Brock and Salk: Which Seahawks are most irreplaceable besides Wilson?
Everyone who follows the NFL and the Seahawks knows that star quarterback Russell Wilson is far and away the most important player on the team, which makes him easily the most irreplaceable man on the roster.
But the team also has some big-name players on both sides of the football who are also critical to the team’s success in 2020.
So aside from Wilson, who are the most irreplaceable players on the Seahawks? Brock Huard and Mike Salk shared their picks in the latest edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk Podcast.
Mike Salk’s picks
Salk chose one player on both offense and defense who he believes are irreplaceable this season, starting first with he defense.
Did he choose perennial First-Team All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner? How about recently acquired All-Pro safety Jamal Adams? Perhaps Pro Bowl cornerback Shaquill Griffin?
It was actually none of the above, as Salk pointed to the team’s defensive line.
“On defense this is an easy answer. The most irreplaceable Seahawk is Jarran Reed and it’s not close,” Salk said.
Reed, the Seahawks’ 27-year-old starting defensive tackle, signed a two-year deal worth up to $23 million this offseason to stay in Seattle. The 2016 second-round pick from Alabama is coming off a down year, having recorded two sacks in 10 games as he was suspended for the first six games of the regular season. That was a big drop from his 10.5-sack 2018 season.
Reed not only has shown he can be a force against the run and pass, but he’s also a key starter at a position where the Seahawks don’t have much depth. After Reed and fellow starter Poona Ford, the Seahawks have four other defensive tackles on the roster and just one of them – 2019 undrafted rookie Bryan Mone – has any regular season experience. The recently signed P.J. Johnson, 2019 sixth-round pick Demarcus Christmas and 2020 undrafted rookie Cedrick Lattimore each have never appeared in a regular season NFL game.
“It’s not that he’s the best Seahawk, don’t get me wrong, this is about irreplaceability,” Salk said. “It’s Jarran Reed and it’s not close. If he gets hurt, you’ve got Christmas. Christmas comes early.”
On offense, Salk said it was a tougher choice because the Seahawks have done a good job of building depth at multiple positions.
“I think on the offensive line, there’s enough (players with similarities to slide in for someone else),” he said. “(Left tackle) Duane Brown is always going to be up there, so he’s way up there. They can handle the loss of a running back – they’ve built that room up enough. They’ve got 27 tight ends (note: they actually have seven, Salk) so I think they’d be fine.”
So who did Salk wind up picking?
“If it’s not Duane Brown, it’s Tyler Lockett,” he said.
Lockett, 27, has emerged as a top target for Wilson the last two years and had his first career 1,000-yard season in 2019. He has 18 touchdown receptions since 2018.
“Just because of the depth at that position and what he means and all the different ways they use him, I would go with Tyler Lockett followed really, really closely by Duane Brown,” Salk said.
Brock Huard’s pick
Huard also went with a receiver, but he didn’t choose Lockett like Salk did. Instead, he chose a breakout player from the 2019 season.
“If they were to lose DK (Metcalf), emotionally it would be the hardest to swallow,” Huard said.
Metcalf, 22, quickly became one of Wilson’s favorite targets as a rookie and finished his first NFL season with 900 yards and seven touchdowns. Metcalf also set an NFL rookie record with 160 yards in his first career playoff game against the Eagles.
Huard noted that the Seahawks have played without Brown, a longtime NFL veteran who has nagging aches and pains, and that Lockett wasn’t at 100% last year due to a shin injury he suffered in Week 10. While Lockett didn’t miss any games, he didn’t have the same impact he had in the first part of the season from Week 10 until Week 15.
Metcalf, meanwhile, battled injuries in college, such as a potentially career-ending neck injury, but hasn’t missed any games as a pro, even after having late offseason surgery last year on his knee. And after a breakout rookie season, Metcalf looks to be taking the next step towards being one of the league’s elite receivers.
“Just emotionally, if something were to happen to DK because of his playmaking, his upside, his growth, he’s been the star of camp again like he was a year ago, that would be the toughest for me to handle,” Huard said.
Listen to the entire Brock and Salk Podcast at this link or in the player below.