Seattle Seahawks: Breaking Down the Seahawks' Rookie Class After the Preseason
The preseason is in the books, and kickoff is merely days away. The Seattle Seahawks steamrolled other teams this preseason, amassing a 4-0 record in the process.
This is very, very scary for any Seahawk fan who remembers the 2009 perfect preseason. However, since pessimism sucks, I won't waste my words discussing preseason trends.
What I will talk about is Seattle's rookie class and how they performed in the preseason. I'll be giving each of them a grade as well, since the internet likes those kinds of things. You should give grades too! But, y'know, in the comments section.
So let's get it on and talk some 'ball.
LB Bruce Irvin, 1st-Round Selection: C-
Some of you will think this grade is too high.
Some will think it's too low.
I think it's just right.
Irvin, answering the hysterical prayers of many Seahawk fans, broke out in his final preseason game.
After being nothing more than a body on the field the first three weeks, Irvin was in on two sacks (technically 1.5 sacks, but isn't it weird to say that someone was in on a sack-and-a-half?), forced a fumble on special teams, forced a Terrelle Pryor fumble (that was incorrectly ruled an incomplete pass) and was extremely close to being in on sacks or tackles for loss about five other times.
What happened? Well, in essence, Irvin let loose.
Many may have noticed his nervous play in previous weeks, especially when he tried to bull rush linemen twice his size. We saw a significant change against the Raiders, as effective speed rushes and inside cuts were utilized with maximum potency.
Let's hope that trend continues.
LB Bobby Wagner, 2nd-Round Selection: C
Even after watching all the preseason games multiple times, I don't know what to think of Bobby Wagner. It's simply hard to notice him.
That's a good thing and a bad thing.
It's good because it means he isn't messing up. Quarterbacks aren't finding wide open tight ends and running backs like they did against David Hawthorne. It's good because it means that Wagner is smart enough to call plays and not make any significant mistakes in coverage.
This is not to say that he didn't do anything of worth in the preseason. In fact, he showed solid wrap-tackling ability and recognition of holes. Just nothing spectacular, yet. And that's the bad (so far).
As long as coverage isn't an issue for Wagner, I'm not worried about him. His preseason was just too "meh" to merit a higher grade.
QB Russell Wilson, 3rd-Round Selection: A++++++++++++++
I wish there were a higher grade then A+ (hence the A++++++++ above).
Wilson has been everything and more for the Seahawks this preseason. I don't really need to tell you just how much of a wunderkind he's been, right? He is among the league's best in passer rating, rushing yards and completion percentage.
He won the starting job when no one (including myself) gave him a snowball's chance in hell of coming out on top. And he did it through hard work and dedication. He's the blueprint for what an athlete should be.
Ok, I'm done. Sorry.
RB Robert Turbin, 4th-Round Selection: A-
Robert Turbin has done everything you could ask of a rookie backup running back. He has impressed so much that he is expected to start this Sunday's matchup against the Cardinals.
Turbin is one of the main reasons that Seattle led the NFL in preseason rushing yards. He has shown the ability to not only comprehend Tom Cable's zone blocking scheme but also utilize it's one-cut-and-go philosophy to hit holes quickly and gain excellent yardage.
Count me among those who think that Turbin will fill in admirably for Marshawn Lynch against the Cardinals.
DT Jaye Howard, 4th-Round Selection: B-
Howard has been flashy this preseason. He recorded a safety against the Raiders but has also been in on numerous plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Howard is a power defensive tackle, but there still is a lot he could learn. Once he establishes more ability to stuff the run, he'll be a key part of the defensive line rotation.
But for now, Howard has been a pretty good prospect.
CB Jeremy Lane, 6th-Round Selection: C+
Just to let you all know, I'm skipping Korey Toomer because he didn't make the squad.
Now, onto Jeremy Lane.
I like Jeremy Lane. He's extremely aggressive and plays tight man-to-man coverage, which is something Gus Bradley values highly in his corners. His zone coverage is a tad shaky, but luckily, that's something that can be tweaked and improved.
Ultimately, Lane serves as depth on what is an already elite secondary. He could see time in the bandit package or in dime formations that the defense puts in.
SS Winston Guy, 6th-Round Selection: B+
I initially wasn't that high on Winston Guy (rhyming is fly), but his speed and versatility won me over.
Although he should never, ever, ever, be used in punt protection, Guy does serve as a good special teams tackler and coverage man, due to his excellent speed and agility.
In addition, it appears as though he will be employed in the bandit package as a third safety, as well as the nickel safety when called upon. This will allow Guy to use his pass rushing ability—a skill which he showcased wonderfully in the preseason.
Believe it or not, Guy could be a difference maker on this team.
G J.R. Sweezy, 7th-Round Selection: A
Sweezy is perhaps the best "value" pick of this year's draft. He played defensive end in college, but Tom Cable and Pete Carroll opted to move Sweezy to offensive guard and mold his athleticism into something new.
Needless to say, the experiment has gone incredibly well. Sweezy is pushing to start at the right guard spot and has shown that his quick feet and notable speed will help the team in both pass protection and run protection.
If Sweezy can maintain a starting spot, this is a true "diamond in the rough" for Pete Carroll and John Schneider.
DE Greg Scruggs, 7th-Round Selection: B
Initially considered a long shot to make the team, Scruggs has earned a roster spot through great performances.
He created consistent backfield pressure the entire preseason, recording multiple sacks along the way.
Scruggs' long arms aid him greatly in his bouts with offensive linemen, and it appears that Pete Carroll's decision to use him in multiple defensive positions has paid off. Look for Scruggs to come in on passing downs in 2012.
Well, there you have it—my grade for each drafted rookie who made the team. Please disagree below!