2020 Seattle Seahawks Outlook
Since Russell Wilson took over as the starting QB, the Seattle Seattle Seahawks made the playoffs in seven of his eight years with two Super Bowl berths and one Super Bowl title. Seattle has been in the playoffs 13 times since 2003 with one other Super Bowl appearance.
Pete Carroll has a career 133-90-1 record over 14 years as a head coach with his best success coming with the Seahawks (100-59-1 and a Super Bowl title). He has an 86-41-1 record over the last eight seasons.
In 2018, Seattle brought in Brian Schottenheimer to be the offensive coordinator after spending the previous two seasons as the quarterback coach for the Indianapolis Colts. He's held the OC job for ten other years in the NFL for two different franchises (Jets and Rams). Overall, Schottenheimer has 18 seasons of experience coaching in the NFL.
Last season the Seahawks climbed to 8th in offensive yards while scoring 405 points (9th), which was a decline of 13 points from 2018.
Ken Norton jumped from the 49ers to Seattle to take over as the defensive coordinator in 2018. He worked in the Seahawks system from 2010 to 2014 before landing the defensive coordinator job in Oakland for three seasons. Norton has 11 years of coaching experience in the NFL and 13 seasons as a player.
After ranking in the top-five in yards allowed for six straight years, Seattle fell to 11th in 2017, 16th in 2018, and 26th in 2019. The Seahawks allowed the least number of points each year from 2012 to 2016 before slipping to 13th (332) in 2017, 11th (347) in 2018, and 22nd in 2019 (398).
The Seahawks decided not to resign DE Jadeveon Clowney after a disappointing 2019 campaign. He finished with only three sacks and 31 tackles. Over his last three seasons, Clowney does have seven forced fumbles and four defensive touchdowns. He failed to live up to his draft pedigree (first overall in 2014) in his six years. His best play came in 2017 and 2018 for Houston (18.5 sacks over 31 games).
Their defense lost DT Quinton Jefferson, DE Ezekiel Ansah, DT Al Woods, LB Mychal Kendricks, and S Akeem King.
Over the last two seasons for Seattle, Jefferson improved his pass rush while showing growth vs. the run. The Bills will use him as a rotational player in 2020. He needs to do a better job tackling to make a further step forward.
They brought back DE Bruce Irvin and added DE Benson Mayowa.
Irvin started his career with Seattle from 2012 to 2015. He played for three different franchises (OAK, ATL, and CAR) over the previous two years.
The offensive line made multiple changes in the offseason. T Germain Ifedi, T George Fant, and C B.J. Finney found new homes. The Seahawks took a flier on T Cedric Ogbuehi and T Brandon Shell.
Ifedi continues to allow too much pressure in the quarterback no matter where he lines up while ranking poorly over the past three years as run blocker. Ifedi does have a first-round (2016) pedigree.
In 2018 as a rotational player for Seattle, Fant showed improvement at right tackle. Last year he started eight of the 17 games for the Seahawks with some issues in both run and pass blocking. His overall plays did improve in all areas over the final quarter of the regular season while playing left tackle.
Shell failed to make an impact over the last three seasons for the Jets.
Seattle signed WR Phillip Dorsett, RB Carlos Hyde, and TE Greg Olsen while releasing WR Josh Gordon, WR Jaron Brown, RB Robert Turbin, RB Marshawn Lynch, and RB C.J. Prosise.
Olsen brings a veteran presence to the tight end position for Seattle, but he is in the twilight of his career.
With their first two draft selections in round one and two, the Seahawks focused on their defense by investing in LB Jordyn Brooks and LB Darrell Taylor.
Brooks has an underachiever feel while owning upside talent. His vision plays well with the feel to shine when attacking the line of scrimmage in the run support. He has work to do in pass coverage while needing to improve his ability to keep blocks off his body with his hands.
Taylor offers plenty of power and strength, but his pass rush tends to come from the outside. His first step doesn't create an early edge, and he does need to develop his pass rush moves to help more wins in counters on the inside. Taylor has a thinker feel, which hurts his ability to attack quickly once he knows if it is a run or pass play.
Seattle went with G Damien Lewis in the third round. His game projects well in run blocking while relying on plus strength. Lewis struggles with his footwork and quickness, which hurts his value in pass protection. He'll handle power pass rushers, but his eyes struggle to find second-level pass rushers.
