By Mike Sando
The lockout will force NFL teams to rely more heavily on the draft than free agency, for now.
They’ll need the players they chose in 2010 to step forward as well. That will be more challenging if the lockout prevents second-year pros from participating in the meetings and workouts that come with a typical offseason. It’s still possible to make projections based on what 2010 draft choices showed as rookies.
I’ll begin with the Seattle Seahawks.
“Our guys all the way through the picks, not everybody has stuck, but for the most part, we were counting on guys to play,” coach Pete Carroll said from the NFL owners meeting last month. “You put together another year like that and another year like that, and your roster should be really be adjusted well.”
The chart breaks down the Seahawks’ 2010 draft choices based on how they could fit in 2011.
2010 NFL Draft: Seattle Seahawks
Rd. Overall Player Pos. 2010 Starts 2011 Projection
1 6 Russell Okung LT 10 Starter at left tackle
1 14 Earl Thomas FS 16 Starter at free safety
2 60 Golden Tate WR 0 Role should expand, but needs polish
4 111 Walter Thurmond CB 1 Candidate to start as knee improves
4 127 E.J. Wilson DE 0 Released, with Bucs now
5 133 Kam Chancellor SS 0 Could succeed Lawyer Milloy
6 185 Anthony McCoy TE 0 Backup coming off knee injury
7 236 Dexter Davis DE 0 Can remain part of rotation as backup
7 245 Jameson Konz WR 0 Freak athlete, and a project