So altogether I think that I am developing a team that has the developing potential to contend. There are a lot of exciting talents, but also a couple of things that need to be seriously addressed.
Without much further thought, here is my analysis:
Drew Lock, Tyree Jackson, Geno Smith
I’m going to be completely honest here, I am gutted that I chose to go with Tyree Jackson and not pick up Gardner Minshew in last year’s draft. Minshew had a fantastic season as a rookie and I think he still has a lot of potential to develop further.
That being said, once Drew Lock took the field he was pretty good too. He finished the season 4-1 and while I was shocked at how badly he played in his first game, he went from strength to strength when he relaxed thereafter (apart from the Kansas game, that was shocking). Lock has a history of improvement and the team is already rallying around him. I still believe that he is a natural leader and that he will improve 2020.
Neither Tyree Jackson nor Geno Smith saw a single snap 2019.
Running back (4)
Chris Carson, Marshawn Lynch, John Kelly, Alex Barnes
This RB group has a lot of potential, but is a bit of a questionmark for me. John Kelly only had 3 snaps all season and Barnes is a FA. There will be a reason for that, even though I believe they have the ability to improve teams.
Chris Carson is a legit RB1 and cemented this with a second season as a PFF top 10 RB. Injuries remain a concern and his contract expires at the end of 2020. Marshawn Lynch came in like a beast at the end of the season and was smashing TDs in. Definitely would retain him.
He graded out as the 4th best FB in the league. That’s not bad, even when the league only uses FBs sparingly, if at all. I am excited to see if he gets used even more next season. I think in Football poly-athletes tend to have an advantage (unless the “sport” is track). As a former wrestler, baseball player and QB Ingold has the IQ and extra skills to be a top player for a long time.
Jace Sternberger, Jacob Hollister, Luke Willson, Ed Dickson
Sternberger was injured most season and when he was available Rodgers didn’t throw his way. I get the feeling that Rodgers will only throw to people if he trusts them 100% and perhaps that is a reason. Either way it is too early to judge him and we will see how he does 2020.
That makes the situation similar to the Seahakws where Hollister played most of the season as TE1. He graded out as average and almost the same as Luke Willson. They are not really the ideal guys for no.1 TEs but good as backups. Dickson spent another season on IR.
Wide Receiver (4)
Hunter Renfrow, David Moore, Cody Thompson, Jazz Ferguson, Quadree Henderson
Hunter Renfrow has the potential to become one of the best slots in the league – just putting it out there. He is so cerebral, knows that he doesn’t have the physical talents but uses his head to beat people. That will not only allow him to have a longer career than those relying on physical talents, but also allow him to continue progressing rather than regressing. He graded 23rd overall of all receivers, which is good for 4th best rookie. Not bad for a 5th round pick.
David Moore has ups and downs. In my opinion it is due to use and confidence. When he plays regularly he will be a high end depth option on the outside, if not better. He just needs to see the ball more. Regardless he was in the top 100 of WRs in 2019, graded by PFF at 67, which was better than Tyrell Williams (70), Demaryius Thomas (74) and Juju Smith-Schuster (85).
It might be interesting to see Cody Thompson here, but he wa son the PS for the Seahawks at the end of the season and I have watched his tape. I liked what I saw a lot and would add him to my receiving corps permanently. What to expect from him: slot, YAC and special teams.
Jazz Ferguson was a preseason hero. Then he was gone. Not sure what happened, there. Quadree Henderson was with the Steelers but played no snaps.
Duane Brown, George Fant, Germain Ifedi
Duane Brown is the unquestionable leader of the OLine and will remain so for a couple of years yet. I was a bit surprised to only see him graded by PFF as 23rd best overall in the league, but that is still miles above the rest of the tackles at Seattle.
Ironically Fant graded better than Ifedi, who never makes a solid impression. Fant is an all round weapon, helping out at TE as a 6th lineman and offering average play as a tackle.
Ifedi’s yellow rein of flagged terror will end this offseason and I am not sad to see him go.
Dalton Risner, Will Hernandez, Phil Haynes, DJ Fluker
Risner made the PFF All-Rookie team and has also been predicted by them as one of the top players to be most improved in 2020. What happens when the top rookie LG is most improved in the second season? You end up with a really good player. And why would he be so much improved? Because before this year he had only played Tackle and Center, but never Guard and more than held his own.
