Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said his team could use an infusion of speed on both sides of the ball, particularly along the front seven defensively, and a playmaker on offense.
When asked at a season-ending press conference last week where he thought his team needed to improve, Carroll said he wanted to add speed at linebacker, increase the team’s ability to pass rush off the edge and from the interior of the defensive line and find more scoring punch.
“You’re always looking for touchdown makers on offense,” Carroll said. “You always want to get guys that can score. So if there’s a wide receiver in the draft that would be cool, if there’s a big-time running back that would be cool.”
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS' FINAL GRADES
Not many expected Tarvaris Jackson to finish 7-7 as a starter. He showed toughness playing with a torn pectoral muscle for much of the season. Already tabbed the team’s starter in 2012, Jackson’s failure to lead the Seahawks from behind late in games could force the team to look for better alternatives.
Marshawn Lynch rushed for a career-high 1,204 yards and 13 scored total TDs (12 rushing). Both Lynch and fullback Michael Robinson were first-alternates for the Pro Bowl. Now, the Seahawks have to decide how much they want to pay the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Lynch to keep the team’s best player.
They went through six starting combinations and finished the season with three-fifths of the team’s projected starting line on the injured reserve. Still, Seattle effectively ran the ball at the end of the season, a tribute to the teaching skills of offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable.
High-dollar free agent pickups Sidney Rice (wide receiver) and Zach Miller (tight end) underperformed, as did top returning wideout Mike Williams. But undrafted rookie free agent Doug Baldwin was a standout, and Golden Tate showed improvement in his second season.
The front four played stout against the run, but other than a team-high 11 sacks from Chris Clemons this group struggles to consistently get pressure on the passer.
For a third straight season, David Hawthorne was the Seahawks’ leader in tackles (115). Hawthorne could leave in free agency, along with veteran Leroy Hill. Rookie K.J. Wright proved to be the most versatile of the three, making him a solid replacement for jettisoned Aaron Curry.
Earl Thomas earned his first Pro Bowl invitation, while fellow safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Brandon Browner were selected as first alternates. Rookie corner Richard Sherman finished with four interceptions in 10 starts, and could join his teammates on that list next year.
Leon Washington was solid, but not as explosive as last season. Punter Jon Ryan had another good season, and kicker Steven Hauschka made people forget about Olindo Mare. The usually solid coverage units gave up three return touchdowns and were one of the most penalized groups in the NFL this season.
Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider have revamped the roster, with the Seahawks going from the seventh-oldest team last season to the second-youngest. Impressively, Seattle stayed competitive while doing so, and appears primed to make a legitimate playoff run next season.