Reviewing Seahawks Offensive Needs After First Wave of Free Agency
We've officially reached the second wave of free agency, and though many of the big names were snatched up quickly by other teams, there's plenty of talent left on the market for the Seahawks to continue improving their roster.
Looking at Seattle's depth chart on offense, what are the biggest remaining needs general manager John Schneider still must shore up? And how will he address them moving forward?
Considering moves already made during the first two weeks of the new league year, here's a position-by-position offensive breakdown for the Seahawks with analysis, one priority free agent to consider, draft prospects to watch courtesy of Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling of the MMQB, and a need rating on the scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being most urgent.
Depth Chart: Russell Wilson
Analysis: Right now, Wilson remains the only quarterback on Seattle's roster and the front office will need to find a suitable backup, but there's not necessarily any urgency to fill that role. After missing out on XFL quarterback P.J. Walker, who reunited with coach Matt Rhule in Carolina, there's a strong possibility the team could re-sign veteran Geno Smith and several other affordable veterans remain available to hold a clipboard or Microsoft Surface on the sideline.
Free Agent Considerations: Smith, Blake Bortles, Brandon Allen
Draft Prospects to Watch: The Seahawks have only drafted one quarterback since Wilson arrived in 2013, but with seven draft choices, they may be willing to look into a late-round prospect such as Anthony Gordon out of Washington State or James Morgan out of Florida International.
Need Rating: 1/5
Depth Chart: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer
Analysis: With Carson and Penny working back from season-ending injuries, the Seahawks will need to add some type of backfield insurance before next season, especially considering Penny is a candidate to open the season on the PUP list returning from a torn ACL. The team reportedly took a look at Isaiah Crowell and may still have him and other cheap veterans on the radar, but there's an excellent chance Schneider will use one of his seven draft choices on a back. This could potentially happen as early as day two with Seattle selecting a future workhorse to replace Carson, who will be a free agent after the 2020 season.
Free Agent Considerations: Crowell, Devontae Booker
Draft Prospects to Watch: Fans may not want to hear it, but if the Seahawks fall in love with a prospect at the running back position, they won't be afraid to use early draft capital on one. Specifically, the team already has had meetings with Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor, Utah's Zack Moss, and Boston College's AJ Dillon, who will likely all be selected in the first three rounds.
Need Rating: 3/5
Depth Chart: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett, David Moore, Malik Turner, John Ursua, Penny Hart
Analysis: With the addition of Dorsett as a possible No. 3 receiver behind Lockett and Metcalf, the Seahawks should have one of the fastest, most athletic receiving corps in the entire NFL. Still, Dorsett doesn't move the needle that much and considering the ridiculous talent and depth of this year's receiver draft class, Schneider should snag at least one in April. This will put players such as Moore, Turner, and Ursua on notice competing for field time and roster spots. A certain player seeking reinstatement from the NFL also remains a possibility to return.
Free Agent Considerations: Josh Gordon, Taylor Gabriel
Draft Prospects to Watch: Even after signing Dorsett, if the right receiver remains on the board, the Seahawks could easily use on of their first couple picks to give Wilson another target at his disposal. If a player like Arizona State's Brandon Aiyuk falls down the board, they may not be able to resist using a second-round pick.
Need Rating: 2.5/5
Depth Chart: Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister, Luke Willson, Ed Dickson
Analysis: After signing Olsen, tendering Hollister, and bringing back Willson, there's no question the Seahawks have one of the deepest tight end groups in the NFC. Now, the unit just has to stay healthy. Coming back from a torn Achilles tendon - his second season-ending injury in as many years - Dissly is expected to resume his role as a starter alongside Olsen. Hollister will present a nice change up as a move tight end who can slide out to the slot as a receiver. Look for the team to cut Dickson loose at some point and maybe use a late round pick to add a young player at the position.
Free Agent Consideration: Darren Fells
Draft Prospects to Watch: Seattle won't use a pick on a tight end early, but a few players such as Virginia Tech's Dalton Keene could make sense in the later stages of day three to develop behind Olsen and Dissly.
Need Rating: 1/5
Depth Chart: Duane Brown, Jamarco Jones, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi
Analysis: Sure, the Seahawks replaced Germain Ifedi with a serviceable starter in Shell, who signed a two-year deal worth $11 million. But with Brown set to turn 35 in August and Jones struggling in limited action at left tackle last year, Seattle still has major long-term issues to address at the position that can't be answered in free agency. Luckily, the 2020 draft features a loaded tackle class that could feature at least six first-round selections and plenty of talent available on day two. Schneider should have no problem finding an heir for Brown with one of Seattle's four picks in the first three rounds.
Free Agent Considerations: Jason Peters, Cordy Glenn
Draft Prospects to Watch: Shell will be penciled in as the starter at right tackle for now, but considering the depth of this year's class at the position, if someone like Josh Jones of Houston or Austin Jackson of USC remains available at pick No. 27, Schneider may decide to bring in the heir apparent for Brown. Going that route would likely mean the player will also have a shot to play right away on the right side. In later rounds, Gramling listed Saahdiq Charles of LSU as a potential tackle option if available. He lacks the length Seattle typically looks for, but he's light on his feet in pass pro and offers positional versatility.
Need Rating: 4/5
Depth Chart: D.J. Fluker, B.J. Finney, Jamarco Jones, Ethan Pocic, Phil Haynes, Chance Warmack, Demetrius Knox, Jordan Roos
Analysis: Though it's appearing far more unlikely Mike Iupati will return for a second season in Seattle, the team looks to be in decent shape at both guard spots. There are question marks on the left side, but plenty of viable candidates to compete for the job. Healthy heading into his second season, Haynes will have a chance to compete against Jones, Pocic, Warmack, Knox, and potentially Finney for the starting left guard role. Warmack has mostly played right guard in the NFL, so if he doesn't surprise and beat out Haynes for a starting role, he should be a solid backup for former college teammate D.J. Fluker.
Free Agent Considerations: Iupati, Mike Person
Draft Prospects to Watch: Since Mike Solari joined the staff two years ago, the Seahawks have changed preference towards bigger, mauling guards like Fluker and Warmack. This year's class isn't deep at guard, but Gramling pegged Louisiana Lafayette's Robert Hunt as a target who fits the mold of what Solari likes at the position. He's a bruising, physical run blocker who can drive opponents off the ball in the run game and if available in the third round, he'd be an excellent hedge for Fluker on the right side.
Need Rating: 2/5
Depth Chart: Justin Britt, B.J. Finney, Joey Hunt, Ethan Pocic
Analysis: In terms of depth, the Seahawks have to be pleased with what they've managed to amass at center. Starter Britt appears to be making solid progress returning from a torn ACL, while Finney performed at his best as a center for the Steelers and Hunt was retained as a restricted free agent for additional depth. Obviously, Seattle could still explore restructuring Britt's deal to create cap space and an eventual release still isn't impossible. But for now, he's penciled in as the starter with Finney, Hunt, and Pocic providing ample options behind him.
Free Agent Consideration: Brett Jones
Draft Prospects to Watch: With Britt still on the roster with several capable backups behind him, center might not seem like a top priority. However, this is a deep draft class at the position and Gramling believes Temple's Matt Hennessy would be a smart pick in the first three rounds if available. An athletic, cerebral player, he'd be able to learn under Britt for a year before becoming a starter in 2021.
Need Rating: 1.5/5
For MMQB's look at the entire NFC West, click here.