Seahawks Camp Preview: Safety

"They were very straightforward," Adams said of the Seahawks. "Their numbers are down at safety and they have two legitimate starters. The third position is wide open.

When you're a prospect, "wide open" is a great way to look at it. When you're an analyst, "vacant" is a more accurate. Seattle enters camp without a true second string safety. Mike Green is awaiting a long overdue cut. Omare Lowe is probably pretty happy for the 34 game checks he's "earned". Jordan Babineaux is sort of a universal second string DB, but I'm sure Seattle would prefer a dedicated safety. Maybe even one with a future.

C.J. Wallace

Wallace has a lot of pop, and if the team needed a lane clogging strong safety, he'd be a good fit for the assignment. But Wallace, like the two safeties Seattle shed in 2007, Ken Hamlin and particularly Michael Boulware, is often clueless in coverage. He bites on play action, freelances, and gets bored or complacent in deep zones. Worse,  Wallace doesn't have the speed or agility to recover. On a team that emphasizes disciplined pass coverage over everything, it's difficult to see Wallace being promoted from special teams. He's fun to watch in the preseason and I think he's got a shot to bounce around the league for awhile, but a longshot to earn even second string status.

Jamar Adams

The best pure talent of the non-starting safeties, Adams fell out of the draft in part because of a poor 40. It used to be that safeties who posted a 4.59/40 were thought fast - and by used to I mean 5 years ago. No longer, not in a league stacked with superstar safeties like Laron Landry (4.35), Troy Polamalu (4.40) and Bob Sanders (4.35). It's a bit of a silly distinction. Adams may never be great like Sanders or possess the omnipresence of a Polamalu, but quick reactions, good angles and adequate speed can make a damn good safety. That's Adams, plus a little pop. Day one of the Senior Week, Adams blew up Owen Schmitt during a 7on 7 drill. Afterwards, he seemed happiest about simply executing the play as designed.

"We had just put in that coverage," Adams said. "The thing I was happy about was I executed the coverage like I was supposed to. You want things like that, especially as a safety.

Rookie DBs are nothing if not mistake prone, and fans shouldn't cringe if Adams takes his licks this preseason, but from his football intelligence, to his skill-set, to his 32 starts at Michigan, to his attitude towards the game, Adams looks like the best kind of Tim Ruskell pick.

Kelin Johnson

Like Adams, Johnson is a 2 year starter and 4 year contributor for a major college program, Georgia. Unlike Adams, it wasn't too surprising when Johnson wasn't drafted. Johnson was never a huge standout at Georgia, and scouts saw a small DB without much speed. He's a small 6'0", small frame, lean; the greatest obstacle between Johnson and the NFL was ever getting a chance. He doesn't look like a pro, but if you watch him play, there's a lot to like. I first noticed him while scouting Vanderbilt offensive tackle Chris Williams. Johnson is disciplined in the deep zone. He's opportunistic, and has a good sense of the field around him and where the ball is. Despite his timed speed, he's a very quick downhill runner with a lot of agility. He plays fearless, and injuries are a concern. On blitzes, he's much more likely to pressure than sack, and given the ease that college backs had blocking him, he's probably strictly a decoy in the NFL. Better yet, he just shouldn't blitz. Still, he's heady and polished and should Brian Russell miss time, probably the Hawk, excluding Deon Grant and Jordan Babineaux, best capable of fulfilling Russell's free safety/phantom DB position. That is, should he prove pro capable and stick, two things very much in the air.

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