When the Seattle Seahawks selected safety Marquise Blair out of the University of Utah in the second round, a lot of fans were left scratching their head wondering exactly who the team had selected.
For starters, he’s a hard hitting safety, which is something that fans truly enjoy.
And he’s got a fun to watch highlight reel.
And for those fans who trust ProFootballFocus and their input will be happy to see that one of the top PFF analysts like Blair a lot.
Marquise Blair is one of my favorite players in this draft.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) April 27, 2019
Guy plays every snap like somebody just insulted his mother https://t.co/ZduR4y5GtV
And that wasn’t the only analyst from PFF to weigh in on the selection of Blair.
LJ Collier and Marquise Blair are both dogs; both players play the game with mean intentions. https://t.co/UPC2gYxx21— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) April 27, 2019
As for how he stacked up in coverage, here is where PFF had him compared to other Pac-12 safeties.
New Seahawks S Marquise Blair finished last season with the 2nd-highest coverage grade among draft-eligible Pac-12 safeties! #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/shlihyijph— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 27, 2019
There are obviously far more conferences in college football than just the Pac-12, so here’s how he stacked up against all the safeties across all the FBS teams.
Marquise Blair earned a coverage grade of 88.0 last season, ranking 24th out of 405 qualifying FBS safeties. #Seahawks— PFF SEA Seahawks (@PFF_Seahawks) April 27, 2019
So, It’s certainly exciting to see the team add a hard hitting safety who plays with intensity and earns high marks for his coverage skills. With both Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor no longer roaming the field for the Hawks there has been somewhat of a void at the position for Seattle, and this addresses that.
Moving to address one of the questions that has been asked by fans in the immediate aftermath of the selection is whether Blair is a deep safety or a box safety, the answer is that he has played both.
Marquise Blair played 163 snaps in the box and 524 snaps at free safety last season. #Seahawks— PFF SEA Seahawks (@PFF_Seahawks) April 27, 2019
However, weighing in at under 200 pounds it seems unlikely that the Hawks would ask him to be a box safety in the NFL. However, if he is able to add some weight without losing speed or agility, then it’s certainly possible that he could potentially bulk up and fill a role similar to that filled by Bradley McDougald at some point and play at either safety position. However, for right now, what seems most likely is that the team will continue on the trend it started in 2018 in utilizing two deep safeties on a regular basis.
Therefore, the Seahawks have added a potentially menacing force in the secondary, and now, years after having talked about wanting to get back to being the bully, perhaps that’s the direction the team is moving.