2018 NFL Draft Reset: Seahawks have pass-rush issues to manage

— By Curtis Crabtree, NFLDraftScout.com —

The Seattle Seahawks used free agency strategically to address depth concerns on their roster, but did little to take care of some of their bigger long-term issues.

The most notable free-agent additions were the signings of linebacker/defensive end Barkevious Mingo and guard D.J. Fluker.

Mingo gives Seattle a hybrid linebacker that could ultimately fill a similar role to that of Bruce Irvin from his time with the Seahawks. Mingo can play as a strong-side linebacker on early downs and move down to the line of scrimmage as a situational pass rusher as well.

Fluker pencils in as Seattle’s starting right guard and played last season under new offensive line coach Mike Solari with the New York Giants. Fluker helps fulfill head coach Pete Carroll’s often stated desire to revamp their rushing game and get it back on track after a terrible 2017 season from the group.

The team added Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen as veteran depth options at defensive tackle following the departure of Sheldon Richardson. Ed Dickson fills a need for a blocking tight end. Jaron Brown and Marcus Johnson (acquired in the Michael Bennett trade) add competition at wide receiver.

However, problem areas remain as the Seahawks attempt to turn over their roster and recapture the success of a pair of Super Bowl runs.

Here is a closer look at where the Seahawks are, how they got here and a shot at what they should do with their first pick in the draft.

THE BREAKDOWN

2017 finish: 2nd NFC West (9-7)

STATISTICS

TOTAL OFFENSE: 330.4 (15th)

RUSHING: 101.8 (23rd)

PASSING: 228.6 (14th)

TOTAL DEFENSE: 323.2 (11th)

RUSHING: 114.0 (19th)

PASSING: 209.2 (2nd)

TEAM NEEDS

  1. Defensive end: Following the trade of Michael Bennett to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Seahawks have a significant need at defensive end. Cliff Avril’s career is likely over due to a neck injury and Frank Clark is entering the final year of his rookie contract with the team. Dion Jordan was tendered as a restricted free agent and had four sacks in five games last season, but he remains one misstep away from an indefinite suspension. Finding a top-tier edge rusher would be a major box checked.
  1. Running back: The team re-signed Mike Davis after non-tendering him as a restricted free agent. The team will return Davis, Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise to its running back group next season, but the latter two missed most of the season due to injuries. J.D. McKissic also returns and was responsible for the team’s lone rushing touchdown from the position last season. The need remains for a trusted running back to seize the lead role and Seattle could seek such an option in the draft.
  1. Safety: Kam Chancellor’s career is in limbo due to a neck injury sustained last season and Earl Thomas is entering the final year of his contract amid threats of a holdout. The team re-signed Bradley McDougald, which provides a trusted option at both safety spots. Delano Hill will have a chance to grab a job in his second season and the addition of Maurice Alexander provides a depth and special teams option. Thomas has been the subject of trade talks throughout the offseason and the team would have limited options to replace him if a trade ultimately comes together.

KEY PERSONNEL TRACKER (As of April 6)

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

–RB Mike Davis: Not tendered as RFA; $1.315M/1 yr, $350k SB.

–S Bradley McDougald: Potential UFA; $11M/3 yrs, $9M guaranteed ($1M injury only at signing, $4M SB).

–DE Marcus Smith: UFA; $1.425M/1 yr, $400K SB.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

–S Maurice Alexander: FA; $880K/1 yr, $50K SB.

–T Isaiah Battle: FA; $630K/1 yr.

–WR Jaron Brown: UFA Cardinals; $45.025M/5 yrs, $15.75M guaranteed/$10M SB.

–TE Ed Dickson: UFA Panthers; $10.7M/3 yrs, $3.6M fully guaranteed/$2.6M SB.

–G/T D.J. Fluker: UFA Giants; $1.5M/1 yr, $300K guaranteed.

–WR Marcus Johnson (trade Eagles).

–OLB Barkevious Mingo: UFA Colts; $6.8M/2 yrs, $3.2M fully guaranteed/$2.2M SB.

–K Jason Myers: FA; $705K/1 yr.

–DT Tom Johnson: UFA Vikings; $2.1M/1 yr, $900K SB.

–DT Shamar Stephen: UFA Vikings; $2.1M/1 yr, $1M SB.

PLAYERS LOST

–DE Michael Bennett (traded Eagles).

–QB Trevone Boykin (released).

–TE Jimmy Graham: UFA Packers; $30M/3 yrs, $11M SB.

–CB Jeremy Lane (released).

–RB Thomas Rawls: Not tendered as RFA/Jets; terms unknown.

–WR Paul Richardson: UFA Redskins; $40M/5 yrs, $20M guaranteed ($8.5M injury only at signing, $10M SB).

–DT Sheldon Richardson: UFA Vikings; $8M/1 yr, $7.8M guaranteed/$2M SB.

–CB DeShawn Shead (released).

–CB Richard Sherman (released/failed physical).

–T Matt Tobin: UFA Patriots; $815K/1 yr.

–TE Luke Willson: UFA Lions; $2.5M/1 yr, $1.4M guaranteed/$900K SB.

*NFLDraftScout.com analysts suggest (No. 18 overall)

Rob Rang (April 5 mock draft):

–Derrius Guice, RB, LSU. The Seahawks already spent their second- and third-round picks of the 2018 draft, landing defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (Jets) and offensive tackle Duane Brown (Texans) in trades, leaving general manager John Schneider with essentially two choices here — either trade back to recoup picks or directly address the club’s anemic running game. The 5-foot-11, 218-pound Guice possesses the combination of burst, balance through contact and toughness Seattle has lacked since Marshawn Lynch left town.

Dane Brugler (April 6 mock draft):

–Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia. Seattle has invested in upgrading the offensive line, but the Seahawks aren’t done. Wynn started all 15 games at left tackle for the SEC champions, but is ideally suited inside where he is a plug-and-play guard.

Agree? Disagree? Still shopping?

Based on the team’s current status, those are our suggestions for that first pick. To double check or find another candidate see full mocks and ratings at NFLDraftScout.com.

Comments


Frank Cooney
EditorFrank Cooney
New Comment
Sports Xchange
EditorSports Xchange
New Comment
1
NFL Draft Scout
EditorNFL Draft Scout
New Comment
2
Rob Rang
EditorRob Rang
New Comment
1
Ric Serritella
EditorRic Serritella
New Comment
1
Sports Xchange
EditorSports Xchange
New Comment
NFL Draft Scout
EditorNFL Draft Scout
New Comment
1