The Seahawks shifted back to their offense with their two choices in the fourth round – TE Colby Parkinson and RB Deejay Dallas.
Parkinson has the look of a jump ball specialist in one-on-one coverage, especially in the red zone. His release and route running look viable at TE, but I don't see much damage after the catch unless he breaks a tackle or slips free after a defender blows his assignment. Parkinson offers strong hands and the ability to catch the ball at the high point.
I don't expect him to develop in the blocking game unless he commits to getting stronger while adding more bulk and improving his foundation skill set. At the same time, this change may lower his explosiveness in the passing game.
At 5'10" and 215 lbs., Dallas has a big back feel thanks to some strength in his upper body to help break tackles. He will surprise in traffic while still having plenty to learn about the subtleties becoming a top running back. His vision is a work in progress, and he does have underlying gifts to develop even further.
Dallas has a chance to add value to an NFL team on special teams. In 2018, he returned 17 kickoffs for 367 yards and 11 punts for 191 yards and one touchdown.
His next step is adding patience to his running style while learning how to read blocks better.
Over the final three rounds in the draft, Seattle took a swing on LB Alton Robinson, WR Freddie Swain, and TE Stephen Sullivan.
Robinson looks to be a work in progress. His pass-rushing upside sets the tone, but he doesn't have many moves and techniques yet. Robinson will be a problem off the snap thanks to his timing and quickness. He needs to add more finishing power to deliver more value in the pass rush. When stalemated at the point of attack, Robinson could get lost when asked to defend the run.
Swain owns an edge in speed (4.46 forty) with enough strength to hold off defenders. His issues come with route running and movements when trying to create separation. He does protect well in the open field with reliable hands. For now, Swain needs to develop his plan and technique while showing he can handle top NFL cornerback in press coverage.
Sullivan is an undersized tight end (6'5" and 248 lbs.), who struggles with his footspeed when asked to change direction over the short areas of the field. He has a feel for blocking, but Sullivan isn't strong enough at this point in his career. For now, his role may come as a sneaky seam threat in the passing game.
Seattle finished 4th in the NFL rushing yards (2,200) with 15 rushing TDs while gaining 4.6 yards per rush with 14 runs over 20 yards. They averaged only 30.1 rushing attempts per game.
The Seahawks worked their way to 12th in passing yards (4,110) with 31 passing TDs and six Ints. Their offensive line allowed 48 sacks and 111 QB hits while only attempting 32.3 passes per game.
LT Duane Brown
Brown missed 12 games in 2016 and 2017 after a long career with the Texans. He's a former first-round draft pick (2008) who will start the year at age 35. Brown continues to be an edge in pass blocking while playing closer to the league-average in run blocking in two of the past three seasons.
LG Mike Iupati
Iupati came into the NFL 2010 as the first found draft selected (17th overall). His best play in most seasons comes in the run game, but he did struggle in this area in 2019. Iupati showed regression pass protection over the last two years. His job could be at risk in 2020.
C B.J. Finney
Seattle looks to have an issue at the center position after releasing Justin Britt this spring, which came after a torn ACL in 2019. Finney came off the bench over the past four seasons for the Steelers. He did handle his pass protecting opportunity while showing weakness in run blocking.
RG Damien Lewis
The Seahawks may be forced to start Lewis in his rookie season. His foundation skill set projects well in run blocking while trailing in pass protection.
RT Brandon Shell
In his four seasons in the NFL, Snell has never played a full season while being a league-average player in pass blocking. He will allow sacks and pressure at times. The Jets struggled to run the ball in every year that he's been on the team.
Offensive Line Outlook
This offensive line is loaded with question marks and downside. Russell Wilson will cover some deficiencies with his legs and decision making, but he'll still see a ton of pressure. The Seahawks want to run the ball with game score being the key to their opportunities on the ground.
QB Russell Wilson, DEN - Stud (low risk)
Over the past three seasons, Wilson averaged just over 35 TDs while ranking 1st (401.75), 9th (344.30), and 4th (376.80) in QB scoring in 4-point passing TD leagues.
