UA-59049186-1 NFL Team Preview: Seattle Seahawks - Good if it Goes

NFL Team Preview: Seattle Seahawks

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Last Year:

Record: 10-5-1

Offense: 22.1 (18th)

Defense: 18.3 (3rd)

Offseason: 

Key Acquisitions: RB. Eddie Lacy, OG. Luke Joeckel, K. Steven Hauschka

Key Losses: OT. Garry Gilliam, DT. Tony McDaniel K. Blair Walsh

2017 Draft Picks

RD(PK) PLAYER POS SCHOOL
2(3) Malik McDowell DT Michigan State
2(26) Ethan Pocic C LSU
3(26) Shaquill Griffin CB UCF
3(31) Delano Hill S Michigan
3(38) Nazair Jones DT North Carolina
3(42) Amara Darboh WR Michigan
4(4) Tedric Thompson S Colorado
6(3) Mike Tyson S Cincinnati
6(26) Justin Senior OT Mississippi State
7(8) David Moore WR East Central
7(31) Christopher Carson RB Oklahoma State

2017 Outlook 

Coaching Staff

  • HC: Pete Carroll
  • OC: Darrell Bevell
  • DC: Kris Richard
  • ST: Brian Schneider

Offense

QB. Russell Wilson, Trevone Boykin

RB. Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls

FB. Marcel Reece

WR. Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse

WR. Paul Richardson, Amara Darboh

WR. Tyler Lockett

TE. Jimmy Graham, Luke Wilson

LT. Gorge Fant, Robert Myers

LG. Luke Joeckel, Rees Odihiambo

C. Justin Britt, Joey Hunt

RG. Mark Glowinski, Oday Aboushi

RT. Germain Ifedi, Ethan Pocic

Defense

DE. Michael Bennett, Frank Clark

DT. Ahtyba Rubin, Tylor Harris

DT. Jarran Reed, Nazair Jones

DE. Cliff Avril, Cassius Marsh

SLB. Michael Wilhoite, Michael Morgan

MLB. Bobby Wagner, Michael Wilhoite

WLB. K.J. Wright, Dewey McDonald

CB. Richard Sherman, Neiko Thorpe

SS. Kam Chancellor, Delano Hill

FS. Earl Thomas, Brad McDougald

CB. DeShawn Shead, Shaquill Griffin

NB. Jeremy Lane

Specialists

K. Blair Walsh

P. Jon Ryan

 Breakdown

Offense:

The entire 2017 season for Seattle hinges on whether or not the offensive line improves. It was BY FAR the worst in the NFL last season. Now that should tell you just how loaded they are at every other position because typically the team with the worst line never makes the playoffs and wins 10 games. It should be better than last year simply because it would be hard to be much worse but drafting a second round utility lineman in the second round and signing Luke Joeckel in free agency is far from enough to make significant improvement. Last year literally everyone that played up front for the Seahawks was an utter disaster with the exception of center Justin Britt. Their 2014 second round pick is back at center and will most likely be the best among a weak group again. What combination the Seahawks start around Britt is a complete mystery and is up in the air at the moment. Multiple guys are practicing to play multiple positions and based on reports from camp the only thing certain about the Seahawks offensive line is that there is no certainty. Joeckel is reportedly practicing to play both left guard and left tackle. On one hand that makes sense since George Fant, who was the worst graded offensive tackle in the entire league by pro football focus last year, is for some reason expected to start at left tackle again. On the other hand Joeckel has proven that he is not that good at left tackle in his own right and is a much better guard. Fant is getting a second chance to play after putting on 20 pounds during the offseason and working harder than anyone on the team to improve his game according to Pete Carroll. Quite Frankly, I watched Fant last year and I have watched offensive lineman for years and it is incredibly rare that you fix being a poor left tackle just by adding a little muscle. If Fant plays terrible during preseason I would expect Joeckel to get the nod at left tackle out of necessity. On the right side the team’s first round pick from last year Germain Ifedi will be moving from right guard to right tackle. He really struggled in his first season at guard and the team believes he should improve playing his more natural position. It is possible but typically NFL lineman do not get better moving from guard to tackle, it usually works the other way around as tackle is the harder position to play. Mark Glowinski is the projected starting right guard and he too will be moving to a different position than the one he played last year. He will still be a guard but last season he started on the left side. The good news for Seattle is that they return all their key skill guys plus the addition of Eddie Lacy at running back. With a weight clause in his contract and a one year deal Lacy should be highly motivated to stay in shape and thus should be at his best. Thomas Rawls figures to split carries with him. The receiving corps is one of the best in the league led by Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham. Baldwin has become one of the best receivers in the league and is often moved all over the place on offense and gets it done no matter where he is asked to line up at. Graham managed to stay healthy in 2016 and played really well at tight end. The Seahawks somehow even got him to start blocking. After looking impressive down the stretch last season when he took over for the injured Tyle Lockett Paul Richardson looks to earn a starting spot over Jermaine Kearse, who really struggled last year. Lockett figures to remain as the number three receiver if he is healthy and ready to go. The leader of the offense is quarterback Russell Wilson who is the most accomplished young QB in the NFL. He has won a super bowl, been to the playoffs every year, and is a perennial pro bowler. Last season his running ability was compromised due to a bad ankle so expect Wilson to be even better in 2017 even with a poor line. Overall there is good news and bad news for the Seahawks offensive. The bad news is the offensive line still figures to be one of the very worst, if not the worst in the NFL. The good news is they have one of the most mobile QBs in the league who is actually better when he is on the move and not in the pocket so if anybody can make it work it would be Wilson.

Defense:

The Seahaws as expected were one of the best defenses in the NFL and with minimal loses from last season are expected to play well yet again. The only starter they lost came up front in defensive tackle Tony McDaniel who was the team’s best defensive tackle vs the run. He will be replaced by Jarran Reed, the team’s second round pick last year, who was highly touted for his play at Alabama coming into the draft. Ahtyba Rubin will be the other tackle and looks to bounce back after a down year compared to his more effective 2015 season. The Seahawks have the best group of defensive ends in the NFL. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril are well known commodities in the league but it was Frank Clark, the team’s second round pick in 2015, who really turned heads last year racking up 10 sacks while mostly playing as a reserve as he only started five games. Seattle is known for kicking Bennett inside to play the three technique at times and I would expect the Seahawks to use him even more at defensive tackle in passing situations with Clark now established as a good pass rusher in his own right. Seattle has the best linebacker duo in the NFL in Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright. They are both destroyers in the run game and cover well too. Currently Michael Wilhoite, Terence Garvin and Michael Morgan are all competing for the strong side backer spot for when the Seahawks elect to go to their 4-3 packages.  The Seahawks have some question marks at the cornberback position but the one constant they can always count on is Richard Sherman who is coming off another strong season and should be primed for another one in 2017 as he pushes towards a hall of fame career. It is always the other cornerbacks that garner concern and this season is no different. DeShawn Shead was the guy opposite Sherm last year but he is entering camp on the pup list recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the playoffs so he may not be ready for the start of the season and even if he is what kind of shape will he be in after missing most or all of camp and preseason? Jeremy Lane figures to be the slot guy but has challengers now coming off the worst season of his career. He must bounce back in 2017 or he could be supplanted by the fast rising Neiko Thorpe who has been working with the first team in Shead’s place and impressing the coaching staff. Now that the Seahawks have gotten Kam Chancellor’s contract taken care of there are no concerns at safety for Seattle. They have an elite duo in Chancellor and Earl Thomas and they have been doing it for years now. Overall with elite play at defensive end, linebacker, and the secondary it all adds up to the Seahawks being an elite defense yet again in 2017.

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