2015 Depth Charts Update: Seattle Seahawks

A breakdown of the Seattle Seahawks' Depth Chart after Free Agency and the Draft.

| 2 years ago
SEA Off

2015 Depth Charts Update: Seattle Seahawks


SEA Off

SEA Def

[Click to enlarge]

Notes

  • The big move the Seahawks made as free agency opened was trading for former New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. An elite talent on offense, Graham gives quarterback Russell Wilson a true top target, and should make life easier in the red zone for the Seahawk offense that already features the best running back in football in Marshawn Lynch. Another name to keep an eye on offense as a potential sleeper is rookie wide receiver Tyler Lockett. He really impressed us in his final year at Kansas State, and plays bigger than his size.
  • The downside to the Graham trade, however, was that the Seahawks gave away their best offensive lineman in center Max Unger. His departure further weakens a line which has allowed far too much pressure on Wilson in his young career so far. At this stage Russell Okung is the only player we have on that line with a rating of average or better, and the Seahawks really need to see an improvement, or have some of the young players behind the starters step up.
  • In the secondary, while we only have him rated as average, new signing Cary Williams has landed in the perfect system for his skill set. We all know Williams has his faults, and he’s prone to be up and down throughout the year, but at his best he’s a physical corner who fits well with the Seahawks’ defensive style.
  • The Seahawks’ front seven continues to be impressive, with all but one of their starters rated as at least above average. They can get after you from the edge with Cliff Avril, from the interior with Michael Bennett in sub-packages, and even added a couple of rookies to the mix in Frank Clark and Obum Gwacham. Clark was an impressive pass rusher in college, and could immediately add something to the team’s sub-packages, something that would just be a further headache for opposing offensive co-ordinators.

 

 

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Jason Williams

    who was the guy that karate chopped the ball and forced a fumble touchback? was that kam or earl? That play was phenomenal.

    • Dale GoDawgs McLerran

      ET. Yeah, that was some play.

  • Chris

    Best trio of CB/S in the league, but the same lack of depth is there at DT and CB like last year.

    Happy to see Baldwin where he is, he’s quite underrated.

    Oh and that OL – good luck RW3!

    • Jeff Landry

      Depth and versatility at DT has improved over last year (last year’s injuries would have crippled any defensive line). Mebane was on fire and Hill was on the rise before they got IR’ed last year. McDaniel is a very serviceable cog in the machine, primarily as run stuffer. The team is very high on Rubin, who played injured last year, and have a bigger role in mind for him than backup NT. Bennett and Clark are also capable of moving inside and are balanced rushers / run stoppers. And finally we may not have seen the last of Kevin Williams. He says he wants back and his Seahawks jersey number is one of only 3 that have not been given away thus far (another is Zach Miller’s, interestingly).

      As for CB depth, I would be pretty pleased choosing among Simon, Blackmon, Burley, and the rookie Smith for backup CBs (Shead can also backup CB as well as safety positions). If anything the thornier question is: what will be the drop off, if any, from Maxwell to Williams.

      All of the above is mere background noise to the main event however: the quantum leap taken by the receiving corp this offseason. Baldwin, Lockett and (unfortunately) Kearse look to be locks, while Matthews, Richardson and Norwood will compete and build upon promising flashes demonstrated in 2014. Meanwhile Jimmy Graham’s insane basketball catch radius and the underrated speed of 6’5″ Willson will be pitted against linebackers and safeties, and the Wilson/Lynch combo will continue to terrorize defenses with the dual run threat. I see matchup nightmares everywhere for Seahawk opponents.

      • Chris

        No doubt they have some potential at receiver, and Graham should make things easier for everyone.

        My original point (which I made last year before the season too) was the Seahawks had one of the top defenses in league history 2 years ago because they were stocked at every position, including starting caliber depth. When they went to their bench there wasn’t a talent dropoff – everyone was good.

        We saw a flood of talent emigrate after the Super Bowl win, including (if I can remember correctly) 3 starting caliber DL and 2 CBs.

        Clemons, Bryant, and McDonald left to start on other teams.That meant whenever they wanted to rotate on the DL suddenly they had to actually use bench caliber players instead of having more ‘starters’ in reserve.

