The Seattle Seahawks lost defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ head coaching vacancy but will probably still heavily utilize players in a LEO-type role that Chris Clemons currently occupies. The 31-year-old Clemons hasn’t shown much sign of slowing down after his third-consecutive 11-sack season and the knee injury that landed him on injured reserve during the wild-card win on the Washington Redskins‘ disgusting field is — while a major question mark right now — not necessarily a career-destroying one.
That doesn’t mean the Seahawks are getting lax on looking ahead, however, as they’re continuing to bolster their edge-rushing presence with young players through the draft. Pete Carroll, John Schneider and Co. took Bruce Irvin surprisingly early in 2012 and then added small-school prospectTy Powell in the seventh round this past April.
Powell, at 6-2, 249-pounds, has the physique of a strongside linebacker who provides a pass-rushing threat, and depending how he is groomed through offseason workouts and training camp could end up in either a more standard 4-3 OLB role or purely an edge-rush specialist, with the latter being the more likely key to Powell making this roster and getting any subpackage roles this year.
CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang named Powell among his 2013 NFL draft diamonds in rough following the combine: “The athleticism shows up on tape, as Harding has an explosive burst off the snap, as well as impressive change of direction. These traits helped him rack up 12 tackles for loss, including 8.5 sacks and block a school-record four kicks in 2012.”