Seahawks’ Marquise Blair could break out in 2021 — perhaps at a new position
The Seahawks have many young and talented players on their roster from recent draft classes, but one who is recovering from a major injury is a good choice to keep an eye on in 2021.
That player, according to former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus, is defensive back Marquise Blair, a second-round pick of the Seahawks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Blair played safety in college at Utah as well as his rookie season in 2019, but he entered 2020 as Seattle’s starting nickel cornerback after being one of the stars of Seattle’s training camp. Unfortunately, Blair’s season lasted only two games as he tore his ACL in a Week 2 win over the New England Patriots.
Bumpus explained why Blair is his pick to be a breakout star while guest hosting Friday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy with Stacy Rost.
“We kind of saw a little bit in Weeks 1 and 2 like, ‘Alright, this guy can play,'” Bumpus said.
At this stage of the offseason, Bumpus said Blair figures to be in competion with fellow 2019 draft pick Ugo Amadi for the starting nickel corner job, but he could also be a formidable safety in the case of Pro Bowlers Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs missing any time. But there’s another key position Bumpus thinks Blair could potentially play in Seattle’s defense.
“Why not even try him out at (outside) corner a little bit like you did with the Tre Flowers experiment?” Bumpus said. “I think this guy is going to be vital to this football team.”
Flowers, who is entering his fourth NFL season, played safety at college before converting to cornerback once he entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Bumpus thinks Blair could make a similar transition in his third NFL season.
“Get some reps at corner, too,” Bumpus said. “His job (right now) is to be the fill-in guy. Whenever they need somebody, he is the first guy out there, like the sixth man in the NBA. I think if he can do that, he can find himself on the field. And what I’ve seen, when he’s on the field, you notice the kid. He’s making noise. I love his swag and his demeanor. He plays fast.”
Just how big of a difference would a move from safety to outside corner be, though?
“Safety, you get to freelance a little bit, you see everything in front of you,” Bumpus said. “Corner, there’s pressure on you right now. It is a change, but if anyone is able to do it, I think Marquise Blair can do it.”
Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.