        The same at CB – used to be they had Sherman, Browner, Maxwell, and Thurmond – 4 quality starting caliber CBs. Browner and Thurmond leave, and suddenly Lane and Simon is all you have behind Sherman/Maxwell. And then an injury to Lane means….Simon had to play a starting role.

        They haven’t done much to remedy either of these issues, mainly because they don’t have the money to bring in quality free agents like they did 3 years ago, and because they haven’t hit it big in the draft (especially in the secondary) like they did for several years.

        They’re still a very, very good defense. They just aren’t on the same level as the unbeatable 2012 defense because they don’t have the depth. As I said I think they have the best trio of CBs/S in the league, and I’m not sure many teams can trot out of a fivesome as good as Bennett, Avril, Irvin, Wagner, and Wright at LB/Edge Rusher.

        But Mebane is really the only talented interior lineman now, and there’s not much behind Sherman anymore at CB. Williams is pretty average, so is Lane, while Blackmon and Simon were both terrible last year.p

        Avril/Bennett’s snap counts were way up last year (after splitting almost evenly with Clemons/Bryant the year before) because they couldn’t afford to take them off the field because the backups aren’t any good.

        I just think it’ll be more of the same in 2015 – they’ve be very good, but beatable at times because they aren’t on the historic level they were in 2013.

        JMO

        • Jeff Landry

          I don’t disagree entirely with what you say, but I would tell the post-Lombardi story a bit differently. In this case there never was no uncontrolled emigration that one expects of a post-SB team. The Hawks have lost at most 1-2 truly valued players per year the last two seasons, and have weathered the storm well finding replacements, working out contingencies, and weathering the cap. When Lynch retires and/or when the real losses pile up probably starting in 2017, I see concerns, but not now and not even in 2016 if Lynch sticks around.

          On changes in the defensive line, Bryant and Clemons were declining in effectiveness and more so in cost-effectiveness when they left. PFF did not treat Clemens kindly that year. Their departure was more of a mutual parting of ways. This offseason the Hawks showed no interest that we know of in bringing back free agent Bryant. That said, it’s true that DT is not a position of relative strength with respect to the competition, but it’s not much of a weakness either. Time will tell whether PFF’s or the team’s evaluation of Rubin proves more prescient. Despite horrific injuries last season the DL ended the year ranked #5 by FO in run stop and #13 in sack rate, but near the top in overall pressure rate, and have now added Frank Clark. Just who are these teams with pro-bowl sacking DTs riding the bench?

          As for cornerbacks, Browner and Thurmond were not valued that highly either, due to their suspensions and the rising stars behind them. The jury is definitely still out on Tharold Simon. He played lights out certain games, which PFF signature stats demonstrate and even exaggerate, but Simon could not compete in at least two playoff games due to mismatch, injury, incompetence or some combination thereof — to be determined. Lane is above average. Still, with the CB position in such demand, no team can peform recruiting/drafting miracles forever, so we will see if the shelves are bare this year. I note that Cary Williams’ 6m APY contract may not be top tier pay for top tier material but the team does not think he will be ‘average’ in their system. There have been statistical and game film analyses that suggest that Williams will fill in nicely for Maxwell with limited dropoff, but I will reserve judgement on that one. In any event, I would love to see the long list teams with better backups CBs.

          In retrospect, it was the 2014 losses of Clinton McDonald and Golden Tate that were most heavily felt, because of failed contingencies. And in 2015 it’s reasonable to assume that Maxwell will leave the biggest gap. But two years on, the receiving corp is amply restocked and certainly better than 2013, while Hill looks the part to fill the McDonald role reasonably well, and again we will see about Maxwell’s replacement. In terms of other 2015 losses: James Carpenter wasn’t worth keeping, Malcolm Smith lost most of his snaps to others, and Unger and Miller were never around and yet the team compensated. Arguably Schofield has left the second biggest gap but I would like to think Frank Clark represents a step up.

