When the Seattle Seahawks begin organized team activities later this month, one of the main topics of conversation surrounding the team will be the state of the offensive line.
Going back to 2010, when general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll took over, the Seahawks have drafted a total of 16 offensive linemen, more than any other team in the NFL.
In terms of spending, the Seahawks have $15.59 million committed to the offensive line for 2017. That's the lowest figure in the league. But the idea that the organization has ignored the offensive line is misleading. The approach has been to draft and develop. The problem is, the Seahawks haven't been successful in doing that.
"I think we completely the understand the importance of the position," Schneider said during the draft. "We’ve just made what we think are the appropriate decisions in managing our cap along the way and trying not to overspend at certain positions. It just so happens that we’ve had Pro Bowl, top-five guys on defense, and we ended up trying to keep those guys."
The Seahawks have a more competitive group than they had last season, but whether they've done enough to provide a true upgrade remains to be seen.
Below is a look at where things stand with possible starters at each spot.
The Seahawks gave Joeckel a one-year, $8 million deal, and it sounds as though he'll get a shot to start at left tackle. If Fant, who made the team in 2016 as an undrafted free agent, makes a big leap from his first to second season, he could compete there. But Carroll has said it could be beneficial for Fant to serve a backup role. Odhiambo is probably better suited to play guard, but he's expected to get a look at tackle.
Left guard: Mark Glowinski, Joeckel, Odhiambo
Glowinski was the starter here last season, and the coaches expect him to continue to improve. If Fant looks like the best option at left tackle, Joeckel will probably slide inside to left guard. Odhiambo will get a chance to earn a spot.
Center: Justin Britt
Even though the Seahawks drafted Pocic in the second round, Britt is expected to be the starter here. He was the Seahawks' best offensive lineman last season but is entering the final year of his contract.
Right guard: Pocic, Glowinski, Aboushi, Germain Ifedi
Ifedi started here last season, but he is expected to get a long look at right tackle. Glowinski is an option at either guard spot. Aboushi and Pocic will compete for playing time here as well.
Right tackle: Ifedi, Pocic
When the Seahawks drafted Ifedi, they expected him to play right tackle. Their hope is that he'll play well enough in the spring and summer to stick there. If Pocic looks like the better option, though, Ifedi could move back to guard.
There's still plenty to be decided, but the best guess for the starters as of May 4, from left to right, is Joeckel, Glowinski, Britt, Pocic and Ifedi.
The Seahawks have made only five first-round picks under Carroll and Schneider, and three of those have been used on the offensive line.
None of the offensive linemen drafted by the current regime has received a second contract with the team, although that could change if Britt gets an extension this offseason.
In the past two drafts alone, the Seahawks have taken five offensive linemen, three in the first three rounds. They'll continue to explore other alternatives, as they did with Lang in free agency, but the central philosophy of trying to draft and develop players up front is not going to change.