While rumors swirl about Julio Jones, let’s leave that topic lie for now and talk about one of the most interesting pieces of the 2021 roster that we know will be there: Jamal Adams. We all know how well Adams played in 2020, at least in regards to rushing the passer, and I’m sure all Seahawks fans are excited to watch him do it again in 2021.
With that being said, I think Jamal Adams can improve his game in 2021 and truly evolve into at least a top-3 safety in the league. I even think he has the potential to be the very best, and considering what the Seahawks gave up for him, we should be expecting this kind of ceiling.
He’ll be one of the most important pieces of the team this season.
How the Seahawks Jamal Adams can be the league’s best safety in 2021
There are two simple things that Jamal Adams needs to do this season to be the best of the best:
- Stay healthy in order to remain on the field
- Improve in pass coverage
Adams had 9.5 sacks in 2020 and only played on 68% of defensive snaps. He missed several games with a strained groin and was limited in his other games by a litany of other injuries, including a torn labrum and multiple hyperextensions. It was clear to me that in the back half of the season when Jamal Adams was on the field he wasn’t 100% healthy. It’s still awesome to see him out there and knowing he has the competitive spirit to fight through adversity.
If Adams’ injury record remains fairly clean in 2021 and he can play 90% of defensive snaps or more, he will be more confident on the field and push himself to the limits. I think Adams can have double-digit sacks this season and rack up as many as 100 tackles. The best ability is availability, and if Jamal Adams’ availability is significantly improved in 2021, it will make him a better safety regardless.
Improve in pass coverage
Pass coverage is the only area in which Jamal Adams disappointed in 2020. While he was only targeted 45 times, he gave up a 77.8% completion rate and a very good 104.7 passer rating on those targets. I think the main issue in this part of his game was the negative impact the injuries had on him.
In 2018, Jamal Adams was exceptionally healthy. He played on an insane 100% of snaps! I’m not going to say that Adams can play every single defensive snap, but if he can crack 90%, his ability to cover will most likely improve. In that 2018 season, Adams’ coverage numbers were exceptional: he gave up a 55% completion rate and only a 74.7 passer rating.
If Seattle is able to help Jamal Adams remain healthy enough in 2021 to start in 16 of 17 games, he’ll be able to reach (and likely break) his own sack record from last season. Combine 10 sacks with good coverage numbers (60% completion, 80 passer rating) and the Seahawks have themselves a top-3 safety.
Boost Adams’ coverage statistics to where they were in 2018 and somehow find a way to get him after the quarterback the same way he did in 2020, and Jamal Adams is the NFL’s best safety this season. Adams played excellent in 2020, but turning it up a notch in 2021 will prove he was worth every asset Seattle traded away to acquire him.