According to a tweet by Jason Cole, the Seahawks join the Niners, Eagles, Jaguars, and Browns as one of a growing list of suitors currently vying for the services of veteran free agent defensive tackle Desmond Bryant.
Bryant, 27, would bring an element of pass rush to the Seahawks' defensive line and at 6'6, 311, really has that 'unique' length that this front office covets in players. NFL.com ranks Bryant at #35 on their Top-85 free agents, noting "His recent arrest notwithstanding, Bryant is a massive man with a lot of unharnessed talent."; CBS ranks him at #20; NFP ranked him #29 (prior to franchise tags) and said "The 6-6, 311-pounder out of Harvard recorded a career-best 36 tackles in 2012 and has amassed 9.0 sacks over the last two years, despite starting just 18 games. Throw in the fact that Bryant graded out as the sixth-best defensive tackle in 2012, according to Pro Football Focus."
Rotoworld's Evan Silva ranked Bryant #15 among free agents and projected that he'd end up in Seattle on a 5-year, $20M deal, which seems very reasonable. Silva wrote that "Bryant is long and athletic at 6-foot-6, 300 with a relentless motor and versatile tools. He's been an effective starter both at three-technique tackle and right end. Pass rusher and run stuffer alike, Bryant might be this year's most underrated free agent. He's the defender the Seahawks wanted when they signed Jason Jones last March."
NFLosophy, an anonymous former NFL Operations/Personnel man that now moonlights on Twitter and his own blog, recently wrote that "Bryant is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. His recent run in with the law doesn't help his status. He played well as a 4-3 defensive tackle last season and is 27. He is best at getting penetration but is sturdy versus the run as well. He's worth a shot for someone needing an upgrade at the 3 technique of defensive tackle."
Personally, I like Bryant a lot, actually, and I wrote about him previously in my free agency preview as well. At this point, I'm actually really hoping that the Seahawks find a way to entice him to Seattle; Bryant has played end and tackle for the Raiders in his career thus far (18 total starts), and provides the versatility and toughness to move around on the line as Seattle changes up rotations and personnel groupings. He's adequate against the run - he's not a mauler, but he's more of a prototypical 3-tech than Alan Branch or Brandon Mebane have been - because he can get through gaps and push the pocket.
Bryant was signed by Tom Cable as a UDFA out of Harvard after posting some very intriguing speed/power numbers, has gained 20 pounds (he was 288 coming out), and in 2012, gathered 3 sacks, 20 QB hurries, and 11 QB hits. The man can move the pocket, and in the brief scouting I've done, plays with a violent nasty streak that you know Tom Cable loved. The question is - will Cable vouch for him? Bryant was recently arrested for DUI, which could harm his value a bit, but for a guy that used a 4.2 GPA and 1230 SAT to get an academic scholarship to Harvard, you know he's got the smarts to go with his athleticism.
If Cable and Bryant have/had a good working relationship, that could help with the Seahawks' pitch. It also helps that Seattle's defense is so good, making the Seahawks an attractive destination for anybody that wants to play around guys that will boost their production. At this point, I'm not sure that Bryant would be a three down player, but he'd be a big part of the defensive line rotation if he were to be signed. With Jason Jones getting some decent interest on the market thus far, Bryant might be a bigger, more versatile upgrade or at least some sort of proxy to what Jones was supposed to bring in 2012 before getting hurt.
Keep an eye on Bryant.