Seahawks

Handing out 2020 Seahawks training camp awards

Seahawks

Training camp is coming to an uneventful close this week as there’s no preseason finale to prepare for. Things will seamlessly transition into Week 1 prep. The only thing that’s left to do is making roster cuts to trim the roster down to 53 players. That will happen by Saturday at 1:00 p.m. PT.

But while this last month has been fairly quiet from a news standpoint, there have still been some notable storylines that developed and standout individual performances.

Here’s everything you need to know, all packaged together in a collection of training camp awards.

Best offensive player – WR, DK Metcalf

The combination of Metcalf’s size and athleticism plus Russell Wilson’s accuracy have made the second-year wideout nearly unguardable in camp. Each day featured at least one highlight from Metcalf as he made regular trips to the end zone. Nothing has happened over the last few weeks to slow down the hype ahead of Metcalf’s sophomore campaign. He’s a true physical freak with a Wilson-esque work ethic and a mindset to become one of the greatest receivers of all-time.

Reaching 1,000 yards shouldn’t be a problem for Metcalf in 2020, and he has a realistic shot of leading the league in touchdowns if the Seahawks offense lives up to its potential.

Best defensive player – S, Jamal Adams

Granted it’s just practice, but Adams has been everything the Seahawks could have hoped for thus far. He’s brought a noticeable uptick in energy and trash talking between the offense and the defense. Pete Carroll, whose program is famously built on the foundation of competition, has to love the added urgency at each practice. His boisterous and brash on-field persona has been matched by his play. Adams is regularly in the backfield and seems to have a sack or two every day. He’s also had a handful of emphatic run stops.

 

Adams had a pick-six against Wilson and he also blew up Cedric Ogbuehi on one occasion to foil a red-zone run play. He’s the real deal. Now we wait to see how the Seahawks deploy him in the regular season.

Best offensive rookie – RB, DeeJay Dallas

There are two worthy candidates for this one. Thankfully I found a way to give an award to both.

Let’s start with Dallas, who has done nothing but impress since stepping foot in the VMAC in early August. He runs hard and has obvious burst, but his real value in 2020 will likely come from his pass catching ability. Carroll said Dallas “catches the ball beautifully,” which makes sense given he’s a former wide receiver. The rookie fourth-round pick should be an immediate contributor on third downs.

Best defensive rookie – DL, Alton Robinson

Robinson has seized the opportunity afforded to him by Darrell Taylor’s absence. At 277 pounds, Robinson is big enough to get reps at the 5-tech even though he’s a natural LEO. He’s shown his ability to rush the passer, set the edge against the run and get his hands up to tip passes. Robinson might not have a huge role out of the gate, but that could change if L.J. Collier and Rasheem Green underwhelm early on. An injury to Benson Mayowa or Bruce Irvin would pave the way for him to get gameday reps as well.

Best undrafted rookie – TE, Tyler Mabry

Mabry’s best moment was when he hurdled a defender during the Seahawks second mock game. He doesn’t have a spot on the active roster given how loaded Seattle is at tight end, but he should find his way to the practice squad. Mabry has been praised at every turn, both by his teammates and coaches.

Worst development – Darrell Taylor’s injury

When the Seahawks traded up to select Taylor in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the indication was that he’d be ready for training camp. The Tennessee product had offseason surgery on a stress fracture in his shin that he played through for much of his 2019 season. It’s unsure whether he suffered a setback or if it has just been a slow healing process. Either way, Taylor doesn’t appear to be nearing a return anytime soon, and that’s a major concern given Seattle tabbed him as one of the best pass rushing prospects in this year’s draft.

Best development – Damien Lewis’ emergence at right guard

 

I mentioned Dallas above, but Lewis has been just as impressive. Even without an offseason program, the LSU product has stepped right in at right guard and took hold of the starting job immediately. He’s another player who has received constant positive feedback from players and coaches. There’s a chance he’s already Seattle’s best offensive lineman not named Duane Brown.

Biggest “what could have been” – Cody Thompson being the star of camp

Thompson was the early star of camp and a dark horse to make the roster. He was then sidelined due to injury for more than a week, putting an end to his potential bid for a spot. Thompson has likely still shown enough to stick around on the practice squad.

Camp MVP – QB, Russell Wilson

Carroll says each year that Wilson “is the best he’s ever been.” It sounds like coach speak, and yet, somehow, Wilson does seem to take an annual step forward. He makes dazzling throws on a daily basis. His efficiency is what you’d expect from a quarterback who prefers short dump offs and screens, not from a guy who likes to chuck it downfield as often as Wilson does. This should be the year he finally gets his first MVP vote. He may even win the award outright.