NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah: Addressing D-line should be first step for Seahawks

Jan 5, 2018, 2:46 PM | Updated: 2:55 pm

Cliff Avril...

Seahawks' veteran DE Cliff Avril saw his 2017 season end in Week 4. (AP)


LISTEN: NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah talks Seahawks' draft needs, Luke Falk, and the 2018 running back class

After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011, the Seahawks enter an offseason with plenty of question marks at key positions. So, where do they start?

There’s plenty of turnover to be expected with the Seahawks, who this year finished 9-7. The team is still loaded with talent, though, and NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah contends Seattle should start working their way back to the postseason by building up the defensive line.

Who should be the Seahawks’ top priority in free agency?

“They’ve been very blessed to have the best secondary in the NFL for a long time, for a long run. But I think the quickest way to get the defense up to speed is actually to just reinforce and build up front,” Jeremiah told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard and Mike Salk.

“I think that’s where you start and I think you get aggressive in building a lot of competitive depth at that defensive line position. I think they’re better up front offensively, but they have got to just keep investing resources. To me, even though you could be looking at a whole turnover there in the secondary, they’ve proven – and John Schneider’s got such an eye – that they can find guys rounds three, round four, round five and they can hit on some players in that secondary. I think you look at them heavy, heavy, heavy in the trenches.”

Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, 27, is a free agent and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has hinted that that defensive end Cliff Avril, 31, may choose to retire after he sustained a neck injury in 2017 (though he’s maintained that the decision is ultimately up to Avril). Defensive end Michael Bennett, 32, has said he’s “committed” to playing football in 2018, but it remains to be seen whether or not that will be in Seattle. The Seahawks picked up highly-touted defensive tackle Malik McDowell in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he has yet to play a snap after suffering a concussion in an offseason ATV accident.

Jeremiah, who says injuries played a key factor in Seattle’s failure to grasp a playoff berth, explained the offseason process to Brock and Salk.

“Well, it’s kind of a three-part process. First of all, you’re going to have the pro personnel department is going to give a thorough report to the whole personal department on your own players. Especially your guys that are going into free agency. So you’ll have that breakdown of everyone on your roster; this is where they are right now, this is what they did this year, and this is kind of where we see them going into the future. So it’s a very detailed discussion on your own crew. Then you bring in the discussion of what’s out there on the free agent market; that’s a detailed meeting of where’s our cap situation and what’s out there to potentially help us. And then the third part, obviously, is the draft.”

Jeremiah also previews this year’s running back class and explains where he thinks Washington State quarterback Luke Falk will land come April. Listen to the entire conversation, embedded above.


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NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah: Addressing D-line should be first step for Seahawks