Every indication during training camp was that Ethan Pocic was going to be the Seahawks starting center in 2020. He took a bulk of the first-team reps throughout August while free-agent acquisition split time between center and both guard spots.
Pete Carroll made the decision official on Monday.
“Ethan Pocic is going to start for us. He had a great camp.”
Carroll added that Pocic had sports hernia surgery this offseason as it was something that had been nagging him for a few years now. He’s as healthy as he’s been in years and is finally ready to be a starter.
“He looked terrific,” Carroll said. “He was our most experienced guy with handling the whole system and it showed. We’re fired up to see him go.”
Pocic has had a turbulent start to his career since being drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU. He’s been limited to 30 games (16 starts) over his first three seasons due to injuries. A neck injury kept him off the field for most of the 2019 season as he appeared in just four games.
He took hold of the competition at center this summer and never seemed to look back. On one hand, this is a great chance for the Seahawks to hit on an early-round pick who could prove to be a late-bloomer. On the other, Seattle now has a high-priced backup in B.J. Finney who is owed $4.5 million guaranteed. Finney has the second-highest cap number of any offensive lineman on Seattle’s roster.
This is the final year of Pocic’s rookie contract which means this is the perfect time for him to break out and prove to be a reliable and quality option at center. If he proves to be such a player, he could be looking at a lucrative contract extension next offseason.