Another Seattle Seahawks linebacker is heading to the Big Easy. David Hawthorne agreed to join the New Orleans Saints with a 5 year deal. He lead the Seahawks in tackles the last 3 seasons. He will be joining ex-Seahawk Lofa Tatupu in New Orleans.
With another linebacker definitely out of the picture now and not much left in free agency, the Seahawks are going to have to make a scramble to gather linebackers.
It affects everything the Seahawks do until the draft is over. How does this change their strategy?
Holes to fill
With Hawthorne signing elsewhere, there is one less linebacker for the Seahawks to chase or continue to chase. Seattle needs to bring in another starter or two as most of the linebackers on the roster are practice squad or special teams guys currently.
They are making a strong effort to re-sign Leroy Hill right now, too.
Free agency leaves more to be desired in the linebacker position at this stage although knowing Pete Carroll and John Schneider, they’ll find a gem somewhere.
If the Seahawks think they can develop a couple of these guys and start them, then so be it. But I see a giant hole at linebacker that needs to be filled.
How it affects the draft
This could change the Seahawks draft, too. With the needs for most likely multiple linebackers, the team may have to burn their top draft picks on the position.
This would throw out the option to grab Guard David DeCastro or Defensive Ends Quinton Coples, Nick Perry, Andre Branch, Whitney Mercilus.
If by miracle Trent Richardson dropped to 12, the Seahawks still couldn’t afford not to draft a linebacker.
The top linebacker in the draft is arguable, but I would go all in on Boston College’s Luke Kuechly.
To sum him up in 2 words: Brian Urlacher.
He’s not a pass rushing guy at all.
He just likes to go out and hit people. Hard.
Last season, he had an astounding 191 tackles. He had 532 in his 3 year career at BC.
In 2011, Kuechly won 4 major awards including Best Linebacker and Defensive Player of the Year.
Depending on how things go with Leroy Hill and the free agency moves they make by draft day, the Seahawks could be looking for more than just Kuechly.
By the way, a final thought on David Hawthorne. Pure class till the end.