These five players will be the best additions to the Seahawks

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks have undergone a lot of changes since the end of 2017. These five new players will have the biggest impact on 2018.

It’s no secret that there have been a few changes on the Seahawks since that last brutal loss to the Cardinals. Realizing that game may have put you into a coma, I thought I’d briefly recap the changes. Almost all the coaches other than Pete Carroll are new. Of the three mainstays of the Legion of Boom, Richard Sherman is gone, Kam Chancellor may be gone, and even Earl Thomas isn’t a sure thing.

I can see why you might rather stay in that coma. When you get down to it, there’s a chance that Shaquill Griffin may be the steely-eyed veteran of the defensive backfield. Other than Thomas, he had the most snaps of anyone in the group, and he only had 11 starts. Crazy, right?

Oh, I forgot to mention the receivers with the second and fourth most catches last season are gone too. Russell Wilson might be a little more depressed than you about Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson moving on, but just a little. Did I mention they had almost half (16 of 34) the touchdown catches too?

By now you’re probably desperate to return to that unconscious state. Do not abandon hope! Don’t abandon your team, either. Help is on the way. Hey, did I mention both Michael Bennett and Sheldon Richardson are gone? I admit, that was just mean.

But seriously, help is on the way. Actually, it’s here already. Some came via free agency, while others came through the draft. I guess that’s a bit of a spoiler alert. Kind of like the way someone snapped their fingers and half the Seahawks starters disappeared. Close enough.

Sad endings get happy sequels

That blockbuster movie has a downbeat ending, but has a sequel coming up that (hopefully) has the good guys winning. That’s what I see for the Seahawks. 2017 ended on one heck of a sad note, and a lot of the good guys disappeared soon after.

2018 has a lot of promise, as a new squad joins the fight. And since I just cast Pete Carroll as the villain in this metaphor, I think it’s best to drop it. Pete’s no villain. I mean, his chin is perfectly normal.

So enough of that. Of all the new Seahawks, I see these five players as having the biggest impact on 2018. Note, this doesn’t include players re-signed, like Bradley McDougald or Justin Coleman. New kids on the block only.

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Rashaad Penny. Listen, if your first round pick isn’t going to be one of your top five new players, you’ve got problems. Penny should go a long way to helping the run game, and help Tyler Lockett maximize his potential as a receiver, too.

D. J. Fluker. Yes, I chose a guard that Pro Football Focus ranked as 76th in pass-blocking as one of the impact players. Why, when Russell Wilson spent much of the past two seasons running for his life? Because they also rank him 17th in run blocking, and many sources view him as one of the league’s best road graders. A better run game means fewer pass attempts. And that means fewer instances of Wilson running to the tent to not go through the concussion protocol.

Ed Dickson. Might as well stick with the blocking theme, right? Pro Football Focus rated Dickson the best pass blocker among all tight ends last season. His run blocking…well, let’s just say it needs to improve. The big surprise, he actually ranked higher than Jimmy Graham in receiving last year. Good things happen when you don’t drop seven passes. Dickson dropped one for those of you keeping score.

Michael Dickson of the Seahawks
HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 27: Michael Dickson #13 of the Texas Longhorns is named MVP of the Academy Sports & Outdoors Bowl at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

We close with defense, special teams, and a little magic

Michael Dickson. Might as well keep it in the family, right? Michael is related to Ed in that they are both Seahawks, of course. Yes, I’m listing a punter as one of the top impact players for 2018. Mainly because he isn’t just a punter; he’s the punter. Read this, and you’ll see what I mean.

Shaquem Griffin. So I list a punter, and wrap up with a special teams/backup player. If you somehow don’t know why I see Shaquem Griffin as the biggest newcomer for the Seahawks, you haven’t been paying attention. On the field and off the field, he’ll definitely make his mark. On the field, he’s been a sack machine and an absolutely destructive force. Off the field, tell me how can any team with this guy could ever give less than everything they’ve got?

In the words of Vince Lombardi, “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” In the modern NFL, even wanting to win isn’t everything. Like the other 31 teams, the Seahawks are in the business of entertainment and inspiration. Griffin shows those attributes more than anyone in the league. The Seahawks have always delivered on both, and will deliver even more in 2018.