With long-time starting defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril no longer with the team and Dion Jordan out indefinitely with a shin injury, the Seattle Seahawks opened 2018 with plenty of questions about how they would generate a pass rush.
After turning in a scintillating NFL debut in Seattle's preseason opener, rookie Rasheem Green looks like he may be able to help alleviate these concerns quicker than anticipated.
A third-round pick out of USC, the 21-year old Green has vastly exceeded expectations and drew plenty of praise from coach Pete Carroll following his dominant seven tackle, 1.5 sack performance.
“He’s really active. Technique wise, in terms of pass rush, he shows some really good stuff. His hand movement, his hips, getting skinny on the pass rush, he did some really good things that you hope an experienced player would do." Carroll said. "He took advantage of a couple opportunities in the pass rush and got sacks on them. That’s a really big, big plus for us."
That would be an understatement, especially with Jordan's status in doubt, as hitting on a day two pick who immediately became a key contributor at the defensive end spot would be monumental for Seattle this year and beyond.
Green flashed his versatility throughout the exhibition opener, as the 6-foot-4, 280 pound defender played snaps on both sides of the defensive line, including the Seahawks' LEO defensive end role. He also moved inside to play as a 3-tech defensive tackle on several occasions and recorded one of his sacks rushing from the interior as Bennett did so effectively for years in Seattle.
While it happened in a meaningless preseason game against reserves on a team that boasted one of the league's worst offensive lines last year, Green's outstanding effort provided a glimmer of hope for a Seahawks defense desperate for help chasing down opposing quarterbacks.
Will the rookie be able to step in right away and help fill the void created by the departures of Avril and Bennett? And more importantly, will he be ready to start if Jordan cannot return to start the regular season?
Check out my latest film breakdown as I examine Green's sensational debut and analyze what it means for the Seahawks moving into the new season.