The Seahawks finished 13-3 during the 2013 regular season and clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Seahawks used a dominating defense, a punishing rushing attack, and a quarterback who doesn't make mistakes to lead them to the franchise's first-ever Super Bowl win (43-8 over Denver).
The Seahawks lost some key pieces to last year's Super Bowl run during the offseason, including wideout Golden Tate (Lions), defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (Bucs), cornerback Walter Thurmond (Giants), defensive tackle Red Bryant (Jaguars), offensive tackle Breno Giacomini (Jets) and cornerback Brandon Browner (Patriots).
Tate hurts an already limited receiving core on offense, but the loss of Red Bryant and Clinton McDonald on the front of that dominating defense might be the bigger concern. Cliff Avril will be a free agent after this season, and the Seahawks might be wise to hold off on a few needs at wide receiver and offensive line before addressing the need at defensive end.
With the 32nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks select...
Name: Kony Ealy
Position: Defensive End
Year: Junior (RS)
While many draft prognosticators are projecting the Seahawks to take a guard or center with their first-round pick, I believe the ceiling on Ealy is just too high to pass up for a team that utilizes athletic defensive ends. Ealy would fit the bill of a Seahawk defensive end at 6-foot-4 and 273 pounds. He had the best 3-cone drill time of any defense end at the combine (6.83 seconds), moves very well laterally, and is quick off the snap.
Ealy finished with 9.5 sacks in his junior season at Missouri, with 14.5 tackles for loss, six batted passes, three forced fumbles, and one interception which he returned for a touchdown. Ealy has the physical tools to be a great pass-rusher, and has the athleticism and range to be solid in zone schemes as well.
The biggest detractors on Ealy are that he isn't a finished product yet. He needs to add some more muscle to his frame, work on lowering his pad level, and adding some pass-rush moves to his arsenal. In the film I've seen of Ealy, he appears to rely on his speed too much and not use many moves to get to the quarterback. His instincts at the position aren't top-notch, but if he is given a year to grow into the position without the pressure of being the starter he could blossom into another freakishly athletic defensive end for the Seahawks.
Round One Summary
|1||Houston Texans||Blake Bortles||QB||Central Florida|
|2||St. Louis Rams (via WAS)||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||South Carolina|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Khalil Mack||OLB||Buffalo|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M|
|5||Oakland Raiders||Sammy Watkins||WR||Clemson|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||Greg Robinson||OT||Auburn|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Mike Evans||WR||Texas A&M|
|8||Minnesota Vikings||Teddy Bridgewater||QB||Louisville|
|9||Buffalo Bills||Jake Matthews||OT||Texas A&M|
|10||Detroit Lions||Justin Gilbert||CB||Oklahoma State|
|11||Tennessee Titans||Aaron Donald||DT||Pittsburgh|
|12||New York Giants||Eric Ebron||TE||North Carolina|
|13||St. Louis Rams||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||S||Alabama|
|14||Chicago Bears||Darqueze Dennard||CB||Michigan State|
|15||Pittsburgh Steelers||Anthony Barr||OLB||UCLA|
|16||Dallas Cowboys||Timmy Jernigan||DT||Florida State|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||Taylor Lewan||OT||Michigan|
|18||New York Jets||Odell Beckham, Jr.||WR||LSU|
|19||Miami Dolphins||Zack Martin||OT||Notre Dame|
|20||Arizona Cardinals||Dee Ford||DE/OLB||Auburn|
|21||Green Bay Packers||C.J. Mosley||ILB||Alabama|
|22||Philadelphia Eagles||Brandin Cooks||WR||Oregon State|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||Marqise Lee||WR||USC|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||Bradley Roby||CB||Ohio State|
|25||San Diego Chargers||Kyle Fuller||CB||Virginia Tech|
|26||Cleveland Browns (via IND)||Kelvin Benjamin||WR||Florida State|
|27||New Orleans Saints||Ryan Shazier||LB||Ohio State|
|28||Carolina Panthers||Cyrus Kouandjio||OT||Alabama|
|29||New England Patriots||Louis Nix III||DT||Notre Dame|
|30||San Francisco 49ers||Ra'Shede Hageman||DT||Minnesota|
|31||Denver Broncos||Xavier Su'a-Filo||G||UCLA|
|32||Seattle Seahawks||Kony Ealy||DE||Missouri|