Earlier this morning, the Seahawks announced they had traded Lawrence Jackson to the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed draft pick.
The roster continues to be refurbished under John Schneider’s watch; after one offseason, the Seahawks are further from the Tim Ruskell era than anyone could have anticipated. Four defensive ends started games for the Seahawks last season (Darryl Tapp, Patrick Kerney, Cory Redding, and Jackson), and none of them are on today’s roster.
Lawrence Jackson has never lived up to the hype following his first-round selection in 2008, and a change of scenery is probably beneficial for both sides. In two seasons, Jackson started twenty-four games but only collected 6.5 sacks.
A lot of people expected Lawrence Jackson to improve and contribute more this season with Pete Carroll, his former coach at Southern Cal, as Seattle’s head coach. But the emergence of Red Bryant at defensive end, the acquisition of Kentwan Balmer, and a new defensive scheme all played against Jackson’s chances of sticking in Seattle.
Lawrence Jackson possesses good size for a defensive end – he is listed as 6-foot-4, 271 pounds at NFL.com – but lacks the ideal size for a five-technique defensive end in Seattle’s scheme. Red Bryant is 6-foot-4, 323 pounds, and unusually quick for a man of his size. The opposite end, sometimes referred to as the “Leo” position, requires quicker, more agile players like Chris Clemons (6-3, 254) or Nick Reed (6-1, 247).
Lacking ideal size or skill for specific positions hurt Jackson, but he also never lived up to expectations. At 24 years of age, he still has an opportunity to develop into a good player at the professional level, but the Seahawks had apparently seen enough.