Hawks face tough defenses early and often in 2021

We already knew the Seahawks are going to play almost two-thirds of their games against top-10 defenses next season, so it’s no surprise that half of them will come in the first two months.

In their first seven weeks, they will face five of the top seven defenses (by DVOA) from 2020. It will be a tough early test for Shane Waldron and Russell Wilson, but it’s the cost of doing business in the NFC West, where all four teams typically feature pound-you-down defenses, and facing the NFC’s top teams every year as well.

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Comp picks no longer a priority for Seattle

John Schneider has stopped playing the comp game.

As the deadline for compensatory signings passed this week, the Seahawks once again ended up with a zero in the comp column. The 2022 draft will be the fourth time in five years that the Seahawks won’t have any comp picks – quite a reversal for a team that used to play that game as much as anyone.

As we wrote last year, Schneider wasn’t getting much out of those picks anyway. But why has his strategy changed?

The quick answer: Seattle has lost few quality UFAs and largely has decided signing veterans to replace departing players is better than angling for a fourth-round pick the next year.

Let’s delve deeper into it though.

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Hawks had a quietly successful offseason

The Seahawks’ offseason might not seem impressive to some, especially with such a limited draft, but John Schneider and the Hawks quietly have done yeoman’s work to refill and improve their roster, and Pete Carroll is justified in expecting his team to be “very, very competitive.”

The Seahawks had few pressing needs in the draft last weekend because they had made sure to get starters at every spot beforehand. The needs they had were for a corner and center to push the incumbents, a reliable third receiver and a left tackle of the future. They hit on three of those (all but the center), closing the second chapter of a solid offseason.

“I thought this offseason was really successful at situating the roster where we felt good going into the draft,” Carroll said after the Hawks had made their third and final pick (the fewest in team history).

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Draft notes: Is Tre the Russ of corners?

They always say a 6-2 Russell Wilson would have been a first-round pick. John Schneider says the same about Tre Brown, Seattle’s 5-10 fourth-rounder.

“If he was 6-foot-2, he would be picked in the top 10, right? You can see him every weekend running all over the place in the Big 12 with all these receivers and all the speed that’s out there and competing his tail off.”

Pete Carroll said Brown will compete on the outside, despite not having the length these Seahawks typically have favored.

“He played outside throughout his (college) years,” Carroll said after the draft. “Hasn’t played inside as a featured nickel guy, but we know that he would have the ability to do that. The one-on-ones in the Senior Bowl were really indicative of his ability to stick to people. He went against really good receivers, really good one-on-one opportunities, and whether he is playing inside or outside, he’s going to do fine. We’re thinking of him as a corner to play outside. We didn’t draft him as a nickel.”

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Waldron needed a No. 3 WR: Enter Eskridge

Fans weren’t the only ones pounding the table for a third receiver. Shane Waldron demanded one, too. And John Schneider got him one.

Waldron, Seattle’s new OC, wants to have three good receiving options on the field at all times, and Western Michigan speedster D’Wayne Eskridge now joins fellow Day 2 rocketeers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf to create that.

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