Earl Thomas, Byron Maxwell lessen Seahawks' need for DB help

RENTON, Wash. -- As the second day of the NFL draft ended Friday night, in all likelihood so too did any chance of the Seattle Seahawks trading All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas.

They insist there wasn't much of a chance to begin with.

"It’s awesome," coach Pete Carroll said when asked what it means that Thomas remains a Seahawk after reports that he could be moved. "Earl’s a great football player. You may have looked [at it] like he wasn’t going to be here; we didn’t look at it like that. That’s been a lot of speculation on your guys’ end of this thing. We’ve been counting on Earl being here the whole time."

Then again, general manager John Schneider answered in the affirmative when asked if there were discussions about a possible Thomas trade Friday, though he added that nothing was close to happening and described it as a matter of the Seahawks simply doing their jobs by listening to potential offers. Instead, Seattle's only move on the second day of the draft was to take Southern California defensive end Rasheem Green in the third round.

If anything was going to happen with Thomas, who's entering the final year of his contract and is seeking a new deal, logic says it would have happened by Friday. Even if another team was still interested in him, the passing of the second round means that it could no longer offer the Seahawks the 2018 draft pick that they would presumably want at minimum.

"It's not even a topic," Carroll said when asked if Friday was indeed a deadline. "He's our guy."

So Thomas appears to be staying put at least for 2018 barring an unexpected turn.

Another significant development impacting Seattle's secondary came earlier Friday when ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Seahawks plan to re-sign cornerback Byron Maxwell to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million. That move fortified what might have been the thinnest position on Seattle's roster in terms of the top of the depth chart. Bringing back Maxwell doesn't necessarily mean the Seahawks won't draft a cornerback on Day 3, but it lessens the need to add one who's capable of stepping in right away.

The same goes for safety. The Seahawks could still draft one in a later round, but they're pretty well set there for now with Thomas likely not going anywhere and Bradley McDougald -- the likely replacement for Kam Chancellor at strong safety -- having re-signed this offseason. Seattle also has last year's draft picks, Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson, plus free-agent pickup Maurice Alexander.

And with the Seahawks addressing their major need for a pass-rusher by selecting Green, offense could be more of a focus over the final four rounds.

The Seahawks have eight picks remaining: a fourth-rounder (120), four fifth-rounders (141, 146, 156, 168), a sixth-rounder (186) and two in the seventh round (220, 226).

Here are four positions they may target:

Tight end. The Seahawks signed Ed Dickson after Jimmy Graham left in free agency. He's the projected starter. Nick Vannett and Tyrone Swoopes are the only other tight ends on the roster, and Swoopes is a converted quarterback who spent most of his rookie season last year on the practice squad. So it's a pretty thin position. Some of the top prospects still available: Miami's Chris Herndon, Indiana's Ian Thomas, Central Michigan's Tyler Conklin and Washington's Will Dissly. Dissly is considered one of the best blocking tight ends in this draft, so he'd be a nice fit for a team that's trying to get its running game back on track.

Offensive line. It surely surprised many observers that the Seahawks didn't take an offensive lineman with either of their first two picks. But the first two days of the draft seem to confirm the notion that the Seahawks feel confident that new line coach Mike Solari can get more out of the talent he has to work with -- three first-round picks and two second-rounders among the projected starting five -- than Tom Cable did. That said, Duane Brown will be 33 next season and has one year left on his contract, Germain Ifedi hasn't been nearly consistent enough in his two seasons and D.J. Fluker is on a one-year deal. So the Seahawks need to add some talent to the pipeline, even if they feel OK about what they have in their projected starters for 2018. Oregon's Tyrell Crosby and Washington State's Cole Madison are two of the top tackles still available.

Quarterback. Schneider talked recently about how he thinks Seattle hasn't done a good enough job of frequently adding quarterbacks to the pipeline the way his mentor, Ron Wolf, was known to do with the Packers. That suggests the Seahawks could take a quarterback even though they brought back Austin Davis -- last year's backup to Russell Wilson -- and also added Stephen Morris. Washington State's Luke Falk and Richmond's Kyle Lauletta are still on the board. If the Seahawks wanted to wait until closer to the end of the draft, Houston's Kyle Allen may be an option.

Linebacker. The Seahawks are set in terms of starters, and they have one of the NFL's best linebacker tandems in Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Free-agent addition Barkevious Mingo is projected to start next to them on the strong side, but he's another player on a one-year deal and there's a severe lack of depth behind them. So the Seahawks need some quality backups and some guys to play special teams. It wouldn't be a surprise if Seattle added more than one linebacker over the final four rounds. Shaquem Griffin is the biggest name of those that remain, and that would be a mega-popular pick in the Pacific Northwest as it would reunite him with his twin brother, Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin.