There are only ten days remaining until the Seattle Seahawks, along with the rest of the NFL, cut their rosters from 80 players down to 53 on Saturday, September 5. For the Hawks, there are some spots that do not need to be worried about, such as running back Rashaad Penny who will likely start the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and thus not count against the active roster.
However, Seattle fans have specifically inquired about the defense, following a draft in which the team used both of its top two draft picks on defensive players in Jordyn Brooks and Darrell Taylor. Those selections came after the team used its top two 2019 draft picks on L.J. Collier and Marquise Blair.
Thus, it’s no surprise that supporters have wondered what the starting defense will look like in 2020, especially on top of the trades made to bolster the secondary and the free agent additions to the defensive line. Luckily, former Field Gulls contributor Matty F. Brown took the time to splice through the team’s live feed Monday to piece together the team’s starting defense.
Seattle #Seahawks First String Defense in August 24th Practice:— Matty F. Brown (@mattyfbrown) August 26, 2020
DE Benson Mayowa
DT Jarran Reed
DT Bryan Mone?
SAM Bruce Irvin
MIKE Bobby Wagner
WILL K.J. Wright
RCB Tre Flowers
FS Quandre Diggs
SS Jamal Adams
LCB Shaquill Griffin
NICKEL Marquise Blair was first up
There are no surprises in the back seven. The linebacking group of Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright could confuse some fans into thinking they are watching the Legion of Boom in its prime. However, the back end of the defense is completely changed, with Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams attempting to fill the shoes of the likes of Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. In addition, of particular note is that Blair is the first up at nickel corner back, a role which the Hawks struggled to fill in 2019 after Justin Coleman departed for the Detroit Lions in free agency.
Up front the Hawks currently have a defensive line that would likely start Rasheem Green, Benson Mayowa, Jarran Reed and Bryan Mone if the season were to start today. That, of course, fails to take into account the fact that Poona Ford is currently working his way back from a calf strain. That means when Seattle takes the field against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, it would surprise no one to see Ford at the second starting defensive tackle spot in place of Mone.
The question then becomes how fans feel about that projected starting defense, and whether it is a group that can turn around the trend of lower and lower finishes in terms of points allowed that the team has seen in recent seasons.