I don’t Tweet or follow anyone on Twitter, but I do pay attention to the platform (from a distance) - especially this time of year.
On Tuesday (8/3), there was an exchange between Matty F. Brown (Seahawk Maven, formerly with Field Gulls) and Michael-Shawn Dugar (The Athletic) that I found interesting - in part because of what they said, but more so because of what they did not say.
The exchange was about the “projected” starters on defense with Mr. Brown providing the initial projection based on his impressions after the first week of training camp and Mr. Dugar countering on one - and only one - position.
But what their tweets really illustrated for me was this: The Seahawks’ depth on defense is borderline insane.
Let’s start with the exchange:
*Seahawks 2021 Projected Defense*— Matty F. Brown (@mattyfbrown) August 4, 2021
LEO: Carlos Dunlap
3-technique: Poona Ford
Nose Tackle: Al Woods
Big End: Robert Nkemdiche
SAM: Aldon Smith
MIKE: Bobby Wagner
WILL: Jordyn Brooks
LCB: Ahkello Witherspoon
RCB: D.J. Reed
SS: Jamal Adams
FS: Quandre Diggs
LOTS of talent
I think right now I’d swap Robert for LJ but the rest looks fine. Darrell and Aldon are getting a lot of reps right now, so who knows how that’ll play out after a few preseason games.— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 4, 2021
Ignoring, for the moment, that it is still early, that nothing is set in stone, and that many teams, including the Seahawks, often start games with 3 cornerbacks ... let’s assume that Mr. Brown is correct about this lineup.
Who is #2 at each position? My best guesses are:
- LCB: Damarious Randall
- RCB: Tre Brown
- SS: Marquise Blair (or Ryan Neal)
- FS: Ryan Neal (or Marquise Blair)
Not on either of those lists (theirs or mine) ...
- CB Ugo Amadi - last year’s starting nickelback for 14 of the 16 games (plus the playoffs); he clearly has a role on this year’s defense
- Last year’s 5th-round pick, DE Alton Robinson - who undoubtedly factors into the expected “rotation” on the D-line after playing 344 defensive snaps his rookie season
- DE Rasheem Green - a 2018 third-round pick who played 410 defensive snaps last year
Also not on that list ...
- CB Tre Flowers - who the coaches evidently like (as evidenced by his 37 starts through 3 seasons), even many of us 12s cry anytime he’s in the game
- CB Pierre Desir - a journeyman corner with 73 appearances and 44 career starts across 7 seasons in the NFL
- DT Cedrick Lattimore - a 2020 UDFA who played 26 snaps in the wildcard game
- S Aashari Crosswell - a 2021 UDFA who is reportedly having a good camp
That is some serious depth ... on the D-line for sure and, despite my own (not-so-private) concerns, in the secondary as well.
Honestly, other than the linebackers, I would probably be “pretty okay” with starting our second team against a handful of our opponents this season. Which is something I don’t think I’ve been able to say since ...
Well, maybe ever.