Seahawks ranked second in ESPN’s Future Rankings

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14: Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll looks on against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14: Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll looks on against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks received begrudging praise from the national sports media world this week when ESPN ranked them second in the NFL behind the New England Patriots in their “Future Power Rankings.”

The Seahawks, by virtue of their drafting and shrewd free agent signings, came in second in ESPN’s “Future Power Rankings” this week. If you’re an ESPN “Insider,” you can look at the three-year outlook of all 32 NFL teams.

The Seahawks are indeed well-positioned to remain one of the NFL’s top teams so long as the General Manager-Head Coach-quarterback team of John Schneider, Pete Carroll, and Russell Wilson remains intact in Seattle.

The Seahawks have the Quarterback of the Present and Future

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 13: Host Russell Wilson participates in a competition during Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards 2017 at Pauley Pavilion on July 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

In addition to the coaching and the front office situations of each NFL team, the Future Rankings also examined each team’s quarterback situation. Wilson about to enter the prime of his career having already won one Super Bowl, appeared in two, and set a new franchise record for passing yards gives the Seahawks a high ranking for QB situation.

The only thing that slowed Wilson last season was a porous offensive line, of course. If the line improves even a little in 2017, and Wilson gets a couple more seconds to throw, the sky’s the limit for the Seahawks passing game for the next three seasons at least.

Seahawks Coaching and Front Office

The Seahawks got high marks for Schneider’s abilities as GM to evaluate talent, to get excellent value for their mid-to-late round draft picks, and to make smart free agent signings like defensive stalwarts Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. New free agent acquisition Bradley McDougald could be a key player for the Seahawks defense this year as well.

Schneider remains one of the best at stacking his team with talent at all positions and could only be criticized for his approach to building the offensive line. The 2015 and 2016 Seahawks had offensive lines so bad that they kept an otherwise loaded team from the NFC Championship game twice.

But at almost every other position, the Seahawks have among the best groups in the league. The coaching staff of Pete Carroll can be hailed as creating a positive yet competitive culture that brings out the best of its participants. Can his supporting staff be trusted?

SEATTLE, WA – JANUARY 07: Earl Thomas /

The jury is still out on defensive coordinator Kris Richard, who used most of the same players and strategy as current Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. When Earl Thomas broke his leg last season, however, Richard failed to adjust–a tall order–but Richard’s remaining defense was no match for Atlanta in last season’s Divisional Round game.

Tom Cable, in six seasons with the Seahawks, has managed to put together successful offensive lines. Russell Okung, when healthy, was indeed a good left tackle. Cable built around Okung, and created a decent offensive line for the Super Bowl Champion 2013 Seahawks. Since then, players have left for lucrative deals elsewhere. Breno Giacomini, J.R. Sweezy, and Okung are a few.

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What Cable was left with was a former power forward in George Fant, a decent guard-turned center in Justin Britt, and either inexperienced (Germain Ifedi) or ineffective (Garry Gilliam, Mark Glowinski) fill-ins. 2017 will be a telling season for Cable, who will have Ethan Pocic and Luke Joeckel to work with, adding to possibly the most talented line he’s had to coach in years.

Whether or not you believe in Carroll’s brain trust on the sidelines, it’s undeniable that the Seahawks have consistently been one of the best teams in the league over the past five seasons. The only team better, of course, has been ESPN’s top-ranked future team: New England. Super Bowl rematch, anyone?

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It will be fun watching this Seahawks regime continue this renewed Golden Age of Seattle football over the next three seasons and beyond.