Can this Seahawks D-lineman be a difference-maker in 2024?

Jun 5, 2024, 8:01 AM

Seattle Seahawks DL Dre'Mont Jones...

Dre'Mont Jones of the Seattle Seahawks during a 2023 game. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks had their share of defensive struggles last season, and there were a number of different factors as to why.

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One of the contributing factors was the team didn’t get what it expected out of its most notable offseason addition: defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones. The Seahawks signed Jones to a three-year, $51 million deal last offseason with the hopes he’d provide impact as a versatile playmaker in the trenches. After totaling 6 1/2 sacks and nine tackles for loss in 13 games with Denver in 2022, Jones produced just 4 1/2 sacks and five tackles for loss while appearing in all 17 games with the Seahawks last season.

Under new head coach Mike Macdonald and defensive coordinator Aden Durde, can Jones become the difference-maker Seattle envisioned he’d be? Co-host Mike Salk discussed that Tuesday during Blue 88 on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk.

“A year ago, they signed Dre Jones and there was a lot of talk about how he was gonna come in and be a dominant kind of player and fix some of the holes they had in their defensive line,” Salk said. “A year later, that’s hard for me to really imagine. That didn’t happen. He didn’t come in and dominate at the line of scrimmage the way maybe we were hoping he would. He is, in fact, a bit undersized to do that on the defensive line, especially in the interior.”

Quarterback Geno Smith was the only player to sign a more lucrative deal with Seattle last offseason, which makes Jones the team’s most expensive offseason add in 2023. Jones’ deal ranks 17th in average annual value among interior defensive linemen, according to Over The Cap. It was also the largest deal in terms of average annual value given to an outside free agent during the John Schneider era in Seattle. Jones accounts for an $18,176,666 cap hit in 2024, and it jumps to $23,176,668 in 2025.

Related: Is Seattle Seahawks‘ big investment on Dline a good strategy?

While it was a disappointing first season in Seattle for Jones, Salk had a reason for some optimism about the 6-foot-3, 281-pound Ohio State product. That came from what Durde said about Jones during the team’s OTAs on Monday.

“I think again, it’s versatility,” Durde said about what to expect from Jones. “I think as you move him around, you can create matchups and things like that, but understanding on early downs where he fits and how he fits in the picture will be the important part.”

Jones wasn’t seen at the team’s OTAs with media availability. So it’s yet to be seen exactly how the Seahawks plan to use him this coming season.

“As a tweener, he’s got some ability to play end, he’s got some ability to play inside, and if you can get him in the right matchup in the right spot, he can be incredibly effective,” Salk said. “I don’t think they took full advantage of his potential last year. … If that means playing some D-end, if that means playing some outside linebacker, so be it. I want to see Dre Jones all over the map and utilizing some of his incredible talent. I think it can work, certainly rushing inside on passing-down situations. But I was really excited to hear Aden Durde talk immediately about the versatility and the matchup potential with Dre’Mont Jones.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6-10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

More Seattle Seahawks coverage

• A player who could force Seattle Seahawks into tough decision
• Seahawks’ mysterious D-coordinator led one free agent to Seattle
Seahawks OTAs: What stands out to former UW coach Chris Petersen
• PFF analyst explains ranking Geno Smith as NFL’s No. 18 QB
• New Seahawks QB Sam Howell ‘excited’ to be in Seattle

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