Heaps: How Seahawks should address D-line in draft and free agency

Feb 25, 2022, 4:43 PM

Seahawks Dunlap Woods...

Bears QB Nick Foles is sacked by Carlos Dunlap, with help from Al Woods, on Sunday. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Another year, another offseason where addressing the defensive line is a must for the Seahawks.

Why Jake Heaps is confident Seahawks will truly address pass rush

After a slow start in 2020, Seattle’s defensive line and pass rush came alive in the second half of the season and the Seahawks finished seventh in the NFL in sacks. Despite returning nearly every major contributor from that 2020 squad while also adding a few new faces to the mix, Seattle slid all the way to 22nd in sacks while some key players like defensive end Rasheem Green and defensive tackle Al Woods are weeks away from hitting the open market.

It’s not a matter of if the Seahawks will address their defensive line this offseason, but rather how they’ll do it.

The Seahawks have seventh-most cap space entering free agency according to OverTheCap, and while they don’t have a first-round pick this year, they have six selections, including the 41st overall pick.

So between the draft and free agency, how should the Seahawks approach adding to their defensive front? Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps shared his thoughts on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy on Thursday.

“I believe that this draft is a perfect opportunity with their first overall pick to be able to go and snag a really dynamic defensive lineman – whether that’s on the edge as a pass rusher or whether that’s in the interior from a defensive tackle position,” Heaps said. “I do believe that that is in the cards for them, and is something that they absolutely should do. The question is, what do they do in free agency?”

Heaps has made it clear throughout the offseason he thinks the Seahawks should spend big on a premier edge rusher in free agency, such as Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals. If that were to happen, that would impact how he thinks the Seahawks should draft in April.

“If they do that, then are they more apt to wanting to save some of that money and draft a defensive tackle to offset some of the costs rather than go after somebody like (Chicago Bears lineman) Akiem Hicks? Those are all question marks that I have about their overall long-term vision and plan as to how they’re going to build via free agency and via the draft,” he said.

Heaps thinks when it comes to adding impact on that defensive line, the Seahawks need to go “one and one” as far as adding one via free agency and one in the draft.

“You could comfortably do one and one. You could get a key piece to your defensive line through free agency and then get a key piece to your defensive line through the draft,” he said. “And that’s that is something that I could very easily see them do as they’re approaching free agency.”

The Seahawks could also “blow this thing out of the water” by adding two impact linemen in free agency and using that second-round pick on another highly-touted lineman, Heaps said.

“Now we’re talking about really truly revamping that depth and that group,” he said. “But I just have a hard time seeing them really go all in from that perspective.”

Listen to the full second hour of Thursday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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Heaps: How Seahawks should address D-line in draft and free agency