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The Film Room: Cliff Avril is still underrated after all these years

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While Cliff Avril does not produce double-digit sacks, he is a playmaker on the Seahawks defensive line both in the run and in the pass game. Avril has totaled at least eight sacks in five of the last six seasons, and has forced 24 fumbles in his eight-year career since being selected in the third round of the 2008 draft out of Purdue. In this video breakdown, I discuss Avril's strengths and weaknesses as a pass rusher and a run defender.

My Three Takeaways

  1. Avril uses speed, hand placement, and flexibility to rush from the edge.
  2. He is an intelligent rusher who knows to slow his pass rush on screen and swing passes.
  3. He struggles facing offensive lineman head-on when he can't shed a block in space due to his size limitations.

The Seahawks re-signed Avril to a four-year $28.5 million contract in December 2014. His value in Pete Carroll's defense far "outstrips" his current contract as he is a great overall defensive lineman.