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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

June 23, 2009 at 3:38 PM

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The Seahawks power rankings

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The 15 most important Seahawks to the upcoming season:

1.Matt HasselbeckCan't split hairs with baldy. He's the single most important person.
2.Patrick KerneySince he arrived in 2007, Seattle averaged 2.8 sacks when he plays, 1.8 when he doesn't.
3.Walter JonesHe has been the gold standard at left tackle for nearly a decade now. Will he be back to Pro Bowl form after microfracture surgery?
4.T.J. HoushmandzadehTim Ruskell has been GM for four years, Houshmandzadeh is the third high-priced veteran receiver the Seahawks have signed.
5.Lofa TatupuOverlooked and underestimated coming out of high school and entering the NFL Draft, how does he bounce back from his first NFL season that could be characterized as a disappointment?
6.John CarlsonLed the team in receptions as a rookie, and if you're looking for a breakout Pro Bowler this season, he might be it.
7.Sean LocklearThe Seahawks re-signed him in 2008 with the hope he would be Walter Jones' successor at left tackle, but he sure didn't look like someone ready for that role last season.
8.Marcus TrufantThis corner is the most stable piece of the secondary. Can he return to the Pro Bowl form of 2007?
9.Brandon MebaneWith a shift to full-time three-technique, he's the potential breakout star on Seattle's defensive line.
10.Julius JonesHe was signed in 2008 with an eye toward the eventual transition to Greg Knapp's offense. After splitting time with Maurice Morris, can Jones show why the Seahawks thought he'd be a good fit?
11.Aaron CurryPerhaps he should be higher, but he is the safest rookie in the league, someone who is expected to be good and who will be good.
12.Ken LucasThe most significant addition to secondary that allowed more passing yards than any time last season.
13.Brian RussellSome were surprised Seattle didn't upgrade at this spot on defense. Can Russell reward that faith?
14.Deon ButlerIt's Butler -- not Branch -- who is most likely to be the X factor for the offense this year.
15.Lawrence JacksonAs a rookie, Jackson never provided the pass-rush presence the Seahawks wanted. Can he get his motor revving higher as a sophomore?
16.Max UngerA flexible player who provides insurance at left guard as Mike Wahle comes back from shoulder surgery and who could press Chris Spencer for playing time at center.


Note: The original version of this omitted No. 6 John Carlson due to formatting error in the HTML table. Thanks to the readers who pointed out his sizeable absence.

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