12s and Russell Wilson have complained about the Seahawks pass blocking in recent seasons. But ESPN says there should be no complaints in 2021. According to Seth Walder of ESPN, Seattle is projected to have the fourth-best pass block win rate (PBWR) this coming season. For the record, again according to ESPN, Seattle had the ninth-best PBWR in 2020.
One big reason Seattle could be in the top-five of the NFL in pass blocking is the addition of right guard Gabe Jackson. Getting Jackson means left guard will now be played by Damien Lewis. Lewis was very good at right guard in his rookie season of 2020 and should easily make the transition to the opposite side.
In the last couple of years left guard has been manned by Mike Iupati. Iupati wasn’t terrible but just oft-injured and could not be relied upon to play in important games or at the end of the year. The young and talented Lewis next to future Hall of Famer left tackle Duane Brown should form an excellent blindside for Russell Wilson.
Seahawks should protect Russell Wilson better in 2021
Jackson, meanwhile, will slide between the center (likely Ethan Pocic) and right tackle Brandon Shell. Shell was good when he was healthy to play in his first year with the Seahawks last season and with luck, Shell will remain healthier this season.
This really leaves as the only question mark along Seattle’s line at center. Pocic was good in the first part of 2020 and then either hurt or not as good in the latter part of the year. If Pocic can build on the beginning of 2020 then Seattle will have, as weird as it might sound, one of the better offensive lines in the NFL.
Wilson has been sacked 394 times in 144 regular-season games with the Seahawks, an average of about 3 a game. That is, dare I say, a lot. But with the addition of Jackson along with the parts Seattle already had on the roster, the offensive line should be better this year. And as ESPN puts it, “…there aren’t many places better equipped to protect (Wilson) than Seattle.”