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Seattle Seahawks bolster defense, still must protect Russell Wilson

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Seahawks accomplish their draft goal with DB's (0:56)

Sheil Kapadia explains why Seattle drafted four defensive backs in order to add young talent and depth to the Legion of Boom. (0:56)

Biggest post-draft questions still to be answered by the Seattle Seahawks:

Have they done enough to upgrade the offensive line? The Seahawks used two of their 11 draft picks on offensive linemen -- selecting LSU's Ethan Pocic in the second round and Mississippi State tackle Justin Senior in the sixth. Pocic played center last season, but the Seahawks will look at him at guard and tackle.

In free agency, Seattle added Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi. The Seahawks are counting on young players such as Germain Ifedi, Mark Glowinski, George Fant and Rees Odhiambo to improve.

This is still one of the more talented rosters in the NFL, but the biggest question going into 2017 will once again be whether the Seahawks can protect Russell Wilson. The offensive line group is deeper and more competitive than last year's unit, but it still must prove itself.

Can Malik McDowell be an impact player in his first season? General manager John Schneider admitted that the criticisms of McDowell's motor last season at Michigan State were fair.

"I think he would tell you that there were a couple games he would want back," Schneider said. "But from a motor standpoint, he knows that he needs to keep going, and those are part of the discussions we had with him when he visited."

McDowell had just 1.5 sacks in 2016 with the Spartans. He doesn't need to start as a rookie, but the Seahawks will be counting on him to provide some interior pass rush. Pete Carroll is confident his coaching staff can help McDowell reach his potential. It'll be interesting to see what he's able to give them in Year 1.

Are the Seahawks better equipped to handle significant injuries on defense? Without Earl Thomas last season, the Seahawks' defense allowed 12 touchdowns with one interception. It's clear that they wanted to upgrade secondary depth this offseason. At safety, they signed Bradley McDougald and drafted Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson. They drafted four defensive backs overall.

Seattle used two picks in the first three rounds on the defensive line and made several moves at linebacker in free agency. Prior to 2016, one key to the Seahawks' success was durability with Wilson, Thomas and Richard Sherman. But injuries happen, and on paper, the Seahawks appear to have given themselves more options should a key player go down in 2017.

What's the plan at cornerback? The draft came and went without a Sherman trade. His relationship with the team will be an ongoing storyline, and this summer, the Seahawks will need to come up with a plan for the right-cornerback spot.

Last season's starter, DeShawn Shead, is coming off a significant knee injury and is not expected to be ready in Week 1. Jeremy Lane is a candidate, but he could be better suited for the nickel spot.

In the third round, Seattle selected cornerback Shaquill Griffin out of Central Florida. He has the size and athleticism to start on the outside. But Griffin will have to earn the job this summer.

Sixth-round pick Mike Tyson played safety and nickel at Cincinnati, but the Seahawks will first give him a look at corner. And Carroll seemed particularly intrigued by Hill as a possible candidate at corner.

There could be a lot of moving parts with the defensive backs this spring and summer.

Can the Seahawks get their run game back on track? Seattle's running backs averaged just 3.9 YPC last season (24th in the NFL). This draft featured a talented group of ball carriers, but the Seahawks did not select one until their final pick (Chris Carson from Oklahoma State). They'll lean on Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise.

Carroll wants the Seahawks to regain their offensive identity and find more balance than they had last year. Having a healthy Wilson will certainly help, and Seattle clearly felt confident enough in its existing group of ball-carriers to not select a running back earlier.