Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ranking The Teams Within The Team: #7 - Defensive Line

Just for kicks, I decided to take a look at the various units on the Seahawks team and attempt to project how good, or bad, they may be in the upcoming season. I ranked the units based on their top-end potential as well as their low-end potential, and also how much confidence there was in predicting their performance. Here are the units that I ranked (in no particular order):

Kickers
Coverage
Offensive line
Quarterbacks
Running backs
Wide receivers
Tight ends
Defensive line
Linebackers
Secondary

#7 - The Defensive Line

Potential Stars in 2010: Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane
Clemons has the potential to be the Hawks sack leader, and while 8 is his career high, 10+ is not totally out of the question with his increased playing time. Bryant will be hard-pressed to be a star in terms of stats since he will mostly be asked to hold the point and free Aaron Curry to rush the passer and make tackles, but anytime you put a solid player in a new position it's always possible he could shine. Mebane is a recurring story. He's gotten a lot of hype, but has shown little the past two seasons.

Potential Disasters: Red Bryant, Lawrence Jackson, Chris Clemons
Bryant is an unknown no matter what he flashes in the pre-season. Jackson is a disaster and needs to elevate above that status. He started strong last season, but completely disappeared after game 3 or 4. Clemons has never been a starter and is undersized. You'll know things are going south if a bigger player like EJ Wilson starts taking snaps away from him.

Easiest Players To Project: Craig Terrill, Colin Cole
We all know Terrill. There's little reason to think there will be a major change in his play, although I would not be shocked if he doesn't make the team due a strong push from Kevin Vickerson, and the ability for Red Bryant to swing to DT. Cole is a space eater without a ton of upside.

SUMMARY:
Defensive line has the potential to be a positive surprise this season. In part, due to the fact that it's been so horrible for the past couple of years. We had two zeros at DE last season with Kearney and Jackson. Bryant and Clemons could make things interesting, or just be the latest busts. Vickerson gives us another nasty run stuffer to push Colin Cole who gives me the impression he has become satisfied after his new contract. This group will not be the strength of the team, but is less likely to be weakness that it's been in the past.

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