The Seahawks Defense is one that I seem to like a little more than others. They didn't get a lot of love in the Experts Poll voting, but I've got them with an above-average grade (and pretty similar to the 3-4 defenses ranked just ahead of them). I'm not sure why people don't like them more.
Last year, certainly, they dramatically exceeded expectations. After ranking 22nd in sacks and 25th in takeaways in 2021, they seemed to be headed for a rebuilding year (or tanking, to put a finer point on it). They cut Bobby Wagner and Carlos Dunlap, both of whom were still good players.
And yet, their 2022 numbers were excellent. They finished with 45 sacks (7th), led by Uchenna Nwosu (pictured) with 9.5, and 25 takeaways (8th). They were one of only six teams to finish in the top 10 in both sacks and takeaways. All of other teams to do so are getting a lot of support in early drafts (and I like them too): Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, Baltimore, New England.
Table shows key defensive numbers last year, sorted by takeaways. Teams in the top 10 in both categories are in bold.
|SACKS AND TAKEAWAYS, 2022|
In the offseason, Seattle seemed to add to this group. They signed Dre'Mont Jones away from Denver; he's had 5.5-6.5 sacks three years in a row. And they brought back Bobby Wagner, possibly concerned about Jordyn Brooks (who tore his ACL late in the year). They used a top-5 draft pick on cornerback Devon Witherspoon (3 interceptions at Illinois last season).
The Seahawks look like a defense I'll have in a couple of leagues, a possible top-10 or 12 group that won't garner a lot of interest in drafts.