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3 players with the most to gain in training camp for the Seahawks

3 players with the most to gain in training camp for the Seahawks

Just a couple of seasons ago, Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks were still running the NFC West in 2016. Then, a man by the name of Sean McVay planted his flag with the Los Angeles Rams and the last two seasons, the Rams have owned the division.

Now, Carroll and company are trying to fight their way back to claim what is theirs. Last season, the Seahawks finished with a 10-6 record (second to the Rams in the division) but were knocked out in the NFC Wild Card round.

The Dallas Cowboys were able to inch their way past Seattle with Ezekiel Elliott leading the way. Elliott rushed for 137 yards on the ground en route to a 24-22 Cowboys victory.

Many were critical of the Seahawks approach to try beating the Cowboys at their own game by running it relentlessly. Although, Seattle had little success running the ball with 24 carries going for just 73 yards. After all, Russell Wilson was showing he could take advantage of the Cowboys’ defense through the air.

Nonetheless, the Seahawks are trying to get back on track as a true contender in the NFC. For that to be possible, Seattle is going to need to have a strong training camp. Here are three players who have the most to gain in training camp this year for the Seahawks.

3. Shaquem Griffin

Shaquem Griffin was a phenomenal story in 2018 with the Seahawks drafting the one-arm linebacker in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. It was surprising to see Griffin fall to the fifth round after showcasing his talent in college at UCF.

Seattle started Griffin in just one game in 2018 and the young linebacker finished the season with just 11 tackles. Although, Griffin wasn’t really used in a productive last season at the weakside linebacker spot.

This offseason, Carroll has shown interest in moving Griffin to the strongside linebacker spot so he can be in a more comfortable spot in the defense. At strongside linebacker, Griffin would be asked to rush the passer more off the edge.

After all, that’s exactly what Griffin did in college at UCF with him racking up 18.5 sacks, 1oo tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles in his last two seasons in college. The second-year linebacker will need training camp to get acclimated to his new role in the Seahawks defense.

2. Barkevious Mingo

Along with Griffin, Barkevious Mingo also figures to have a role in the pass rush for the Seahawks in the upcoming season. Last year, Mingo played outside linebacker but served as more of a traditional 4-3 outside linebacker in Seattle.

Mingo started in 14 games but he didn’t have a large role in the defense with just 48 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, and two forced fumbles. Since being drafted sixth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, Mingo has been longing to find his role in the NFL.

Carroll believes that he can get the most out of Mingo by allowing him to have more of a strictly pass-rushing role in the defense. It sounds like Carroll wants to utilize everyone to the best of their abilities but that could cause a log-jam at the strongside linebacker spot.

Or Carroll could elect to have Mingo put his hand on the ground and move to defensive end to use his strength as a pass rusher. Nonetheless, Mingo is working towards playing in a new role in 2019 and will need to get adjusted to it during training camp.

1. Gary Jennings

Despite the Seahawks being a run-first, ask questions later type of offense, they still are going to throw a fair bit. After all, earlier this offseason, Seattle gave Russell Wilson a contract that made him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.

Doug Baldwin decided to step away from the game this offseason after eight seasons in the NFL. As a result, the Seahawks drafted D.K. Metcalf and Gary Jennings in this year’s draft.

Metcalf is the big and physical deep-threat while Jennings might be the more complete receiver between the two. Tyler Lockett will likely assume his role as the top option as he was in 2018 but Seattle needs more than just him in the aerial attack.

Currently, it seems as if Metcalf and Lockett have the top two spots in the receiving corp locked up. That leaves the third receiver spot open for Jennings, David Moore, or Jaron Brown. Jennings will have to thoroughly impress during training camp to secure the slot receiver position.