The Seattle Seahawks reportedly signed defensive end Mario Edwards on Thursday. Edwards is an 8-year veteran who was a second-round pick in 2015 for the then-Oakland Raiders. While Edwards may not have turned out to be the edge rusher the Raiders wanted, he can still help the Seahawks in 2023.
In fact, Edwards might have found the best fit of his career with Seattle. Edwards isn't exactly Jadeveon Clowney as far as his high-end potential or his ability to play both the run and pass at a high level, but Edwards is another example of what Seattle wanted to chase this offseason. And that is that Edwards can play the run well from his defensive end position.
It is obvious that general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll looked at the 2022 defensive line and thought, "We can do better." And not just that, but they must have thought much better. Seattle's D-line couldn't stop the run last year and has for many seasons not been able to get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Seahawks sign veteran defensive end Mario Edwards
This offseason, the Seahawks have kicked to the side Al Woods, Poona Ford, Quinton Jefferson, Shelby Harris, and L.J. Collier. They have added Dre'Mont Jones, Jarran Reed, Cameron Young, and now Edwards. Jones and Reed are decent against the run but can also supply quarterback pressure. Young should be a near-immovable object in the middle of the defense. Edwards, however, might get occasional quarterback pressures, but he can set the edge most definitely against the run.
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Edwards has a grade of 72.7 against the run in 2022 and that is very good. In the season prior to last that he played at least 400 snaps (2017), Edwards had another solid run defense grade of 68.8. While Edwards usually gets between 3-4 sacks every year, he was really signed by Seattle to do one thing.
Edwards won't start but he will provide depth for Reed and Jones. But the reason Edwards was signed was he is good against the run which means he could rotate out with Reed and Jones early in downs instead on obvious passing downs. The allows Reed and Jones to be fresher when a quarterback is dropping back to throw. Edwards' signing for Seattle should mean more pressure on quarterbacks overall, even if Edwards isn't getting many pressures or sacks.