Friday, May 13, 2016

Seahawks 2016 Projected Starters recently released a piece on the projected starters fort the NFC West.

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Projected Starters
 QB: Russell WilsonDE: Michael Bennett
 RB: Thomas RawlsDT: Jarran Reed
 WR1: Doug BaldwinDE: Cliff Avril
WR2: Jermaine KearseOLB: K.J. Wright
 WR3 Tyler LockettILB: Bobby Wagner
TE: Jimmy GrahamILB: Brandon Browner
LT: Garry GilliamCB1: Richard Sherman
LG: Mark GlowinskiCB2: Jeremy Lane
C: Justin BrittCB3: DeShawn Shead
RG: Germain IfediS: Earl Thomas
RT: J'Marcus WebbS: Kam Chancellor

This early in the league year, all we have is speculation to go on.  While I don't entirely agree with this assessment, we should all agree that this year's team will look drastically different from the previous year's team.

They admit that Thomas Rawls and Jimmy Graham are merely penciled in as starters.  In a perfect world-- this will absolutely be the case.  But I doubt Seattle invested a substantial amount of draft picks on running backs and a 3rd round tight end, simply because they were the best players available.  There are serious question marks surrounding the availability of those two key contributors.

While the QB and WR spots are pretty well set in stone, you can bet that the offensive line will shuffle in the preseason. Let's just hope that it is decided by week one and not the ongoing carousel it has been in previous seasons.  Justin Britt will have to come out and take the center position from Patrick Lewis.

It should not simply be handed to him because Seattle invested a 2nd round pick on Britt.  They've given us no reason to believe that they would favor one player over another based on salary or pedigree, but the fact that Patrick Lewis isn't getting the benefit of the doubt for shoring up the line late last season when he took over for Drew Nowak shows that they either aren't satisfied with Lewis or they believe they have something better in Britt-- I'm hoping its the latter.

Their assessment of the projected defensive lineup is peculiar simply because it isn't projecting Seattle's typical Base 4-3 alignment.  Yes, we have heard that Pete Carroll intends on using Brandon Browner in a new and unique role, but that hardly means they'll be basing their defense around that move. makes no mention of Seattle's expressed desire in having Frank Clark transition to Bruce Irvin's vacated role.  I think that will be far more prominent that Browner's involvement, purely based on the age of the two players.

The truth is, we should expect to see several variations of the Seahawks defense depending on the situation.  Chris Clemons is back and will factor into the pass rush.  Jordan Hill has improved with each season and now finds himself in an especially deep (and talented) DT group.  Seattle's DB group looks to be poised for significantly greater competition from the previous year.

We're not going to be able to determine the starting line up for months to come-- and that's great news!  This team has lacked internal competition since winning the Super Bowl three seasons ago, but this year feels like the Seahawks are returning to what made them great.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Seahawks 2016 Draft Class

The Seattle Seahawks championship window is far from closing, but last season revealed a myriad of minor but nonetheless legitimate deficiencies throughout the team.

The offensive line was a mess.  As it has in seemingly every season under Pete Carroll, it took weeks before we saw a cohesive semblance of an offensive line. In the two seasons prior to last year, the Seahawks were able to rally through the slow starts and reach the Super Bowl, but last year's sluggish beginning was more than the team could overcome.

Perhaps the biggest reason Seattle fell behind was not having Marshawn Lynch available down the stretch.  This coming season, we won't have him at all.

Couple those challenges with the loss of some outstanding contributors the team took this offseason.  No longer will we have the electric play of Bruce Irvin or the unwavering consistency of Brandon Mebane.  Suffice to say-- Seahawks fans had plenty of question marks heading into the draft.

At the conclusion of this years draft, most of my concerns were alleviated.  Pete and John were tremendous in addressing every area of need on this team.  Given the unpredictable history of their drafts, I genuinely did not know what to expect.  Where they going to get cute and take players they thought were the best available?  It was anybody's guess.

However, they drafted as smartly as they did unpredictably.  The Seahawks were able to trade back a few picks to allow Denver to get their QB of the future while Seattle acquired an additional 3rd round pick before selecting offensive tackle Germain Ifedi with the last pick in the first round.

Right off the bat, they picked up a valuable 3rd round pick and a player to join our weakest position group.

Seattle's next two picks addressed the losses of Brandon Mebane and Marshawn Lynch.  They traded up to grab DT Jarran Reed in the 2nd round and got an explosive, pass-catching playmaker in CJ Prosise.  Prosise will join Thomas Rawls in trying to fill the gaping hole vacated by Lynch.

The most interesting pick the Seahawks made came in the third round when they selected Ohio State tight end, Nick Vannett.  Vannett is a big-bodied blocking tight end who may have been an insurance pick in the case that Jimmy Graham's recovery isn't progressing as hoped.  Luke Willson is also a free agent after this season, so they may be looking to move on from him.

They finished the draft  by snaring two more offensive linemen, an additional defensive tackle, a pair of running backs after Prosise and a receiver who happens to be the favorite target of first overall pick, Jared Goff.

Overall, the Seahawks did a fantastic job.  Still, we'll have to see how it all shakes out before week one, but we can at least be assured that competition has increased at all position groups-- something that was lacking from the previous season.

Here's the list of upcoming events as we make our way toward the new season:




Training CampJuly

PreseasonAugust 11-15

2016 NFL SeasonSeptember 11

Here's a list of the Seahawks selections with links to their Draft Profiles:

Seahawks 2016 Draft Picks

131Germain IfediOT
249Jarran ReedDT
390C.J. ProsiseRB
394Nick VannettTE
397Rees OdhiamboOG
5147Quinton JeffersonDT
5171Alex CollinsRB
6215Joey HuntC
7243Kenny LawlerWR
7247Zac BrooksRB

At the conclusion of every draft, the Seahawks sign a handful of undrafted free agents.  The Seahawks have had tremendous success with previous UDFAs including Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin.  Here's who they got this year:

WR DeAnthony Arnett 
QB Trevone Boykin 
DT Brandin Bryant 
CB DeAndre Elliot 
TE George Fant 
LB Christian French 
CB Darvell Harri 
DL Lars Koht 
LB Steve Longa 
RB Tre Madden 
S Tanner McEvoy 
OL Lene Maiava 
S Tyvis Powell

Additionally, former Eastern WA/Oregon standout QB Vernon Adams was invited to camp.