Silvi: Seahawks priorities should start at running back

Everyone is going to point to the offensive line, but the Seahawks need to get back in the running back business and they're not going to get there with the group they have now.

It's been a week of postmortem for the Seahawks. We've talked about the good, the bad and the ugly, but what about the needy?

Anyone who follows the team knows the Hawks' biggest position of need is the offensive line. That's too easy -- 80 percent of the NFL has the same problem.

Let's dial that in a little further. A good running back can mask some of the shortcomings of an offensive line.

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That's where the Seahawks need to put their focus in the offseason. It's time.

The value of running backs is on the rise in the NFL. We've seen the importance of the Rams' Todd Gurley, the Steelers' Le'Veon Bell, and the Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott to their teams. Chiefs rookie Kareem Hunt also led the league in rushing this season.

The Seahawks need to be in this type of discussion next year at this time and they're not going to get there with the group they have now. Clear it out and make room for an absolute rebuild starting with a thoroughbred.

The list of free agent running backs is less than impressive, although 49ers running back Carlos Hyde could be intriguing. At six feet tall, 235 pounds, he fits the big back mold Pete Carroll prefers in his top runner. Hyde rushed for 940 yards this season, including 124 against a healthy Hawks defense week two.

Frank Gore is also a free agent. I'm not suggesting the Hawks sign Gore, but let's take a moment to pay this man some respect. At 34 years old, he finished 12th in the NFL in rushing this season with 961 yards. He ranks fifth all-time with 14,026 yards, just 75 yards shy of fourth place Curtis Martin. When he passes Martin next season, Gore will trail three legends -- Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and the all-time leader Emmitt Smith. Oh, and Gore hasn't missed a game in seven seasons -- a streak of durability the Seahawks would love to have had at that position.

All right, back to reality.

I'd rather see the Hawks get a top-flight running back in the draft. In 2016, they drafted three running backs. Two are no longer with the team (see Alex Collins, Ravens) and the other one saw more action this season performing on CJ's Corner where he appeared 23 times during The 5th Quarter, which happened to match his total rushing yards for the season -- 23.

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Fortunately for the Seahawks, this year's draft is a deep one for running backs.

As it stands, the Hawks have the 18th pick in the first round but don't have another pick until the fourth. Knowing the Hawks' draft history, they'll likely trade their first round pick for a couple of picks, including a second rounder. That's where they need to get their running back. Alabama's Damien Harris, Oregon's Royce Freeman, and Georgia's Nick Chub are all big backs who are ranked no higher than 50th on several lists of NFL draft prospects.

Like I said, it's time.

Since 2002, the Seahawks have drafted only one running back as high as the second round. They reached on Christine Michael out of Texas A&M back in 2013, when the talent pool of running backs was very shallow.

That's far from the case this year.

There are big backs available, small backs and fast backs.

Either way, It's time to get back in the running back business.