Preseason is mostly about the young guys, some tune-ups, and hopefully having your star player avoid a non-contact ACL tear. The regular season is the proving ground for starters and other key contributors. These are a handful of Seattle Seahawks players who have the most to prove this upcoming season.
Eskridge is #1 on this list even though it may already be a lost cause. The first of the three picks from the 2021 draft, he’s had one stellar drive in the NFL, and we’ve barely seen him since. He’s been concussed, shown himself to be built like C.J. Prosise, and then most recently got himself suspended. What could have been an intriguing battle to see if experience could hold off Jaxon Smith-Njigba has simply turned into a wasted pick and a big disappointment.
I’m not sure why the team has opted to keep him for the moment, but he’s running out of time to stay in the league.
K.J. Wright was asked to choose the highest ceiling from the edge guys: Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, Boye Mafe, and Derick Hall. With no hesitation Wright claimed it’s the one the guys call DT.
Wright pointed to his talent + inconsistency combination as to why he could be a pretty ridiculous player. For those who watch all the time, he’s been completely erased in some games, and yet he’s been remarkably productive in his early career.
.@Seahawks LB Darrell Taylor was the 8th of 55 rushers (LBs/DEs) selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. Despite missing his rookie season, he ranks third with 15.0 sacks by players drafted in 2020, and second in franchise history for the second-most sacks in a player's first 31 games. pic.twitter.com/bZItqP9Ds4— Seahawks PR (@seahawksPR) January 5, 2023
What Taylor needs to prove is simple: will he be a good pass rusher, one of those guys that gets a new team every free agency, or can he put it all together in a way to be a true force and household name?
Adams has seemingly everything to prove. Whether he can come back from this latest injury, whether he can ever stay injury-free again, if he can cover guys, if he can make a defense elite, and on it goes.
What’s especially interesting about Adams is he’s somehow earned the ire of so many fans in Washington and New York, that he’d have to be First-Team All-Pro with four interceptions and 10 sacks....and still some would stand in line for beer at Lumen Field and decry how the trade wasn’t worth it.
But a recovery from torn quad and a productive, full season in Seattle (which would be only his second) would do wonders to erase the continual question marks.
At the end of the day, Smith probably has the most to prove in terms of things that don’t matter. I think the Seahawks believe in him, I think most of the fans believe in him, and I guarantee the players believe in him.
But with his overall ranking falling anywhere from 12 to like 22 from anyone out of CBS to The Athletic and beyond, it’s clear that the media at large is completely unsure what to do with Smith’s ‘22 season. He played like a top-10 QB; in many categories top-5. But he hasn’t earned the trust of longevity yet, which means absolutely nothing to his play this season. When it comes to the next contract negotiation, that might be a different story.
“Was last year a fluke?” will be asked way too many times this year, and I’m sure he and Pete have had the conversation to keep his head down and play hard all season.
Which Seahawks do you believe has the most to prove this year? Let us know in the comments section!