The Seattle Seahawks are adding some linebacker depth to the roster by signing ex-Raiders defender Tanner Muse to the team’s practice squad, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Muse is just two years removed from being a highly-touted prospect after a standout career at Clemson. The linebacker was selected by the Raiders with the No. 100 overall pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft.
There is a touch of irony in the Seahawks-Raiders roster shuffle as Las Vegas released Muse to make room to sign Seattle legend K.J. Wright. Muse represents a high upside player as the linebacker missed his entire rookie season with a toe injury. Pelissero reported that Muse took “starter reps throughout training camp.”
“A surprise: The Raiders are waiving linebacker Tanner Muse, source said,” Pelissero tweeted on September 8th. “Muse was a third-round pick out of Clemson in 2020. Missed his entire rookie season because of a toe injury, but took starter reps throughout camp and was a core special teamer.”
Muse Played Safety at Clemson But Converted to Linebacker in the NFL
As Sports Illustrated’s Matty Brown pointed out, Muse likely already brings some familiarity of the Seahawks scheme thanks to working with Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. The Raiders coach was the Seahawks defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012, the beginning of the golden era of defense in Seattle.
“Gus Bradley has done some of the leg work in teaching Tanner Muse Pete Carroll-tree defense,” Brown noted on Twitter. “The Seahawks appear to be using the back end of their practice squad as a way to get eyes on intriguing unsigned guys. Muse was a safety at Clemson. SO athletically-gifted. Find the fit!”
Muse Posted a Speedy 4.41-Second Time in the 40-Yard Dash
Muse had an impressive NFL Combine running a blazing 4.41-second time in the 40-yard dash and posting a 34.5″ vertical jump. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had Muse as his No. 15 ranked linebacker heading into the 2020 draft.
“A three-year starter at Clemson, Muse lined up at free safety in defensive coordinator Brent Venables 4-3 hybrid scheme,” Brugler detailed in his annual draft guide. “He steadily improved each season and finished his career with 59 games played, which is tied with three others for the school record. Muse is a smart, assignment sound player who can track down ball carriers from behind due to his pursuit speed. While he rarely makes undisciplined mistakes, he labors in his transition and won’t be able to mask his lack of fluidity in the NFL like he did in the ACC. Overall, Muse doesn’t have the athletic skill set to survive in coverage vs. pro weapons, but his straight-line speed, diagnose skills and toughness could make him a hired gun on special teams coverages and backup linebacker.”
Mayock Called Muse ‘One of the Smartest & Most Intuitive Players in the Draft’
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney labeled Muse as “the ultimate hybrid guy” after the linebacker was selected by Las Vegas, per Raiders.com. Raiders general manager Mike Mayock called Muse “one of the smartest and most intuitive players in the draft.”
“Tanner Muse knocked his Zoom meeting out of the park,” Mayock noted in April 2020, via Raiders.com. “Muse played safety and we questioned him for an hour on linebacker fits and he knew every one. … We think he’s one of the smartest and most intuitive players in the draft and we expect him to learn both positions in addition to playing special teams.