With Week 1 of the preseason now in the books, we were able to see the Seattle Seahawks rookie class take the field for the first time in the NFL. It is important to not overreact to what we see in the preseason for a multitude of reasons. However, there are still both positives and negatives that can be taken away from these games. In this article we are going to look at 5 plays from the offensive side of the ball involving rookies and a player fighting for depth chart positioning and what can be taken away from them.
Kenneth Walker lll
MSU Football Alums, @Kenneth_Walker9 and @ConnorHeyward1 are both making plays early in the @steelers vs. @Seahawks preseason game tonight! ⤵️ @MSU_Football @MSU_Athletics— Nick Mantas (@Nick__Mantas) August 13, 2022
Courtesy: NFL Network pic.twitter.com/JKWPShj1Gq
On the surface there is not a whole lot of excitement going on in this play as it is a simple 7-yard run. However, it highlights a lot of what Walker lll brings to the table as back. He quickly recognizes that his left tackle Charles Cross is getting set back and cuts it inside on a play that was designed to be going outside of the tackles. He then gets light on his toes, which allows him to quickly cut in and out as needed. As he enters the hole, he gets skinny, fights through an arm tackle and gets four to five yards after contact. There are a lot of running backs that would have turned this into only a 3–4-yard gain but he possesses the speed, vision, and strength required to turn this into a 7-yard tote.
This is a great play call to utilize what Melton brings to the table as an athlete. Melton is in motion when the ball is snapped, and he runs an underneath route on a naked bootleg. With Tyler Mabry running a deep out or corner route on Melton’s side it forces the zone corner to sink leaving Melton wide open. When Lock flips his hips to Melton’s side, he hits him at the line of scrimmage with Melton doing the rest. He immediately makes a man miss upon the catch. The Rutgers alum then showcases his 4.34 40 speed by quickly accelerating and running past multiple defenders with ease turning what could’ve been a small gain into a 39-yard reception. If Melton is to be used in the Seahawks offense this year these are the types of plays Shane Waldron will be calling for him with the intent of getting him the ball in space at or near the line of scrimmage.
Pete Carroll on #Seahawks rookie tackles LT Charles Cross and RT Abe Lucas: “Overall, the coaches were pleased with what they accomplished today.”— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 14, 2022
Could see why they felt that way. Here’s one of Charles’ first pass-pro reps on third down. Nice work. https://t.co/PMW3r3Ii73 pic.twitter.com/HEVEIaVYwF
While this tweet highlights both Cross and Lucas we are specifically going to focus on Cross, as Lucas is discussed later in the article. There are both positives and negatives throughout the play. The biggest positive is how quickly Cross is able to get out of his stance and mirror the edge off of the snap eliminating both lanes to the inside and outside. Cross does a great job of staying engaged with #48 Derrek Tuszka throughout the majority of the play, only losing contact at the very end. However, Cross does place his outside hand on the outside of the defender’s shoulder pad with it creeping onto his back. This is something that is going to cause him to lose play strength at times, but it is preseason where a lot of rust is being knocked off for players, so it is nothing to be concerned about. If the Seahawks offense is going to succeed this upcoming season Cross is going to have to put plays like this one consistently on tape.
Seahawks rookie RT Abraham Lucas takes Delontae Scott for a ride and finishes with the pancake leading to massive gain.— Derrick (@Steelers_DB) August 14, 2022
Thought both rookie tackles played well for Seattle last night. pic.twitter.com/4XyqaOupdK
We don’t get a whole lot from this play, but I love how it highlights the strength and finish that Lucas has in his toolbox. He drives the defender back 5 yards with relative ease and then finishes the block by driving him into the ground and landing on him. These are the type of next level, extra effort, nasty blocks that will drive defenders crazy throughout the course of a game. Coming out of Washington State, Lucas was rawer in the running game compared to the passing game so it is encouraging to see him put a play like this one on tape.
Take a look at the All-22 on this play:
Charles Cross and Abe Lucas dominated in their NFL preseason debuts.— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) August 15, 2022
Lucas allowed just one pressure on 33 pass-blocking snaps, per @PFF, and was just as dominant in the run game. pic.twitter.com/v38nyhjIm0
Dallas was the Seahawks most heavily used offensive skill position player from Saturday’s game, totaling 10 carries and 1 catch. From those 11 touches he amassed an impressive 90 total yards and a touchdown. On Dallas’ lone catch he creates a ton of separation at the stem of the route by breaking it down and going against the defender’s leverage. After the catch Dallas turns it up field, breaks two tackles at the same time and jumps over a defender en route to his lone touchdown in the game.
Roster battles aren’t going to be won over a single play or a single game as the overall body of work is always going to stand out the most. However, this is the type of high effort play that is going to stick out in the coaching staff’s minds throughout the entirety of the preseason and regular season.