While the fate of defensive tackles Alan Branch and Jason Jones still have yet to be decided, the Seattle Seahawks must figure out a fallback plan at the position. One option could be picking up Desmond Bryant, who is likely to be available when free agency opens on March 12.
A four-year veteran, Bryant has spent his entire NFL career with the Oakland Raiders after graduating from Harvard in 2009. Now headed for the open market, the underrated defensive tackle is set to make waves for his next employer.
While with the Raiders, Bryant’s talent was continuously stifled by the team’s lack of success and defensive stability. With a trip to the free agency pool on the horizon, Bryant will have a golden opportunity to undergo a change of scenery and find a new depth chart where he isn’t buried by overrated, overpaid veteran talent.
The 6’6”, 311-pound Bryant is a dominant force at the defensive tackle spot who does a great job of creating pressure up the middle and collapsing the pocket. Through his four NFL seasons, the former undrafted free agent has amassed 11.5 sacks. While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, they display the potential that Bryant possesses as a playmaking pass-rusher. Adding that type of brute strength to the interior of the Seattle defensive front would only make pass rushers Chris Clemons (once healthy) and Bruce Irvin that much more lethal.
Especially with a potentially-deep defensive tackle class during free agency, Bryant could fly under the radar as an impact signing. He likely won’t carry too hefty of a price tag, which will allow the Seahawks plenty of room to fill other holes and re-sign key free agents.
While the Raiders have several defensive lineman headed for free agency this offseason, none of them have more to offer potential suitors than Bryant. If the Seahawks find a need at defensive tackle this offseason, the Harvard grad could be just the addition needed to elevate the Seattle defensive line to “elite” status.