Seahawks Insider Blog

Draft guru Rob Rang assesses Seahawks needs, talks WRs such as Funchess, Strong at top of draft

Before I left Indianapolis Saturday afternoon I asked Tacoma's Rob Rang, a senior NFL draft analyst for CBS Sports and The Sports Exchange, to give me a rundown on the video above of what he thinks of this year's draft class. He also offered what he sees as the Seahawks' primary needs, and some ideas of wide receivers that may or may be available for Seattle should it choose to go that route with its first couple picks, currently scheduled for 31st and 62nd overall in the first two rounds.

"This isn't like the last couple of classes, where it was fairly easy to pinpoint the positions they might go," Rang said. "We didn't know which players John Schneider and Pete Carroll were going to choose, but you had an idea which positions.

"This year's class, because Seattle has a variety of needs -- not only for potential starters but for depth players -- I think the Seahawks could go any number of ways in the first round. And that will obviously impact what they are going to do in the later rounds."

Rang parallels what we've already discussed here about the Seahawks' most pressing positions of need.

"I think when you look at the Seahawks' roster there definitely are concerns at wide receiver, along the offensive line and at cornerback," Rang said.

Though I submit this cart-before-the-horse argument: without a replacement for free-agent left guard James Carpenter and better consistency in health and play from left tackle Russell Okung, center Max Unger, right guard J.R. Sweezy and right tackle Justin Britt there won't be enough time for Russell Wilson to throw to whomever the wide receivers are.

Rang also sees the Seahawks adding depth on the defensive line in the early to middle rounds.

"The Seattle Seahawks, they always focus on pressure with the defensive line," he said.

I posited to Rang the idea that after the Super Bowl breakout of 6-foot-5 Chris Matthews, who simply out-jumped and walled off Patriots for his first four NFL catches, 104 yards and a touchdown Feb. 1 the Seahawks could (should?) be seeking to draft a tall, physical wide receivers. Some estimate as many as seven wide receiver will go in the first round of April 30.

Seattle could take an offensive lineman, not big wide receiver, with its 31st-overall choice in the first round -- that is, if Schneider doesn't act on his joking public solicitation last week trade offers for that pick. Dorial Green-Beckham, the 6-5 receiver kicked off Missouri's team after allegedly pushing an 18-year-old woman down a flight of stairs at 2:30 in the morning, intrigues many but perhaps is too risky for the first round. But he may not be around for the Seahawks at 62nd overall in the second round.

Who might be available at the end of the second and third rounds?

Rang said former Michigan tight end turned wide receiver Devin Funchess, seen by some as a first-round talent, didn't work out well last weekend at the combine. So his stock may be dropping. Arizona State Jaelen Strong is 6-2 and bullish, and his stock is soaring. The question on him going into Indianapolis was his speed; then he ran a 4.4 40-yard dash last weekend at the combine.

"I can't imagine that he would still be available in the late second round," Rang said. "But there are so many good wide receivers this year, it could push some down the board just a little bit."