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25 most intriguing Seahawks: No. 9 DE L.J. Collier

Have the Seahawks found an answer on their defensive line in L.J. Collier? (Getty)

The Seahawks kick off training camp on July 25, and until then, Brock and Salk will count down the top 25 most intriguing Seahawks every weekday at 8:30 a.m. Their list continues with guest hosts Stacy Rost and Gee Scott focusing on No. 9: DE L.J. Collier. 

Listen to the full segment here, and check out the highlights below:

Quick look

• 6-foot-2, 283-pounds.
• Drafted 29th-overall out of TCU in 2019 (story).
• Had a career-high six sacks in 2018 and earned a First-Team All-Big 12 nod.

What Gee Scott is saying

“I’m excited about L.J. for so many reasons. Here is someone who was a three-star athlete out of high school.The first college he went to he went to go and visit them, and after the visit his scholarship offer was gone. He and I had a conversation about that. If you’re a high school athlete and you get your offer rescinded, it does something to you. But he’s someone who has fought and has has that chip on his shoulder. He was actually the top draft pick for the Seahawks this year, but you can’t tell because it feels like D.K. Metcalf is the one that’s talked about the most. (But because of that) there’s less pressure; there are really no (high) expectations because the first rookie’s name that comes up is Metcalf. Collier’s got big shoes to fill, but he’s has a D-line coach in Clint Hurtt that’s going to get him ready and get him right. He is going to be very good for this team.”

What Stacy Rost is saying

Collier wasn’t necessarily drafted to replace Frank Clark, but with his 34-inch arms and power, he was selected to be a disruptive force on Seattle’s defensive line.

“He was a first-round pick for the Seahawks, but like Gee said, the conversation has been about D.K. Metcalf since then. Metcalf was the story of rookie camp, he was the story of OTAs, he was the story of minicamp. And rightfully so; he’s an intriguing player. But L.J. Collier can (also) have an impact for this team. Speaking of being focused elsewhere, a lot of eyes were on the departure of Frank Clark, who played at that opposite defensive end spot. They played last season without Michael Bennett, and because Jarran Reed was able to rack up 10 sacks and Frank Clark was able to rack up a career-high 14 sacks, no one was really paying too much attention to an otherwise big absence on that line. (But now) L.J. Collier will be holding down that 5-tech spot, and Michael Bennett is exactly who Pete Carroll compared him to during the draft.”

If Collier can contribute early, the Seahawks have help at at least one defensive end spot until Ziggy Ansah is healthy enough to start (which is expected to be after Week 2 of the regular season). If Collier doesn’t take off or has a slow start, the Seahawks will face an uphill battle all year when it comes to their pass rush.

What the Seahawks are saying

“He has a style of his play that I was attracted to right off the bat,” Pete Carroll said post-draft. “He plays with really good leverage and really long arms and uses his hands really well… that’s a special characteristic that he already has. Technique-wise, he’s been coached very well also and there’s stuff we can do with him. I think he’s going to be a really exciting guy to fit into the scheme.”

Brock and Salk’s 25 Most Intriguing Seahawks

No. 25: G Phil Haynes
No. 24: LB Shaquem Griffin
No. 23: T/TE George Fant
No. 22: WR David Moore
No. 21: RB/WR J.D. McKissic
No. 20: RB Travis Homer
No. 19: G Mike Iupati
No. 18: S Marquise Blair
No 17: LB Mychal Kendricks
No. 16: S Bradley McDougald
No. 15: CB Tre Flowers
No. 14: S Lano Hill
No. 13: LB/DE Jacob Martin
No. 12: CB Shaquill Griffin
No. 11: DL Rasheem Green
No. 10: TE Will Dissly