L.J. Collier has been a mystery for the Seahawks. He was drafted in 2019 in the first round and projected to be something close to a Michael Bennett-type. With his and strength he could theoretically play inside and out, put decent pressure on the quarterback and be great against the run. But Collier hasn’t done any of that really.
Still, this was a guy who went from starting every game in 2020 to being a healthy scratch in most of the games to begin 2021. What happened? He wasn’t injured but the Seahawks had no faith in playing him. Still, when he did play, he had quarterback hits in four of his first five games. It would seem like maybe Seattle should have trusted him a bit more but no.
Something must have happened off the field or in the locker room or the Seahawks simply did not see the desire from Collier to play. We might never know the full story but suffice to say 2021 was an extremely disappointing and odd season for Collier. From starter to outcast is very strange.
Still, now that Seattle has rightfully decided not to pick up Collier’s fifth-year option in 2023, it’s up to Collier to prove his worth to the Seahawks or any other future team. Collier should also be a decent fit in a 3-4 as he, again theoretically, can play inside and out along the defensive line. I think he has a much better year in 2022 and gets 5 sacks and earns a payday with another team in 2023.