Training camps are now underway across the NFL, and for teams like the Seattle Seahawks, it’s a good time to reevaluate players on the 90-man roster and see if it’s time to cut their losses and trade them away.
Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski gave his list of trades that each team around the league should make before the start of the 2022 season. For the Seahawks, Sobleski suggested that it was time to cut ties with former first-round pick L.J. Collier, sending him to the New York Giants.
“To say [Collier has] been a disappointment is an understatement,” Sobleski said. “He could land with a team such as the New York Giants, who are better equipped to take advantage of his skill set. Collier, who has never been much of an edge-rusher, can start as a base end alongside Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence and reduce down in certain sub-packages.”
While Sobleski didn’t mention compensation in a potential trade, it’s unlikely the Seahawks would need require much from the Giants to unload the former first-round pick.
L.J. Collier’s NFL Career So Far
Collier hasn’t had the impact that Seahawks fans were hoping for as a former first-round pick, but considering he’s only 26 years old, there’s still time for him to turn his NFL career around.
Playing at TCU in college, Collier took a couple years before he carved out a role with the Horned Frogs. Once he became the full-time starter as a redshirt sophomore, however, he started to have a big impact with the team. He finished his college career as a senior with a first-team All-Big 12 selection after picking up six sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.
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The Horned Frogs edge rusher impressed enough as a senior that he was invited to the Senior Bowl, helping him get in front of scouts and coaches from around the league. NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein described Collier as not being a great athlete, but having a “rugged play demeanor and surprising rush acumen.”
The Seahawks selected Collier with the 29th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but so far he has had very little impact at the NFL level. Over his first three seasons, Collier has only had three sacks, five tackles for loss, and only 12 quarterback hits.
With the Seahawks declining Collier’s fifth-year option, the 26-year-old’s time in Seattle could be coming to an end. If the Seahawks would like to get some kind of return on Collier before he becomes a free agent, then finding a trade partner before the start of the 2022 season would make sense.
Seahawks Have Options on the Edge
Originally drafted as an edge rusher, Collier has now moved exclusively to defensive tackle. The move makes a lot of sense, especially considering how much depth the Seahawks now have at edge rusher and defensive end.
A second-round pick the year after Collier was drafted, Darrell Taylor has started to carve out a bigger role in Seattle’s defense. Taylor is expected to be a breakout candidate for the 2022 season, with the Seahawks expecting him to take another big step.
There are also a handful of new faces who will be looking to rush the passer. Second-round pick Boye Mafe showed some explosiveness off the edge at Minnesota and has a handful of pass-rush moves to make him a dangerous threat.
Veteran defensive end Shelby Harris was acquired in the Russell Wilson trade from the Denver Broncos, and is coming off one of his best seasons with six sacks in 2021. Former Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu is only 25 years old and has racked up 15 sacks over four seasons.
The Seahawks have some legitimate depth at pass rusher, so unless Collier can have a real impact at defensive tackle, this could be his final season in Seattle.