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Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

How did the Seattle Seahawks score in ESPN analyst Mike Clay’s annual position rankings?

By meerna Jun25,2024
How did the Seattle Seahawks score in ESPN analyst Mike Clay’s annual position rankings?

Less than a month before the opening of their first training camp under coach Mike Macdonald, the Seattle Seahawks are not in the typical situation of a rebuilding team after posting winning records in each of the last two seasons and boasting a plethora of talent on both sides teams. football.

Having inherited a roster that includes a number of established veteran stars as well as emerging young players, Macdonald should have many pieces in place to field a competitive Seahawks squad that can return to postseason contention after a narrow loss in 2023. At the same time, however, an offseason characterized by change has also left many question marks for a team that is also not without significant flaws.

In his annual projections, ESPN analyst Mike Clay compared each of Seattle’s position groups to the rest of the NFL. How do the Seahawks stack up in the rankings compared to the other 31 teams?

Looking at his year-to-date rankings leading up to training camp, let’s take a look at each of Seattle’s position groups and see if Clay rated the unit too high, too low, or just right.

After deteriorating in most categories last season, Geno Smith is not a top-10 NFL quarterback. However, he has been ranked in the top 10 in most major categories over the last two seasons and has certainly been better than his starters for over half the league, which is not reflected in this ranking. Add in the fact that Sam Howell showed promise in 18 regular-season starts before his 24th birthday, and the Seahawks should have one of the best backup options in the league with long-term starting potential. Several teams ahead of them, including the Jaguars and Cardinals, have at best comparable starters to Smith and an inferior backup to Howell.

Verdict: Too low

Statistically speaking, Ken Walker III and Zach Charbonnet didn’t perform as a top-five duo last season, as Walker failed to break the 1,000-yard mark and Charbonnet failed to surpass 500 yards, scoring just one touchdown as a rookie. However, both players were clearly weakened by an injury-ravaged attacking line, including right-back Abraham Lucas, who missed 11 games, and performed well given the difficult circumstances ahead of them. Talent-wise, Walker’s home run ability combined with Charbonnet’s physical, downhill style compares favorably with any other running back tandem in the league, and both players have soft hands as receivers as well, which should increase their value in Ryan Grubb’s offense .

Verdict: Exactly

Still one of the team’s greatest strengths, the Seahawks have amassed a solid collection of talented receivers, starting with veterans DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who have each gained at least 1,000 yards in three of the last five seasons. Adding even more firepower to the group, second-year winger Jaxon Smith-Njigba looks poised for a breakout season and could take the baton from Lockett as the No. 2 winger in 2024, while fellow sophomore Jake Bobo has impressed the new coaching staff after excellent debut year in the undrafted ranks. These four players, who combine with free agent Laviska Shenault and either Dee Eskridge or Dareke Young, should form perhaps the deepest receiving team in the NFL.

Verdict: Exactly

Grubb will have to replace a lot of snaps after the departures of Colby Parkinson and Will Dissly, but his biggest challenge will be figuring out how to get more out of Noah Fant, who caught just 32 passes last season despite playing in every game. After re-signing to a two-year, $10.5 million-per-year deal, the Seahawks need a former first-round pick to stick to his contract and become an increasingly permanent fixture in the passing game. Behind him, Pharaoh Brown has developed a reputation as a physical blocker but hasn’t offered much on offense, and fourth-round pick AJ Barner could be in line to play significant snaps early in the game. There is enough uncertainty in this group to justify a lower ranking, but the potential may exceed expectations.

Verdict: Too high

As has been the case for much of the last decade, the Seahawks were poor offensively last year, although injuries played a larger role in those struggles compared to previous seasons. It will be crucial for a healthy Lucas to return to the fold, while fellow attackman Charles Cross needs to make a big leap as a former top-10 prospect to show he can become one of the NFC’s top prospects in his league. position. The biggest question mark remains on the interior, however, as Seattle will have three new starters at guard and center, including a yet-to-be-determined starter at right guard and rookie Christian Haynes, who will compete with Anthony Bradford and McClendon Curtis in training camp. If left guard Laken Tomlinson bounces back after a difficult 2023 and center Olu Oluwatimi plays well in his first year as a full-time starter, this group could be better than advertised, but they need to earn the right to be viewed as anything other than just the bottom feeder in the trenches .

