CBS Sportsline has published an early list of team needs for the 2010 draft. The list will be updated every month and is very likely to change over the course of the season.
For example, this time last year how many people would have predicted the Seahawks would take a linebacker fourth overall with Peterson, Tatupu and Hill on the roster?
Seattle's biggest needs are currently listed as quarterback, running back and offensive guard. Let's look at how the 2009 season could influence these choices.
Should Matt Hasselbeck have an injury-free season and return to 2007 form, it'll ease many questions about his long term future with the Seahawks. It would give the team time to groom Mike Teel as a potential successor with Seneca Wallace are more than capable back-up.
However, another season of back problems and missed time for Hasselbeck will likely increase pressure on the team to find a young replacement. With two first round picks next year, the Seahawks have the fire power to make a move for a franchise QB.
The newly installed zone blocking scheme should create the perfect platform for Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett. Not the most highly rated tandem in the NFL, as proven in Denver the ZBS can be productive without big names carrying the rock.
Greg Knapp has previously developed solid running games in San Francisco, Atlanta and Oakland. Putting all this together means no excuses for the Seahawks runners in 2009 - they have to prove their worth or the team will look for replacements.
I'm not anticipating a cluster of big names in the 2010 draft at RB (certainly not in the McFadden, Stewart, Moreno and Wells variety). However, keep an eye on Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer.
With Rob Sims and Chris Spencer both entering a contract year, this could be a big area of need in 2010. The best case scenario is both stay healthy and perform, enabling the Seahawks to use Max Unger creatively. If Sims and Spencer were to be re-signed, the team would have a stable of interior lineman from which to build.
The worst case scenario is another year of health problems and struggles. If Spencer is released, Unger will almost certainly be viewed as the teams long term solution at center. Can the team rely on Wahle, Sims and Wrotto? This really could go either way.
Other potential needs
Strangely, outside linebacker is given a 'need rating' equal to that of offensive tackle and defensive line. Surely the Seahawks are set at OLB since the long term re-signing of Leroy Hill and the drafting of Aaron Curry?
I still believe you can never have enough talented defensive lineman. It's early, but 2010 could be a good draft for D-liners. With Patrick Kerney in his 30's, Cory Redding playing on a one year deal and Darryl Tapp in a contract year - this could be an area of need come next year.
Another position that could be a bigger need by the end of the year if offensive tackle. Seattle has shown faith in the healthy of Walter Jones and the potential of Sean Locklear by not drafting a top OT this year. Should Jones suffer a setback to his injured knee, they may review the situation again - especially if Locklear fails to convince as a replacement left tackle.