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Seahawks loaded with both youth and potential on the defensive line after drafting LJ Collier

Iowa State v TCU Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Fans of the Seattle Seahawks were excited to see how the team would address the gaping hole at EDGE following the trade of Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this week, and on Thursday the team obliged by selecting LJ Collier of TCU with the 29th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Many fans were left questioning the pick, as their preferred selections at the position appear to have been taken by other teams in the period between trading back out of pick 21 and coming on the clock for pick 29.

In any case, the Seahawks are now stacked with youth and significant upside potential at defensive end, with multiple recent draft picks slated to man the position as of now. Specifically, in addition to Collier, the Hawks also have youngsters at the position that include:

  • 2018 3rd round pick Rasheem Greem,
  • 2018 6th round pick Jacob Martin (22 years old),
  • 2016 5th round pick Quinton Jefferson (26 years old),
  • 2016 undrafted free agent Branden Jackson (26 years old)
  • 2015 second round pick (of the Cleveland Browns) Nate Orchard (26 years old)
  • 2014 fourth round pick and recently resigned Cassius Marsh (26 years old)

Add in the players still on rookie contracts for the team on the interior defensive line in Nazair Jones (24 years old), Jarran Reed (26 years old) and Poona Ford (23 years old), and the Seahawks have the makings of a defensive front that could be together for several years to come. In fact, recently signed Jamie Meder (28 years old) is the elder statesman of the Seattle defensive line group, a group that less than two years ago included multiple 31 year old starters in Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.

There is no doubt that there is plenty of time for the Seahawks to add a veteran defensive lineman in free agency, as there are several names out there that will be familiar to fans, including:

  • Ziggy Ansah,
  • Ndamukong Suh,
  • Corey Liuget,
  • Muhammad Wilkerson and
  • Clinton McDonald.

There’s still plenty of time between now and the start of training camp, and it seem probably that the team will add a veteran defensive lineman or two. However, as things stand heading into Day 2 of the draft, the Hawks have an extremely young defensive line group with a substantial amount of potential.