Seahawks Insider Blog

TNT 2011 draft preview: OL to consider

After starting 10 different starting offensive line combinations last year, it’s easy to point to the offensive line as Seattle’s most obvious need.

It’s a major reason why Seattle only rushed for 89 yards a game last season, second-worst in the league.

But really, Seattle’s issues on the offensive line started when perennial Pro Bowler Walter Jones succumbed to a knee injury after a Thanksgiving game against Dallas in 2008, leading to season-ending microfracture surgery and his eventual retirement before the 2010 season.

Since then, the Seahawks have cycled through 18 starting offensive line combinations, seven left tackles and four offensive line coaches.

The result of all that juggling up front has been inconsistent play. Seattle finished in the bottom third of the league in total offense the past three seasons.

So it’s no surprise, as my story on the offensive line points to today, that offensive line remains the team’s most obvious need heading into this year’s draft.

Seattle needs a left guard, right guard and right tackle. Florida’s Mike Pouncey and Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod are players that could make some sense for Seattle at No. 25.

Rob Rang, senior draft analyst with, reviews offensive linemen Seattle might select in each round of this year’s NFL draft.

First round, 25th pick: Mike Pouncey, 6-5, 303, FloridaRob’s rationale: The twin brother of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey, who was voted to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Mike’s size, toughness and durability make him a perfect fit for Seattle.Highlights

Second ROUND, 57th pick: James Carpenter, 6-4, 321, AlabamaRob’s rationale: Aptly named, this blue-collar left tackle projects best on the right side or at guard. He could step in and compete for a starting job at either spot immediately.Highlights

Fourth round, 99th pick: John Moffitt, 6-4, 319, Wisconsin Rob’s rationale: Among my favorite players in the draft due to his toughness and physicality. He won’t wow with his athleticism, but could be a Pro Bowl player someday.Profile

Fifth round, 156th and 157 picks: Keith Williams, 6-4, 318, Nebraska Rob’s rationale: Big and athletic, he’s one of the primary reasons the Huskers were so effective running the ball against UW in September.Combine workoutSixth round, 173th pick: Derek Newton, 6-5, 311, Arkansas StateRob’s rationale: An intriguing small school prospect who excelled at right tackle, Newton’s size and athleticism could push him higher up the board than my ranking indicates.Profile

Seventh round, 209th and 242th picks: Willie Smith, 6-5, 310, East CarolinaRob’s rationale: Like Newton, Smith is an intriguing prospect who, while raw, possesses the size and athleticism to warrant further development. Combine workout