Stock Up, Stock Down: Who shined, who didn’t for Seahawks vs Broncos
The Seahawks’ second preseason game was a lot like their first, resulting in a 30-3 loss to the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field on Saturday night.
Denver played most of its starters and key players for a considerable amount of time and the Seahawks – well, they had 22 players out for various reasons and played their third- and fourth-string quarterbacks for the whole contest.
There were still standouts in the ugly loss for the Seahawks – good and bad – who saw their stocks rise and fall on Saturday night.
• RB DeeJay Dallas
One of the most impactful Seahawks on Saturday was a special teams standout. That would be running back and returner DeeJay Dallas, Seattle’s 2020 fourth-round pick.
On his first kickoff return of the game, Dallas broke off a very nice 45-yard return into Denver territory. He followed that up with a 28-yard return that initially looked like it was going to go for a minimal gain. He showed great vision and burst on both returns.
But his great outing on special teams wasn’t done there, as he got a hand on a Denver punt later in the contest.
— NFL (@NFL) August 22, 2021
With Carson, Rashaad Penny and Alex Collins ahead of him on the depth chart at running back, special teams will need to be where Dallas makes his mark. In that sense, Saturday was a great day for the second-year back, who also had three catches for 27 yards.
While the depth chart put out by the team put out prior to the game is unofficial, it had Dallas behind cornerback D.J. Reed as the team’s lead kick returner. After a standout performance on Saturday, perhaps that changes going forward, especially with Reed being such a key part of the team’s defense.
• LB Jordyn Brooks
Seattle’s defense took its lumps on Saturday, especially as many key players like Jamal Adams, Bobby Wagner, Quandre Diggs and Carlos Dunlap didn’t play.
But a starter who saw a good amount of playing time in the contest was second-year linebacker Jordyn Brooks, the Seahawks’ first-round pick a year ago.
His performance wasn’t perfect – he missed a tackle in the backfield and was beat one-on-one in coverage for a big gain – but he was easily the flashiest Seahawks defender against the Broncos.
Brooks played the entire first half and led all Seahawks defenders with seven tackles, with six coming solo. He showcased his speed, toughness and instincts, and he did what he needs to do in his current role – run and hit.
Brooks will be under a microscope not only because of his first-round status but because he’ll be Seattle’s starting weakside linebacker, which was a position that K.J. Wright held for many years. So far, so good, even with a few hiccups.
• ST/LB/Jack of All Trades Nick Bellore
Nick Bellore is a former linebacker, but he’s been a fullback and special teams ace for the Seahawks since joining the team in 2019.
A Pro Bowl special teamer in 2020, Bellore played a good amount of linebacker against the Broncos and certainly looked the part, which could be good for Seattle because of an early knee injury to linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven that resulted in him being carted off the field.
Overall, Bellore finished second on the team with five tackles. He also had a tackle for loss.
The Seahawks’ linebacker depth isn’t too concerning, but Burr-Kirven’s injury certainly doesn’t help things. Bellore at least is holding his own and looking the part, which could help the Seahawks in case of injuries or if starters need a spell in a blowout.
• WR Cade Johnson
The Seahawks have a very well-regarded 2021 undrafted rookie class, and one of the more popular players they signed is South Dakota state receiver Cade Johnson.
Johnson tied for the team in receptions and receiving yards with three and 34, respectively, with John Ursua, who left the game with a knee injury. Johnson put that performance together with Alex McGough and Sean Mannion throwing him the football.
Johnson looked like a capable route runner who can make things happen with the ball in his hands, so hopefully he can get more opportunities with either Russell Wilson or Geno Smith throwing him the football to show what he can really do as an NFL receiver.
• TE Dom Wood-Anderson
The Seahawks have three tight ends they like a great deal in Gerald Everett, Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson, but Parkinson is sidelined with a foot injury that has his Week 1 status up in the air.
Saturday was a great opportunity for Dom Wood-Anderson, a 2020 undrafted free agent who spent last year on Seattle’s practice squad, to make a case for a roster spot, especially after a rough preseason opener for the young tight end.
That’s not what happened.
With Everett and Dissly sitting and Parkinson out, Wood-Anderson was Seattle’s starting tight end. His day got off to a rough start with a facemask penalty on the Seahawks’ first drive. Later, he was called for a false start, and then in the third quarter was flagged for holding.
Wood-Anderson is one of six tight ends on the roster along with Everett, Dissly, Parkinson, Cam Sutton and Tyler Mabry, and his rough outing on Saturday could cause him to be the odd man out with roster cuts looming.
• Veteran corners
I put “veteran” here because while rookie Tre Brown did play, he didn’t see much action in the passing game.
The two corners who started, though, did.
They were Tre Flowers and Ahkello Witherspoon, who are competing to start opposite the aforementioned Reed come Week 1.
Flowers didn’t have any majorly poor moments, but he allowed some underneath passes in coverage and didn’t inspire too much confidence.
Witherspoon, meanwhile, got torched by second-year receiver Jerry Jeudy for a big gain that set up the Broncos’ first score of the game.
Good luck covering Jerry Jeudy one-on-one 🔥pic.twitter.com/Xq1RVziDVG
— PFF (@PFF) August 22, 2021
Cornerback has been the single biggest question mark prior to the start of the season, and Witherspoon and Flowers didn’t do much on Saturday to make it any clearer.