BROCK AND SALK

Huard: Why Seahawks’ O-line is position group with most upside

Jul 5, 2023, 9:06 AM

Seattle Seahawks Charles Cross...

Charles Cross of the Seattle Seahawks prepares for a snap during a game on Dec. 15, 2022. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

There seems to be a lot lining just right for head coach Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks in the 2023 season.

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They have their quarterback in Geno Smith. Bobby Wagner is back to anchor the linebackers. And they’re pretty much stacked at a number of other positions.

“I think people respect Ken Walker,” Seattle Sports’ Brock Huard said of the Hawks’ second-year running back. “(He had) a 1,000-yard season, and every running back in Pete’s system does well. The most respected around the league is going to be this receiving corps. Defensive line’s got some big, big time questions, but they’ve got some vets and people you’ve signed. Linebacker corps has vets. Secondary’s loaded. Tight end room is loaded.”

So the question on Monday’s Brock and Salk for Huard, a former NFL quarterback and current FOX college football analyst, was this: Which Seahawks position group has the most upside?

His answer is none of those he initially mentioned. He instead goes with the offensive line, and it has everything to do with the youth at the position.

Seattle has a pair of offensive tackles coming off impressive rookie years in Abraham Lucas and Charles Cross, plus two draft picks – guard Anthony Bradford and center Olu Oluwatimi – who have a chance to start this year.

“If Abe Lucas and Charles Cross take a step, if you get one of these young draft picks to emerge either at center or guard to be a starter like you did last year with so many of those rookies that emerged, that’s the group that’s got the most upside,” Huard said.

He noted that not every NFL expert believes the Seahawks’ O-line is set up for success in 2023, but there’s also an X-factor in Andy Dickerson, who is entering his second year as Seattle’s offensive line coach.

“To some (the Seahawks’ O-line has) big questions, especially the Pro Football Focus guys that have this group as a bottom-third offensive line in the league,” Huard said. “It’s an offensive line that’s young, that’s powerful, that’s got an O-line coach in Year No. 2 who I thought did a fabulous job in his rookie season as a head O-line coach. I think that group has got a lot of upside.”

Asked by guest co-host Matt “Stretch” Johnson if this was just a polite way of saying Seattle’s offensive linemen have a lot of room for improvement, Huard essentially agreed.

“It’s inexperience. It’s them being unbelievably young,” Huard responded. “It’s those two offensive tackles (Lucas and Cross) doing something that we had not seen in decades, and that is start every single game as rookies – and do it in the NFC West, one of the most difficult environments in all of the NFL.”

Listen to the full conversation in the podcast at this link or in the audio player near the top of this post.

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Huard: Why Seahawks’ O-line is position group with most upside