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Thursday Round-Up: Assessing Seahawks' New-Look Defense

Corbin Smith of Sports Illustrated analyzed the state of the Seahawks’ defense this week following free agency and the draft.


Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Thursday, May 12 — about your Seattle Seahawks.

Assessing Seahawks' New-Look Defense

Things are set to look a bit different on the defensive side of the ball for the Seahawks in 2022, starting at the top of the coaching staff. Former assistant head coach and defensive line coach Clint Hurtt was promoted to defensive coordinator early in the offseason, vowing to employ a 3-4 system that will play with more aggression than Seahawks defenses in years past.

"The aggressiveness is going to have to come from our guys up front getting after the passer, continuing on being strong in the run game like we have been in the last few years," Hurtt said at his introductory press conference in February. "That's the mentality of a defense that we want to have, and our players respond to that mentality."

The Seahawks also hired former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai as Associate Head Coach-Defense, and made Karl Scott their secondary coach and passing game coordinator after he had served as the Vikings' defensive backs coach a season ago.

As far as the roster itself, the team lost some big names like Bobby Wagner and D.J. Reed, but was also able to make some key signings in free agency and draft several potential building blocks on the defensive end. Corbin Smith of Sports Illustrated’s All Seahawks crew analyzed the Seahawks’ new-look defense this week, giving a grade to each position group based on how the offseason has gone so far.

Headed by Pro-Bowlers Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, Smith gave our safety group the highest grade with an A-. "While Adams' play has been inconsistent in two seasons with the team, the arrival of Desai coupled with Hurtt's promotion should give him the best chance to succeed in a scheme that maximizes on his strengths," Smith writes. "As for Diggs, he's been one of the NFL's best free safeties since coming to Seattle in 2019 and should be fully recovered from a fractured fibula well before the start of camp. In the short-term, there may not be a team in the NFL with better depth at safety than Seattle either. Ryan Neal has been a revelation over the past two years while starting nine games in place of Adams and contributing as a situational defender and special teamer."

One of the areas where the Seahawks lost some key contributors is at EDGE/outside linebacker, with Carlos Dunlap II and Benson Mayowa departing. The team made up for those losses by signing former Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu in March, and drafting two of the top pass rushers available at the time in Boye Mafe and Tyreke Smith. Corbin Smith gives the Seahawks' EDGE group a B grade.

"Only 25 years old, the athletic, versatile linebacker [Nwosu] posted career-bests with 5.0 sacks and 40 pressures for the Chargers last season and should thrive playing across from [Darrell] Taylor, who enjoyed a stellar pseudo-rookie season with 6.5 sacks and 34 pressures. Those two could grow into a dynamic tandem in time … Hitting the pass rush hard during the draft, Schneider landed immensely gifted Minnesota defender Boye Mafe, who possesses excellent size (6-foot-3, 261 pounds) and physical traits (4.53 40-yard dash, 38-inch vertical), in the second round. He then double-dipped by staying in the Big Ten by choosing the disruptive Smith in the fifth round, giving the team two intriguing youngsters who should be able to contribute right away and could develop into starters."

Click here to read Smith’s full piece and see how he graded the rest of the Seahawks' defensive position groups.

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We're all ready to see Quandre Diggs make plays like this again:

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