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2015 NFL Draft Preview: Offensive Line

Will the Seahawks use this year's draft to find a replacement for center Max Unger or left guard James Carpenter?

Leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, which is set to take place from April 30 - May 2 in Chicago, Ill., will take a position-by-position look at this year's top prospects.

Along the way, we'll rehash the team's past draft picks at each position under Executive VP/General Manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll and also provide an outline of where the team currently stands at each spot.

Seattle owns 11 selections in this year's draft - one in the second round (No. 63 overall), one in the third (No. 95), three in the fourth (Nos. 112, 130 & 134), two in the fifth (Nos. 167 & 170), three in the sixth (Nos. 181, 209 & 214), and one in the seventh (No. 248).

Our draft preview series kicks off today with the offensive line, a group that's garnered more than 70 percent of the vote on our homepage poll asking readers which position they would like to see the Seahawks target with their first pick.

Draft History (Under Schneider & Carroll)

T Russell Okung (No. 6 overall, 2010), G James Carpenter* (No. 25, 2011), G John Moffitt* (No. 75, 2011), G J.R. Sweezy (No. 225, 2012), G Ryan Seymour* (No. 220, 2013), G Jared Smith* (No. 241, 2013), T Michael Bowie* (No. 242, 2013), T Justin Britt (No. 64, 2014), T Garrett Scott* (No. 199, 2014)

* signifies a player no longer with the team

Where The Seahawks Stand

The Seahawks lost starting center Max Unger to the New Orleans Saints as part of the trade that landed Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham. Left guard James Carpenter, who started 13 games last season, signed with the New York Jets in free agency.

Head coach Pete Carroll has said third-year pro Alvin Bailey, who started five games for Seattle last year, would be the starter at left guard should the Seahawks line up and play a game right now. But Carroll has also called this year's draft class a good one for O-linemen, meaning Bailey could see some fresh competition at the spot come training camp.

Patrick Lewis (four starts) and Stephen Schilling (three starts) filled in at center for an injured Unger last year. But the former Bellevue High School standout Schilling has since retired from football, leaving Lewis as one of two players the team currently lists at center. Jared Wheeler, a depth-signing of the club's this past February, is the other.

Outside of Bailey, Lewis, Wheeler, and projected starters Okung (left tackle), Sweezy (right guard), and Britt (right tackle), the team has guards C.J. Davis, Nate Isles, Keavon Milton, Drew Nowak, and Justin Renfrow, as well as tackle Garry Gilliam under contract this season.

NFL Media Draft Analyst Mike Mayock shares his top five interior offensive linemen set to enter this year's draft.  

NFL Media Draft Expert Mike Mayock's Top 5 Interior Offensive Linemen

1. Brandon Scherff, Iowa, 6-5, 319 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 1

Bottom Line (via Like former Hawkeye Riley Reiff, Scherff has measurables and traits to play tackle in the league but might be better suited to play guard. More powerful than explosive, Scherff is not a scheme-specific talent and can maul or move in run game. Road-grader with pancake-man potential, but has holes in his pass protection that will be exposed on the next level -- especially at tackle.

2. Cameron Erving, Florida State, 6-5, 313 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 2

Bottom Line (via Former defensive lineman who is still learning the nuances of offensive-line play after just two seasons as a starter. Has the length and foot quickness to play tackle, but film work shows that he will have a much more successful career at center. Possesses skill set and temperament to show rapid development. Could be a Day 1 starter, but a year of seasoning would help.

3. Laken Tomlinson, Duke, 6-3, 323 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 2

Bottom Line (via Tomlinson has treated defenders like a squat rep at times, but getting defenders centered and jacked will be tougher in the NFL. His lack of athleticism is a major concern and will cause problems winning initial engagements as defenders will get into him first. What Tomlinson lacks in second-level ability he makes up for in straight-ahead power and an ability to stalemate power players. His success in the NFL could be predicated on scheme and landing spot.

4. A.J. Cann, South Carolina, 6-3, 313 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 2

Bottom Line (via Consistent four-year starter for the Gamecocks. He has technique issues that need to be coached up in pass protection, but he also has the talent to improve in that area. Powerful drive-blocker who uses leverage to fire out and generate instant movement in tight spaces. He is best-suited to a power scheme. Cann has the plug-and-play traits that could make him an instant starter.

5. Tre' Jackson, Florida State, 6-4, 330 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 2 or 3

Bottom Line (via Three-year starter on a line full of wide-bodies, Jackson entered the 2014 season as one of the top-rated guard prospects, but failed to distinguish himself. Has the talent to be a dependable, quality NFL starter, but he needs to work on weight and conditioning in order to improve his feet and reach his potential.

NFL Media Draft Analyst Mike Mayock shares his top five offensive tackles set to enter this year's draft.  

NFL Media Draft Expert Mike Mayock's Top 5 Offensive Tackles

1. La'el Collins, LSU, 6-4, 305 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 1

Bottom Line (via Brawling right tackle or guard prospect in the NFL who has had a level of success in hyper-competitive SEC West. Lacks athleticism to be a consistent left tackle, despite his snaps there in college. Collins plays with a mean streak that is evident in every game, and could come in and start right away in a power-running game as a guard.

2. Ereck Flowers, Miami (Fla.), 6-6, 329 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 1 or 2

Bottom Line (via Flowers has good size and short area foot quickness, but he also features some lower body tightness and struggles to get proper depth quickly to consistently meet edge rushers. Some of Flowers' pass protection issue may be difficult to overcome. On the hand, his strength as a run blocker and ability to uproot his man and get them turned is undeniable. Flowers may be drafted as a tackle, but his best position could end up being as a guard where I would put a draft grade on him of 6.12.

3. D.J. Humphries, Florida, 6-5, 307 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 1

Bottom Line (via An elite-level tackle when he exited the high school ranks, Humphries relies on his superior athleticism and fist-fight mentality rather than an improved skill set and steady technique. He might always have an issue with being a leaner, but his hand placement should improve with more work and coaching. When he improves in that area, he could become a solid NFL starter on the left side.

4. Andrus Peat, Stanford, 6-7, 313 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 1

Bottom Line (via Big and powerful with a right tackle's play strength and demeanor, but enough foot quickness to protect on the left side. Peat has the physical tools to be an upper-echelon run blocker with pass-protection ability, but he needs to improve his technique in order to protect with consistency. Peat has been well-coached and is one of the most game-ready offensive linemen in this year's draft.

T-5. T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh, 6-5, 309 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 1

Bottom Line (via Clemmings played high school basketball and was a late switch to the offensive tackle position in college. There are holes in his protection technique and he must learn to trust his feet. Clemmings will continue to learn the position and improve. He has the physical traits to become a Pro Bowl left tackle if he can handle the move to that side. Confidence could become an issue with his pass protection unless he develops selective amnesia when beaten.

T-5. Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M, 6-5, 306 lbs

Draft Projection (via Round 1 or 2

Bottom Line (via NFL evaluators are very worried about Ogbuehi's core strength and ability to anchor in pass protection, but some of his anchor issues could be improved with technique work -- especially where his hands are concerned. He should be a plus run blocker, especially on stretch plays, but needs to add strength and work on technique if he is to reach his play potential. Ogbuehi's bowl-game injury could hurt his draft standing, but his traits and potential might be able to keep him in the first round.

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