The Seahawks have considerably addressed the necessity at cross rush. Maybe their largest want for 2020 is a run-stopping defensive tackle.
The Seahawks have the potential to succeed in the Super Bowl in 2020. There is a whole lot of talent practically in all places on the roster apart from probably the 2 most place items, the offensive line and defensive line. Still, Russell Wilson helps overcome a sometimes weak offensive line. The sins of the defensive line are harder to hide.
In 2019, the Seahawks linebackers were good and the secondary got better after Seattle acquired Quandre Diggs. But the defensive line supplied little pressure on opposing quarterbacks while also having issues stopping the run. And that was with Jadeveon Clowney.
More and more it appears Clowney will not be returning to Seattle. The Seahawks have done a few things to fix their defensive end issues, but there is also still a lot of unknown there. Are rookies Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson going to be good pros? Can offseason acquisitions Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa come close to the production with other teams in 2019?
Seattle still needs help at end. They need all their new players to produce at some decent level. But they also need Rasheem Green and L.J. Collier to be better in 2020. Green led the Seahawks in sacks in 2019, but with a paltry 4.
Seattle’s 28 sacks in 2019 was close to the league low and there isn’t any real proof the team will be better this season and that is a very real problem.
Defensive tackle is a bigger issue
While defensive end could be a problem again, there is also reason for hope that with two veterans back with Seattle and all the young potential, the Seahawks could be much better at getting to the quarterback. But there is reason to believe that the defensive tackle position could be worse this year.
Seattle’s starters will be Poona Ford and Jarran Reed. Ford isn’t going to do much with the pass rush but he can eat up space and help stop the run. In 2019, Pro Football Focus gave Ford a rush-defense grade of 73.5, good for 28th in the league.
Reed was ranked as the 80th “best” defensive tackle in 2019. This was a year after Reed got 10.5 sacks. He missed the first six games of the year after being suspended. Reed did not come back all that strong and he wasn’t good last year. He needs to be more 2018 than 2019 in 2020.
The Seahawks let walk free agent defensive tackles Al Woods and Quinton Jefferson. The problem is Jefferson was the 28th highest graded defensive end overall in the NFL in 2019. He could also get to the quarterback fairly well. Woods was the 14th highest graded DT against the run last year.
After Reed and Ford, Seattle has four guys who are complete unknowns. Only one, Bryan Mone, has any NFL experience. Demarcus Christmas missed his rookie year of 2019 with an injury. Josh Avery and Cedrick Lattimore are 2020 undrafted free agents Seattle has signed. None of these four should be expected to produce much in 2020.
Defensive tackle is in bigger need than defensive end for the Seahawks this year. Ford and Reed could be a good duo or not. After them is a void of experience and possibly talent. Seattle needs to fix the interior of their defensive line before week one of the season.