Seahawks Strong Defensive Line Key For Defensive Shift In 2022

August 11, 2022

Everybody is sleeping on it, but the 2022 Seattle Seahawks defense will lead the team to succeed the expectations.

Around the NFL, everybody thinks that the Seattle Seahawks’ 2022 defense will be one of the worst defensive groups. I beg to differ. This rejuvenated and strengthened defense could lead the team to succeed expectations, with the D-Line being a big key to the group to achieve it. Also, the newly implemented scheme with defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt will play a special role during this new season.

Remember that 2012-2015 Seahawks defense that dominated the league and was led by the well-known Legion of Boom? Well, that amazing secondary was not alone. It had a great defensive line leading the way in the 4-3 system defense, with DE Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril being the stars in that group. 

For the 2022 season, the Seahawks will have not only a new defensive coordinator in former defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, but also a new defensive scheme. Seattle will implement the 3-4 system, which Seattle has not done since Pete Carroll became the head coach of the team in 2010 – even though he has been way familiar with it during his long tenure coaching career. 

Seahawks Defense Changing It Up In 2022

So, with that being said, it is time the defensive line and the pass rushers start to lead the Seahawks defense. The secondary has a lot of expectations with a young group led by the potential new captain of the defense, FS Quandre Diggs. But, it will need help from the front seven and their pressure on the quarterback. 

This line will have DL Shelby Harris (a great asset acquired in the Russell Wilson trade), DT Poona Ford, and re-signed DT Al Woods (set to be the nose tackle in this system). That is a nice line that will have former first-round pick L.J. Collier (entering his contract year trying to prove himself), Quinton Jefferson, and rising DL Bryan Mone. A solid group leading the front seven. 

The most exciting part of this group is the pass rushers. Darrell Taylor and free agent signee Uchenna Nwosu are set to be the starters, but the depth here is amazing. Alton Robinson, second-round rookie Boye Mafe, and fifth-rounder Tyreke Smith round out the depth chart. They make up a young, talented, and nothing-to-lose underrated group that will debut together in 2022 trying to sack Wilson in Week One’s Monday Night Football. 

Nwosu is coming from a career-high 15 starts in 2021, in which he recorded five sacks, four PBUs, two forced fumbles, and also an INT. Taylor, who made his NFL debut last year, had 6.5 sacks (second on the team behind DE Carlos Dunlap), even though he only started in five games. 

On the other hand, Mafe (similar in his game to Cliff Avril) is coming off a 15-sack career in Minnesota, including a career-high 7.5 sacks season in 2021. Tyreke Smith is the typical Carroll defensive lineman, as he can line up on the edge and the inside as that hybrid player the coach loves. 

Finally, Robinson is a pressure machine. Last year, in only two starts, he recorded six hurries, two QB knockdowns, nine pressures, and a sack. He might not be much of a statistic edge rusher, but he can get towards the passer and be an uncomfortable defensive player to opposing offensive linemen.

Last year was a challenging season for the team in every aspect, and the defensive side finished with a total of 34 sacks (23rd overall). The Seahawks defense finished 18th in QB hits (93) and finished with eleven interceptions. Now, Seattle has a rejuvenated pass rush line which surely can improve from what we saw in 2021. 

Also, this new power group can be the secondary’s best friend. Jamal Adams (who, as of now, will not miss any game with his broken finger injury) and Diggs are one of the best safety duos around the league, and now they will be surrounded by a young CB core. 

Tre Brown, Sidney Jones, and Artie Burns are joined by rookies Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen as one of the most intriguing groups the position has had since Richard Sherman left the team in 2018. They can benefit from the constant pressure the edge rushers and defensive line can provide each game, with LB Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton completing the new-look front seven.

If you or anyone you know may be interested in applying for a contributing writer position with Hawks Huddle, check out the Opportunities site for more information. We are actively hiring contributing writers, and we need your help to put out more great content!