Looking at the Seahawks’ draft needs: tight end

With the NFL Scouting Combine kicking off this week in Indianapolis, it’s time to take a look at the Seahawks’ roster and see where they might be looking to add talent. Like any good team, the Seahawks will tell you they don’t draft strictly by need, but the current roster does influence how general manager John Schneider and his scouting department put together a draft board. Not every need will be filled in the draft—free agency is coming up in March—but the draft remains the single most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to building a roster, which is why last month’s Senior Bowl, this week’s combine and all the other elements of draft preparation are so important for the Seahawks and every team in the league.

Throughout this week, we’ll look at where the Seahawks stand at each position prior to the draft and free agency.

Tight end

Level of need: Potentially high depending on a few offseason decisions.

Why: On one hand, the Seahawks could be in pretty good shape with a tight end group of Zach Miller and Luke Willson—both of whom are under contract—and a competition for a third and maybe fourth tight end spot between Cooper Helfet, Tony Moeaki and/or Anthony McCoy, the latter two both being free agents who could be re-signed at a reasonable price.

But with Miller counting $3.39 towards the cap in 2015, there are some who think the Seahawks may move on and look for cheaper options. And if that happened, or if Moeaki signs elsewhere, or if McCoy can’t return to his 2012 form after a pair of Achilles injuries, then the Seahawks will really need to address this position in the draft, and perhaps in free agency as well. The Seahawks have a very high opinion of what Miller brings to the offense—both Pete Carroll and Tom Cable rave about Miller every time they’re given an opportunity—so my hunch is he is back, but even if that’s the case, the 29-year-old is heading into the final year of the restructured deal he signed following the 2013 season, so this draft could be a good time to look towards the future.

Top players available*:

1. Maxx Williams, Minnesota

2. Clive Walford, Miami (Fla.)

3. Nick O’Leary, Florida State

4. Tyler Kroft, Rutgers

5. Ben Koyack, Notre Dame

*—According to the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, who knows a lot more about this stuff than I do.

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