Seahawks Defense – Which Best Players Will Start At Each Position In 2022?

July 19, 2022

In Defensive Coordinator Clint Hurtt’s new-look hybrid defense, the Seahawks defense will have a different scheme for the first time in several years. Which players will make the start at each position?

In a season where the Seahawks offense projects to be worse than it has in years past after the departure of All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks defense, led by Clint Hurtt, will have to boost their ability to put wins in the win column. The defense will likely look different than it did under previous defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., the main difference being that Hurtt’s defense will play in a 3-4 scheme. With 3 players up front, 4 linebackers and 4 defensive backs, the starters for Week One will be hard to predict. We give it our best shot, position by position.

Defensive Tackle

Bryan Mone. Mone received a 2-year, $12 million contract extension this offseason, which is one of the sneakiest offseason moves I think the Seahawks made. With Al Woods aging and Poona Ford lacking the height to be a true run-stuffing zero-tech, I see Mone getting the nod to start in the middle. He will get a chance to earn a long-term starting job up front in the Seahawks defense.

Defensive End

Shelby Harris and Poona Ford. Harris, who joined the Seahawks as part of the Russell Wilson trade, still has a few seasons of good play and even better leadership in him. His contract runs until 2023, and I expect him to be an anchor through then. Poona Ford got some work in at three-tech in 2021, so he’s improved at rushing the passer. I wouldn’t be surprised if Quinton Jefferson made a push for a role in 2022, but I expect Poona to remain on top.

Outside Linebacker

Darrell Taylor and Uchenna Nwosu. Darrell Taylor’s 2021 was impressive, given that it was his first chance to play on an NFL field. He finished with 6.5 sacks, and I expect him to lead the pass rush for the Seahawks defense. Nwosu, who was signed in March to a two-year contract for almost $20 million, will start across from Taylor while Boye Mafe (picked in the second round of this year’s draft) gets his career off the ground. I love the pickup of Mafe, but I think the money moves follow Nwosu for 2022.

Inside Linebacker

Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton. Brooks is a foregone conclusion here, as he steps in for the now-LA Ram Bobby Wagner. He’ll get to play his most natural position in the middle of the field. Cody Barton is as on-the-bubble as it gets, but the Seahawks inside linebacker position is as thin as it gets. I would be shocked to see Joel Iyiegbuniwe or Ben Burr-Kirven earn a starting defensive role.

Cornerback

Sidney Jones and Coby Bryant. The second cornerback position is the hardest single position to project on this defense, but I don’t think Tre Brown will be fully healthy for the Week One Seahawks defense. Sidney Jones is a lock after securing a deal in free agency (albeit a one-year deal), and Coby Bryant has tons of experience coming out of Cincinnati (played in 53 games). These two should start with Tre Brown, Tariq Woolen and Artie Burns backing them up. I also look for Ugo Amadi to be the team’s starting nickel corner with Justin Coleman playing backup.

Safety

Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs. If it’s possible to bet on starting players at one position for a team, bet on the Seahawks safeties. Adams and Diggs both have All-Pro potential, and they’ve both made the Pro Bowl twice in the past three seasons. Jamal Adams should get a chance to mix his play up in the new Seahawks defense, spending time in the box and in coverage. Quandre Diggs will continue to be the field general he has been since the Seahawks traded for him in 2019.