Jake Heaps’ 4 most important 2nd-year Seahawks for next season
Jun 2, 2020, 1:16 AM
The Seahawks have several contributors entering their second season in the NFL, and they will need many of them to assume bigger roles than they had as rookies.
How far have the Seahawks’ drafts fallen off since 2012?
Which ones are the most important to Seattle’s success in 2020? Former Seahawks quarterback Jake Heaps ranked his top four and explained his reasoning on the Four-Down Territory segment of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy on Monday (listen in this podcast).
Perhaps the biggest surprise is who Heaps had at No. 1: DK Metcalf, the wide receiver who easily had the most production of any Seahawks rookie in 2019. Then again, that’s a big reason why Heaps said Metcalf is crucial to Seattle next year.
Let’s take a look at Heaps’ rankings and what he had to say:
No. 1: DK Metcalf, wide receiver
• 2019 draft: Second round, 64th overall
• 2019 stats: 16 games (15 starts), 58 receptions, 900 yards, seven touchdowns
• What Jake said: “Yes, he had a tremendous rookie year last year – 900 yards, tremendous play-maker and finished the year with everybody feeling that this guy can be a superstar. They need him to be that type of player if they want to continue to go on the trajectory that they are as an offense, getting better every single year under (offensive coordinator) Brian Schottenheimer. They need DK Metcalf to be an elite receiver and to step up his game. Some of those fumbles, some of those drops last year need to be improved for him to take those steps.”
No. 2: L.J. Collier, defensive end/defensive tackle
• 2019 draft: First round, 29th overall
• 2019 stats: 11 games (no starts), three combined tackles
• What Jake said: “We have to see production from this young man. With his versatility from him playing 5-technique to 3-technique, the Seahawks need L.J. Collier to step up in a big way.”
Related: ‘Disrespected’ Collier ready for redemption in 2020
No. 3: Marquise Blair, safety
• 2019 draft: Second round, 47th overall
• 2019 stats: 14 games (three starts), one pass defensed, two forced fumbles, 32 combined tackles
• What Jake said: “Bring the boom back to that secondary. Has to step up and learn the playbook. If he can do that, he brings speed, he brings attitude and toughness to a defense that seriously lacked it.”
No. 4: Ugo Amadi, cornerback
• 2019 draft: Fourth round, 132nd overall
• 2019 stats: 16 games (no starts), one fumble recovery, 17 combined tackles
• What Jake said: “If he can solidify himself as the nickel corner for this team, I think it gives (head coach) Pete Carroll and (defensive coordinator) Ken Norton the comfort of moving out of base defense and going with more of a nickel-based personnel, which will give them flexibility, will make them a little bit more diverse and make them better in pass defense. If he can step up, it will have a big change on what this defense can look like.”
Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps on Twitter.
More from Jake: Seahawks should move away from ‘jumbo package’