Seahawks Post-Offseason Depth Chart Review: Guards – Sports Illustrated

Steering towards the start of the 2022 season, the Seahawks will be guaranteed to have three new starters along the offensive line. But while sweeping changes were made at tackle and center this spring, the team opted to stick with status quo at the guard spots to provide some much-needed continuity in the trenches.
Last season, Seattle brought in veteran Gabe Jackson from Las Vegas and plugged him into the starting lineup at right guard, while Damien Lewis flipped over to the left side after starting all 16 games as a rookie in 2020. Both players will return for their second season playing together, with Lewis expected to be far more comfortable on the opposite side of the line and Jackson set to rebound after offseason knee surgery. 
Behind them, Phil Haynes used a strong finish filling in for Lewis and Jackson to receive an original round tender as a restricted free agent. The team also will give tackle Jake Curhan as well as centers Kyle Fuller and Dakoda Shepley some snaps at guard during camp and undrafted rookie Shamarious Gilmore will also compete at both positions.
In the midst of their annual six-week moratorium between organized team activities and training camp, how does the Seahawks guard group look? Diving into the depth chart, here's an updated look at the projected starters, a sleeper to watch, a potential wild card to keep an eye on, and a player squarely on the roster bubble.
Enjoying a stellar first season in Seattle, Lewis garnered PFWA All-Rookie team recognition at right guard in 2020. But injuries prevented him from taking a step forward in his sophomore season playing on the left side, as he missed time with shoulder and elbow injuries and also had a cyst removed from his abdomen. Clearly below 100 percent, he received a lackluster 60.1 run blocking grade from Pro Football Focus after finishing in the top 10 among qualified guards in the same category one year earlier. In a positive development, he only yielded one sack in pass protection and cut his penalties from 12 to five, suggesting he will be ready to make a major leap development-wise with a return to health this season.
Acquired in a trade with the Raiders in March to bring another quality veteran presence to the offensive line, Jackson stepped into the starting lineup at right guard and turned in a stellar, if unspectacular, first season with the Seahawks. After struggling with inconsistency in the first two months of the season, he seemed to find his groove as a mauling run blocker down the stretch creating holes for Rashaad Penny. In pass protection, he only allowed four quarterback hits in 16 starts, but Pro Football Focus charged him with 37 pressures allowed, easily the highest total in his nine-year career. The Seahawks best hope that proves to be an aberration rather than a sign of things to come for the soon-to-be 31-year old veteran.
Arguably the most overlooked offensive line prospect in the country, Gilmore became an immediate starter at Georgia State and racked up 60 starts in five seasons with the program. During that time, he earned First-Team All-Sun Belt honors twice and logged north of 4,000 snaps while allowing only eight sacks in pass protection and spearheading the top four rushing attacks in school history. At 300 pounds, he possesses excellent agility, as he ran the 3-cone drill in a blazing 7.39 seconds, which should bode well playing in a zone-heavy scheme. With Haynes returning behind Lewis and Jackson, there may not be a roster spot for him from the outset, but if he can hold his own in training camp and/or gets a shot at center, he could give several veterans a real run for their money.
Once viewed as a potential starter upon his arrival as a fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest, Haynes dressed for only two regular season games and a playoff game in his first two seasons due to injuries. Despite being healthy and having a strong training camp, the Seahawks cut him after their final preseason game last August and he returned on the practice squad, eventually being elevated back to the 53-man roster for the remainder of the 2021 season. Seeing a pair of starts replacing Lewis and Jackson at both guard spots at the tail end of the year, Haynes finally showed what he could do, delivering several crucial blocks to spring Penny for 170-plus yards on the ground in both contests. He also allowed only one pressure in pass protection, exhibiting enough talent to push Jackson or Lewis in camp next month.
Seattle values versatility along the offensive line and coach Andy Dickerson would prefer to have eight or nine players who can play more than one position. While he hasn't necessarily played well for long stretches as a starter at center or guard, Fuller does have extensive game action on his resume at both positions and has shown he can step into the lineup in a pinch when needed. He's well-respected by the coaching staff and has improved during his time in the league. With that said, it has become evident in recent seasons that he doesn't have the ceiling to be a starter in the NFL and if a player such as Gilmore or Dakoda Shepley surfaces as a viable reserve option in camp, Fuller could be the one on the outside looking in when final roster cuts happen in late August.
Seahawks Post-Offseason Depth Chart Reviews
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Tight Ends | Tackles | Guards | Centers
EDGE/Outside Linebackers | Defensive Tackles | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties

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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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