DRAFT COUNTDOWN: 5 weeks. Every Thursday until the draft, we look at draft-related topics involving the Seahawks.
As positively as they try to spin it, it is clear Pete Carroll and John Schneider are not finished with their offensive line.
Carroll said Garry Gilliam can handle left tackle, Justin Britt will improve at left guard, Mark Glowinski is ready to start at right guard and J’Marcus Webb can be better at right tackle for them than he has been for other teams.
Carroll said Gilliam is “an athlete who is really equipped to play” left tackle, Glowinski is “a natural guard” who should “be a big factor” and Britt “is just going to continue grow as a guard.”
“We think those guards give us a really secure spot with big upside,” he said.
But there’s no way the Seahawks are going to training camp with just these guys and center Patrick Lewis. Even on the off chance that they do not add a veteran before the draft next month, they certainly are going to add at least a couple linemen during the draft.
This is viewed as a very talented OL class, but will the Seahawks see it that way? Will they pick two or three in the first five rounds, as they should? Or will they just grab more D-line converts in the seventh round, as they have?
Since they arrived in 2010, Schneider and Carroll have drafted 12 offensive linemen — tied with the secondary for the most players from one position group. But they have picked just four linemen in the first three rounds — and three of those guys are gone. Britt, a second-rounder in 2014, is the only one left.
Many think the Seahawks will use the No. 26 pick in this draft on a tackle, but their top need the past three drafts has been offensive line — and Britt is the only guy they have added in the first two days. So it’s not like they ever do what we all think they should.
With Russell Okung gone, this is the first year since 2010 that they have needed a left tackle. That year, they got Okung with the sixth overall pick. So maybe they will consider it at 26 this year.
The problem is they are not in a great position to get a ready starter on the left side. Most of the tackles who might fall to them are NFL right tackles or project left tackles. That list potentially includes Michigan State’s Jack Conklin, Ohio State’s Taylor Decker, Texas A&M’s Germain Ifedi, Indiana’s Jason Spriggs, Auburn’s Shon Coleman and Texas Tech’s Le’Raven Clark.
Spriggs might be the best LT-ready guy of that group — he’s considered the most athletic. But the Hawks could go with Ifedi, who could battle Britt at LG or Webb at RT.
Of course, odds are pretty good they will trade down and/or skip all of those guys — probably taking a defensive player first.
Whether they use their first pick on a lineman or not, the Seahawks seem very likely to draft an interior lineman or two. They reportedly have big interest in Missouri’s Connor McGovern, a 6-4, 306-pound strong man who could play guard or right tackle.
There are a bunch of other guards and centers who could fit Seattle as well, so they should be able to pull at least three linemen out of their nine picks.
Once they finish adding to the line, it will be a matter of quickly figuring out who should start where. It’s obviously not the kind of exercise a Super Bowl-contending team should be undergoing; but, as Schneider said, “That’s kind of the stage we are at right now.”
The Seahawks should learn from their 2015 mistakes, which included making a terrible pick at center and making late moves at left guard and right tackle.
Carroll seems to understand the importance of avoiding those errors this time.
“We just want it to happen quickly and get the thing situated as quickly as we can,” he said. “No timeline on that, but that will be one of our concerns as we go through.”