Position paper: Offensive tackle
Posted by Danny O'Neil
With the draft completed, it's time to scrutinize the roster to look at what Seattle has, what it could use and where the hot-spots for roster competition will occur.
We'll move across the roster over the remainder of the week, and the starting point for this discussion will be the spot that was the most glaring vacancy entering the draft: offensive tackles.
|RETURNERS||ACQUISITIONS||DRAFT PICKS||UNDRAFTED SIGNEES|
|Sean Locklear||Russell Okung (Ok.State)||Kyle Burkhart (Southern Miss)|
|Ray Willis||Jacob Phillips (Belhaven, Miss.)|
More than a year of questions at the most important position on the offensive line have now been answered. Walter Jones is expected to formally announce his retirement later this week, and Seattle has chosen his heir, designating Russell Okung of Oklahoma State the starter at left tackle from the moment he walks in the door.
So much for that idea that offensive line coach Alex Gibbs didn't to pick a left tackle early, huh? That was an idea promoted in some quarters of the media -- including this space here -- and turned out to be misdirected. Gibbs said he considered Trent Williams of Oklahoma and Russell Okung of Oklahoma State sure things in terms of their development, and the line coach was positively ecstatic to land Okung.
"He's the line coach's dream all through the league," Gibbs said. "Thirty-one other line coaches are sad right now because I know that I got the one that is easiest to deal with."
Sean Locklear is back at right tackle, and Ray Willis now moves to second-string right tackle, Locklear the back-up at left.
Willis' long-term fit is a question. He has one year left on his contract, and coming out of college, he wasn't considered a fit for the mobility Alex Gibbs likes in his offensive linemen.
Seattle has signed two undrafted free agents to compete for depth. (Note: Brandon Frye was not tendered a qualifying offer, rendering him an unrestricted free agent).
We'll conclude each of these analyses by checking the temperature of the competition. A heat index, so to speak.
Heat Index: Low.
Dec 24 - 6:10 AM Looking back: Revisiting Sunday's scouting report
Dec 24 - 1:09 AM Seahawks' scoring binge
Dec 24 - 1:01 AM Video: Summing Seattle's victory
Dec 24 - 12:58 AM Video: Russell Wilson post-game comments
Dec 24 - 12:21 AM Rookie passing roll call