Jadeveon Clowney’s departure leaves a massive hole in the Seahawks defense. Will Seattle add an edge rusher in Round 1 of the NFL Draft?
The Seahawks continue to operate as one of a handful of “throwback” teams in the NFL. Most of the league is obsessed with building a high-flying offense to win games. Seattle still sees a lot of value in playing good defense and running the football with devastating efficiency.
That philosophy should be key to the team’s draft strategy in 2020. In particular, the defense needs to play better than it did a season ago. Finishing 22nd in the league in terms of points allowed isn’t good enough for a Pete Carroll coached team.
That’s one reason why Jadeveon Clowney’s likely departure is so troubling for the Seahawks. There’s still a chance he could return on a new, long-term contract, but it’s not looking likely. That will place pressure on the team’s front office to add an edge rusher ready to contribute immediately with their No. 27 overall selection.
Defensive line isn’t the only position the Seahawks might address in Round 1 though. Seattle fans should keep a close eye on the following five prospects approaching next week’s draft.
5. Jaylon Johnson
The Seahawks secondary was at their height when a long, talented corner named Richard Sherman patrolled one side of the field. Johnson is a cornerback that will come into the NFL with aspirations to be the next big corner to achieve massive success.
The former Utah star struggled mightily with injuries in 2019, but it’s easy to fall in love with his measurables and athleticism. Johnson might not be ready to be a Week 1 starter, but he could grow into that role by the time the playoffs arrive.
Cornerback isn’t necessarily a pressing need for the Seahawks, but no playoff team can ever have enough talent in the secondary. If Johnson is still on the board at No. 27 he’ll get a long look from the Seahawks.