After main the NFL in sacks over the ultimate 10 weeks of final season, the Seattle Seahawks:
Think about sturdy security Jamal Adams (who set the NFL’s sack file for a defensive again with 9.5) in addition to different returning gamers, and the Seahawks are as deep off the sting as they have been since their 2013 Tremendous Bowl staff.
Nobody, nonetheless, will confuse their present group of cornerbacks for the Legion of Increase.
After taking stock of their offense final week, here is a position-by-position have a look at the Seahawks’ protection, with a verdict on whether or not every is healthier, worse or the identical as final season.
Higher, worse or the identical: Higher
Not less than on the sting. They downgraded at considered one of their beginning defensive sort out spots after releasing Reed under bizarre circumstances. Woods, in line to switch him on early downs, is 34 years previous, opted out of final season and is solely a run-stuffer.
Meaning the Seahawks want Ford to proceed to develop as a pass-rusher like he did final season. Taking part in Collier at sort out extra usually — Seattle’s larger defensive ends usually transfer inside in passing conditions — can be one other manner to assist make up for Reed’s absence. It might additionally make sense with a surplus on the sting in Dunlap, Mayowa, Hyder, Robinson, Inexperienced, Taylor and Smith — if he makes the staff. It is no positive factor given Smith’s minimum-salary contract (solely $137,500 in ensures) and his latest legal troubles.
The Seahawks need to handle Dunlap’s snaps to maintain the 32-year-old contemporary all through a 17-game season. Having a deep rotation of edge gamers will assist.
Robinson is a younger participant to look at. Final 12 months’s fifth-round choose completed second amongst rookies in sacks (4.0) and third in pressures (16) regardless of taking part in the Forty seventh-most defensive snaps (324), in response to ESPN Stats & Info analysis. There’s some thought throughout the group that he ought to have performed extra.
Higher, worse or the identical: The identical
That is the hardest place to name.
Will youthful, extra athletic and extra versatile imply higher? That is what the Seahawks are hoping by replacing Wright in their starting lineup with Taylor. However that is not a given contemplating they are going from Mr. Dependable to an unproven and inexperienced participant in Taylor, who spent his complete rookie season on the Non-Soccer Damage Listing.
That swap may make them higher if Taylor turns into a playmaking, pass-rushing risk like Irvin did when he began taking part in strong-side linebacker in 2013. It may make them worse if Taylor doesn’t stay healthy or would not make that transition in addition to Irvin. So we’ll break up the distinction for now and name it the identical.
Brooks, final 12 months’s first-round choose, may additionally make this group higher since he is in line to play greater than he did throughout his quietly sturdy rookie season.
Losses: Lano Hill
Higher, worse or the identical: The identical
There have been no notable modifications right here, with the Seahawks returning their high 5 safeties from final 12 months. Even then, there is a case to be made that this group is healthier by advantage of Adams being wholesome after he dealt with one injury after another final season, together with one to his groin that sidelined him for 4 video games.
Blair’s return from a torn ACL may additionally make this group higher relying on how near high type he can get coming off a torn ACL. He seemed like a breakout candidate till he obtained harm in Week 2. The silver lining in taking place so early is that Blair is on monitor to be prepared nicely forward of this 12 months’s opener. He and Amadi are anticipated to deal with nickelback duties once more.
Higher, worse or the identical: Worse
The Seahawks do not remorse letting Griffin stroll for a three-year, $40 million cope with the Jaguars, believing they’d have needed to overpay to maintain him. However they know that his departure leaves cornerback as their iffiest place group.
They recognized Witherspoon as their high goal in free company in the event that they needed to substitute Griffin, then signed him to a one-year, $4 million deal. He appears the a part of a protracted, athletic Seahawks nook however was up and down over 4 seasons with the 49ers. There is a cause he obtained paid a fraction of what Griffin did in free company.
Witherspoon and Reed appear to be the almost definitely candidates to start out on the surface. There’s sufficient expertise between these two and sufficient high quality depth behind them. However there is not an apparent blue-chip participant within the group.