I recently read that Baltimore cut their young, 26 year old safety/special teamer Jim Leonhard.
I obviously don't know the Ravens like I do our 'Hawks, but I did catch a few Raven's games this last season. I find that it is always fun watching the Baltimore defense play, they have a lot of talent on that side of the ball, and the reason I bring this up is due to the fact Leonhard definately stood out to me. He stood out among an exceptional defensive unit. Every game that I saw, Leonhard was absolutely flying around the field. Every play he was running in top gear and looked to be giving 100% effort on every play. He looks like a ball hawk and seemed to be in the right place at the right time. He also stood strong on critical plays, most importantly, on 3rd and long. He was targeted more than a few times and each time he worked the WR and kept him from catching the ball, or if they catch it, he closed quickly and made a sure tackle. I know this is exactly the type of player that the Seahawks would love on this new "relentless" defense of ours.
His 2008 stat line reads:
He started 14 games after starter Dawan Landry was injured and beat out the popular rookie Tom Zbikowski from Notre Dame.
69 tackles, 55 solo and 14 assists
6 pass deflections, 1 sack and 1 INT returned 35 yards for a TD
I say that is not too shabby for a guy competing for tackles against guys like Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, Terrell Suggs, Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle.
Not only is he a good safety in my opinion, but he was also a very solid punt returner for them, with 20 punt returns of 232 yards. That turns out to be a 11.6 yard average with a long of 46. I know we already have punt returners in Wilson, Forsett, Burleson, but it just goes to show the kid's versatility.
I personally think that he'd be an upgrade at safety in place of B Russ. I don't think he would necessarily be a long term answer at the position, but for right now, I think he would be an absolute perfect fit for our new defense. Plus he is only 26 and has a lot of upside. So he could always be improving. If we do end up drafting a safety of the future down the road, and he takes his place, we would then have a stellar backup safety who would really contribute in certain packages or on special teams kickoff coverage or being a gunner. I say we should take a look at him