Seattle Seahawks: Predicting the 2020 defensive starters
By Lee Vowell
A bit over one week into Seattle Seahawks training camp and bit over a week more until scrimmages start, here is a guess at who starts on defense week one.
The Seattle Seahawks are a better team on paper going into 2020 than they were in 2019. Still, the team made the playoffs last year as they do almost every season since Pete Carroll became the coach and John Schneider became the general manager in 2010.
Missing the playoffs in 2020 would be disappointed and that something bad happened along the way, like Russell Wilson getting injured. But assuming the Seattle Seahawks do make the playoffs, they could go deep into the postseason should their defense be better than last year.
Here is my current guess at who starts for the Seahawks on defense in 2020, and this guess assumes Seattle makes another move or two to add talent to the defense.
Defensive end Clay Matthews
Defensive tackle Jarran Reed
Defensive tackle Poona Ford
Defensive end Everson Griffen
I think the surprise is not that the Seahawks sign Griffen or Matthews, it is that they sign both. Seattle cleared cap space by trading for Jamal Adams and trading Bradley McDougald and then releasing Joey Hunt and others. Seattle isn’t going to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney, but getting Matthews and Griffen would likely cost less than signing Clowney alone. And two is better than one.
The question becomes who backs up Ford and Reed at tackle but the depth chart is thin behind them.
Seattle’s linebacker group is loaded. Wright will make the roster and start but this will be his last year with the Seattle Seahawks because Seattle drafted Jordyn Brooks for a reason. But for 2020, Wagner and Wright will start.
Now the hope is that Seattle plays a lot less 4-3 base and more 4-2-5 which served them well for most of the last decade.
Cornerback Shaquill Griffin
Free safety Quandre Diggs
Strong safety Jamal Adams
Cornerback Quinton Dunbar
Slot corner Marquise Blair
After Florida officials announced on Friday that charges stemming from an alleged robbery in May were dropped, the only question is if the NFL still suspends him. If so, it could be for two games or four. Who knows with the NFL? Either way, Dunbar should definitely be available for most of the season if he stays healthy.
Adams, of course, came to Seattle recently via trade and instantly makes the entire defense better. He and Griffin have both been Pro Bowlers and Diggs has been an alternate. Dunbar was the second-highest graded cornerback in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus. And Tre Flowers is the backup at corner. Goodness.
There is still a question about who plays slot corner, but I just think Seattle needs to find a way to get Blair on the field and the best way to do that is to have him play the slot. It could be Ugo Amadi as well, but I am guessing Blair.