The simple fact that Kelly Jennings was traded is music to many Seahawks fans' ears.
Enter 6'2", 297 pound defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, a 2009 seventh round pick who has appeared in only eight games, but has had a strong preseason. On the surface, McDonald doesn't appear to offer much. But as usual with this organization, it's about fit.
As noted after the Denver game, Seattle has been unable to generate a pass rush with their massive size inside; their primary purpose being to stop the run, not generate pressure. Seattle still needs an explosive interior rusher.
McDonald came out of Memphis as a two-time team captain and hard worker, an undersized, strong and productive three-technique tackle—a YouTube search uncovered the video, a draft profile. His upside was tabbed as a high motor interior rusher.
Though he does not have production to show for himself in the pros, this write up notes some intriguing qualities about McDonald:
As a member of the practice squad, he used to meet the team bus as they returned from road games—often in the middle of the night; he came to 2011 training camp noticeably bigger and stronger and registered eight tackles in the team's first preseason game; signs are pointing to 2011 being a step forward for McDonald.
They may not have acquired a star, but they found a player that may be a strong fit in both the locker room and at the three technique position in the four man, under front. Last year, Brandon Mebane played the three-tech, but he's not the quick footed, disruptive rusher that's needed for that spot in that alignment.
McDonald may be able to succeed with more one-on-one matchups, not playing at the nose tackle spot. Furthermore, he can provide size and pass rushing ability from the inside in second/third and long situations.
The Seahawks acquired a rotational interior pass-rusher for a sub package corner; a position of weakness became a position of strength over the course of the preseason, so they traded the player that didn't really fit all along for a promising player at a position of need.
Hopefully, a round-a-bout way of filling a position Seattle is yet to find the right fit for, and not just a trade-for-and-cut one game experiment.