The Seahawks played more base defense than any other team in the league last year. They badly need a slot corner and could find their man late in the draft.
We’ve written before about the sad state of the Seahawks defense in 2019. Yes, they came to life after that, but not enough. The thought of Seattle ranking 26th in yards and 22nd in points allowed is, well, not unthinkable, but it should be. A few months ago, Lee Vowell wrote that it’s time for Ken Norton Jr. to go, and I completely agree. In an era when the NFL passes more than ever, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to stay in a base 4-3 defense more than any other team. It isn’t as if playing three linebackers helped their rushing defense, as Seattle allowed 4.9 yards per carry which was 28th in the league.
There’s been a lot written about the fact that the Hawks had to play more base defense, as none of their slot corners were up to the task. Fair enough. If that’s the case, then bringing in someone who can do the job seems like it would be pretty high on the priority list come draft day. Here are a few of the players the Seahawks need to consider on day two or even day three of the draft.
Shyheim Carter, Alabama. The senior had just three interceptions in his 34 games for the Crimson Tide, but two of those were pick-sixes. He’s been overshadowed by teammate Trevon Diggs, who’s a legitimate target for the Seahawks on day one, maybe day two of the draft. Yes, we know Pete Carroll has never taken a corner before the third round, thanks. They could maintain that tradition and still get a player they really need in Carter, as he’s seen likely to go in round four or later. He isn’t as big as the Hawks profile for corners (6’0″ and 195 lbs), but wasn’t Russell Wilson “undersized”? Carter can hit and cover. Check out John Newman’s writeup on him for FanSided.
Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech. He’s a true junior, yet is a three-year starter. 14 interceptions (three pick-sixes) and 34 pass defenses is a pretty impressive stat line. Add in four sacks and 23 tackles for a loss, and you’ve really got something special. At 5’9″ and 185 pounds, he’ll have to play slot. That’s fine, since that what the Hawks need. Clearly his size hasn’t stopped him from dropping opponents behind the line of scrimmage. For more on the junior ballhawk, check out the great piece from Jeremiah Bogan for With the First Pick.
Troy Pride, Jr. Notre Dame. The senior played outside for the Fighting Irish but is expected to move to the slot in the pros. Pride reportedly ran sub-4.40 times, and at 5’11” and 194 pounds, has good size for the slot. Matty Brown of SI’s Seahawk Maven listed Pride as one of his five top Seahawky Senior Bowl players. Come one, you know exactly what he means by Seahawky. As with Carter and Robinson, he has defects in his game that would move him to the slot. And, he’ll likely be available on day three, which is perfect for Seattle, as they need to address a lot of needs in this draft.
The Hawks desperately need an upgrade at this position. I’m not suggesting that the departure of Justin Coleman was solely responsible for the Hawks precipitous dive in the defensive rankings, but they did rank 13th and 11th in points allowed in his two seasons in Seattle. He’s gone, and the Hawks surrender 51 more points. And we got nobody in the Salvation Army kettle! Seriously, the Hawks never truly replaced Coleman. They have to address that in this draft, and there are several great candidates to do just that.