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: Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB
How acquired: Fourth round pick (132nd overall) out of Boston College in 2014
Free Agent: 2018
Look at Pierre-Louis's stats as a senior at BC (108 tackles, 10.5 for a loss, six sacks, an interception) and it's hard to not be impressed. Take a closer peek though and you'll notice things like 18 tackles against Army, 12 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, and a sack against Villanova, two sacks against the likes of Pete Thomas at NC State, but just five tackles and no sacks against USC, four tackles and no sacks against Florida State, and you'll understand why the "tweener" wasn't more highly rated in the 2014 draft.
There were positives too, like nine tackles including one for a loss against number three Clemson and 13 tackles with a sack against Syracuse, but while KPL was one of the best players on his own team's defense perhaps, there's a reason that level of school and competition matter.
Boston College went 7-6 and played in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl that season.
He stood out at the combine but was considered too big to play safety, too small to play linebacker. But of course, Pete Carroll just can't walk away from a guy who is 232 lbs and runs a 4.5 with 28 reps on the bench, 39" vertical, and 10'8 broad. But KPL's weaknesses also seemed to include that he just doesn't have great football instincts and so far that has shown itself in the form of him hardly ever playing through his first two seasons. If Mike Morgan, Eric Pinkins, Cassius Marsh, and Chris Clemons all seem to have an inside track at the SAM spot over Pierre-Louis, where does that leave him? Do they need an additional guy to support K.J. Wright at the WILL? In his only extended playing time last season, Pierre-Louis had eight assisted and three solo tackles in a 27-23 loss to the Carolina Panthers with Bobby Wagner sidelined.
Nobody's expecting him to be Wagner, but is that enough to convince anyone he has a future at inside linebacker either?
I don't think Pierre-Louis will be cut this year but he might have a similar future to that of Malcolm Smith; he's on the team for four years, he plays on special teams, he fills in at any linebacker spot when an injury happens, he makes an occasional big play, and in two years he leaves via free agency to become an adequate starter elsewhere. And that's perfectly okay. Most teams don't have the luxury of having their number five linebacker be good enough to start for a dozen other teams.
Highlights of Kevin Pierre-Louis against North Carolina: