The Seattle Seahawks have a very good roster, but what's especially nice and hopeful about their team is that the vast majority of current Seahawks are young and signed through 2017, at least. This series leading up to the regular season opener on September 11 will take a closer look at 30 such players, all of whom won't be turning 30 this year.
Player: Germain Ifedi, OT/OG
How acquired: First round pick (31st overall) in 2016 NFL Draft
Free agent: 2021 (if option picked up)
In counting down the top 30 Seahawks under 30, Ifedi represents the first player in the upper half of this list. I guess you could say this is now the top 15 players on the team who are under 30, and I think if your 15th-best player under 30 is your current first round rookie that’s pretty good. And of course, as I’ve posted the list over the last two weeks, things have certainly changed. Players who didn’t make the list in the beginning would surely be pushing their way onto it by now.
But Ifedi is still looking like a good bet to be Seattle’s marquee player from the 2016 rookie class.
Over the summer, Ifedi went from being drafted as a tackle to being converted to a guard and now with a solid training camp suddenly raising eyebrows wondering if he should go back to being a tackle. But in this current era of football, in this division, is there actually more value in putting your best players on the outside than it is on the inside? After all, who were the teams that tortured the Seahawks the most in 2015?
Rams - Aaron Donald
Panthers - Kawann Short
Bengals - Geno Atkins
That doesn’t just represent arguably the three-best DTs in the game right now, but five of Seattle’s seven losses last year. They couldn’t keep those players off of Russell Wilson or out of the backfield because their guard-play by J.R. Sweezy and Justin Britt was terrible, along with the play at center. (Reminder: The Bucs gave Sweezy a $32.5 million contract.) It now seems like Britt is a better fit at center than he is at guard, Mark Glowinski seems a significant upgrade at left guard, especially in pass protection, and then there’s Ifedi: The angry rookie with a chip on his shoulder who is getting into so many fights in practice that the guidance counselor had to pull him aside and ask if there were problems at home. Oh and the 22-year-old rook is winning a lot of those battles against Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett.
The addition of free agent Jahri Evans suggests that there could be some movement on the offensive line, and maybe after Evans gets back into game-speed he will win a job on the line, but one thing seems certain: No matter where he plays, Ifedi will be a starting offensive lineman for the Seahawks this year and he very well may be the best of the group. In a couple of years, he could even be one of the best in the league.
Here’s Ifedi talking about why he won’t back down to anyone at training camp: