Weird Free Agency: Defensive Line

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Matt’s guest post, continuing the Weird Free Agency trend that Jesse started a couple months back.

In the latest installment of Weird Free Agency, let’s take a look at a glaring weakness on the hometown Hawks: the defensive line.

In 2018, third-year pro Jarran Reed appeared to come into his own with 10.5 sacks, but he’ll miss nearly a third of the season due to suspension. Breakout rookie Poona Ford stormed the league with his PFF rating of 90.3, only in limited snaps. Newly-signed Ziggy Ansah may miss early stages of the year too, while first-round pick L.J. Collier has an ankle injury which may curtail his playing time. Ow.

A lack of sustainable talent could lead to a dearth of pass rush clearly necessary to combat divisional juggernauts such as Kyler Murray, Nick Mullens, Jimmy Garoppolo, and, of course, Blake Bortles. Such potent forces can only be countered by magical means.

Enter one Rubeus Hagrid. Hear me out.

For non-Potter-philes, or outright Potter haters (cheerio Mr. Staton), Rubeus Hagrid is the Keeper of Keys and Grounds as well as Gamekeeper and one-time professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Rubeus is a half-giant (more on this below) who will stuff runs and eat up offensive line blocking regardless of his choice to use or forgo magic. He may also have the potential to be a dual-threat presence on both sides of the ball.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the Black Lake to determine exactly what makes Hagrid a must-sign for the Seahawks if they hope for a return to the hallowed ground of a Super Bowl championship.

 

Hagrid Scouting Report

Bio

If you are familiar with the Potter-verse, you know it takes portions of all seven books and eight films to get the full, accurate picture of Hagrid’s character. For those less familiar, here you go: Hagrid was sprouted from the union of a human father and giantess mother, resulting in enormous physical size as well as all-too-human tendencies. After attending Hogwarts as a student, Hagrid stayed on in his aforementioned roles where he intersected with Harry and his homies. Little is known about Hagrid’s doings outside of their relationship to the plot and development of the protagonists, but we do know enough to take an in-depth look at how well Hagrid could fill the giant-sized hole in the defensive line… and maybe more.

 

Analysis

Rubeus Hagrid is enormous. This is perhaps the best quality he possesses in regard to stuffing the run, occupying offensive lineman, and, of course, occasionally taking on a role as fullback or short-yardage back. His presence frees up Bobby Wagner to focus on kick-blocking duties. Think about it. Hagrid takes up space typically utilized by at least three humans in both width and height. He can easily neutralize opposing field goal units, thus sparing Wagner’s energy for more useful tasks such as tackling, swagging, and unclogging the plumbing of the Seattle Metropolitan area.

Hagrid’s loyalty to those he loves will make him an amazing locker room presence and immediate fan favorite. Also, he will never read a book during team meetings. He may not even be able to read anything other than the opposing teams’ offensive line blocking schemes, which is okay with all Hawks coaching staff and fans anyway, right?  

 

Strengths:
  • Hagrid could potentially be the Red Bryant of this generation. He will play first and second downs with regularity, stuffing runs and collapsing the pocket like the bones of a Blast-Ended Skrewt on passing downs. With the shift to analytics in the modern NFL, Hagrid’s hybrid abilities make him a must along the defensive line. Hagrid may not generate his own sacks, but he’s going to make plays possible for edge rushers and the occasional blitzer.
  • Hagrid’s pink umbrella will not only come in handy from October through (hopefully) late January, but inside this bumbershoot are the remnants of a magical wand. So, if it’s raining, Hagrid can pop that parasol up and cover himself, or more importantly, keep dry the hands of one Russell Carrington Wilson. 
  • Will Tukuafu. Hagrid is Will Tukuafu. Fight me.
  • Hagrid’s main form of muggle-motoring is a rickety motorcycle. It’s how he carries Harry away from Bill “He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named” Belichick, but imagine its uses on and off the field. He can hide Tyler Lockett in the sidecar easily on kick or punt returns. Hagrid could transport C.J. Prosise, ensuring his safety and protection from further injury. If the sidecar can save The Boy Who Lived, it can surely protect Prosise, right?
  • Accountability. Hagrid, left alone, is a wild card. A loose cannon. A danger to himself and others. But, with guidance, support, love, and trust, Hagrid becomes a heroic figure. We all know how accountable Pete Carroll wants his players to be.
  • Dynasties cannot thrive and survive without swagger. You know it. I know it. Mike Chan knows it. For Seattle to become the dynasty it was five years ago, it needs the swagger back. Hagrid has a pink umbrella, rocks oilskin clothing, has an enormous beard, befriends three-headed dogs, and keep his wand hidden from the Ministry of Magic. The Seahawks need his swagger.
  • Hagrid definitely likes craft beer. It’s like he was written for Seattle.

 

Weaknesses:
  • What makes Hagrid an invaluable friend for Harry and co. could be detrimental in the trenches. The Seahawks can’t have Hagrid crying in his beard because Mike McGlinchey tugged on his jersey or Andrew Whitworth throws a leg at him. Tears don’t win Super Bowls.
  • Reliability and accountability are not the same thing. Hagrid owns up to mistakes often.  Books 1 and 4 were filled with Hagrid’s ruminations of “I should not have said that.” So, he’s accountable. But, Hagrid goes missing with alarming regularity. He disappears to look for trolls and giants for months at a time on “missions” for Dumbledore. He gets locked up in Azkaban on false charges. Hagrid’s lack of reliability could turn him into a liability along the defensive line. Roger Goodell would swiftly find a reason, any reason, to suspend him.
  • With Seattle being home to nearly a billion microbreweries and distilleries, Hagrid could accidentally find himself in the corner of a dark establishment giving away trade secrets in exchange for magical offspring.
  • Will Tukuafu. Hagrid is Will Tukuafu. Don’t fight me. Watching Tuk as a fullback in short-yardage situations was difficult. Watching him play defensive line in a Super Bowl was brutal.

 

In all, Hagrid’s strengths far outweigh (get it!) his weaknesses. With the departure of Frank Clark, the relative unknowns of Poona Ford, Rasheem Green, and Branden Jackson, compounded by Reed’s uncertain future, the Hawks need help along the line. Hagrid would be unbeatable in obvious running plays (should those continue to exist in the NFL) and his versatility on special teams and as a teammate make him an obvious choice for Seattle to sign this offseason.

Plus, who else on the Seahawks will play Magic: the Gathering with Cassius Marsh?


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