Just for kicks, I decided to take a look at the various units on the Seahawks team and attempt to project how good, or bad, they may be in the upcoming season. I ranked the units based on their top-end potential as well as their low-end potential, and also how much confidence there was in predicting their performance. Here are the units that I ranked (in no particular order):
#9 - The Secondary
Potential Stars in 2010: Earl Thomas, Marcus Trufant, Josh Wilson
It's not unheard of for a rookie safety to come in and make an immediate impact. It's also not all that likely. Of all the players in the secondary, he clearly has the most upside potential next season. Trufant was a star before the injury-plagued 2009 season, so he certainly has the potential to return to form. Wilson has been an inconsistent playmaker, but a playmaker nonetheless. You never know when a guy like that might pop.
Potential Disasters: Earl Thomas, Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Josh Wilson, Jordan Babineaux
Oh boy. This is the part that drags this unit all the way down to #9 of 10 on the team. There is burnt toast potential all over the place. We've all seen Wilson and Jennings get burned for the past three years. Babs was uninspiring in his first season as a starter last year, and Tru was terrible in the games he played in after injury. Thomas will need to prove his famous instincts are as-advertised as he will face QBs that will look him off and make throws he's never had to defend before. I'll be shocked if we don't see him look silly more than a few times as he gets initiated into the NFL.
Easiest Players To Project: Lawyer Milloy, Jordan Babineaux, Josh Wilson, Kelly Jennings
Age is a concern for Babs and Milloy, but both players rely on guile as much as physical gifts to play, so the erosion of their performance should not be glaring. Wilson and Jennings are who we know there are: borderline NFL defensive backs that are strong 3rd-4th CBs with limited upside.
Limited upside and significant downside weigh this unit down for 2010. We are witnessing a transition period here where the safety position is clearly on the upswing with Thomas, Chancellor, Ellison and Adams possibly manning those spots for years to come. The cornerbacks picture is not as rosy, especially if Tru is not back to the player he was in 2008. Walter Thurmond holds promise, but is recovering from a serious injury and should not be counted on for this season. Outside of that, there is no story to tell around future prospects. Let's hope that pass rush is improved to help reduce the cover time needed for these guys.