan Seymour, G, Vanderbilt; Ty Powell, OLB, Harding; Jared Smith, G, New Hampshire; Michael Bowie, T, Northeastern State
Where they hit: The Seahawks draft was all about adding functional depth to their roster. While there may not be more than one starter to emerge from the group of draftees this season, the selections by Seattle filled in the back end of their roster. Defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams may have the most impact early on playing on a rotational basis along the Seahawks defensive front.
Where they missed: Seattle appeared to need additional help at the weakside linebacker position. Veteran Leroy Hill isn’t expected back and Malcolm Smith has been injury prone as Hill’s backup. The only linebacker Seattle drafted, Harding outside linebacker Ty Powell in the seventh round, is more of a pass rusher and expected to play the “LEO” pass rushing spot in Seattle’s defense. Seattle has hinted at using Bruce Irvin and free agent acquisition Cliff Avril at the linebacker spot and could be the avenue in which the Seahawks choose to address the position.
Impact rookies: Due to the strength of the Seahawks roster, the Seattle rookie class will predominantly have to contribute in reserve roles. Williams could find his way into the starting lineup as a run defender on early downs to replace the departed Alan Branch. Spencer Ware will be a fullback with Seattle and could supplant incumbent Michael Robinson as the lead blocker for Marshawn Lynch. Hill, Christine Michael, Chris Harper and Luke Willson could all see time on a rotational basis.
Long-term prospects: While the short-term opportunities for Seattle’s draftees will be limited, the long-term outlook is more rosy. Harper could eventually start with Percy Harvin as Golden Tate is in a contract year and Sidney Rice could be released at some point for salary cap relief. Michael could be the replacement for Lynch in a couple of seasons. Hill and Williams both have starter potential and Tharold Simon could be the replacement for Brandon Browner, who is in a contract year as well.