Seahawks who can have most impact with breakout season: DE Jacob Martin
This year is a pivotal one for the Seattle Seahawks. The team made it back to the postseason in 2018 as a wild card, but they’ve been unseated as NFC West champions by the Los Angeles Rams – a team that shows no signs of slowing down – and could face competition from the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals, both of whom will showcase highly-touted young quarterbacks this season.
The Seahawks have a few advantages in their quest to return to a Super Bowl, including a franchise quarterback and All-Pro middle linebacker, but they’ll need big contributions from young players if they want to improve on their 2018 record.
The list of players who could have a big impact on Seattle’s 2019 season with a breakout year starts with second-year defensive end Jacob Martin.
What you need to know about Jacob Martin
The sixth-round pick out of Temple is entering his second season with the Seahawks and, fair or not, Seattle’s offseason trade of Frank Clark heaped quite a bit of pressure on two young defensive linemen: Martin, and 2018 third-round pick Rasheem Green.
Martin appeared in all 16 games of his rookie season and recorded nine tackles (including two for loss), eight quarterback hits, three sacks, and two forced fumbles, one of which was recovered by then-Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman and returned for a touchdown.
This year, Martin has his eyes set on double-digit sacks.
“I think I can achieve it,” Martin told 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton this offseason. “The biggest thing last year, why I got hot so late… I felt like was because I was still trying to figure out, ‘How do I want to rush? What kind of rusher do I want to be?’ Because in college I was pretty fast, and I have good hands and stuff like that, but these tackles in the NFL are world-class, so you have to change some things, you have to learn some things.”
What they’re saying about Jacob Martin
Jake Heaps “When I look on the defensive side of the ball, the player who stands out to me is probably Jacob Martin. Because Jacob Martin is going to be more of your guy you’re looking for to generate major pass rush. Rasheem Green, you’re hoping can be an all-around player. Yes, you want him to get to the quarterback. But he’s more of an all-around player who can play well in the run game and the pass game. If Jacob Martin can become a pass-rushing specialist, similar to what Bruce Irvin was able to do here in Seattle a few years ago, I think you’re able to fulfill that need in the pass rush.”
Dave Wyman: “The way he progressed last year of coming off the edge, it just got closer and closer, and I want to say it was probably the fifth or sixth game of the year I was up in the booth with Steve Raible going, ‘I’m telling you, Jacob Martin, he’s going to get there.’ He made me wait a few weeks but finally I think his first sack was in London against the Raiders, and then he finished out the year with three sacks. Coming back into that second year, he has the ability to turn that corner, kind of like Rufus Porter used to do, like a 45 degree angle running full-speed around the edge. He could be your edge rusher.”
Pete Carroll: “Jacob Martin had a really impressive year when you go back and look at the stats he turned out for the limited amount of plays he was active. His pressures were up there, percentage-wise… he’s going to be a factor for us again. We need to develop him physically and maintain his girth; he lost 20 pounds over the season, and that affected him some near the end. But he’s still an attractive guy because of his motor and his quickness.”