The Seattle Seahawks are preparing to whittle down their 90-man roster to 53 players before the start of the 2022 season. While there are plenty of players who will be outright released, there’s at least one player that the Seahawks should be taking calls for to make a potential trade.
Alex Kay with Bleacher Report gave their list of one player that each NFL team needs to trade immediately. There were some big names on the list, including Saquon Barkley, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Roquan Smith. For the Seahawks, Kay explained why the team needs to move on from former first-round pick L.J. Collier.
“While the team is nearly sure to struggle in 2022, there is still a good chance the disappointing L.J. Collier won’t see the field much this year,” Kay said. “While Collier won’t net the team much of value, he’s already a cut candidate. Simply clearing his roster spot in exchange for any serviceable veteran or seventh-round pick would be a win for the Seahawks.”
The Seahawks will have to cut their roster down to 53 players by August 31, and with Collier a potential cut candidate, the team only has a couple weeks to try and find a trade partner for him.
L.J. Collier’s Football Career
While Collier has yet to have a successful NFL career up to this point, his accomplishments on the football field before going pro are impressive. Coming out of Munday High School in Texas, Collier was a 3-star recruit with only two notable offers from FBS programs in TCU and Texas Tech.
Collier chose to play for the Horned Frogs, where he redshirted his first season in 2014. He only saw action in four games as a redshirt freshman, but became a full-time player in 2016, playing in all 13 games. He had 4.5 sacks as a redshirt sophomore, also blocking a field goal attempt against Georgia in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
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After another solid season in 2017, Collier burst onto the scene as a redshirt senior for the Horned Frogs in 2018. He finished the season with six sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, and four pass deflections, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors.
That impressive season helped Collier earn a Senior Bowl invite, where he was able to stand out and improve his draft stock, so much so that the Seahawks took him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Since coming to Seattle, however, Collier has had a hard time finding a full-time role. In his first three seasons, Collier has played in 37 games, but produced just 33 combined tackles and only three sacks.
The Seahawks have seemed to lose patience with his development, declining his fifth-year option before the start of training camp. After missing the preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Collier’s days in Seattle appear to be numbered, whether he’s traded or released.
Who Will Rush the Passer in Seattle?
If he does end up staying, Collier has been kicked inside to defensive tackle according to the most recent depth chart. While Collier didn’t pan out as a pass rusher, the team has some depth at the position that should help them in 2022 in beyond.
A pair of 2020 draft picks have shown some real promise rushing the passer in Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson. After missing his rookie season, Taylor shined for the team in 2021, racking up 6.5 sacks. Robinson has picked up five sacks of his own over his first two seasons, and could be a solid backup pass rusher if he continues to develop.
There are also some new faces getting after the quarterback in 2022. Former Los Angeles Chargers pass rusher Uchenna Nwosu is only 25 years old, but already has 15 career sacks and 132 combined tackles to his name. Second-round pick Boye Mafe could also have a serious impact as a rookie after shining in his final college year at Minnesota.
The Seahawks may not have a superstar pass rusher right now, but they at least have a handful of players capable of putting pressure on the QB, and that combination of depth at youth at the position will give the team some options this season.