Can you win a list in the first quarter??!!
This is it, we’ve finally reached the end of a too-long series on the Seattle Seahawks 53 man roster.
A thought hit me in putting all this together, with the top end in particular. This has simply been an attempt to determine the players most needed by the team this year. Of this final five, two are the best players drafted in Seahawks history. The other three are all here via trade. People occasionally take the one to downgrade John Schneider for the other, but I’m not sure it has to be that way. He has masterfully identified need at times, when that is often the biggest critique of his draft classes.
Anyway I found it interesting to reflect on, and may be worth a piece later. Here’s the list.
5. Duane Brown, left tackle
Brown is high on this list because he plays left tackle in the NFC West. It’s nasty out there. Brown is 36 and if Seattle extended his contract today, there would be maybe five drunk guys mad about it in the whole city. They did not however, and despite a preseason that did its best to argue maybe Duane Brown should be #2 on this list, he has returned to practice (with a reworked, but not extended contract) just in time to save Russell Wilson from additional pummeling this Sunday.
Let’s keep hanging out with the number two. Two sacks allowed in 2020. Wilson was sacked 47 times. Turns out he was responsible for 14 of them himself, meaning the rest of the offensive line department allowed 31 sacks last year. Two out of 31 is 6%, you get the picture: Duane Brown is as rock solid as it gets.
Brown also comes in at number five because we frequently hear of his leadership to the younger guys on the team. I like the current consideration of moving Damien Lewis to left guard, to balance experience and youth on both sides of the line. His presence next to Lewis can only help an already great young player, and if he aids in Lewis’ progression at all, having what I think will be a huge improvement on the left side of the line has got to do wonders for Russell Wilson’s confidence.
4. Jamal Adams, safety. Yes, safety.
Adams is here for two reasons. One gets plenty of applause, the other gets plenty of hate.
First is making plays that normally don’t get made. Adams plays full effort, wants to be in on every play, and sometimes results in crazy stuff like this:
The other reason is sacks. Yes, I can hear your complaints all the way over here. He blitzes too much, he’s clearly very bad, and other interesting arguments.
Here’s the deal though. He’s the exact same ferocious player when he goes into chase mode, regardless of who has the ball and where they are. The following was (1) not a blitz, (2) incredible range, and (3) such a great angle it became a sack:
Going through the #Seahawks film against #WashingtonFootball. Watch Jamal Adams. His pursuit is INCREDIBLE. Saves 1st down run!— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) December 22, 2020
- Adams carries #2 up seam, while spying QB
- Haskins is under pressure, looking to scramble
- JA chases him ALL the way across the field for the sack pic.twitter.com/qhBrYa4PBn
Make plays, sir.
3. Bobby Wagner, linebacker
There were moments last year. Brief, glorious moments, when Wagner and Adams were on the field and on their game at the same time.
Those moments were amazing.
Wagner is still the best Hall of Fame lock on this roster, and the freshness of the other linebackers only solidifies his importance this season. Ask yourself, “would the Seahawks defense know what to do without Wagner?” and see what your heart tells you.
Last season was Wagner’s worst season since 2014 according to Pro Football Reference’s Approximate Value.
He was first team All-Pro.
I don’t feel like there’s much more that needs to be said about one for the best athletes in the city’s history, and it’s phenomenal that we get to keep watching him.
2. Carlos Dunlap, defensive end
Fact: the Pre-Dunlap Seahawks had 9.0 sacks in seven games, while the Dunlap Seahawks had 37 sacks in nine games. Sure, the defense also had “the meeting” which became something close to lore by the end of the season. But Dunlap’s arrival confirmed that the area in which Seattle had struggled greatly for three years - pass rush - is not the area to be weak.
1. Russell Wilson, quarterback
Yes, it’s the most obvious choice. In another year, I might have been able to make an argument for somebody else just to keep it interesting. This is not that year. Wilson might not have been in this position if it weren’t for the second half of last season. There haven’t been enough roster changes (hardly any, really) to indicate this team does anything besides live and die on the back of Russell Wilson. When he was in MVP talks, the team popped off win streaks despite a worse defense than your local Junior College. When he struggled, well, par is a first-round playoff exit these days.
Wilson remains, somehow, a bit of a polarizing player. People continue not to give him credit, including 538’s new QB rankings.
Russell Wilson has 24 come-from-behind wins in the 4th quarter, and 31 total game-winning drives. If he gets five more this year, he’d be top-10 in NFL history, despite playing four less seasons than anyone ahead of him. You couldn’t ask for anything more in a franchise quarterback.