With David Hawthorne now with the Saints, the Seahawks are in a desperate need at the linebacker position.
Most Likely On The Team
Luckily they were able to resign Leroy Hill and Matt McCoy the other week, both on one-year deals.
Also still on the team is K.J. Wright, who played exceptionally well as a rookie last season. In his first year in the NFL, Wright played in every game of the season and finished with 65 tackles and two sacks.
Regaining depth at linebacker will be key for this upcoming draft due to constant injuries. In fact, Hill is coming off only his first full 16 game season in his NFL career.
After playing one game in 2010, he finished last season with 89 sacks and four tackles.
Injuries have not been the only concern regarding Hill – he has faced many off the field run-ins with the law.
In 2009, Hill was arrested for possessing marijuana and in 2010 he was arrested again for domestic violence.
The next great Seahawks linebacker?
His most recent confrontation with the police was in late February for marijuana possession, although his urine tests turned up negative and his charges were eventually dropped.
Matt McCoy has played with many teams throughout his seven years in the NFL, including Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.
He was a standout player on special teams with the Seahawks in 2010 and also was used as a situational linebacker, but only played four games last year due to season-ending knee surgery.
Heath Farwell played his first season in Seattle last year after playing five with the Minnesota. He led the Vikings in special teams tackles for four of those seasons – once finishing a game with seven stops against the New York Giants. He has also shined on special teams with the Seahawks.
His age will be an important factor as he recently turned 30.
Of course, there are other linebackers on the roster who might get their opportunity to become a starter.
Malcolm Smith, also from USC, is returning for his second year in the NFL. He played in 12 games last season, finishing with ten tackles and one sack, including a forced fumble.
Tough road to a paycheck
Allen Bradford was claimed through waivers by the Seahawks in 2011 and then signed to the practice squad. He originally was a running back at USC but then switched to the linebacker position. He did not get any playing time at the position as a rookie last year.
Jameson Konz, the 6-3 powerhouse from Kent State, spent his first season on the injured resere due to a hip injury. He came to training camp in 2011 as a tight end, but was moved to the linebacker position as coaches were impressed by the pressure he could put on a quarterback.
Konz saw limited game time in 2011 and tore his ACL in the middle of the season, placing him on the season ending injured reserve list.
Mike Morgan went undrafted in 2011 from USC but then signed with the Seahawks. After being released during final roster cuts, he was promoted to the active roster a month later. He has yet to make his first tackle in the NFL.
Boston College ILB Luke Kuechly has been predicted by many experts to be the top linebacker in this year’s draft, and some even have him landing in Seattle with the No. 12 pick.
With a strong performance in the offseason, Kuechly could be ready to start right away.
Along with gaining strength on the pass rush, obtaining a talented linebacker will also fill an important need for the Seahawks.
We have a TON of 2012 NFL Draft articles up on our Seahawks blog.
Here’s a sampling for you.
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© Matt Church for North West Sports Beat, 2012. |
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Post tags: 2012 NFL draft
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