Seahawks need another draft like 2012

Zac Hereth, Sports Editor

In order to be considered a true dynasty, the Seahawks need to win one, or more likely two, Super Bowls in the next few years. This year’s draft class needs to emulate that of 2012 in order for Seattle to accomplish that.

Let’s face it, in two years this team will look a lot different. Sure, the familiar faces of Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman and probably Earl Thomas will still be around, but due to salary cap issues, there will be a lot of tough decisions for the organization to make over the next two seasons.

Star players like Doug Baldwin, Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor have contracts that expire over the next two seasons. The contracts they’ll look for will force the team to part ways with a few of its stars.

Other starters and key role players like Luke Willson, Jordan Hill and Deshawn Shead all have contracts that expire after this season, and will likely want to test the free agency market.

Those decisions will be much easier if the Seahawks can rebuild their core with younger players on rookie contracts; just like the team did in 2012.

In 2012, the Seahawks picked up five players that were almost immediate starters. Of the five, two are All-Pro caliber, and a couple solid role players. Even rookie free agents from that year, like Jermaine Kearse, have becomes regulars in the starting lineup.

That class alone produced 250 total starts in a Seahawks uniform since the start of the 2012 season.

Here are some points of emphasis for the Seahawks in the 2016 draft:

Find a Pro Bowl caliber offensive lineman—or two

Seattle needs to start this year’s draft by nailing down a great pick on the offensive line. Just like they did at quarterback with Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy are gone, and the Seahawks didn’t do much to replace them. Instead, they just brought in a couple of guys who have a ceiling of being a quality starter for about a season, or maybe two if they’re lucky.

Lately, many draft experts have moved away from predicting the Seahawks going offensive lineman in the first round, but I can’t see how they wouldn’t draft an offensive lineman first. It’s the team’s obvious weakness and the fan base is clamoring for the team to improve at the position.

You can really never put anything past Pete Carroll and John Schneider when it comes to the draft though.

The team will have to hope that one of their 2015 offensive line picks step up their play, or the team is going to have to find more than just one starting caliber player on the offensive line in this draft.

Restock defensive line and pass rush before it falls apart

The Seahawks also need to add depth on the defensive line and find another good pass rusher to pair with last year’s second round pick Frank Clark.

The team just lost run-stopping veteran Brandon Mebane and pass rusher Bruce Irvin. Losing the team’s best pass rushers, Bennett and Cliff Avril, could happen before the start of the 2017 season, especially if the team wants to bring Baldwin back at wide receiver.

Clark looks like he could be a piece to build around on the defensive line, but he’ll need help in the trenches against the physical teams in the NFC West. Drafting a defensive lineman or two in the first two days of the draft could definitely be in the cards for Seattle.

Find the right role players late

There are a few different spots Seattle could hit in the late rounds to try and fill some minor holes. A backup running back or some depth to shore up the secondary could be in the works.

If Jeremy Lane or Thomas Rawls get hurt again, cornerback and running back could be a shaky spot next season.

The team may also be in the market for a backup quarterback since Tarvaris Jackson seems to be heading elsewhere this offseason.

Kam Chancellor’s replacement could be a target too.

Whoever those late picks are, they need to produce like the 2012 draft class has in order for the team to restock the depth that helped win it a Super Bowl.