The Seattle Seahawks are one of the few teams in the NFL with a legitimate shot of winning the Lombardi Trophy. Like each championship contending team, they’ll need a few breaks to go their way. One key aspect of every championship team is having breakout players that step up in key moments to help win games. Here are five potential breakout players for the Seahawks in 2017.
Seattle Seahawks Breakout Players in 2017
C.J. Prosise showed some promise as a rookie, but wasn’t able to stay healthy. The former third round pick was only able to rack up 172 rushing yards in six games, but averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Prosise did a lot of damage as a receiver, catching 17 of his 19 targets for 208 yards. The former college wide receiver showed promise as a third down back, but has running and receiving abilities that are unmatched by most players in the NFL not named Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson. Prosise is behind newcomer Eddie Lacy and incumbent starter Thomas Rawls on the depth chart, but he’s a very different running back than the aforementioned runners. His three down abilities and upside may help him take the starting job if both runners underperform or get injured again.
Paul Richardson is looking to build off of a phenomenal 2016 postseason heading into the 2017 season. He’s always had the talent but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. If Richardson avoids the injury bug this year, he could be Seattle’s number three receiver behind Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. Richardson had multiple eye-popping catches in last year’s postseason when he racked up 131 yards on seven receptions. He had only 271 receiving yards during the entire regular season. Richardson is undersized, but he’s extremely fast and has improved as a route runner. This is the former second round pick’s final chance to prove he has long-term staying power in the NFL.
Frank Clark is one of the most controversial players in the NFL. After falling to the second round of the 2015 draft because of a domestic violence incident, Clark has been trying to maximize his second chance. He recently made comments to a female reporter that he had a job for her when she gets fired for writing a piece about his domestic violence situation. Although Clark isn’t a quality person, he’s a quality football player that will get more opportunities after last year’s ten sack season. His ability to rush from inside and outside will give him more chances to see the field and potentially have a breakout season.
Kevin Pierre-Louis has a chance to be Seattle’s starting strongside linebacker. Although the player in that role is first to leave the field when the Seahawks go into their nickel defense, he’ll still be on the field in their base defense. Seattle plays nickel more than 50 percent of the time, but they want to give their star linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright more time to rest during games. Both Wagner and Wright played a lot of snaps last year, and would be fresher during the postseason if they got more breaks. This is where Pierre-Louis can come in. Wagner and Wright start at middle linebacker and weakside linebacker, respectively, but that doesn’t mean that Pierre-Louis can’t fill in for them. Pierre-Louis is an extremely athletic linebacker that can cover tight ends and running backs, and he’s physical enough to stop the run. The 2014 fourth round pick hasn’t been given many opportunities to play, but this could be the year that Pierre-Louis has a breakout season.
Germain Ifedi is the leader in the clubhouse to become the Seahawks starting right tackle. After starting at right guard as a rookie, Ifedi will likely be moving outside to his more natural position. The former first round pick was a right tackle in college, and struggled with consistency last year as a guard. His athleticism and size make him a better fit as a tackle, but he will need to clean up his technique if he wants to keep the starting job. He’s being coached by one of the best offensive line coaches in the league in Tom Cable, and has outstanding athletic traits that could allow him to dominate is he works hard and is developed properly. The coaching staff seems really high on Ifedi. He has a chance to prove them right.