On The Clock: Seahawks
It's only fitting that we save the best for last. The champion Seahawks have the 32nd pick of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and they are the 32nd team we're putting On The Clock in our countdown to Draft Day.
Too often, defending Super Bowl champions are regarded almost an afterthought in the draft after their title. It's as if fans look at them and see a finished product.
But that's not how the teams view themselves. The first thing Bill Belichick would tell his team every season was that they've won nothing. There was no Super Bowl to defend, because the team that had won the Super Bowl was not the one starting the season anew.
Seattle surely doesn't see itself as set in stone. The Seahawks saw Golden Tate leave for Detroit, and Clinton McDonald for Tampa Bay, and Walter Thurmond for the Giants. They lost two defensive ends, Red Bryant and Chris Clemons, to the Jaguars, and starting right tackle Breno Giacomini to the Jets.
This is not the same Seahawks team that won Super Bowl XLVIII. It's a reasonable replica, but John Schneider and Pete Carroll know you don't carry a winning hand from one season to the next. Nobody has repeated as Super Bowl champs in a decade. This year's Seahawks might not even be favored to win their division again.
Which is way the upcoming draft is as important to Seahawks as to the 31 other teams who are focused more on winning the next Super Bowl than who won the last one.