Which offseason Seahawks addition will have the biggest impact in 2021?
After a slow start to the offseason, the Seahawks appear to be in pretty good shape heading into the 2021 NFL Draft as the team has made a number of key deals since the start of the free agency period.
Notably, the Seahawks were able to re-sign defensive end Carlos Dunlap and running back Chris Carson, and agree with defensive tackle Poona Ford and wide receiver Tyler Lockett on contract extensions. But Seattle has also brought in a number of new faces who figure to be key pieces during the 2021 campaign.
On Monday, former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob shared which new Seahawks player they think will make the biggest impact this upcoming season. Here’s what they had to say.
Dave Wyman: Toss up between DE and TE
The Seahawks have added a few players from NFC West rivals this offseason, and Wyman had a tough choice picking between two of those acquisitions: former Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett and former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr.
While Wyman eventually decided on Hyder as his actual pick, he had a lot of good things to say about Everett.
“I like Gerald Everett a lot,” he said. “And hopefully he’s as good of a blocker as (he seems to be), and from what I’ve seen (he’s) a decent blocker … And man, he’s like a running back when he catches the ball, and he makes difficult catches.”
Everett, who entered the league in 2017 as a second-round draft pick, joins his former positions coach Shane Waldron in Seattle as Waldron is the Seahawks’ new offensive coordinator.
Wyman, who is a color commentator for Seahawks radio broadcasts, has seen a lot of Everett over the last few seasons as the Rams and Seahawks face off at least twice a year. He said he came away impressed, especially as Los Angeles’ tight ends seem to always have success against Seattle’s defense.
While Everett has been in the NFC West since 2017 and Hyder only joined the division last season, the defensive end made a big impact in 2020, totaling 8.5 sacks for the 49ers.
“I watched some of the Kerry Hyder (film), I think he has a slight edge (over Everett),” Wyman said.
Hyder stands 6 foot 2 and weighs roughly 270 pounds, and he is expected to play the five-technique defensive end spot, which typically belongs to larger defensive ends in Seattle’s system. Though Dunlap is back and the likely starter at the Leo defensive end position, Wyman thinks Hyder could play that role if needed, as well.
“He can come off the edge, he turns the corner really well, he gets peoples’ hands off of him, and then he’s also (very) athletic,” Wyman said before breaking down a play where Hyder beat multiple blockers, leaped over an offensive player and finished the play off with a sack. “… I think he’ll probably be (the Seahawks’ most impactful addition).”
Bob Stelton: OG Gabe Jackson
The Seahawks entered the 2021 offseason with just four draft picks. That number is now down to three after Seattle traded a fifth-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders for veteran guard Gabe Jackson.
Stelton wanted to make it clear he’s no expert when it comes to offensive line play, but based on the reading he’s done and what he’s heard from media members and analysts, he thinks Jackson could be a major part of the Seahawks’ success in 2021.
“I’m reading what the pros have said about him, what those that have watched him and watched his game tape and broken it down have said about him,” he said. “I’m deferring to their critique, but it seems to be unanimous across the board that he’s one of the best guards in the NFL by everybody’s estimation, so I’m taking that into account.”
The Seahawks’ offensive line was put under a microscope this offseason after star quarterback Russell Wilson made comments about the team’s pass protection and his displeasure at being hit and sacked so often in his career. Stelton thinks Jackson’s presence will help the entire offensive line, especially left tackle Duane Brown if Jackson plays at the left guard position.
“How much was Duane Brown compensating for what (2020 starting left guard) Mike Iupati couldn’t do physically last year?” Stelton asked. “How much did that take away from what (Brown) normally would otherwise be doing? I think (Jackson is) going to have a big impact. I (just) think it’s going to be much tougher to notice unless (Wilson has evidently more time in the pocket to pass) … I think he ultimately could have the biggest impact. It’s just going to be the hardest to tell.”
Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.