          In the final analysis, whatever the decline in defense over the past two years, at the risk of sounding homerish, what stands out to me is not what the Hawks have lost. Rather it’s what the team has gained each year, in terms of securing core players to long term contracts and acquiring players who have outstanding promise and meet critical team needs, especially on offense. Any modest decline in defense has been more than compensated for by a significant gain in offense, the net result of which is a 2015 lineup which should inspire more fear than than the 2013 lineup. That’s on paper only, of course, and mea culpa I felt the exact same last offseason with the prospective lineup of WRs at the time (i.e. Harvin, Rice, etc) but we all know how that ended. Injuries, chemistry, and any number of unknowns can derail any dream team on paper. But what team on paper has closed the gap or kept pace? Patriots: huge losses. Packers: maybe, but noteworthy losses at CB and still no cure for their ills up the defensive middle. Broncos: don’t know, but doubt it with the coaching and player churn. Cowboys: if their thesis on OL vs RB contribution is validated and Hardy/Gregory makes an impact this year, perhaps, but I’m sceptical. Colts? Cardinals?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaterrance.young JaTerrance Dwayne Young

    Why isn’t Michael Bennett considered elite but Greg Hardy is?

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      penalties most likely

      • Sally

        I work over internet, doing simple jobs which only require a computer and internet access and I am happier than ever… It’s been 6 months since i started this and i made so far total of 36,000 bucks… Basicly i get paid $80/hour and work for 3-4 h a day.And great thing about this is that you get to choose yourself when to work and for how long and the payments are weekly -> If you are interested in trying this Extra cash opportunity! <-

    • DT

      Greg Hardy gets double teamed on every play and still gets there consistently

  • Alfredo Cota

    I’d argue that Kam and Bennett are truly elite players…

    • Disco

      and
      Wagner.

  • frank mckenney

    Based on these ratings there is no way this team could make the playoffs much less the superbowl…this is mute testimony to the fallacy of the pff system. Time to re-think your ratings to better reflect actual team performance vis a vis individual performance within a system.

    • Jacob Basson

      I guess you’re trolling? But as an oft-burned Packer fan, I’ll bite…
      6 of the front 7 above average plus 2 elite players in the secondary make for a dominant defense. Add an elite RB who masks the teams biggest weakness (O-line) and a high quality QB and you have an offense that can do enough even before they added an elite TE.

      • Disco

        seahawks have more then 2 elite players on defense.

    • Jeff Landry

      You definitely have a point about individual versus team/unit-level statistics. A good example here is the Seahawk DTs: how can they be so substandard individually when they are at the top of the league as a unit in run stopping?

      As for individual grades however they are mostly fair, based on performance to date. Certainly the ceilings of several players have not been reached, for example Richardson’s, but Richardson has not earned a score above average to this point. Otherwise some minor quibbles:

      (1) Okung is without question at least ‘good’, not average, and I think the
      same is true of Lane even if that is more controversial.
      (2) Wagner borders on elite, based strictly on the evidence.
      (3) The offensive line generally but Sweezy in particular may be graded ‘fairly’ on some universal concept of what is expected of a balanced lineman. However the Seahawks are different and don’t look for balance, especially on the right side. They look for nasty run blocking and Sweezy provides it in spades without being a complete liability in pass protection.

      • gomer_rs

        A really good or elite DT in a one gap system would be able to rush the passer. Carroll uses his DTs like his strong side DE like a 2-gap 3-4 front, so they compare poorly to what you would expect from a 4-3 DT.

        That’s why on passing downs Bennett moves to DT and Irvin drops to DE or is subbed for a true DE.

    • David Stinnett

      Look at other teams charts, and then this one looks great.

  • Dalen Erickson

    Coleman is a 2 year starter. Im not sure why you have him as “not enough info”. How many years do you have to start to get rated? I would say he is below average, maybe average on a good day

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    that OL makes beast modes dominance all the more impressive, does it all by himself

    • David Stinnett

      They are a lot better at run blocking than pass blocking. Tom Cable prioritizes run blocking. Yes the pass blocking is bad, ranked 24th, a testament to Wilson dealing with pressure.

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        no doubt, russel seems to enjoy a lil pressure even, lol. holds the ball long enough it seems so at least.

