Seahawks roster analysis: Offensive line

Oct 12, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tackle Justin Britt (68) and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) celebrate after Wilson ran the ball in for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field. Dallas defeated Seattle 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

A Seahawks roster analysis of their current offensive line players. They currently need to as at least a starting offensive tackle, and maybe a guard.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be going through Seattle’s current roster and examining the depth that is currently present, and what needs to be added before the 2017 season. Ideas for who those additions might be will come at another time.

For now, lets start with the offensive line:

Center

The Seahawks are fine with both their starter and depth at center. Justin Britt  was an above average performer all season, and Joey Hunt is a nice, cheap backup option. They’ll need depth in case of those those guys gets hurt in the preseason, but those players are easy to find.

The one issue the Seahawks need to address is Britt’s expiring contract. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 season. The Seahawks have the cap space to re-sign him, and finally make a commitment to keeping some of their offensive line talent.

Guard

The biggest question that must be answered on the offensive line is “Who is Germain Ifedi?” The answer to that will settle much of what needs to be done at guard.

The Seahawks used a 1st round pick on Germaine Ifedi thinking he’d be the right tackle of the future. Tom Cable instantly moved him to guard, and he responded by playing poorly and then regressing further into the range of ineptness.

Ifedi has talent; that is undeniable. The problem is where to use it. Do they leave him at guard and hope he improves? Do they move him to RT and hope that his issues stemmed from playing out of position? What if they move him and he’s even worse on the outside?

Ultimately, answering that question will determine if they need a starting guard, or just depth. The Seahawks must find someone who can start at RG either way. If Ifedi stays at RG and improves, than they’ll still need a viable backup. That isn’t something they have now.

Mark Glowinski belongs in the starting lineup, but there is no depth behind him. The Seahawks need at least two other guards, even if one of those ends up being Ifedi.

Offensive Tackle

The Seahawks have a bunch of offensive tackles on the roster. What is completely unclear is if any of the them are good enough to be a starter.

George Fant has the physical talent necessary, but he’s only started 10 football games over the last 10 years. His inexperience is obvious, and there is no guarantee he’ll ever learn enough to become a functional player.

Gary Gilliam was terrible for most of the season, and was ultimately benched. Once he came back he played much better. Was that improvement a Christine Michael-esque “awakening,” or just a product of lesser competition? Gilliam is also a restricted free agent.

The Seahawks already bet on Gilliam taking a major step forward once before. That mistake left them with the Sowell/Fant duo at LT last season. They cannot be planning on making the same bet again this year, can they?

Behind those two on the depth chart are a pair of complete unknowns. Ifedi was bad as a guard. He could be worse or better at tackle, but we don’t even know if he’s going to be moved outside yet.

Rees Odhiambo was a third-round pick a year ago, but he barely played last season. He was a healthy scratch almost every week until Gilliam was benched. After that he was the primary backup, but he only played a handful of snaps.

That’s all there is: 4 question marks and no sure things. Even the question marks aren’t particularly safe bets.

The only solution here is to sign a veteran starter. This is a bad year to try and draft a starter. Going cheep and hoping for a miracle like last season has too high a probability to end up with another Bradley Sowell as a starter. The team needs to be smarter than that.

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