Proposed Trade Has Seahawks Landing Pass Rusher, Former Top-15 Pick

Derek Barnett

Getty Derek Barnett would make for an interesting trade target.

The Seattle Seahawks roster appears to have plenty of holes, but one of the bigger disappointments has been the production of the team’s pass rush. The Seahawks focused a great deal of resources last offseason on bolstering the unit. Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski suggested the Seahawks make a deal with the Eagles for pass rusher Derek Barnett.

“Another year and the Seattle Seahawks are still looking to improve their pass rush,” Sobleski explained. “Their 11 sacks rank among the league’s 10 worst defenses. Overall, the unit is dead last in total defense, and improvements are necessary if the 2-4 Seahawks plan to make a fourth straight postseason appearance.

“Derek Barnett is in the final year of his rookie contract, and the Philadelphia Eagles are set at defensive with Brandon Graham (when healthy) and the recently extended Josh Sweat. The organization could look to flip the 2017 14th overall pick with the thought he won’t re-sign.

“Barnett has never lived up to his status as a top pass-rusher. Still, he managed at least five sacks in three of the previous four seasons. He can provide a little extra juice, especially after Darrell Taylor suffered a neck injury during Sunday’s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

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The Seahawks Pass Rush Has Underperformed in 2021

During the offseason, Seattle signed former 49ers defensive end Kerry Hyder and re-signed Carlos Dunlap along with Benson Mayowa. Seahawks pass rusher Darrell Taylor missed his entire rookie season with a leg injury and has been a key member of the defensive line rotation so far in 2021.

Despite the Seahawks seemingly having depth, the unit has not performed up to expectation. Heading into Week 7, the Seahawks ranked No. 29 in the league in sack percentage at 4.49%. Despite the lack of sacks, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll believes the defense turned the corner against the Steelers in Week 6.

“I do think that this was an important game for us,” Carroll noted, per Sports Illustrated. “To only allow two explosive plays for the night was a big improvement on what happened the week before. It was necessary to get that done and I’m hoping we can take a turn. Ben [Roethlisberger] didn’t let it be a pass rush game, he would not hold the football, so we didn’t see numbers there, but we kept them under control for the most part. I thought it was a good step and a necessary step for us.”

The Eagles Selected Barnett With the No. 14 Pick in the 2017 NFL Draft

Barnett was a highly-touted prospect coming out of the University of Tennessee. The Eagles selected Barnett with the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NFL draft. Last season, Barnett posted 5.5 sacks, 34 tackles and 16 quarterback hits. The pass rusher has been a starter for the Eagles dating back to his sophomore season in 2018.

“The production in college was special. Barnett recorded double-digit sacks in all three of his seasons at Tennessee, and he averaged 17.3 tackles for loss per year,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke described Barnett in his scouting report heading into the 2017 draft. “He was such a force in the backfield that teams would hammer the opposite side of the line, rather than run right at him—Alabama did this, to a degree, even though it had first round-bound tackle Cam Robinson to block Barnett.”

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