2018 free-agency period: Get to know the newest Seahawks

Mar 23, 2018, 3:09 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2018, 1:23 pm

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The Seahawks added depth to the D-line Friday with ex-Vikings DT Tom Johnson. (AP)


The Seahawks have added six new players so far in free agency (plus a seventh, wide receiver Marcus Johnson, via trade). Here’s a quick rundown on a few new members of Seattle’s squad:

WR Jaron Brown

2017 stats: 31 receptions, 477 yards, 4 TD

The Seahawks lost two big targets for Russell Wilson when Paul Richardson and tight end Jimmy Graham signed elsewhere in free agency. They started replenishing the wide receiver group by signing Jaron Brown. Brown, 28, has spent his entire five-year career with the Arizona Cardinals. He originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson.

John Clayton says Brown could be a sleeper: “I think Jaron Brown’s kind of a sleeper in this because he really did a good job last year. And it’s funny … he was the guy who a lot of times you thought was John Brown, but it was really Jaron … He’s kind of a sleepy good receiver who can do some things.” More on Jaron Brown.

TE Ed Dickson

2017 stats: 30 receptions, 437 yards, 1 TD

The Seahawks’ signed ex-Panthers tight end Ed Dickson to a three-year deal. Pac-12 football fans will recognize Dickson from his time at Oregon, where he was a standout tight end. He finished his four-year college career with 124 catches for 1,557 yards and 12 touchdowns. At 30, Dickson is one of the oldest Seahawks in a now-younger locker room. He brings eight years of NFL experience (four with the Ravens and four with the Panthers) to a tight end group that includes third-year pro Nick Vannett and second-year player Tyrone Swoopes.

ESPN Magazine senior writer Mina Kimes says Dickson is a big shift in style from former Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham: “Ed Dickson, I believe I saw on Pro Football Focus, was the number one pass-blocking tight end last season. It seems pretty clear that they’re bringing him in to do that — to block. Graham, for all of his touchdown production, obviously struggled with blocking over the years. Some could argue he was missused in Seattle when he should’ve been used as a receiver all along.  This is clearly a decision to say, ‘Hey, we need a tight end who can do this, who can help the offensive line.’ Which I don’t think was a bad decision.” More on Ed Dickson.

OLB Barkevious Mingo

2017 stats: 2.0 sacks, 32 tackles

The Seahawks’ first addition from free agency was outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo, who was signed to a two-year, $6.8 million deal.

Mingo played college football at LSU and was selected No. 6 overall by the Cleveland Browns in the 2013 NFL Draft. (Mingo joins a front seven that also features fellow 2013 first-rounder, defensive end Dion Jordan.)

Former NFL GM Michael Lombardi said Mingo adds speed to Seattle’s front seven: “He’s gotten versatile. When he was in Cleveland they were running a 3-4 defense, then they went to a 4-3. He’s really not a 4-3 end. He’s not big enough to play against the bigger tackles on a consistent basis. In Indianapolis … it was really like a nickel rusher … he can cover a little bit with the backs and he can attack the pocket from a two-point stance or from off the edge. Plus, he’s really good in the kicking game. So it gives them a chance to improve their overall team speed.” More on Barkevious Mingo.

OL D.J. Fluker

The Seahawks’ addressed their offensive line Tuesday, agreeing to terms with ex-Giants guard D.J. Fluker.

The Chargers selected Fluker was selected 11th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. He joins two other first-round Seahawks from the same class: defensive end Dion Jordan and outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo. A 2014 Sports Illustrated piece profiled Fluker’s path to college football: After Hurricane Katrina destroyed their home in 2005, Fluker and his family were displaced and struggled with homelessness. Despite those obstacles, he eventually landed a scholarship to the University of Alabama.

WFAN personality and Giants’ reporter Paul Dottino argues Fluker could be better used with a team that leans more heavily toward the run: “With the Giants, during the one year he was here, (Fluker) was a terrific run blocker in the power rushing attack,” Dottino said. “Where he had his trouble, and it should be no surprise when you look at the size and girth of this guy, is when speed rushers try to slice through gaps or if speed rushers stunted on him. He had trouble because of a lack of athleticism and sometimes recognition of picking up those pass rushers. But in terms of the run game, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find somebody who is going to do a better job between the tackles of just pushing the pile and basically flattening people.More on D.J. Fluker.

WR Marcus Johnson

2017 stats: 5 receptions, 45 yards

Seattle acquired Johnson in a trade that sent defensive Michael Bennett to the Eagles (in exchange, the Seahawks received Johnson and a 2018 fifth-rounder). Johnson, 23, played at Texas and signed with the Eagles last season as an undrafted rookie free agent.

DT Tom Johnson

2017 stats: 2.0 sacks, 17 tackles

Signing Johnson allows Seattle to replenish the interior of their defensive line, a unit now without Pro Bowler Sheldon Richardson (who, coincidentally, signed with the Vikings in free agency). Johnson joins Jarran Reed and second-year player Nazair Jones at the defensive tackle position. Johnson, 33, played 70 percent of snaps for the Vikings’ defense last year, recording two sacks and 17 tackles.

After going undrafted in 2005 out of Southern Mississippi, it took Johnson a couple years to break into the NFL (outside of a stint with the Colts). He spent time with the Cologne Centurions in the now-defunct NFL Europe, Arena Football League, and Canadian Football League. Johnson eventually drew interest from NFL teams, though, and signed with the Saints in 2011. He eventually signed with the Vikings in 2014.

S Maurice Alexander

2017 stats: 13 tackles (through four games); 2016 stats: 1.0 sack, 38 tackles, two interceptions

Alexander, 27, started 14 games for the Rams in 2016, making two interceptions, four passes defensed and a sack. He was released last October, however, and the Seahawks brought him in for a visit shortly after but ultimately did not decide to sign him last year. He played both free safety and strong safety over his four years with the Rams after signing as an undrafted free agent. More.

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