By Rob Staton
The Seahawks filled a lot of needs in the 2010 draft. They have a long term replacement for soon-to-be-retired future HOFer Walter Jones. Earl Thomas provides an exciting and talented playmaker to the secondary. Seattle drafted or traded for weapons on offense and further added competition to their defense. However, let's review the lasting needs as we look towards the future with a premature eye to the 2011 draft:
The 2010 season will have an impact on Seattle's quarterback situation. Matt Hasselbeck is in a contract year, he'll be 35 and has endured a string of injuries in recent seasons. Will we see any Charlie Whitehurst in 2010? Even after his addition from San Diego, the Seahawks can't be sure he will develop into 'the guy'. Until you can rubber stamp a name on this situation long term, it remains a need.
Top 2011 prospects: Jake Locker (Washington), Ryan Mallett (Arkansas), Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M), Terrell Pryor (Ohio State)
The Seahawks have added a lot of names to increase competition during camp and pre-season. However, you wonder whether this is an area that will be addressed going forward. Aside from Brandon Mebane, there isn't a guy that jumps off the page. Don't rule out Seattle finding production from those currently on the roster, but realistically both defensive tackle and end could be an area targeted in future drafts and free agency.
Top 2011 prospects: Adrian Clayborn (Iowa), Allen Bailey (Miami), Robert Quinn (UNC)
The Seahawks want big, fast guys at receiver. That's why they targeted Brandon Marshall. Deion Branch and T.J. Houshmandzadeh might end up being focal points on Seattle's 2010 offense, but they aren't long term pieces to this puzzle. Rest assured Pete Carroll knows this team needs touchdown scoring, potent receivers of the #1 variety and this will be a position that receives attention until a solution is found.
Top 2011 prospects: A.J. Green (Georgia), Michael Floyd (Notre Dame), Julio Jones (Alabama), Jonathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh)
Interior offensive line
Seattle will build their line around left tackle Russell Okung going forward. Ben Hamilton is a stop gap at left guard whilst we cannot be sure Chris Spencer and even Max Unger will fit into long term planning (they weren't drafted by this regime). Alex Gibbs has a very specific ideology for his lineman, so you can't rule out this becoming a target area.
Top 2011 prospects: Rodney Hudson (Florida State)
Marcus Trufant, Earl Thomas and Josh Wilson provide a nice trio in the secondary. However, you can never have too many good cornerbacks. It seems obvious to me that Pete Carroll, a former defensive backs specialist, wants his secondary to be a highlight for his team. If the New York Jets with their secondary can spend another first round pick on a cornerback this year, then this will remain a possibility for the Seahawks too.
Top 2011 prospects: Patrick Peterson (LSU), Curtis Brown (Texas)