Occam’s Razor states the simplest solution usually yields the correct response. With an inexperienced offensive line that allowed 42 sacks last season, sixth most in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks desperately need help up front. Fortunately, the team can easily remedy this problem in the upcoming draft.
Selective Service: A Simple Solution To The Seattle Seahawks Offensive Woes
With the recent loss of Pro Bowl linemen like center Max Unger and tackle Russell Okung, the Seahawks five man front has slowly eroded since their 2013-14 championship season. The team has had to rely on rookies like guard Germain Ifedi and tackle George Fant, who until last season had not played football since eighth grade. On a positive note, three or four strong offensive linemen may be all the team needs to rejuvenate their Super Bowl aspirations.
Many attractive prospects are available in the upcoming draft to rebuild the depleted line. Offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk from the Wisconsin is the highest ranked offensive lineman according to Scouts, Inc. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper has indicated Seattle may select him with their first pick, the 26th selection overall. Ramczyk may not be the Seahawks best option, however. He suffered a hip injury in January and underwent surgery. He will not participate in any of the athletic testing at the Combine. Moreover, he has only played one year at the Division I level. While the Associated Press named him a first team All American, Seattle may opt for a safer play with Alabama tackle Cam Robinson or Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp.
Covering the Bases: Talent and Depth at All Other Positions
The offensive line is the only area where the Seahawks are deficient. The defense has been dominant, allowing the third fewest points in the league last season. Although safety Earl Thomas hinted he may retire after a leg fracture, the famous secondary has repeatedly shown they are capable of performing at a high level even when they are short-handed. Cornerbacks DeShawn Shead and Jeremy Lane defended expertly against the pass while safety Kam Chancellor recovered from injury. Additionally, many teammates and coaches believe Thomas overreacted from frustration and will play next season. The defensive line continuously pressured the quarterback and stopped the run with the help of Pro Bowl linemen Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.
Offensively, the Seahawks already possess their franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson, who has performed admirably given the weakness of his pass protection. The receiving corps features talented players like Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Jermaine Kearse. Even wide receiver Paul Richardson played exceptionally well coming off the bench to replace the injured Lockett. Although they are young and injury prone, running backs Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise have tremendous potential. Running back Alex Collins is also a solid option for the running game should the need arise. It would be a mistake to waste opportunistic draft picks and valuable salary cap space at any of the skill positions.
Seize the Day: Taking Advantage of Present Opportunities
Unlike the skill positions, collegiate success usually translates to sucess at the professional level for offensive linemen. Sheer size and strength make measuring a lineman’s abilties easier to judge than many other positions. The intangibles associated with the quarterback and wide receiver positions are notoriously difficult to predict. Even many Heisman Trophy winners have not met expectations at the game’s highest level. Because of their depth, the Seahawks have the luxury of foregoing unnecessary risks. They should take advantage of this opportunity by selecting offensive linemen who are virtually certain to contribute immediately to the team’s success.