Which teams will be trouble for the revamped New York Jets offensive line?
13. Seattle Seahawks
Italicized players were added in the 2020 offseason.
- 2019 EDGE ranking: 30th
- 2019 DL ranking: 22nd
- Projected key EDGE: Bruce Irvin (FA – CAR), Rasheem Green, Branden Jackson, Benson Mayowa (FA – LVR)
- Projected key DL: Poona Ford, Jarran Reed, Bryan Mone
- Notable losses: DT Quinton Jefferson (FA – BUF), DT Al Woods (FA – JAX), EDGE Jadeveon Clowney (currently unsigned)
If the Seahawks do not find a way to bring back Jadeveon Clowney, there is a decent chance that they field the worst defensive front in the NFL.
Seattle already had the league’s 26th-ranked run defense according to DVOA. Now, their three best run-stoppers on the defensive front are gone. Clowney may be the best run-stopping EDGE in the league. Defensive tackles Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods – off to Buffalo and Jacksonville, respectively – each ranked top-25 out of 100-plus qualifiers in Pro Football Focus’ run defense grade.
Bruce Irvin will likely be taking many of the snaps left behind by Clowney. Irvin was graded by PFF as the eighth-worst EDGE against the run in 2019.
On the plus side, young Poona Ford – just 24 years old as he heads into his third season – provides a ray of hope for Seattle’s run defense. He ranked fourth among 64 qualified defensive tackles with a run stop rate of 10.5% in 2019 (23 stops on 219 snaps against the run).
Things are not peachier in the passing game. Seattle’s edge rushers ranked 31st in pressure rate (8.5%) among all EDGE units in the league while their interior defensive linemen ranked 26th (6.8%) among DL units. Each group’s leader in pressures – Clowney (48 pressures, T-32nd among EDGE) and Jefferson (39, T-17th among DT) – are now gone. The most productive pass rusher on the current roster in 2019 was Irvin, whose total of 36 pressures ranked 51st among edge defenders and 71st among all players.
With a defensive front light on talent and a crowd that will be much smaller than usual (if it is there at all), the Seahawks’ home-field advantage in 2020 will most likely be far less profound than the league has become accustomed to.
If the Jets’ rebuilt offensive line is the real deal, it should have no problem giving Sam Darnold a chance to shine in Seattle.