The Seahawks pass rush started very slowly in 2020 and this set the whole defense back last year. This should not be the case heading into 2021. Seattle has clearly made an effort to get the pass rush better from the start this season in lots of ways.
First, Seattle brought back Carlos Dunlap who made a huge difference after being traded to Seattle midway through the 2020 season. And Seattle signed Kerry Hyder in free agency and Hyder had 8.5 sacks in 2020 while he was with the 49ers.
In 2020, the Seahawks were without second-round 2020 draft pick Darrell Taylor for the entire season with an injury. Taylor will be back to start 2021 and while it will basically be his rookie year, he should add quarterback pressures to the mix early and often.
Seahawks have an abundance of edge rushers
Seattle also signed Aldon Smith in free agency and while his season is in question with yet another off-the-field issue, Smith might also be cleared of any charges and be able to contribute this year.
Take all this into account while also remembering that Rasheem Green was injured for a chunk of 2020 and will return healthy in 2021, Seattle also still has L.J. Collier, Alton Robinson and Benson Mayowa and the Seahawks have gone from an extremely questionable pass rush to start 2020 into a bunch of players who will be well-rested and productive in a rotation of edge rushers in 2021.
This group doesn’t even include safety Jamal Adams who had 9.5 sacks last year. Adams hopefully will not get that many this year simply because his responsibilities lie more in playing the backend of the defense than in Seattle relying on him to be one of only two players who get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
If Smith plays, he has proven he can supply consistent pressure. So can Dunlap. More recently, Mayowa has done that too. Hyder’s sack totals went up last year because he finally got a chance to play a bunch of snaps but he also learned valuable experience and will be fresh with the abundance of pass rushers around him.
Seattle appears to have entered the offseason this way: Sign high-risk cornerbacks and add them to a rotation and give them help by getting a bunch of high-reward edge rushers. Cornerback is a question mark for Seattle going into the season, but edge rusher is clearly not and that group might be good enough to get the Seahawks deep into the playoffs.