On the Clock: Seattle Seahawks

Over the next month, "SportsCenter" will put every NFL team "On The Clock." Scouts Inc. will break down each team and look at what questions still need answering. The Seahawks are up now.

After struggling most of the 2006 regular season, the Seahawks were one defensive stop from advancing to the NFC Championship Game. They have been active this offseason, as they try to hold on to the top spot in what is now becoming an extremely competitive NFC West. Seattle should be fine on offense. QB Matt Hasselbeck and RB Shaun Alexander are among the best in the NFL at their positions. Both players missed numerous games with injuries in 2006. WR Deion Branch is not a No.1 receiver, but he is Seattle's go-to-guy and should have a better season in 2007 now that he will have an offseason to get acclimated to the West Coast offense.

Seattle also has a ton of talent on defense but underachieved last season, finishing with the 19th-ranked defense in the NFL. The Seahawks are going to perform on offense. How the stars perform on defense will determine their fate in 2007.

Key additions
The Seahawks' defense was one of the most underachieving units in the NFL in 2006. Not surprisingly, the front office has focused most of its attention on that side of the ball. The most talked about signing has been the addition of former Atlanta DE Patrick Kerney. Unfortunately, the signing of Kerney looks eerily similar to the signing of Grant Wistrom three years ago. Since his 13-sack season in 2004, Kerney has totaled 11 sacks the past two seasons. The better additions occurred at safety. Seattle added SS Brian Russell (Cleveland) and FS Deon Grant (Jacksonville). Russell is a born leader. The most important thing he brings to the table is the ability to get everyone lined up properly. He is also a player who can play in the box or the deep half of the field. Grant is a big safety with very good range. He can cover a lot of ground from the middle of the field to the sideline. The additions at safety are huge for this team, as former starters Ken Hamlin and Michael Boulware were caught out of position way too often in 2006.

Key losses
Wistrom's depature won't be major because of Kerney's arrival. Both were overrated players when they hit the free-agent market, but at least Kerney is younger. The team didn't bring back Hamlin, but added two safeties this offseason. TE Jerramy Stevens will not be back because the team has grown tired of his off-the-field problems, marginal work ethic and dropped passes.

Remaining questions
The biggest issue the Seahawks need to settle is their offensive line. The starting interior of the line that took them to the Super Bowl two years ago is gone. Steve Hutchinson left after last season in free agency. Guard Chris Gray is 36 years old and also seems unlikely to return. As of today, left guard Rob Sims, center Chris Spencer and right guard Ray Willis are slated to be the starters. The Seahawks need some depth along the offensive line in case there players don't perform up to expectations.