Cleat Geeks

Seattle Seahawk Stiff-Arm; Super Sophomores

Seahawk sophomores ready to make leap in 2016

 

Coming into the 2016 season the Seattle Seahawks have a lot of young talent reporting to camp. Entering camp this year there will be plenty of talent to watch for with the Seahawks but I think the most intriguing talent will be among the gifted rookie class last year and how those players will make a sophomore leap. Along both sides of the ball there are bountiful sophomore prospects for the Seahawks, not only among rookies who had great 2015 campaigns but rookies the Seahawks have stored and do to roster changes are poised for a bigger role in 2016. Its one things to draft good rookies it’s another for those rookies to take their game to the next level and become key contributors to the team and today I’ll break down which players will be in line for a big level up coming into their second training camp.TylerLockettCenter

First I want to start with one of the more obvious choices and that is Tyler Lockett. With a very overachieved rookie receiving campaign look for Lockett for get a lot more targets for a lot more stats this year. Not only did Lockett grab the attention of the whole Seahawks organization with his receiving early but now the offense is going to focus on Russell Wilson as their premiere offensive weapon now that Marshawn Lynch is gone which means more potential attention towards Lockett. Lets not forget that the sole reason the Seahawks drafted Lockett is his return game. Remember, the first time the kid touched the football he took a punt return for a touchdown and I expect that they continue to add to his responsibilities on special teams. Pete Carroll has gone on record saying that Lockett will be “in the middle” of everything they do on offense and be ready for him to make a big leap as a second year player.

 

ThomasRawlsThe second player I will recognize is Thomas Rawls the undrafted free agent rookie last year. Rawls is also in a big spot to improve this year due to the departure of Marshawn Lynch. Rawls last year led the league in yards per carry and yards after contact some statistics that hawks fans are used to boasting about with lynch in recent years. The fact that he came in and made the roster as an undrafted free agent and led the Seattle Seahawks in rushing yards says a lot about how talented Thomas Rawls really is. I never thought I’d believe in the Seahawks running game post lynch but due to Thomas Rawls i think the future for the Seahawks offense is brighter than ever given that the offensive line can hold its own and Rawls ankle can stay healthy while he keeps running hard. Keep an eye out for Rawls as a possible breakout star and pro bowl caliber player.

 

Next is a not so flashy but just as equally important player in Mark Glowinski. Mark Glowinski was a fourth round pick just a year ago and got only one measly start. But this year he will have a lot more responsibility along that restructured offensive line. Mark Glowinski as of today is penciled in to start at left guard, a spot that he did hold up well in when he started week 17 last year but the second year guard will still have a long road ahead of him heading into this season. Glowinski’s responsibility last year was pretty close to none but this year through training camp he’ll be fighting off Rees Odhiambo for that starting spot and playing time going into the pre season. Mark Glowinski’s success this year will have a lot of importance to how well the offense will operate this year for the Seahawks.

Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times

Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times

Now to address some second year talent on the defensive side of the ball for the Seahawks let’s begin with Frank Clark. Frank Clark when he was drafted was regarded as a stretch for a pick in the second round given his off the field issues. But coming into his second year those issues are far in the past and Clark is being recognized for the talent the Seahawks identified in the 2015 draft. Clark showed very explosive and majorly disruptive signs last year racking up numerous QB hurries, tackles for loss and three sacks in the regular season playing just under 40% of the Seahawks defensive snaps last year. Not only should his more proven talent and potential get him more playing time but he is also going to be taking Bruce Irvins role in pass rush situations when the Seahawks go into sub packages. With Clark stepping in and proving himself it should take some stress off the rest of the Seahawks defensive line and keep the whole line a certain degree fresher given the fact that Clark can play inside and outside. Look for Frank Clark to possibly have a breakout year this year and put some good young blood in that Seahawks defensive line rotations.

 

Photo By: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Photo By: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last but not least, the next player on the list might go under most radars but given his constant mentoring by Richard Sherman this player might be ready for the spotlight like his protege. Tye Smith the former fifth round pick actually has showed decent potential in his limited opportunities since he’s been drafted but the key word with that is limited. The only on the field time Tye smith has seen has either been a couple snaps a game as a breath catcher or decent pre-season time which neither really matter. But the most intriguing thing about Smith is  Richard Shermans strange obsession with developing the young prospect. Maybe it could be the fact Sherman was also a Fifth round pick who had to fight his way to stardom or maybe it could be him seeing special potential in Smith to someday start across from him and make his life easier either way when stars like Sherman take interest in such a young player there’s usually a reason. The only thing keeping Tye Smith from his sophomore leap is the versatile talent slotted ahead of him on the depth chart, for the first time since 2013 the Hawks are extremely deep at corner and Smith might have a hard time finding the field. Depending on training camp and the pre-season watch for Tye Smith to possibly make the biggest sophomore leap out of all players on this list, if he can find the field i think that this kid can continue to develop into something special.
In conclusion the Seahawks are in a good spot heading into the season as you can never have enough young talent on an NFL roster. As the roster stands now there could be a new era of players in Seattle showing how really talented and special they are. Watch for the Hawks to majorly benefit from sophomores making major strides coming into the 2016 season and the future after that as they have all core players locked up for the next two years and many young players rising in the ranks ready to take the reigns.

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