Whoooooo we got another doozy of a Pro Football Focus ranking.
This one came out this week in regards to the defensive lines for each team. The Seattle Seahawks did not score well.
The Seahawks DL ranked 29th? That’s absurd, sorry. https://t.co/26rinmPkfG— Jake Heaps (@jtheaps9) August 5, 2021
We all know the caveats: preseason rankings mean nothing, PFF means even less, ignore whatever John Gilbert puts in the comment section of this article, etc.
But this one was especially interesting because of the rationale given, which seems to be a complete contradiction to where the team is headed this year.
Here’s what PFF said specifically - or didn’t say - about the Seahawks, including the odd obsession with Jarran Reed.
The primary problem is this - PFF made only one definitive prediction about this group, and it was wrong at its core.
“This group’s success next season will largely depend on the impact of younger players...”
It’s wrong because it doesn’t follow any of the logic of the previous season, and because it is woefully ignorant of how Seattle and Pete Carroll actually function here.
First, Carlos Dunlap has never, in twelve seasons, been bad. Since he became a starter in 2013, he’s had more than 6.0 sacks every year. The only exception is last season, when he had one while playing for the laughable Cincinnati Bengals who were not playing him. He was great once he came to Seattle, and he’s an above-average pass rusher in this league still.
Second, we’ll just ignore Kerry Hyder Jr. is a solid #2 addition to a deep group because that’s what PFF did.
But the last bit is that this is telling how unaware the writers are about Seahawks d-line history. This is not where Carroll has consistently turned out young stars; it’s where he has worked near-miracles from free agent signings.
Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa last year were not exceptions to the rule - they are the normal. I don’t know how they do it, but for 10 years now going back to Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, Seattle has targeted bringing guys in to rush the passer, and it’s been mostly good. It was pretty dicey for a few years around 2017, but I would argue the take here is dead wrong.
The defensive line this year is exactly what the coaches want it to be. It will be led at the top by veterans, it looks to be spiced up on the outsides with Darrell Taylor and Jamal Adams, and they have a corps of surprise playmakers (like the aforementioned Alton Robinson), who do not need to become DE2 level, but simply progress as more of what they were last year.
The team finished seventh in sacks last year, and they’re nowhere close to dropping off 22 spots in effectiveness.