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Coming off a Super Bowl title, the Seattle Seahawks will have to do their diligence in the future to maintain a championship-caliber club. The team not only has to lock up its current pool of free agents but try to ink its key cogs — Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, etc. — to long-term deals in the coming years.
Michael Bennett, Golden Tate, and Breno Giocomini are impending free agents, while Doug Baldwin and Brandon Browner are restricted free agents. Depending on which free agents the team is able to bring back, the Seahawks may have to count on yet another strong draft to help replace its veterans. And depending on how they fare in free agency will play a major role in how they use the No. 32 pick.
Should the team fail to re-sign Bennett, the team could go after the best available defense lineman. The same goes for Tate and/or Baldwin, which means the team may add another receiver, or try and upgrade at offensive line.
Two players the Seahawks have been linked to frequently in mock drafts is defensive tackle Aaron Donald and offensive tackle Antonio Richardson. Both would be insurance policies if the team cannot bring back Bennett or Giancomini. Donald was as disruptive a 3-technique at Pittsburgh as anyone, racking up 11 sacks in 2013 and commanding multiple blockers against the run. Richardson is one of the more athletic tackle prospects in the draft, and while he may not be Week 1 ready like a Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson, Richardson has one of the highest ceilings at the position once his mechanics can catch up to his natural skill-set.
Other options in the first round could be a guard — perhaps David Yankey or Xavier Su’a-Filo — or some sort of receiving target for Wilson, be it at split end or tight end. Both Yankey or Su’a-Filo could be improvements for the interior part of Seattle’s offensive line, but another pass-catcher could add even another dimension to the Seahawks’ offense.
The team already released Sidney Rice and there are rumors the team could part ways with Zach Miller — not to mention Anthony McCoy and Kellen Davis are both free agents. Jace Amaro is believed to be coveted by the New England Patriots, but should the Rob Gronkowski-esque tight end fall to Seattle they may have to strike. If not, local product Austin Seferian-Jenkins could be a huge target for Wilson.
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