The Seattle Seahawks have a surplus of NFL caliber linebackers and a lack of depth in the pass rush, which allows the team to transition veteran Barkevious Mingo and 2018 draft pick Jacob Martin into full-time edge rushers this offseason.
The experiment appears to be paying dividends for this Seahawks defense, with both players showing gradual improvement.
Martin in particular has impressed coach Pete Carroll, and his experience rushing last season is giving him a leg up in the competition thus far.
“I think Jacob [Martin] has been kind of a little bit further ahead just because of his background with the position,” Carroll commented on Wednesday. “Bark [Mingo] has done a really good job for us. He’s become a rusher. He’s become a full time rusher. Both those guys are really fast and the thing that makes them special is their effort. Their effort is fantastic. I think Jake’s a little bit farther technique wise, but Mingo’s got a little bit more reach and length and stuff like that. Both guys I think are going to be a factor for us. We’re counting on it.”
Martin recorded three sacks and eight quarterback hits last season, and he could do serious damage as a full-time pass rusher for the Seahawks if given the opportunity.
Mingo was expected to be a pass rusher early in his career, but he transitioned into a core special teamer and SAM linebacker, a role he handled well last season – his first in Seattle.
Now he’s getting a chance to get back to his roots as a pass rusher, and his ability to do so will make or break his chances of making Seattle’s 53-man roster this season.
If Martin continues to outplay him, there is a good chance the Seahawks will cut Mingo, saving $5.3 million against the cap, and likely freeing up a roster spot for either Shaquem Griffin or Ben Burr-Kirven.