        • SeattleGuy

          I think opponents are going to catch on. When you rush Russ (damn that’s hard to say), you’d better get to him or he’ll burn you. The Hawks “Toxic Differential” is by far best in the NFL mostly due to Wilson’s elusiveness. It seems everyone is open after about 4 seconds. Maybe he should wear a red cape and fans could yell, “ole” each time defenders pass by. Just sayin.

          • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

            lol, well said, but very true

          • [email protected]

            Putting pressure on him is dangerous, but not doing so is suicide.

      • Dalen Erickson

        Its interesting isnt it? You CANNOT overpressure Wilson or he will burn you every friggin time. Pressure up the middle seems to be a little more effective than it is off the edge but either way it is dicey.

    • [email protected]

      Who cares what PFF says? Its one of the better run blocking lines in the NFL. Whether its Lynch or Turbin or Michael every running back has found holes and gained good yardage. Could things be better? Certainly. The biggest problem has been lack of durablity for Okung/Carpenter/Unger.

      Hawks coaches are really high on the athletic ability of the rookies this year, hopefully Cable can find some guys who can stay healthy.

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        unger = gone (obv tho)

        who cares about pff??? srsly? everyone here excluding yourself, yet including mr. schneider nonetheless.

        • [email protected]

          Tom Cable rolled out a highlight tape of JR Sweezy pancaking defenders at the Seahawks town hall. He doesn’t seem too concerned about PFF’s grade. Says Sweezy is one of the best guards in the league.

          • Dildo Baggins

            The key word is “highlight”. You can make any player in the NFL look good with a freaking highlight tape.

          • [email protected]

            So why did Tom Cable say JR Sweezy was one of the best guards in the league? I guess he doesn’t put too much stock in what PFF says. I guess he never got the memo that PFF graded him below average?

          • Football Sr

            Fan boy alert.

          • [email protected]

            Seahawks led the league in rushing and have been to back to back superbowls. I must be insane to say that the offensive line isn’t that bad.

          • Disco

            the author is a putz. He would rank the Seahawks defence as above average…nothing more. He must be in his early 20s.

      • Dalen Erickson

        You lost Unger and Carpenter. I think Lynch is due his credit. I think he is so dominant that he made a solid line look great. No doubt they did a good job run blocking last year but after losing those two, who do you have thats a premium run blocker after Okung? Britt played better than expected yes but top notch? Not yet. I think they gave you a fair assessment. You still have Lynch and WIlson so there is no doubt you will once again have a dominant run game no matter how well the line plays

        • [email protected]

          I’m not saying they’re world beaters, what i’m saying is that if you only look at run blocking they are top 5. Certainly their pass blocking is poor. Its not all Marshawn Lynch, despite what PFF would have you believe.

          Its somewhat of a false argument to say ‘the offensive line is poor’, how does Marshawn Lynch do it? When most of that poor-ness is pass blocking.

      • Dalen Erickson

        I did forget about Sweezy. He has been good but again, not top notch. If you dont like PFF than you cant like ANY football analysis website because there is no doubt, nobody comes even CLOSE to PFF. NFL.com does a mediocre job, Bleacher report is AWFUL the list goes on.

        • [email protected]

          I don’t like any statistics website. Being the best statistics website is like winning a gold medal at the special olympics. You’re still fucking retarded.

          There is a certain NFL team who has bought into the statistical analysis of football for a long time. That team? The Jacksonville Jaguars. Hows that working?

          • Disco

            pff is fantasy football homo homeland.

        • [email protected]

          I like the personalities on NFL.com, Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin are really funny. They have some funny videos too. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-gameday/0ap2000000098872/Jive-turkey-time

      • Dalen Erickson

        Luckily ol’Malachi beat me to it

      • Disco

        stat dorks. they are fantacy football homos.

    • Chris

      Lynch’s combined run grade prior to RW and the read option: -0.9.

      Lynch’s run grade with RW and the read option: +58.1.

      • [email protected]

        Yep, this is the hidden value of Russell Wilson. Its not just his running either, he does excellent play action. Its surprising how many multi million dollar QB’s give a token effort at play fakes. Steve DeBerg was the best ever.

        If you look at Marshawn Lynch’s stats every year since Russell Wilson arrived has been a career year across the board. He never averaged more than 4.2 yards per carry before 2012 and he’s done it twice in 3 years.

