Seahawks midseason awards: most surprising player

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 03: Quarterback Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams is tackled by defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson #99 of the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 3, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 03: Quarterback Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams is tackled by defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson #99 of the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 3, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks have pulled off their share of surprises so far this season. But who has been the most surprising player on the team?

Seattle reached the season’s midpoint at 6-2. That record would qualify the Seahawks for the playoffs if the season ended now. I’m happy we’ve got plenty of football left, and even happier we’ve seen the team play as well as they have. Every year, it seems like the Hawks come up with a really surprising player, whether it’s Chris Carson or Shaquem Griffin. Here are our picks for this year’s most surprising Seahawk at the halfway point.

Contributor Blake Waldron: Quinton Jefferson came into camp this season arguably on the bubble as the Seahawks acquired three other tackles in Al Woods, Jamie Meder, and Earl Mitchell, hoping to minimize the damage of Jarran Reed’s six-game suspension. They did that and more, as Seattle came out that stretch 5-1 with Meder and Mitchell both off of the roster. Both were released in the wake of Jefferson’s emergence. Not even a starter last season, Jefferson is currently ranked as the fifth-best player overall on the team and the third-best defensively. Coming out of nowhere, Jefferson’s ability to both pass rush and run stop has been a godsend for a team that was lacking both production and depth. When Jefferson gets healthy, and if he can keep his production up, he will give the Seahawks front office an interesting decision to make when it comes time to make a decision on re-signing Reed.

Contributor Colby Patnode: There are quite a few options here, but I think for the reasons listed in the article on the defensive MVP, I have to say it’s Shaq Griffin. He was so bad in 2018 and just one year later, he is in the All-Pro discussion. That is exactly what the Seahawks needed because the front seven haven’t been as advertised (though still solid) and Bradley McDougald has struggled. Tre Flowers has been okay but hasn’t taken the next step. Griffin had to lock down the other side with this many holes on the defense, and for the most part, he has. A pleasant surprise and one that is much needed. Kudos!

Contributor Geoff Shull: Michael Dickson last year showed he can be one of the best punters in the game, a true weapon for the team. However, this year he has been anything but with the worst net punting distance in the NFL, coupled with the second most touchbacks. Outside of distance and ball placement, one of the things Dickson excelled at last year was air time. This year he has struggled with this and has the seventh-highest percentage punts returned. This is typically caused by either having a booming kick or lack of air time. Given the fact Dickson is middle of the pack in gross ball distance traveled its safe to say it’s not that, leaving a lack of air time as the culprit. Whatever the issues may be, we need last year’s All-Pro Kicker to get his game together and become the X-factor we know he can be.

Co-expert Todd Vandenberg: I have to give a shoutout to a player I have routinely expected to be released by the Seahawks, year after year. It was never about his talent, but he just couldn’t seem to ever stay on the field for more than a few games a year. I’ve written him off as nothing more than a one-hit-wonder far too often. All 12s have to know I’m talking about C.J. Prosise. He’s already matched his career-high in appearances with six games. That’s great news, but what he’s done on the field is even better. He’s only been targeted 11 times, but he’s caught nine of those balls. That’s three times as many catches as Rashaad Penny. Prosise has five first downs and a score in just 22 touches. He’s averaging 5.9 yards after the catch, fourth on the team. I can’t remember a time I’ve been more happy to be wrong about a player.

Co-expert Lee Vowell: Quinton Jefferson has been a nice surprise. He isn’t going to make the Pro Bowl, but even after missing week 8 he is still tied with Jadeveon Clowney in leading Seattle in quarterback hits (seven), sacks (two) and has three passes defended. Seattle would be lost without Clowney, but they would be much worse off without Jefferson, surprisingly enough.

Next. Hawks midseason defensive MVP. dark

The Seahawks have had several nice surprises on their roster, along with at least one who needs to step up his game. Ezekiel Ansah fits that category too, but it isn’t a huge surprise that he’s struggled, considering his injury history. Overall, it looks like 12ManRising sees Quinton Jefferson as the Hawks most surprising play of the year so far.