Hernandez also played above average in pass blocking, but regressed in his runblocking year 2. Overall he is still someone who has the traits to be part of an elite OLine. I think that maybe he was just having a sophmore slump in the second department because he was above average in his rookie year and the OL is known as one of the hardest to adjust to in the transition from College to NFL.
Haynes battles through a lot of little injuries in his rookie season and therefore never fully made it into the full rotation. In his limited snaps, however, Haynes showed promise and will continue to develop in year 2. At worst he is a quality depth piece, at best he could challenge for a starting spot.
Fluker, over the past few years, has been the most consistent guard for the Seahawks. Consistent but not exceptional.
Joey Hunt, Justin Britt
Britt and Hunt are both below average centers. Britt has experience but a sizeable cap hit and Hunt is a restricted free agent who gets put on his ass too often with a decent bullrush. This is my biggest area of need on the OLine and because it is such a vital piece it is also the biggest position of need on the Offense.
Defensive End (5)
Frank Clark, Genard Avery, Brian Burns, Kahzin Daniels, Ade Aruna
Quick note, Jacob Martin is missing from this list because I am counting my whole 2018 draft class, which means that Seahawks picks from that class cannot be counted.
Whether it was moving to a new system or getting paid, according to the numbers, Frank Clark played his worst season to date last year. He recorded 8 sacks, down from 13 the previous year, which in fairness was the same as Von Miller, Yannick Ngakoue, Everson Griffin, Vic Beasley and Clay Matthews. Clark was also battling some injuries, which should see him pick up the pace again next year.
In his rookie campaign in Cleveland, Avery had the 3rd most pressures among rookies, including 4.5 sacks. In week 9 of the 2019 season he was traded to the Eagles and hardly played in what is a decent pass rush. He has the ability to blow up games and I think that he will show improvement next year.
Brian Burns had the 4th most sacks among rookies in 2019 and returned a fumble for a touchdown. Those are about the numbers you would expect from a mid-first round talent and I would hope that he improves on those in 2020. I think that he will, because he was playing through a wrist injury and swapped from the left (where he had more success) to the right.
Ade Aruna has hardly seen any playing time since entering the league and I have to see whether I keep him next season. Similarly Daniels only had 3 snaps, but he was an UDFA rookie and I will give him at least one more season to develop. He could however move to my PS.
DE/DT Hybrid (2)
Quinton Jefferson, Naz Jones
A strong combination of run defense and pass rush made Jefferson one of the most reliable players on the Seahawks DL in 2019. He can play both outside and inside and brought 4 sacks to the table. Solid season, which should warrant a new contract at a manageable price.
Naz didn’t play a snap in 2019 as the Seahawks tried to move him from the inside to outside. I think he has the physical traits to play a similar position to Jefferson and really make an impact.
Defensive Tackle (5)
Poona Ford, Maurice Hurst, Khalen Saunders, Trysten Hill, Jarran Reed
Ford was an UDFA and is now a top 50 DT with an above average run defense. He will continue to improve and become a leader for the Seahawks on the DL.
Hurst earned a top 10 pass rushing grade in 2019 and therefore makes the ideal counterpart to Ford on the interior, whose pass rush was not so great. Hurst on the otherhand struggled a little when it came to run defense.
Khalen Saunders finished just outside the top 100 of DTs and was basically only used as a rotational piece. He didn’t have any great numbers, but he did come into the NFL as a fairly raw project and therefore did well to get into a rotation.
I expected a lot more from a 2nd round Trysten Hill. He didn’t get enough snaps to justify a grade and didn’t play well in those limited snaps. I hope it is just adjustment problems to the NFL because he has the natural talents to be a top guy, but it has to be remembered that he also had problems with coaching staff at UCF. If he were in my team, with fellow Knights the Griffin brothers on D it might make a difference.
Coming back after his suspension Reed did not have the galvanizing impact you would hope for. Nonetheless, he is going to demand a big contract, which I am just not willing to pay with the other guys I have on the team.
DE/LB Hybrid (2)
Shaquem Griffin, Jamal Davis II
Two hybrid players similar to Jefferson, except where Jefferson sits between DE/DT they sit between DE/LB. These are specialty rushers with Davis having played LB in college. Both are pretty raw for the NFL level, but in my eyes they have great upside. In limited snaps, Griffin graded out as the 2nd best edge player after Clowney for the Seahawks and should definitely see more of the pitch next year.
Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, Ben Burr-Kirven, Pita Taumoepenu
My linebacker duo of Wagner and Wright was extremely solid, but not explosive. In the first season as the designated leader of the Defense Wagner underwhelmed. I feel like Wright had more splash plays than he did, which is not to say that he wasn’t still a top 10 LB in the league. Wright falls in the category of experienced vet who still has plenty in the tank.
