With a very talented core in place, the Seattle Seahawks will again be relying on star power to carry them to another Super Bowl run in 2015.
Players like Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and others will look to lead Seattle to its third consecutive NFC title. However, the Seahawks also have an increasing need for some lesser known players to step up.
To keep all of those pieces long-term, the Seahawks have had to let some important role pieces go. That means others, particularly selections from the two most recent draft classes, need to fill in for all-important depth.
A few unheralded Seahawks are in line for more playing time in 2015 and appear poised to breakout.
Alvin Bailey, OG
Since being drafted in 2013, Bailey has held his own as a backup when pressed into duty. The Seahawks saw enough in Bailey to reward him with the starting left guard job, with James Carpenter moving on to the New York Jets.
It’s not hard to see that Bailey could potentially be a force on the offensive line. Bailey moves very well for his being well over 300 pounds and is the type of athlete that could be great in the Seahawks’ zone-blocking scheme.
Pete Carroll is pleased that Bailey was down about 30 pounds heading into OTAs. While left guard is one of the question marks heading into the season, Bailey has plenty of upside and could potentially be an upgrade at the position.
Jordan Hill, DT
For the last six games of the 2014 season, Hill showed he could be a disruptive pass rusher. Now he’ll get a chance to prove he can keep up that pace over an entire season.
The 6-1, 303 pound nose tackle recorded 5.5 sacks and 14 tackles over the final six games of the regular season before suffering a torn calf muscle. His absence (along with Brandon Mebane‘s) was a significant part of the reason Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were able to pick apart the Seahawks’ defense in the Super Bowl.
Seattle needs that third pass rusher to step up alongside Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. If Hill can avoid the injuries that have hindered him during his first two seasons in the NFL, he’s a prime candidate to put up some big numbers.
Cassius Marsh, DE
Like Hill, Marsh showed some flashes of pass rushing ability before his season was cut short by injury. Marsh showed a relentless motor and some needed versatility in five games before breaking his foot in practice.
At 6-3, 254 pounds, Marsh in the kind of ‘tweener the Seahawks like at LEO, and he lined up there often during his rookie season. Marsh can also shift inside and interestingly received some time at linebacker during minicamp, indicating the Seahawks may want to model him after Bruce Irvin.
Seattle could use some depth at all of those positions, so Marsh should get more of an opportunity if he stays healthy.
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