One of the positions on the defensive side of the ball which the Seattle Seahawks had to address during the offseason was outside cornerback. Both of the starters from 2021 in Sidney Jones and D.J. Reed were set to hit free agency, and the depth behind those two as starters was lacking.
The number of questions only increased when Reed departed for the New York Jets via free agency, but the Hawks front office did not panic. Instead, they brought back Jones, while adding former Chicago Bear and Pittsburgh Steeler Artie Burns, before selecting Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft. So far, at least, Jones and Burns have been given the opportunity to show what they can do, earning the majority of the reps with the first team to this point in camp.
No. 1 CBs were mostly Sidney Jones on the left side and Artie Burns on the right side.— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) July 27, 2022
Burns, of course is familiar with the Fangio defense the team is installing this season, having played for Sean Desai in Chicago during the 2021 season, and Woolen is a highly athletic corner with tons of potential due to that athleticism. Bryant, meanwhile, is type of player whose technique and high football IQ allowed him to outperform his athleticism in college. Bryant sports roughly average athleticism when compared to other NFL cornerbacks, though one would have no idea that is the case through the first week of training camp.
Coby Bryant's ball skills continue to show up now that DBs can actually defend throws. He had another PBU today, on a wobbly Drew Lock deep ball into the wind. Bryant is still the No. 2 LCB behind Sidney Jones.— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) August 1, 2022
Geno Smith: "Coby has just been making plays all over the place."
Another outstanding practice for Coby Bryant. Rookie registered three pass breakups on the afternoon, including denying 6-foot-7 Colby Parkinson on a jump ball in the end zone during team period. #Seahawks— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) July 30, 2022
Rookie CB Coby Bryant also had one of the highlight plays of the day with a PBU going against 6-7 tight end Colby Parkinson. The CB battles are shaping up to be pretty intriguing with veterans Sidney Jones and Artie Burns continuing to work with the 1s....— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) July 30, 2022
Rookie Coby Bryant had another nice play on the ball today (he has one everyday, it feels like). fellow rookie Bo Melton had a step on him in the end zone but Coby closed the gap with the ball in the air, flipped his head & broke up a would-be TD. Coby has really good ball skills— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 1, 2022
Thus, while the obvious caveat is that tasked with covering the likes of Colby Parkinson, Marquise Goodwin and Bo Melton, none of whom are high end NFL receivers, the simple fact is Bryant is delivering so far in camp. Obviously, there’s a whole lot of camp and the entirety of preseason before meaningful football gets played, but there is zero question about the potential Bryant has displayed during the first week of camp, and the excitement that is certain to generate among fans.