Verdict: Exactly

On paper, while the group didn’t necessarily live up to expectations last year, Seattle should have a defensive line that rivals any other NFL team entering the 2024 season. With the re-signing of Leonard Williams, who should thrive under Macdonald’s scheme, moving to various positions, the team invested a first-round pick in extremely athletic, versatile defenseman Byron Murphy II and expanded the frontcourt area with a proven veteran space eater in Johnathan Hankins. Add the return of rejuvenated veteran Jarran Reed, the rebounding potential of Dre’Mont Jones inside and off the edge, and the upside of young players Mike Morris and Cameron Young, and the Seahawks have created a juggernaut that wreaks havoc with a deep, versatile, disruptive defense.

Verdict: Exactly

With the return of a healthy Uchenna Nwosu, the Seahawks should see a slight improvement in the EDGE department, as the team sorely missed him when he went down with a torn pectoral muscle last October. Combining veteran Boye Mafe, who nearly reached double-digit sacks in a breakout sophomore season, and Jones, who is currently seeing heavy action on the outside, the team forms a quality trio that fits well into Macdonald’s scheme and offers contrasting strengths and skill sets . If there’s anything holding this group back, it’s a lack of depth, as Darrell Taylor splashed the offense at times while being a reel in the ground game, and second-year wide receiver Derick Hall didn’t record any sacks in a buzzy rookie season. If any of these players manage to break into the reserve position, it could be a top-15 position unit.

Verdict: Exactly

Undergoing a comprehensive change at their off-ball defense, the Seahawks watched former starters Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks leave in free agency and replaced them by acquiring former AFC East defensemen Jerome Baker and Tyrel Dodson as replacements. None of these veterans participated in the offseason program following injuries, followed by Jon Rhattigan, Patrick O’Connell and rookies Tyrice Knight and Easton Gibbs who played a combined fewer than 20 defensive reps during the regular season. If Baker and/or Dodson play well and Knight moves into the lineup sooner than expected, this group could surprise, but for now it looks like a glaring weakness in Macdonald’s defense.

Verdict: Too high

After a sensational rookie season, Riq Woolen took a significant step back in 2023, but aside from fewer interceptions, many of his numbers actually improved last season. Since he hasn’t struggled with an injury like he did this time last year, he should be prepared to bounce back strongly under Macdonald’s plan, especially with the team’s rising superstar Devon Witherspoon by his side. Once the Seahawks start playing nickel, they will be able to play either Mike Jackson or Tre Brown as their second boundary defender, and both of those players could play on a large number of teams. Behind them, rookies Nehemiah Pritchett and DJ James are intriguing, and seasoned veteran Artie Burns added versatility to his slot game last year, giving the team a wealth of riches at the position. If they fulfill their potential, they will be in the top three of the group in terms of talent.

Verdict: Too low

From a name recognition standpoint, the Seahawks took a major nosedive after firing former pro players Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams. However, Diggs was starting to show signs of decline while Adams couldn’t stay healthy and his constant injuries were clearly hampering his ability to play when he was able to play, so the decision to cut them and lower the price for safety reasons was the best decision. Julian Love had an up-and-down first season with the franchise, but once he found his footing, he shined down the stretch to earn a Pro Bowl nod. His versatility and ball-playing ability make him a perfect fit for Macdonald’s defense, and the underrated Rayshawn Jenkins is also poised to flourish. This group cannot be confused with the “Legion of Boom,” but if K’Von Wallace or Coby Bryant also make positive contributions, it certainly won’t be a bottom-of-the-table unit either.

Verdict: Too low

By meerna

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