The Seahawks defense improved as 2020 wore on and the unit should be good this year. But who will play for Seattle in 2021 is still a bit of a mystery. Seattle signed or re-signed some potentially very disruptive pass rushers and have some they have drafted who could still develop.
Linebacker, however, is still a question, albeit one with quite a bit of talent. Safety is set. But the cornerbacks? That could be the group that keeps the Seahawks from getting very deep in the postseason, if they make it there at all.
So who will play on the side of the ball that will likely decide if Seattle wins the NFC West or not (and yes, I mean the defense)? Here’s an early guess.
Predicting Seahawks defense in 2021
Starters: DE Carlos Dunlap, DT Poona Ford, DT Al Woods, DE Kerry Hyder
Depth: DT Robert Nkemdiche, DT Bryan Mone, DE L.J. Collier, DE Rasheem Green, DE Aldon Smith, DE Benson Mayowa, DE Alton Robinson
Cut: Myles Adams and Jarrod Hewitt
Practice squad: Cedrick Lattimore
To be fair, the starters could go in lots of different directions. The locks are Poona Ford, who is going to move to Jarran Reed’s position in hopes Ford can be a very good interior pass rusher, and Carlos Dunlap. Seattle could move Collier or Hyder or Green inside instead of Woods. 12s won’t really know the fate of Aldon Smith’s off-field incident from earlier this offseason until maybe July, but it does seem like maybe there is a chance what he may have been involved in wasn’t as bad as it seemed at first glance.
No matter what, on paper at least, Seattle’s pass rush is extremely formidable and should be very good. And where’s Darrell Taylor? Wait for it.
Starters: Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks
Depth: Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven and Darrell Taylor
Cut: Nate Evans, Aaron Doncker and Jon Rhattigan
I have Taylor listed as a linebacker because it’s been an open secret this offseason that the Seahawks plan on using him at SAM. Taylor played a lot of linebacker in college and has the physical ability to do it in the NFL and his ability to pressure quarterbacks from the positions could be pivotal.
I don’t think K.J. Wright is coming back which means Wagner and Brooks will be the starters and that is a lot of good speed with excellent tackling ability.
Starters: D.J. Reed, Tre Flowers and Ugo Amadi
Depth: Ahkello Witherspoon and Tre Brown
Cut: Damarious Randall, Jordan Miller and Pierre Desir
Practice squad: Gavin Heslop, Saivon Smith and Bryan Mills
This group is the biggest question on the defense. Are any of the guys true number one corners? Or even number 2 corners? Seattle may have loaded up on pass rushers to keep the corners from being extremely exposed. Or just maybe, there is a lot of talent and depth on this unit and are going to be pretty good.
D.J. Reed looks solid but needs to prove he can be good and healthy for an entire year. The same goes for Witherspoon. And Tre Flowers is in a walk year.
Starters: Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs
Depth: Marquise Blair and Ryan Neal
This is probably the easiest group to predict for the Seahawks defense. I am moving Blair back to safety in 2021, though, because he can play either spot and showed promise doing so in 2020.