BBK played mainly special teams in his debut season and even though he left college as an absolute tackling machine, it seems like the Seahawks staff value to high football IQ of Cody Barton more, which is why BBK is getting less snaps. I still believe in his upside and that he can be an impact player in the league. Pita is a player with less american football experience than most players who enter the league. The Seahawks picked him up and added him to their PS. That is probably where he will land with me too.
Shaquill Griffin, Levi Wallace, Holton Hill, Derrek Thomas
Griffin made his first pro bowl in 2019. He focused on his strengths and didn’t try to be Richard Sherman 2.0. He had 0 interceptions, but PFF attested him a “forced incompletion rate of 21.2% that ranked second among all cornerbacks with 50 or more targets.” He is establishing himself as one of the most complete corners in the league and will continue to build on that in 2020.
Wallace had a down season and went from CB2 to a rotation between 2 and 3. This was in part to an injury picked up against the eagles. He is a tackling machine and had the 6th most in the league. Nonetheless he is still showing improvement and will continue to be a top CB. I have all faith in that.
Hill only played a limited amount of snaps, has had problems with violations, but has also shown flashes of talent. He may end up being a starter in Minnesota and that is not a bad backup to have.
Derrek Thomas, as far as i can see, is modelling…it appears that his ridiculous athletic skills were not enough. Maybe we will see him back on the pitch in 2020, I doubt it, so I will be removing him from my squad.
He came into the season as a fairly raw talent, but ended up showing lots of flashes of promise, but maybe not quite putting it all together yet. Then he was derailed by injury. I expect him to come back strong in 2020 and work to establish himself in the league.
Diggs may well be the solution at FS following fellow longhorn Earl Thomas. He flashed some truly outstanding play in the short time with the Seahawks and the qualities of a leader to boot. All of that without 100% fitness. He will be a great player for the hawks for some time yet.
Budda Baker, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Sheldrick Redwine, Kyle Queiro, Bradley McDougald
Budda Baker was the first pick I ever made, so it makes me very excited to see him do well. He led all safeties in tackles, was 5th in the league among all players in tackles and is a real swiss army knife, playing FS, SS and dime. Add to that his leader qualities and you have an exceptional player.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson had a great rookie season, especially when it came to run defense, where he excelled, playing mostly SS, dime and slot corner. He was named into the PFF all rookie team with the following commendation: “Among all defenders with 25 or more slot targets, Gardner-Johnson’s 77.3 coverage grade ranks fourth. His 29.6% forced incompletion rate on those slot targets is the best in the league.” With CDJ graded as the 31st best Safety in 2019, that gives me 3 safeties better than 35th in the league.
Redwine came in as a 4th round pick and became a starting contributor closing out the season for the Browns. That’s strong, especially because I only need him as a backup for now. I still think that his movement skills are best suited to the slot, but he can flex to the other positions too. What he really needs to clean up though is his missed tackles.
Queiro, unfortunately has not made it in the NFL yet. He was realeased by the Cowboys August 2019 and then played in the XFL for the Seattle Dragons before getting injured. We will see if he gets another shot in the NFL, otherwise he will end up on my PS or released.
McDougald had a down season and it probably couldn’t have come at a worse time for him. With the Seahawks he has Blair breathing down his neck and in my team there are both Baker and CDJ who are better. His cap hit doesn’t reflect his value at this point. I want leaders on my team and he only seems to perform at his best when he has other strong players around him.
Myers fell way short of his contract coming in at 23rd in the ranking of kickers. He missed a couple who he should have made. I will give him another season to try an prove his worth unless there is a player I really like in the draft.
In real life Ryan is not even playing in the NFL anymore. He is in the Candian Football League. I think it is time to move on from a Seahawks legend and invest in a new talent.
Long Snapper (1)
I have no idea how you measure how good a LS is. But he didn’t seem to do anything wrong, and he snapped the ball well on the trick play with Homer so why not keep him.
On Offense the main issue I have is depth and starters at receiver (TE and WR). I want a second established RB and some elite talent in my OL.
On Defense I need to add high quality starter at pass rush and young quality depth at LB. I could also do with adding some outside corner and safety depth with less urgency.
On Special Teams I want to add a young Punter and if there is someone who is really great a young Kicker.
There are also a bunch of players who I would be open to cutting so that I can free up salary cap for some free agents.
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