Merry Christmas, 12s! While the Seahawks may not be one that is going to end in the playoffs, the team has still overperformed versus preseason expectations. 2023 promises to be even better but some items to help next year be great needed to be on Seattle’s Christmas list.
But think back to last Christmas and what the Seahawks had. They still had Russell Wilson to throw to shiny toys like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Bobby Wagner was still the leader of the defense. But this past offseason, Seattle said goodbye to Wagner and Wilson.
Thankfully, the toy that didn’t get played with as much as Wilson turned out to be Geno Smith, and Smith has been an almost non-stop giver of joy in 2022. Smith languished as a backup for over half a decade in the NFL before this season. And Geno Smith might be (and probably should be) Seattle’s starting quarterback for the next few years.
But what gifts should the Seahawks’ collective management – Jody Allen, John Schneider, and Pete Carroll – have asked for this year and hope to receive before next season? The team is likely improving even though they might end up with the same record as last year. Seattle has a young roster with some veteran talent and by adding a few more toys to their collection, the group could make a playoff run next year. But what would the Seahawks’ letter to Santa have asked for?
Seahawks Christmas wish number 1: Please bring Jalen Carter to Seattle
Seattle’s run defense is atrocious. It actually wasn’t bad against the Chiefs (somewhat surprisingly), but overall in the last many weeks, the run defense has kept Seattle from winning games. It’s actually a bit odd that Seattle doesn’t stop the teams we expect them to stop when it comes to running the ball and then stop the other teams. Is it a scheme issue?
Either way, the Seahawks need an interior defender who can stuff the run and supply an interior pass rush. Enter Carter from the University of Georgia. He is a massive and strong human at 6’3″ and 300 pounds who has a 90 pass-rush grade in 2022, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), and can fix lots of problems for Seattle. They should be able to nab him with the pick they got in the Russell Wilson trade with the Broncos.
Seahawks Christmas wish number 2: Let Jamal Adams be healthy next year
The 2022 Seahawks defense was clearly predicated on having a healthy Jamal Adams. But Adams hasn’t been healthy since Week 1. Adams actually never seems to stay healthy for entire seasons but he might have, with his ability to play the run and rush the passer, might have made a huge difference this year.
Surely, Adams is due to stay healthy one season. He is still just 27 years old, even if his body seems more like 45 years old. He is a physically gifted athlete. Maybe in 2023 he is healthy and plays with the ferocity the Seahawks expect from him.
Seahawks Christmas wish number 3: Please give us a center with power
Current Seattle center Austin Blythe knows offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s system but Blythe simply isn’t big or powerful enough to be bullish. He also seems to do weird things with the ball prior to snaps and gets called for false starts too much (once is too much, to be honest). I am not saying Seattle needs to take a center in the first round but taking one in the second round makes sense.
Seattle should be able to run the ball effectively with Ken Walker for a number of seasons. He just needs offensive linemen who can create holes consistently. Blythe can do that and it’s time Seattle chooses its center of the future to go with the bookend tackles Charles Cross and Abe Lucas.