Can the Seahawks yank an elite guard in the draft?

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As you might expect from a Super bowl champion, the Seattle Seahawks don’t have many weaknesses. They have the best defense in the NFL, possibly the best special teams, and one of the deepest rosters.

If there is a major blemish it’s the offensive line. A while back I wrote that the team needs help on the O line as soon as possible. The best thing the group can do is to stay healthy. I would be very surprised to see Breno Giacomini back in blue and green next year, but Max Unger and Russell Okung need to stay on the field first and foremost.

After that the upgrades will have to involve bringing new people in. That could mean picking up offensive linemen in free agency, or picking one in May’s NFL draft.

At Center the Seahawks are fine, and while the tackles may not be quite up to par, the big holes are at the guard positions. With that in mind, I think that general manager John Schneier should be looking to draft a guard who can fit the Seahawks’ heavy run system.

Stanford’s David Yankey might be the best choice out of the lot. He’ll have fellow Cardinals Doug Baldwin and Richard Sherman to get on with in the locker room for one, and he’s a good fit for the puzzle on the offensive line. Yankey’s combine measurements are as follows:

Height: 6055, Weight: 315 pounds, Arm length: 34

That’s solid size for a guard in today’s NFL. In addition, Yankey usually lines up left of center, which is where the Seahawks had the most trouble this past season. James Carpenter and Paul McQuistan were simply unable to keep up with teams featuring a bold pass rush. On the right side I expect Michael Bowie to step up and start, so addressing the left guard should come first.

Yankey is also durable and flexible, having started 41 games over the last three seasons at Stanford, several of them filling in at left tackle. He’s best at blocking on the move, which will mesh well in an offense that is likely to see all kinds of creative wrinkles with Percy Harvin and Christine Michael likely to see more rushing snaps this coming season.

On cover32’s list of the top 10 guards and centers in this year’s draft, Yankey comes in at number two. Find out who else made the cut here.

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