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Hawk Talk highlights: Offensive line and the draft

By Brady Henderson

While wide receiver Golden Tate might have been the Seahawks’ most significant free-agent departure, offensive line was arguably the position that took the greatest hit.

Offensive line will likely be a focus for Seattle in the draft after losing Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan. (AP)

Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan were starters the past three seasons before signing elsewhere as free agents, and while the Seahawks’ drafts have proven to be notoriously unpredictable, it’s safe to assume that those losses will make offensive line a priority for Seattle if it wasn’t already.

The likelihood of Seattle addressing its offensive line in the draft was a topic during the latest edition of “Hawk Talk” with Danny O’Neil. The transcript can be found here. Highlights are below.

Noting all the pressure opposing defenses put on quarterback Russell Wilson last season, Masher asked if Seattle will beef up its offensive line in the draft.

O’Neil: That’s a great question. Protecting the quarterback has never been a strong suit for Tom Cable as an offensive-line coach. And as I think about it, they’ve lost two guys who started a significant number of games for the team. And Russell Wilson got hit a lot the first half of last season.

Doug predicted that the Seahawks will trade back to accumulate picks in the second and/or third round if the right offensive lineman isn’t available at No. 32 overall. Seattle doesn’t have a 2014 third-round pick, having traded it to Minnesota in the Percy Harvin deal.

O’Neil: The odd thing about Seattle’s draft history is that for all the success Seattle has had, it has been better later in the draft than it was earlier in the draft. And early picks on the offensive line have been inconsistent. Russell Okung (first round in 2010, No. 6 overall) was a great pick. James Carpenter and John Moffitt, chosen in the first and third-round respectively a year later, not so much.

Tacodile asked if trading out of the first round is a realistic possibility.

O’Neil: Absolutely, but the Seahawks actually haven’t traded back as often as I thought they would under general manager John Schneider. They traded back in the second round last year. And they traded from the second round to the third round in 2011, choosing John Moffitt. But going back to the first draft under John Schneider in 2010 when Seattle stood pat at No. 6 and No. 14, the Seahawks haven’t moved back as often as I expected.

JohnnyB noted that banking on rookie wide receivers to produce immediately can be problematic given the time if often takes them to come into their own.

O’Neil: Well, what about Doug Baldwin’s first year? He was an impact player, no? I don’t think that you bank on finding a starter in the first round, but don’t rule out getting someone who can contribute.