As the offseason quickly approaches the midpoint, the Seattle Seahawks have filled out their 90 man roster, and with the offseason program progressing forward, the team is gearing up for training camp and the 2020 season. After using free agency to address the offensive line and then beefing up the pass rush in the 2020 NFL Draft and later stages of free agency, the team appears largely set to head into the upcoming campaign.
Whether the additions have sufficiently addressed the issues that led the 2019 season to come up short of hopes and expectations won’t be known until the fall, but what is known is that there has been a lot of change across the roster. The team is set to have at least three, possibly four new starters on the offensive line, while on the defensive side of the ball Quinton Jefferson is now a member of the Buffalo Bills and Jadeveon Clowney
is a member of the Tennessee Titans Cleveland Browns Philadelphia Eagles remains unsigned.
Some position groups, including the linebackers, wide receivers and tight ends have likely improved over their 2019 personnel, leaving the secondary, the defensive line, the offensive line and the running backs fighting over which group is the team’s weakest link at this point. Here’s a look at the candidates for that distinction following the offseason changes to the roster to this point.
The performance of the defense’s back end improved significantly in the second half of the 2019 season after the addition of Quandre Diggs. However, the group struggled against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs as an inability to match up consistently with multiple receiver packages eventually led to the Hawks being unable to stop Aaron Rodgers and company. With the addition of Quinton Dunbar and the potential for Ugo Amadi or another defensive back to potentially take over as the slot cornerback, the team could certainly improve upon its ability to stop opposing offenses, while also likely reducing the amount of time the defense spends in a base package.
Percentage of snaps in base defense in 2019— PFF (@PFF) May 12, 2020
1. Seattle Seahawks - 69%
2. Arizona Cardinals - 38%
NFL Average - 27% pic.twitter.com/FoxhdwCPwm
It seems as though almost everyone is anxious about the potential loss of Jadeveon Clowney in free agency except for the Seahawks front office. Sure, they’d love to have him back, but not at the blank check price that many fans have offered up. Recent reports have had Clowney spotted at the Philadelphia airport last week as he was supposedly in town for a physical. However, given that he had offseason surgery for the sports hernia which was reportedly performed by Dr. William C. Meyers in Philadelphia, whether the physical was with the Philadelphia Eagles or simply a follow up on his surgery is anybody’s guess.
In any case, the team kept Jarran Reed and added both Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin after letting QJeff depart in free agency. They then added Alton Robinson and Darrell Taylor in the draft to go with 2018 third round pick Rasheem Green and 2019 first round pick L.J. Collier. It’s a young group that certainly appears to have a lot of potential, but will need to show what it can do on the field before fans know whether that potential will come to be realized.
The 2019 season started with Justin Britt at center, D.J. Fluker at right guard, Germain Ifedi at right tackle and George Fant as the sixth offensive lineman in jumbo packages. Britt is now a free agent while rehabbing from knee surgery, Fluker is a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Ifedi plays for the Chicago Bears and Fant is on the roster of the New York Jets. In their place are projected to be first year starter B.J. Finney at center, rookie Damien Lewis at right guard and Brandon Shell at right tackle. While all of those players certainly have potential, it’s once again a group that will need to show that they can put it together on the field before any judgement is made.
In addition, there are many fans clamoring for either Jamarco Jones or Phil Haynes to be the starter at left guard. If that comes to pass and either of those players is given the nod over Mike Iupati, the Hawks could potentially have three first year starters on the offensive line, which is not exactly a recipe for success. The last time Seattle had three first year starters on the offensive line was 2016 when Fant, Ifedi and Mark Glowinski all graced Seahawks fans with their performances. Other teams that have had three first year starters have included the 2015 New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, teams that were not regarded as having quality line play. Basically, the offensive line group appears to be in much the same position as the defensive line group: loaded with potential, but that potential needs to be realized on the field.
This is a position group that is packed with talent, between Chris Carson’s ability to bring the pain between the tackles and Rashaad Penny’s outside burst. However, with Carson recovering from a hip injury and Penny rehabbing following ACL reconstruction, it’s a group with question marks. Youngsters Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas can be called upon as needed, but it certainly wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the Hawks added a reclamation project at the position during the offseason if an attractive options happens to come across the waiver wire.
It was in May of 2017 that 2015 fourth round pick Mike Davis was claimed off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers, and if other teams make changes at the position in the coming weeks it would surprise exactly no one if the Seahawks were the team to pounce. So, while the running back group is a potential weakness for different reasons than the other groups, there’s little denying the fact that it could wind up being the team’s weakest link, especially if the potential of the other position groups is reached.
What is the weakest position group on the Seahawks roster?
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