The Seattle Seahawks drafted Cassius Marsh from UCLA as a defensive end in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Describing Marsh is not that simple. Jarrod Patterson wrote a great training camp profile on him in June.
At the NFL combine, Marsh measured 6-foot-4 and 252 pounds. In his freshman year, he played defensive tackle at 290 pounds. He swelled up to 303 pounds his sophomore year. He realized he needed to eat healthier and take better care of his body. He trimmed down to 285 pounds for his second season. His junior year he weighed in at 275. With help from Navy SEALS boot camp, he played at 265 his senior year.
Marsh chose to trim more weight for the combine in order to be quicker. He works with Jay Glazer’s MMA camp. He credits the training not only for strengthening his body and controlling his weight, but for improving his hand skills. “Not necessarily a move,” he told SB Nation, “just the ability to feel hands, grab hands, chop hands, leverage and feel their body.”
Seattle loved the energy and passion he plays with. He has a relentless motor. He recorded his first sack and four tackles against the Denver Broncos. He has a strong chance to make the team, but at what position and weight?
270 is the number Marsh and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn are looking for. It’s about the same size as Michael Bennett and creates a mismatch for offensive linemen. That is bigger than most edge rushers yet faster than most interior linemen. Seattle aims to move Marsh around, from five-technique end to three-technique tackle to Leo linebacker. His ability to be a “tweener” makes him fit perfectly on a defense with the linebacker-sized safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback-speed linebacker Bruce Irvin. Former Seahawk Red Bryant was a tackle-sized end who caused problems for opposing offenses.
Seattle is rebounding from offseason losses on the defensive line. Talented, aggressive young players like Marsh are filling the void.
Besides, how can you not love a guy named after Cassius Clay?