Seahawks drafted Marquise Blair for hard-hitting style — but can he cover?

May 14, 2019, 12:28 PM | Updated: 12:45 pm
marquise blair, seahawks...
The Seahawks picked hard-hitting Utah safety Marquise Blair in the second round. (Getty)

Seahawks’ second-round pick Marquise Blair was billed primarily as a hard-hitting safety post-draft, but 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard pointed to a different skill that that could make Blair even more useful in Seattle.

Why was Al Woods the choice at DT for Seahawks?

“I thought this was pretty telling,” Huard said of a recent stat from Pro Football Focus during Tuesday morning’s Blue 42 segment of Brock and Salk. “Pro Football Focus looked at the coverage guys in the Pac-12. It’s not a surprise to see a couple safeties at the top of it; it’s easier for safeties to cover than it is for corners, who can be a bit on an island.

“Number one in the Pac-12 last year in coverage was Taylor Rapp, with a grade of 89.8. That’s a pretty remarkable number. Number two on that list is Marquise Blair, just barely behind Rapp at 88. No one else in the conference was even in the 80’s. So, just once again, what do those numbers mean and where do they come from? This is more a comparative tool than anything else… that’s why these guys were both in the second round, because they can play this position in space.

“Paul Moyer says the 230-pound, 240-pound safeties are having a harder time in today’s NFL because it’s not just about coming down and being a hammer. It is the ability to play center field. And as offenses in the NFL pick up their pace, you know what your safeties have to be? Interchangeable. Much more interchangeable. It can’t just be this one-design role. Because with tempo teams, you’ve got to be able to do both. And with Marquise Blair, I think that was very encouraging. He’s not just going to come down and smack you in the face. When it comes to the ability to cover, he’s right there with Taylor Rapp, and that’s an encouraging sign.”

Huard also answered questions about the use of the Jet Sweep in last year’s NFL. Listen to the entire Blue 42 segment in the audio clip embedded above.

New Seahawks DE Ziggy Ansah ‘makes everybody better’

Listen to the Brock and Salk Show weekday mornings from 7-10 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Brock and Salk podcast

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Johnathan Abram...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard: What Seahawks are getting in new safety Johnathan Abram

The Seahawks added former first-round safety Johnathan Abram to the team this week. Brock Huard breaks down what Abram brings to the table.
16 hours ago
Seahawks Pete Carroll Bobby Wagner...
Brandon Gustafson

Pete Carroll Preview: Seahawks facing Wagner, addition of Abram

Seahawks HC Pete Carroll had plenty to say during this week's Pete Carroll Preview, including praise for former Hawks LB Bobby Wagner.
2 days ago
Seahawks Tre Brown...
Stacy Rost

Rost: Brown’s emotional Seahawks return and more from ‘The Huddle’

Stacy Rost breaks down what you need to know from this week's edition of The Huddle, including CB Tre Brown being back with the Seahawks.
2 days ago
Joe Fann

Fann: Seahawks’ meeting vs injury-plagued Rams needs to be ‘get-right’ game

The Seahawks face a Rams team missing most of their stars due to injury, and that presents a perfect opportunity for Seattle, Joe Fann writes.
3 days ago
Seahawks Quandre Diggs...
Brent Stecker

Bump’s Breakdown: 3 things Seahawks must do to get on track

The Seahawks' four-game win streak seems like a distant memory after two straight disappointing losses. How can they rebound? Michael Bumpus breaks it down.
3 days ago
Seahawks Johnathan Abram...
The Associated Press

Seahawks land 2019 1st-rounder Johnathan Abram for safety depth

The Seattle Seahawks claimed safety Johnathan Abram off waivers on Wednesday, adding depth to a position that’s been thinned by injuries.
4 days ago
Seahawks drafted Marquise Blair for hard-hitting style — but can he cover?