The NFL Draft is coming up and free agency is essentially in the rear view mirror. There are still signings to be made and they will be made over the next few months but for now, teams are likely focused on the incoming rookies and which ones they'll be able to land.
Thus far, we've taken a pre-draft look at the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins, and today we're going to continue with another San Francisco 49ers opponent, and a familiar one: the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle has been a thorn in the 49ers' side for several years now. As a franchise, they haven't historically been all that relevant to the rest of the NFL, let alone the NFC West, but their dominance in recent years means they've become a hated rival alongside other big-name teams like the Cowboy and the Green Bay Packers.
Before we get into a look at their free agency period, here's a list of their own free agents this offseason:
OT Russell Okung
DE Bruce Irvin
C Patrick Lewis
CB Jeremy Lane
DT Brandon Mebane
RB Christine Michael
WR Jermaine Kearse
G J.R. Sweezy
P Jon Ryan
Free agency recap
The Seahawks have been very, very quiet, which in their case also means "passive." They managed to retain Ryan and Kearse, significant given their special teams hasn't been an issue for a lon time and the fact that Kearse was at one point expected to leave. They also re-signed Lane, Michael and tendered Lewis.
Unfortunately, they saw all of Okung, Irvin, Mebane and Sweezy depart in free agent. The first and last name on that list are significant because the Seahawks desperately needed offensive line help going into this offseason. They even said they would make it a focus. And then they watched their top two offensive linemen walk out the door.
They did sign Bradley Sowell and J'Marcus Webb, which stops the bleeding, but not enough. They've done nothing at guard, either. They replaced Mebane by signing Seealver Siliga and they re-signed Ahtyba Rubin, but didn't address the outside linebacker spot vacated by Irvin. They still have Bobby Wagner, one of the best linebackers in the league, and K.J. Wright, but there definitely needs to be something else there.
Lastly, the team signed Chris Clemons, and I honestly have no idea what he can contribute at his age.
Needs heading into NFL Draft
The Seahawks needed two offensive tackles and a guard this offseason. They brought in two tackles, but only one of them -- Webb -- is starting caliber and they still have a big hole at guard left by Sweezy. Protecting Russell Wilson should be their number one priority, and given the talent on the line to hit the open market this offseason, I'm not convinced that it is.
Cornerback is another concern, though not a huge one obviously given the talent in the secondary. It's good they brought Lane back but they could use another talented corner especially if they no longer have Irvin and the defensive line plays to its age.
Fortunately, the Seahawks' needs aren't extensive. The offensive line is a massive question mark, but other than that and the minor needs addressed above, the only thing I can think of is a backup quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson is a free agent and its unclear if he will play next season. With the line potentially being poor, they need someone else back there behind Wilson just in case.