Nazair Jones becomes a regular in the trenches
The Seahawks love to dedicate a few defensive linemen to be their early-down run-stuffers, which is exactly what it sounds like. Stopping the run on first and second down is crucial to Richard’s and Carroll’s defensive scheme. After the departure of Tony McDaniel, that role last season fell to Jarran Reed, a rookie out of Alabama.
Now with Nazair Jones, the Seahawks have several interior linemen who rotate as the all-important first and second down run stoppers. Jones might not outshine Reed or even Quinton Jefferson right away, but with Jones added to the interior line mix, Richard could experiment with McDowell on the outside more and more often. The coaches should be rooting for Jones to become a regular in the trenches, because McDowell as another outside rusher is terrifying.
The Seahawks have never had a problem with starting inexperienced interior linemen. Reed was the latest example last year. As with most defensive lines in the NFL, there is always room for another skilled interior run-stopper. Jones could be that guy, showing excellent instincts for diagnosing run plays for North Carolina. Toss in a penchant for batting down passes at the line, and Jones’ lack of pass-rush production won’t be a problem. Plenty of players on this team can rush the passer.