Heaps: Seahawks have quietly built a ‘very good’ defensive line unit

Mar 26, 2022, 2:01 PM

Seahawks Shelby Harris...

Broncos DT Shelby Harris celebrates making a tackle against the San Francisco 49ers. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

(Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Seahawks have had an interesting offseason, to say the least.

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Stars Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner are no longer in Seattle, but the Seahawks have brought in a few new faces while also retaining a handful of key players that were on the roster a year ago.

While the Seahawks, with the losses of Wilson and Wagner, likely have a worse roster all in all compared to 2021, former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps thinks the team has done a pretty good job of addressing a position group that’s been an area of weakness for Seattle in recent years.

“They quietly built, I believe, a very good defensive line unit. This is a very solid unit,” Heaps said on Friday’s Jake and Stacy on Seattle Sports 710. “Would I say it’s ultimately dynamic? I don’t know if I would go that far.”

While Heaps likes what the Seahawks have done with that unit thus far this offseason, he thinks Seattle can make the defensive line even better with the help of the first-round pick the team received from the Denver Broncos in the Wilson trade.

“I do believe that they can make it that way with what they do via the draft with that No. 9 pick overall,” Heaps said. “I do believe that they could make this a very dynamic, disruptive defensive line.”

But draft aside, what makes the current Seahawks’ defensive line a good unit? Heaps pointed specifically to two new players.

“Uchenna Nwosu as an outside linebacker and an edge rusher, he brings some serious explosion off the off the edge,” Heaps said. “Look at Shelby Harris. Shelby Harris is a guy that in that trade with Russell Wilson who people overlook. (He’s) 6-2, 290 pounds, he is a pass-rushing defensive tackle who generated six sacks last year, 49 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hits. This is a disruptive dude that they have been missing out on and somebody (who is) a strong voice in the Denver locker room.”

Nwosu, 25, joins the Seahawks after playing as a rotational linebacker and edge rusher for the Los Angeles Chargers the last four years. He has 15 career sacks and had five last season.

Harris, 30, was with the Broncos from 2017 to 2021 and has 22.5 career sacks in 83 career games. He began his career with the then-Oakland Raiders in 2014 as a seventh-round pick.

“You bring back Quinton Jefferson, Al Woods, Poona Ford, Darrell Taylor, Alton Robinson,” Heaps added. “I just think that overall with this defensive line, it may not jump out to you with the names that they have on this group, but this has a chance to be a very solid group, a group that produces at a high level both in the pass-rushing situation and in the run game. And they’re not done adding to it yet. I really like what they’ve been able to build, basically a foundation of what they’ve been able to build so far this offseason with their defensive line.”

Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.

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Heaps: Seahawks have quietly built a ‘very good’ defensive line unit