      • David Stinnett

        Also, the lines weakness is pass protection, they actually rated very high in run blocking.

  • KWS13

    Why has LT Okung been demoted to average instead of good? He definitely struggled with inconsistency at times last year dealing with an injury but was “good” in the earlier release and still only allowed 3 sacks I believe, not sure about total pressure and efficiency rating though.

    Also not a lot would agree with me but personally I hoped WR Baldwin might get HQ, his stats in 2013 and when he was healthy in 2014 compare favorably and even surpass some of the best WRs in drop rate, catch rate, YPC and thus yards per target but since o-line allows quick pressure often, wasn’t the #1 guy in 2013 and Wilson’s ability to scramble Baldwin’s yards per route run have ONLY been above average when he’s at his best. For those who favor volume, scaling up the 8 games including postseason when Baldwin was the healthy #1 option (got a bad groin injury against OAK week 9) post Harvin gives 80 catches 1270 yards and 6 TDs on only 118 targets, if you include the Super Bowl (where he beat Revis a few solid times on intermediate and short routes) you still get 73 catches 1134 yards and 7 TDs on only 107 targets. In case it wasn’t clear I’m a big Baldwin fan but was wondering if there’s something lacking in his game that isn’t clear that’s holding him down?

  • David Stinnett

    WR Gilreath no loger on roster. Okung Avg? I thought he was better than Avg.

  • David Stinnett

    I would say Jordan Hill and Jeremy Lane are good

  • David Stinnett

    There’s a bit more depth than 2014 on the defensive line now

  • Matthole

    How is Kam Chancellor not Elite? I can get over Bennett and hardly get over Wagner but Chancellor???

    • SeattleGuy

      I can think of a couple of Broncos who would place him there 😉

    • Dalen Erickson

      I agree. If hes not an elite SS than who is?

  • KWS13

    Why has LT Okung been demoted to average instead of good? He definitely struggled with inconsistency at times last year dealing with an injury but was “good” in the earlier release and still only allowed 3 sacks I believe, not sure about total pressure and efficiency rating though. The rest of the o-line looks about right which is really going to be just depressing if Britt doesn’t improve, Sweezy doesn’t get more consistency, center battle doesn’t pan out well and Bailey or a rookie can’t handle more than spot duty.

    Also not a lot would agree with me but personally I hoped WR Baldwin might get HQ, his stats in 2013 and when he was healthy in 2014 compare favorably and even surpass some of the best WRs in drop rate, catch rate, YPC and thus yards per target but since o-line allows quick pressure often, wasn’t the #1 guy in 2013 and Wilson’s ability to scramble Baldwin’s yards per route run have ONLY been above average when he’s at his best. For those who favor volume, scaling up the 8 games including postseason when Baldwin was the healthy #1 option (got a bad groin injury against OAK week 9 that bothered him for a while) post Harvin gives 80 catches 1270 yards and 6 TDs on only 118 targets, if you include the Super Bowl you still get 73 catches 1134 yards and 7 TDs on only 107 targets. In case it wasn’t clear I’m a big Baldwin fan but was wondering if there’s something lacking in his game that isn’t clear that’s holding him down? Considering nobody except Lynch and to a certain extent Wilson was graded very well this year you’d think guys like Baldwin would be graded higher in making the offense one of the most explosive and efficient in the league, albeit not the most consistent, otherwise it pretty much means Lynch was awesome and everyone else got really lucky A LOT.

    Tarvaris Jackson is resigned as backup QB, Chris Matthews for now is second outside WR in 3 wide sets with Kearse opposite and Baldwin inside, DE Ryan Robinson somehow is working at Cliff Avril’s end spot a lot with Frank Clark and Cassius Marsh looking like the other backup DEs. Only because of injury Will Blackmon has inside track as starting nickel back, WR David Gilreath and LB Mister Alexander are no longer with the team and DT Jesse Williams is still there after recovering from cancer surgery and they signed WR Kasen Williams

  • Disco

    This author should watch a Seahawks game somtime. Wagner just a good player? lol

  • Ray Reynolds

    You still have Turbin on the Seahawks.