How the Seahawks might use their front 7/6 on defense

Even before the draft and the addition of Williams and Hill it was pretty exciting to think how the Seahawks would run their base defense and rotate different players in and out as well as what they would do on obvious passing downs in the nickel formation.

Now that we have drafted two very different but versatile lineman to add to an already potent lineup even more interesting to think about how they may utilize these players. I'm sure you've already thought through some of the possibilities but I thought it would be helpful to actually put something out there to stir the imagination.

Base Defense 1:

Leo: Michael Bennet. Stopping the run first on early downs is a key priority to the Seahawks. Bennett offers good edge quickness but is clearly our best run stopper in this position with Clem likely starting the season on the PUP. From what we saw with Irvin last year I don't think there's any way he is an early down Leo. Avril is certainly a possibility here but that would make it harder to get Bennet in the lineup on early downs like this as well.

3-tech: Jesse Williams. This could obviously go a few different directions depending on camp and preseason. And while some will say Williams doesn't offer any real pass rush ability from inside, I would say it's probably too early to tell. Williams was a two gap defender primarily for Alabama and played in a run heavy league. He has the quickness and athleticism to do more than just be a "run stuffing walrus" in the middle. Imagine what kind of damage this guy could do constantly matching up one-on-one with a guard. Or even pulling 2 gap stunts to free up an outside rush/blitz. Even if he just plays as well as branch did against the run I could see this being a really good situation

NT: Brandon Mebane. No big surprise here, Mebane will continue to be our two gap run stuffer in the middle of the defense.

5-tech: Red Bryant. Again no big surprise here

SAM: Cliff Avril. I could definitely see the linebacker situation being more fluid, but having Avril at SAM on early downs could create some real challenges in pass first offenses

MIKE: Bobby Wagner.

WILL: KJ Wright.

Picture a base defense with three linemen that are big enough to be two gap defenders, with a very good linebacker corps playing cleanup. Then picture two potential edge rushers out of the base defense that can also play the run well or in Avril's case drop back in coverage.

Base Defense 2:

Leo: Cliff Avril.

3-tech: Jesse Williams.

NT: Brandon Mebane.

5-tech: Red Bryant.

SAM: KJ Wright

MIKE: Bobby Wagner.

WILL: Malcom Smith

This would have a more traditional feel to it and provide a stronger edge rush from Leo while adding the regular linebacker arrangement back into the mix.


Leo: Bruce Irvin. Bruce could line up on either side of the formation, but this would probably help him develop against strong left tackles which is important if he ever will make it as an every down Leo.

3-tech: Michael Bennet. Bennet was acquired to fill the Jason Jones role, because he has the skills/strength to push the pocket from the inside.

NT: Jordan Hill. From watching this guy's tape I can't wait to see him on the line as a pass rusher in a nickel formation.

5-tech: Cliff Avril. in this situation Avril gets to rush from the side of the formation he was on for Detroit last year.

SAM: KJ Wright

MIKE: Bobby Wagner.

Can you imagine how potent that front four could be? Maybe every game at Century Link will look like the first half of the Packers game last season this year :)

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