In Pete Carroll’s second season as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, they finished with the same record as 2010, 7-9, just not the same result. With the emergence of the 49ers, the Seahawks were watching the Playoffs from home. In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Seahawks used seven of their nine picks on defensive players, which must have helped seeing how they finished ninth in the league in total defense. This Draft class should be focused on offense. That doesn’t mean it will.
I am going to assume that Pete Carroll will stick with Tarvaris Jackson for one more year, until his golden boy, Matt Barkley, comes out in 2013. Carroll will probably do everything he possible can to bring his USC boy to Seattle. But right now there are no weapons for Barkley if the Hawks do get him. Marshawn Lynch was a beast last year, pretty much putting the entire team on his back, rushing for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns. But in the season prior to that, he combined in Buffalo and Seattle for 737 yards and six scores. There is no telling what his outcome will be in 2012, but there is a reason he is no longer a member of the Bills. They picked up wide receiver Sidney Rice as a free agent, but he only played in nine games in 2011, catching 32 balls for 484 yards. Rice was placed in I.R. at the end of November because of shoulder and concussion issues, and had surgery after the season on both shoulders.
South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery should be there when the Seahawks pick 12th
, but that could be too high of a pick on a guy who had a down year at S.C. in 2011. But it’s hard to ignore his size (6’4’’, 229 pounds) and his big play-making ability (six of his eight TDs were longer than 20 yards). But I just can’t see Carroll endorsing him. For so many years, Seattle has wanted a big play-making linebacker that they have yet to find. Aaron Curry was shipped off nearly three years after the Seahawks drafted him fourth overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. The most upside at linebacker in this year’s Draft - and who the Seattle Seahawks should take if he’s there - is North Carolina's Zach Brown. He is quick (4.40 40-yard dash) and physical for his size (6’1’’ 236 pounds). Brown was second on the team in tackles with 72, despite just starting five games at the position. He also had three interceptions on the season.
Seeing how Seattle’s free-agent focus will be on re-signing Marshawn Lynch or placing the franchise tag on him or defensive end Red Bryant, current starting linebacker Leroy Hill will possibly be taking a walk elsewhere. It’s hard to see a defensively focused Draft again by the Seahawks, but they can keep plugging away until they get it right. It will be very hard to pass on Zach Brown if he is available, and should he be picked No. 12 by Seattle, fans should be very pleased and see him dominate right away.