Seattle Seahawks are now overflowing with pass rushers


You can never have too many pass rushers in the NFL, right? This year, the Seattle Seahawks are working on testing that theory by loading up at defensive end with no discernible method for getting them all on the field.

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Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett return for another season. The 2013 free agent additions have anchored one of the league’s top units at getting after the passer for the past two seasons.

The depth behind them hasn’t been great though. When Avril suffered a concussion in the Super Bowl, Seattle’s pass defense fell apart. The Seahawks were also unable to move Bennett inside to the three-tech spot, where he’s at his best, for much of the season because of there wasn’t anyone else capable of generating pressure from his defensive end spot.

That will change this season. The Seahawks drafted Frank Clark with their first pick in the draft, and Obum Gwacham in the sixth round. Clark is a 272 pound Bennett clone that can rush from both the inside and the outside. Gwacham is a thinner and taller version of Avril who wins with speed.

That pair generates much-needed depth at the position that will allow Seattle to rest their stars more during the season. It will also give them insurance in case one of the starters happens to get hurt.

2014 rookie Cassius Marsh returns after missing most of last season due to injury. Marsh is very similar to Gwacham, and the two will ultimately compete for playing time.

Greg Scruggs also returns. He’s barely played the last two seasons due to injuries, but played very well as a rookie in 2012. If he can stay healthy, he offers the Seahawks another inside-outside pass rushing specialist similar to Bennett and Clark.

The result is that the Seahawks are three-deep at both defensive end position heading into training camp. There are other players at the position as well, but most appear to be massive long-shots to make the roster at this point.

Of course, the Seahawks also have Bruce Irvin, Kevin Pierre-Lewis, and Mike Morgan on the roster as well. All three are linebackers that have the ability to rush off the edge in obvious passing situations.

If they all stay healthy, that gives the Seahawks nine potential pass-rushers, and no conceivable way to get more than four on the field at any one time. That is simply too many players for the number of defensive snaps that the defense will face.

Too many pass rushers? That is a very good problem to have.

Next: Should Seattle be worried bout Russell Wilson?

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