Throughout the season following each game I will be taking a look at the rookies and how they fared each week. This will consist of thoughts such as the positive and negatives from that game, areas to watch or work on and clips to support what I’m sharing. Hopefully, this will shed some insight on some things you may or may not have seen.
Week 6 – Seattle Seahawks
Najee Harris (Round 1) – 63 offensive snaps, 24 carries, 81 yards, 3.38 YPC, 7 targets, 6 receptions, 46 yards, 7.67 YPR, 1 touchdown
As the offense continues to emerge so too does the role of Harris. He set a new career high with 30 touches in the game. That equals a touch on 47.6% of his snaps. The run game continues to show life and late in the game when the wanted to run they had some success. He showed elusiveness to avoid defenders in the backfield and good vision when hitting the holes.
He has been impressive as a receiver and shows a good understanding of varying the timing of his release to keep defenders on their toes. He was used outside, in the slot and out of the backfield on routes that included a shallow cross for his first catch and other reception on flat routes, sneaks and check releases. He showed a nice adjustment to the ball on his back shoulder on the touchdown reception. He had a few solid chips in pass protection but was not really asked to block one on one.
Pat Freiermuth (Round 2) – 45 offensive snaps, 5 special team snap, 7 targets, 7 receptions, 58 yards, 8.29 YPR
After averaging around 30 snaps the first five games his snap count went way up. With Juju Smith-Schuster out, the team used a lot more 12 personnel with two tight ends. The results were what we’ve been waiting for from him in the offense. His routes were primarily in the short and intermediate areas with a couple deep corner routes. He shows a good understanding of finding the soft spot versus Zone coverage and worked with the quarterback on the scramble drill. He had multiple receptions on curl, flat and out routes and one other on a stick route. He was valuable on third down and should be more so going forward.
His blocking had some ups and downs. He was better out in space getting an effective block on Diontae Johnsons big run while his inline blocking still needs work. If he can speed up his lateral agility and as he gains play strength we’re sure to see improvement in that area.
Kendrick Green (Round 3) – 75 offensive snaps
Green had his highest snap count of the season and his fourth game with 100% of the snaps including three in a row. As a run blocker he is showing improvement one on one to not only stay engaged but also getting movement. He is using pad level, leg drive and aggressiveness to get push. When he allows the defender to get outside of his body is when he has issues. Learning to mirror more consistently will help him. Blocking laterally is his most inconsistent area in the running game.
His pass protection is also showing improvement. The anchor issues he had earlier in the season have been much better in recent contests. He’s able to get under defenders using his hands to drive upward to gain leverage. His awareness on twists and stunts was good again this week.
Here are a couple examples of the blocks Green is struggling with most. In both cases it’s against the one technique and on the first the defender shoots the gap and rips through Green. The second has Green lunging a bit and the defender swimming over him.
Dan Moore (Round 4) – 59 offensive snaps, 3 special teams snaps
For the first time this season Moore did not play every snap. He had to leave late in the game with a hip injury. The bye week comes at a good time for him. In the run game, he showed a little more aggressiveness this week and was able to get a good push on down and outside Zone blocks. He and Kevin Dotson are becoming a formidable double team duo and he was solid moving to the second level.
In pass protection, he continues to show comfort getting into his sets and showing better timing when engaging defenders. He didn’t have to face a lot of power rushes this week but when he did he anchored much better. No trips into the quarterbacks lap. He handles speed rusher up the arc well allowing one pressure and uses his length well to push defenders past the quarterback. His punch in pass protection lacks pops and it could be that his timing of his hands is a little early.
Isaiahh Loudermilk (Round 5) – 8 defensive snaps, 1 special team snap, 1 solo tackle
Loudermilk had his lowest snap count this season but not by much with previous games ranging from nine to eighteen. He was primarily lined up on the left side and ranged from the three to the five techniques. He had a tackle on his second snap moving to his left with the help of a shove from the center and he was able to wrap up and take down the running back. He had really good snap later in the game where he used his body effectively to cut off the running backs running lane. He didn’t get a lot of pressure but did get his hands in the quarterbacks face on one play. We’re seeing subtle improvements by him each week.
Really good play by Loudermilk with him lined up inside the right guard. He shows good recognition of the line movement and slides with it. He uses his hands to control the right guard flashing to the right to force the running back to cut. He then flips to the other side to clog the road until help comes.
Tre Norwood (Round 6) – 15 defensive snaps, 10 special team snaps, 3 tackles, 3 solo, 1 tackle for a loss, 1 pass breakup
Norwood continues to be used in the dime defense and he made three nice plays in this one. He was used in Man coverage in the slot as well and playing outside in the underneath Zone coverage. His third down play in this game was impressive. His first tackle came on a third down where he came off his coverage to tackle D.K. Metcalf short of the line to game. His pass breakup came in Man coverage on a crossing route getting a hand in front to make the deflection. His final big play came from coverage in the slot where he read the screen and beat his blocker to the outside to make the tackle for a loss.
I’ve mentioned it before but to get this production from a seventh round pick is a credit to the scouting staff, Kevin Colbert and the coaching staff to put him in a position to where he can succeed.
Here is the clip of his first career pass breakup. He is tasked with covering Tyler Lockett in the slot and transitions well with good acceleration and ball skills to get his hand in there.
Presley Harvin III (Round 7) – 12 special team snaps, 7 punts, 47.9 average
Save for one punt, Harvin had himself a really good game. His first two punts pinned the Seahawks deep with at fair catch at the ten and another to the thirteen before a three yard return. The third punt was rocket travelling 58 yards to the Seattle seven yard line. The last punt of the first half travelled 56 yards to the end zone with just eleven seconds left on the clock.
His first punt of the second half was the low point travelling just 32 yards giving Seattle the ball near midfield. He finished the day with another inside the 20 travelling 50 yards and a 56 yard punt out of bounds at the 15.
All told he had four punts of at least 50 yards and four landing inside the 20 yard line. A good day for him overall and he handled all the snap on field goal perfectly.
Inactive for Week 6 – Buddy Johnson (Round 4)
Practice Squad – DL Daniel Archibong, DB Mark Gilbert, S Donovan Stiner, WR Tyler Vaughns
Reserve/Injured – WR Rico Bussey