His best success came in Week 2 (300/3), Week 3 (457 combined yards with four TDs), and Week 9 (378/5). Wilson struggled to make plays over the second half of the year. Over the final nine games, including the playoffs, he averaged 245 passing yards with 1.2 TDs.
The addition of WR D.K. Metcalf (58/900/7) proved to be a wise move by the Seahawks based on his ability to score and make big plays.Wilson is regressing as a runner (75/342/3), and his overall passing chances (26.7 in 2018 and 32.2 in 2019) ranks below the league average (34.9). His initial projections came to 4,312 combined yards with 32 TDs and seven Ints. He has an ADP of 62 in early July as the fifth quarterback drafted.
RB Rashaad Penny, SEA - Bye Week Fill-in
Penny went from upside tease last summer in fantasy drafts to a trap when the lights came on in 2019.
Over the first six weeks, he missed three games with a hamstring injury and some flash in his limited playing time (22/98/1 with three catches for 34 yards).
Seattle gave him 33 combined touches in Week 12 and Week 13, leading to two exciting games (14/129/1 and 107 combined yards with two TDs and four catches).
Unfortunately, Penny blew out his ACL in his left knee early in December.
He is a talented player, but his attraction is waning while expecting a slow start to the year with his recovery from his knee injury. Penny would be the right kind of target as a bench RB with high upside later in the year if Carson had an injury.
His ADP (234) is favorable while being the 66th running back drafted. His starting point looks to be 672 combined yards with five TDs and 21 catches.
RB DeeJay Dallas, SEA - Dynasty Only
Dallas is a player looking to find his identity in the game of football. In high school, he played quarterback with the idea of becoming a wide receiver in college. Miami moved him to running back, where his game does show some upside and explosiveness (5.8 yards per rush and 11.3 yards per catch).
In 2018, Dallas battled some fumbles (four over 119 touches) while coming in over his best play weight. He finished with 702 combined yards with six TDs and ten catches. Last season Dallas missed time with an elbow injury while making some progress in his production (833 combined yards with ten TDs and 14 catches on 129 touches). A dynasty-only option until he carves out a more significant role.
RB Chris Carson, --- - Solid/Safe Pick
In the early draft season in 2019, Carson was in recovery from minor knee surgery, plus Rashaad Penny looked to be in a position to steal some of his opportunity.
After a slow start over three games (217 combined yards with two TDs and ten catches) and a fumble in each contest, Carson played well over his next 11 games (1,219 combined yards with seven TDs and 26 catches on 251 touches).
He gained over 100 yards rushing in six games (22/104, 27/118, 24/124/1, 16/105, 23/102/1, and 24/133/2) while receiving over 20 touches in nine contests. Carson drew raves about his pass-catching last summer, which led to career-highs in catches (37) and receiving yards (266).
His season ended in Week 16 with a hip injury that didn't require surgery. Carson is a power runner with developing value in the passing game. His ride won't be clean with Penny back in the picture.
I set his par at 1,138 combined yards with nine TDs and 36 catches. Fantasy owners priced him as the 21st running back drafted in PPR leagues in early July with an ADP of 39.
RB Carlos Hyde, --- - Deep-league Only
Hyde finished 2019 with a career-high in carries (245) and rushing yards (1,070) with moderate success in his yards per carry (4.4). The Texans had him on the sidelines for most of their passing plays (10/42), which lowered his ceiling. He had surprising success in big plays (eight runs over 20 yards and three runs over 40 yards).
He had shoulder surgery in February. This season Hyde gives the Seahawks veteran depth at running back on early downs but there's not enough production in being a change-of-pace back in this offense.
WR DK Metcalf, SEA - Sleeper (undervalued)
Metcalf needs to clean up his drops (7). He looked NFL-ready when the lights came on in 2019. He showed the most upside after Week 8 (46/717/4 on 69 targets) over ten games (playoffs included).
Metcalf finished with two highlight games (6/123/1 and 7/160/1). He caught six passes or more in six of his final ten contests while averaging only 6.9 targets per game.
In the end, Metcalf ranked 31st in WR scoring (190.1) in PPR leagues. His early ADP (49) looks higher than expected, even with some growth in his game. A WR2 player who looks to be on a path for 70 catches for 1,050 yards and a chance for double-digit TDs.