The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Seahawks lead the pack

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There's no question that the Seattle Seahawks had holes all along their roster going into the 2010 NFL draft. The imminent retirement of Walter Jones left them bereft at left tackle, horrible secondary play in 2009 made the need for a deep safety crushingly obvious, and missing out on Brandon Marshall left the team short a playmaker in the passing game. In addition, a formerly great running game had fallen into disarray due to neglect and poor player development. Those holes were created by ex-team president Tim Ruskell, but it was up to new GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll to address them. And in one truly outstanding draft, they managed to do it all.

Oklahoma State's Russell Okung is the kind of huge, agile, and practiced offensive linemen the Seahawks never drafted during the Ruskell era, due to his misbegotten belief that the big guys up front were fungible (sound familiar, Redskins fans? Yes, it's possible that Ruskell and Vinny Cerrato were separated at birth). Taken with the sixth overall pick, Okung will start right away on the left side. With their second first-round pick, acquired from the Denver Broncos in the 2009 draft, the Seahawks got an absolute steal in Texas safety Earl Thomas, a range defender with cornerback-level cover skills. He has what it takes to man the defensive center field immediately.

With the 60th overall pick in the second round, another steal came across the board - Notre Dame receiver Golden Tate. A tailback in high school, Tate brings a fiery athleticism that helped him set several school receiving records. He'll play in the slot for the most part, but he's also an intriguing player in various option plays. He's fearless in traffic and very productive after the catch.

Two trades may have set the Seahawks up for years in the running game -- they dealt third-day draft picks for ex-Titans running back LenDale White and former Jets speedster Leon Washington. Both players are slightly damaged goods -- White has a history of weight issues and Washington is coming off a horrible leg injury -- but White showed up to his first Seattle minicamp in the best shape he's been in years, and all accounts have Washington's recovery coming along right on schedule.

At this point, all these moves can only be rated on paper; it's all hypothetical. But in that imaginary derby, it's hard to argue that the Seahawks didn't do themselves the most good of any NFL team in this year's draft.

By Doug Farrar  |  May 5, 2010; 7:14 AM ET  | Category:  Doug Farrar , Draft , NFL , Seattle Seahawks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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