Taylor Mays, S, USC
Mays was a top-10 prospect last year, and fell out of the first round this year. He’s a great athlete, maybe the best in the draft, and perhaps the best since Calvin Johnson came out of Georgia Tech. However, his poor instincts were exposed throughout the college season, and his poor technique was exposed during the offseason. However, after drafting Earl Thomas, the Seahawks may be reluctant to fill the other safety position. Mays may be able to play linebacker if the team gets rid of Leroy Hill though.
Ben Tate, RB, Auburn
When everyone and their mother had C.J. Spiller going to the Seahawks at No. 14, I said it was wrong. Obviously, Spiller with to the Bills at No. 9, and since the draft doesn’t occur in a vacuum, we’ll never know for sure what the Seahawks plans were if Spiller fell to them. That didn’t mean they didn’t need a running back though, just someone who better complemented Justin Forsett, who should be the starter next year. Tate is a powerful runner, very athletic, and comes with an Auburn pedigree, the same school that produced Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown before Tommy Tuberville was fired. Tuberville recruited Tate and coached him for two years.
A defensive lineman
The Seahawks are trying to incorporate a hybrid 3-4 into their already Cover-Two based scheme. That means that they need a lot of defensive linemen, in all likelihood, because the requirements from the linemen from each scheme vary considerably.
It’s likely that Aaron Curry can play end in the 4-3, and that Brandon Mebane can step out and play end when they line up with three down linemen, but with Patrick Kerney and Darryl Tapp gone, they’ll need someone opposite Curry, or to spell Curry and Lawrence Jackson, and who can also step in and rush off the edge in a 3-4.
If the team drafts a guy like Carlos Dunlap, he may be able to play outside in both base defenses, but he can rotate inside on pass downs in a 4-3. He’s athletic enough to rush off the edge in a 3-4 in some circumstances. The problem of course, is that he’s a knuckle head. He got a DUI and was suspended from Florida’s bowl game. He’s had work ethic concerns throughout his college career, and likely won’t get any better under the coddling of player’s coach Pete Carroll.
Everson Griffen played under Carroll at USC, and can do everything stated about Dunlap apart from playing inside. Some question Griffen’s motor, but nobody knows better than Carroll about Griffen’s motor. If the team drafts Griffen, know that he’s comfortable with Griffen’s work ethic.
Sergio Kindle is probably a situational rusher in the Seahawks defense. He isn’t going to cover tremendously well at OLB when the line up in a 3-4, and probably can’t drop back in zone during more devout Cover-Two formations.
Damian Williams, WR, USC; Arrellious Benn, WR, Illinois; Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
The Seahawks greatest need may be at the wide receiver position. With Nate Burleson in Detroit, and Deion Branch in danger of being cut in the preseason or next offseason, the team could be left with Deon Butler and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Williams runs great routes, and is familiar with Jeremy Bates. He’s not hyper-athletic like Tate, and doesn’t play quite as physical as Benn, but he’s probably the most polished receiver of the bunch.
Benn has a ton of ability, but needs a ton of coaching. His route running will likely improve as he works a professional route tree more heavily, but he needs to improve his hands to avoid being another Braylon Edwards or Koren Robinson (minus fisticuffs and ecstasy, respectively).
Tate runs awful routes, but he can do a lot of things on the field. He’s good in the open field, and thus can probably run the wildcat. He’s like a poor man’s Percy Harvin, though he’s bigger than Harvin and should be more durable.
One of the remaining cornerbacks
Brandon Ghee and Donovan Warren are my choices. However, the Seahawks plan on continuing with the Cover-Two, and may not need a corner at all if they feel that Kelly Jennings and Josh Wilson can fit in across from Marcus Trufant.
The addition of Earl Thomas may improve cornerback play across the board (I tend to think this way) and the team may not think they need to add anything at corner.