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Germain Ifedi
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Which Seahawks are in the hot seat in 2018?

The Seahawks used a first-round pick on right tackle Germain Ifedi in 2016. (AP)

Plenty of questions surround this year’s Seahawks team, which is set to kick off training camp in two weeks. With the departure of several longtime veterans, Seattle will turn to several budding youngsters to pick up the slack. Some players, though, are facing a bit more pressure than others.

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Chief among them? According to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Dave Wyman, that would be right tackle Germain Ifedi and wide receiver Amara Darboh. Wyman named both players as examples of Seahawks in the hot seat this year.

“(Ifedi) would be my number one pick, too, because he’s a first-round draft choice,” Wyman told John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle Wednesday. His choice echoed that of ESPN’s Brady Henderson, who also listed Ifedi as being on the hottest seat (though Henderson added it’s unlikely Ifedi is in danger of losing his starting job anytime soon).

“I’m really pulling for him,” Wyman said. “He’s a great kid, he really is. And he’s just so gifted athletically (that) I just can’t help but think that everything that’s going on with him is probably between his ears.”

The Seahawks selected Ifedi 31st-overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was Seattle’s only first-round pick in five years before the team selected San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny at No. 27 earlier this spring. Pro Football Focus gave the 24-year-old tackle a rating of 48.6 last season (tied for 59th among all tackles). He also struggled with penalties. Seattle was penalized more times (148) than any other team last season, and the most-penalized Seahawk was Ifedi (who accounted for nine false starts and eight holding calls).

Wyman told Clayton a change of scenery might help – at least when it comes to coaching. Seattle parted ways with longtime offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line coach Tom Cable this offseason, replacing the two with Brian Schottenheimer and Mike Solari, respectively.

“Sometimes different coaches say different things and it just clicks for you,” Wyman said. “And sometimes just getting used to a coach helps. I had a coach when I first went to Denver, John Paul Young, who was really old-fashioned. It took me three or four weeks during camp to get used to the way he coached. But once I did… he was one of the best coaches I’d ever had.

“Once that relationship is established, sometimes it can really help a player. Hopefully Mike Solari and Brian Schottenheimer will come in and say some things that really make it click for Germain Ifedi.”

Wyman also named second-pro Amara Darboh as a player who will be facing plenty of pressure in 2018. Like Ifedi, Darboh’s draft status is a contributing factor. The offseason departures of offensive weapons like wide receiver Paul Richardson and tight end Jimmy Graham also make it all the more imperative that Seattle develop a reliable target behind Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett.

“It’s pretty urgent that they get some receivers going,” Wyman said. “And Amara Darboh is that guy, just because he was drafted in the third round. In your second year you’re pretty much expected to step up and have an impact. He had some good practices out there (in OTAs and minicamp). There were a couple times I saw him and thought he looked a little bit lost and maybe could have been more aggressive, but (overall) he did pretty well. So it it’s not Germain Ifedi, it’s probably him.

“There’s also a bunch of guys who need to step up as far as pass rushers go on the defensive line. But Germain Ifedi and Amara Darboh are definitely the two guys that you want to watch. And frankly, I expect both of them to react really well.”

John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
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