Seahawks have options to replace nose tackle Brandon Mebane

The Seattle Seahawks lost starting nose tackle Brandon Mebane to the San Diego Chargers on Wednesday.

Mebane started 125 games in nine seasons in Seattle and has been a valuable, run-stuffing nose tackle. The 31-year-old played 49.1 percent of the Seahawks' snaps last year and was a key cog in their run defense, which limited opponents to 3.6 yards per carry.

So where do the Seahawks go from here?

On the current roster, the most logical replacement would be Jordan Hill. The former third-round pick missed six games last season, but if healthy will certainly be in the mix. When Mebane missed the Seahawks' fourth game of the season in 2015, Hill replaced him in the starting lineup. A.J. Francis doesn't have a lot of experience, but he'll be back with the team and could be an option as well.

As for free agents, there are still several defensive tackles on the market. The Seahawks had reportedly shown interest in Cedric Thornton, and he could compete for the starting job. Guys such as Jaye Howard, Akiem Hicks and Nick Fairley would probably cost more than the Seahawks are willing to spend.

Tony McDaniel and Sealver Siliga have both spent time with the organization and are familiar with the Seahawks' scheme and coaching staff.

In other words, there are options.

The guess here is that the Seahawks will not be aggressive in replacing Mebane. More likely, they will see how the market plays out and look for value picks. It's also worth mentioning that the defensive line group of college prospects is considered one of the strongest in recent memory.

Mebane often flew under the radar, but he was a valuable part of the Seahawks' defense for years. Pete Carroll believes good defense starts with stopping the run and limiting plays over the top. The Seahawks will now look for a defensive tackle to line up next to Ahtyba Rubin, take up space and chase opposing ball-carriers.