Bumpus: How Nwosu can ‘transform’ the Seahawks’ defense in 2023

Apr 18, 2023, 1:23 PM

Seattle Seahawks Uchenna Nwosu...

Seattle Seahawks LB Uchenna Nwosu reacts after recovering a fumble on Sept. 25, 2022. (Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

(Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks may have made it to the playoffs in 2022, but their defense drastically needs to improve if the franchise wants to make it to another Super Bowl.

The Seahawks allowed the seventh-most yards, third-most rushing yards and were 19th in pass defense.

Naturally, that all needs to improve in 2023, which leads to this question Stacy Rost asked Tuesday to her Bump and Stacy co-host, former NFL wide receiver Michael Bumpus.

“Which player on the Seahawks will transform the defense if he has a Pro Bowl year?”

For Bumpus, one player stands out among the rest.

“Now, the focus of this offseason has been the defensive line, and it should be. You don’t win games without the big boys on either side of the football,” he said. “But I’m looking at (outside linebacker) Uchenna Nwosu and I’m saying, OK, I think this this young man has arrived. Every year his numbers have gone up.”

Nwosu, 27, signed a lucrative two-year deal with the Seahawks last offseason in free agency after spending the first four years of his career in Los Angeles with the Chargers, who drafted him in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of USC.

Nwosu was initially a role player for the Chargers before emerging as a 15-game starter in 2021, and he started every game for the Seahawks in 2022, finishing with a career-high 9.5 sacks.

As Bumpus noted, Nwosu has seen his production go up every season. He set career highs in sacks, tackles (66), tackles for loss (12) and quarterback hits (26) for Seattle last year.

Bumpus thinks there’s more in the tank, too.

“Now, if this guy can tap into something that he did last year and get after that quarterback early and get his numbers up when it comes to sacks to about 12 or 13, he can transform this defense,” he said. “Because what has this defense been looking for for a long time? … You’re looking for edge rusher, a guy who can consistently get after the quarterback, and we just haven’t had that in a long time. If Uchenna Nwosu can continue to do what history shows, which every year he’s getting better and better and better – he will be 27 this year and right in the middle of his prime – I really believe if he gets around 12.5 to 13.5 and a bunch of TFLs, he can transform this defense and possibly make the Pro Bowl and help them out.”

You can listen to all of Bump and Stacy’s podcasts at this link

More Seattle Seahawks coverage

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• Rost: The Seahawks’ best picks by round under Schneider and Carroll
• Bump: One position Seahawks still need to improve going into draft
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