Welcome to our Wednesday 12th man mailbag, where we answer your questions about all things NFL and Seahawks. This week we’re talking about Seattle’s draft strategy for the early rounds, as well as the elephant in the room that is our offensive line.
Our first question comes via Twitter from @Dwoo30 in Scottsdale, AZ:
Do you think the Seahawks will draft a WR early now that Rice resigned?
It’s always difficult to guess what a team will do in the first round with so many options, unless there’s a must-have player still on the board like Jadeveon Clowney. Sidney Rice coming back on board does change the equation a bit, as does adding Chris Matthews from the CFL. If both can make the roster it would address our shortcomings (pun level 3!) in the receiver corps. If I had to guess I’d say that they will go for the best pass rusher on the board because you just can’t have too many of them. Unless a guy like Kelvin Benjamin drops to 32 I doubt that we take a wide receiver early on. There are greater needs on the defensive and offensive line. Speaking of which…
Our second question is from @dgbottom in Seattle, WA:
Can we trust our offensive line in 2014?
Short answer, no. Long answer, yes, with a buuuuuut.
The numbers don’t lie – Seattle’s offensive line was one of the worst in pass protection in 2013 and only mediocre at best when it came to run blocking. A lot of the troubles were with Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini’s injuries, but that can’t explain all the sucktitude we witnessed last year. Usually you don’t address immediate needs in the draft, but I have to think John Schneider will at least pick one tackle, and hopefully another guard to shore up the weaknesses.
If Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie can crack the rotation and become full-time starters it would go a long way to solving the issues. Those two were the most consistent on the O line last year and I have to think they earned the right to play in 2014. The good news is that we have a quarterback uniquely suited to playing with an awful offensive line. Russell Wilson is so evasive that he makes up for a lot of their lapses by extending plays that should end in sacks.
Bottom line, there’s still plenty of time to go before the season but the offensive line as presently constituted is not up to NFL standards. We have to do better, and we will.