We’re getting down to it now, just 20 players left in our countdown of the Seahawks roster as camp begins Wednesday.
Here are players 20-11.
20. Jordyn Brooks
Potential role in 2021: Starting weakside linebacker, the first time Seattle has had someone other than K.J. Wright serving in that spot to start the season since 2013 (Wright played strongside his first two years in 2011-12 with Leroy Hill at weakside). No big shoes there or anything …
Why he’s ranked here: One of the main reasons the Seahawks have not re-signed Wright is that they want Brooks to have a full-time role at WLB. Last year, Brooks played WLB in the base defense after Wright moved to SLB to take over for the injured Bruce Irvin. But Wright then usually stayed on in the nickel, with Brooks heading to the sidelines. This year, the plan is for Brooks to be an every-down player and prove worthy of the first-round draft choice the team spent on him in 2020.
19. Will Dissly
Position: Tight end.
Potential role in 2021: The former Husky will share primary tight end duties with free agent signee Gerald Everett. Dissly likely will play more in-line than Everett, but the Seahawks also hope to get him more involved in the passing game than he was a year ago.
Why he’s ranked here: Dissly is entering the final season of his rookie contract and undoubtedly is hoping to have a bounce-back year in terms of per-game production, similar to what he had in 2018 and 2019. After catching 23 passes for 262 yards in six games in 2019, he had 24 for 251 in 16 games a year ago. But part of the reason was Dissly was used much more as a blocker, with the team early on trying to feature Greg Olsen in the passing game. And he also seemed to still be returning to his peak physical form after recovering from two significant injuries. The hope is he’s back to full health, and that a lot more catches will come as a result.
18. Michael Dickson
Potential role in 2021: Once again one of the best punters in the NFL.
Why he’s ranked here: The way the Seahawks play you could argue Dickson deserves to be rated even higher for his impact on field position. According to Football Outsiders, Seattle ranked third last year in net points of field position from punts. Seattle rewarded Dickson in the spring with a four-year, $14.5 million extension.
17. Jason Myers
Potential role in 2021: Third consecutive season as Seattle’s kicker.
Why he’s ranked here: Myers last year allowed Seattle to finally begin moving on from the Stephen Hauschka era. Myers last year hit all 24 of his field-goal attempts, including a team-record 61-yarder, and enters the 2021 season having hit 35 in a row.
16. Damien Lewis
Position: Left guard.
Potential role in 2021: Slated to be the starting left guard after playing right guard last season.
Why he’s ranked here: After starting 15 games at right guard last year as a rookie (and one at center in an emergency role), Lewis is switching sides so that veteran Gabe Jackson — acquired in a trade with the Raiders — can stay on the right side. We’ll see if that proves to be a challenge. Lewis shined as a run blocker last year but needs to improve his pass blocking and cut down on penalties — he had 11 last year.
15. Brandon Shell
Position: Right tackle.
Potential role in 2021: Shell is again expected to be the starting right tackle, though coach Pete Carroll says Cedric Ogbhuehi will be given a chance to win the job, as well.
Why he’s ranked here: The “chatter’’ surrounding Russell Wilson’s offseason comments led many to expect widespread change on Seattle’s offensive line. Instead, Jackson was the only significant addition, with the Seahawks reiterating their faith in players such as Lewis and Shell. Shell had a solid first season with Seattle in 2020, finishing fourth in fewest blown blocks per snap, via Football Outsiders. But an ankle injury down the stretch that cost him five games was one of several on the line that helped lead to the offensive downturn.
14. Poona Ford
Position: Defensive tackle.
Potential role in 2021: After playing mostly nose tackle alongside Jarran Reed in 2020, Ford is expected to play more of the three-technique tackle spot, with Al Woods and Bryan Mone at the nose.
Why he’s ranked here: The Seahawks re-signed Ford to a two-year, $12.3 million deal in the offseason, indicating they expect him to become an even bigger factor up front. Ford has been great against the run and last year began to show a lot more consistency in his pass rush (18 hurries compared to a combined 13 his first two seasons). His revised/enhanced role could mean even more opportunities to rush the passer.
13. Kerry Hyder
Position: Defensive end.
Potential role in 2021: Starting strongside defensive end and key part of defensive line rotation overall.
Why he’s ranked here: Hyder proved to be Seattle’s main offseason addition to the defensive end position (with the Seahawks otherwise keeping the spot pretty much intact) after he had a career-high 8.5 sacks last year for the 49ers. Hyder gives Seattle what appears to be a deep set of strongside, or five-technique, ends — Rasheem Green and L.J. Collier also play that spot. Expect Hyder to also play inside substantially on passing downs.
12. Ahkello Witherspoon
Potential role in 2021: Starting left cornerback.
Why he’s ranked here: A $4 million guarantee might not be THAT much by NFL standards, but it’s about twice as much as the team is scheduled to pay any other corner on the roster. That indicates the team expects/hopes Witherspoon can step into the left corner spot filled the past three years by Shaquill Griffin.
11. Gabe Jackson
Position: Right guard.
Potential role in 2021: Has no real competition as the starting right guard after Seattle acquired him via trade from the Raiders.
Why he’s ranked here: Given the offseason controversy over Wilson’s future, there’s a lot riding on the trade for Jackson working out, in large part because it was the only significant move the Seahawks made up front. Jackson arrives in Seattle with a reputation as one of the better pass-blocking guards in the league over his seven-year career. If there’s anything ominous, he recorded the lowest pass-blocking grade of his career last season, via Pro Football Focus, continuing something of a steady decline in his pass-blocking grade since his first two seasons. Seattle is hoping a fresh start might mean a return to his best days.
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