It’s always nice to see a Trojan find a home in the NFL - especially when that home is also coached by someone near and dear to USC. Not only were both Sam Darnold and Ronald Jones swooped up during the 2018 NFL Draft, but Rasheem Green also ended up on an NFL roster as he was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 3rd round (79th overall).
It’s easy to like this pick right away as Seattle has many holes to fill on the defensive line: Michael Bennett is gone, Sheldon Richardson is gone, Cliff Avril’s career may be over due to a neck injury - that leaves the Seahawks with Nazair Jones, Jarran Reed, Frank Clark, and Marcus Smith as the key returners for 2018.
Enter Rasheem Green, who should provide a boost to a unit in desperate need of one. The boost won't come right away, though. Head coach Pete Carroll had this to say about the pass rusher:
“He’s going to improve in his pass rush for sure,” Carroll explained. “The finesse part of it, he’s just new at it. He’ll grow more. He’ll get stronger in the next couple of years, I bet he’ll play 15 pounds heavier in the next two years which will help him in the run game. But he’s quick now. He’s a quick, slasher type of guy, he’s not a load up, heavy duty type of guy or run defender.
From that it’s easy to surmise that the Seattle brass is looking to Green to fill the void left behind by Michael Bennet’s departure. He has the potential and could end up having a little more size than Bennet if does put on 15 more pounds or so.
So how will he fit in Seattle’s scheme this season and beyond? As previously mentioned it is apparent that Green will benefit more from being utilized in passing-down situations - his quickness and athleticism, for the time-being, should be enough to allow him to make plays on the edge and inside; it will take him an additional year or two to put on the extra muscle necessary to combat any rushing attack in the NFL.
More from coach Carroll:
“Our expectation is that we’re going to play him at five technique, we’re going to play him at defensive end and use him as an inside rusher as well in nickel situations and we’ll see what that brings us,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters Thursday night. “That’s the thought right now. We needed a little help there so it’s a good get for us.”
Seattle utilizes a basic 4-man front on defense, which Rasheem Green has experience playing in. The premise of their defense is that it uses an eight-man box to stop the run (with one safety close to the line of scrimmage) and a safety who can get sideline to sideline in ”cover three” (a zone in which defensive backs split coverage areas into three sections). Cornerbacks play a lot of aggressive, bump-and-run coverage that works best when the four defensive linemen are pressuring quarterbacks. Linebackers are usually undersized and fast.
In essence, it’s a 4-3 base defense that incorporates many elements of the league-popular 3-4 defense.
Right away it’s evident that Green does possess the tools necessary to make his mark in the NFL - here you can see how he is able to work the inside to make a play:
Rasheem Green (#94) has some good inside moves. Used a club-rip from the 3-tech spot here to hit the quarterback. Good initial setup with his footwork.... I'm really liking his potential for the #Seahawks. He can be a bit upright w/ a narrow base but he makes up for it. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/5F6FGO9ata— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) April 28, 2018
What GM John Schneider and the rest of the Seahawks organization saw in Green, also, was a player who doesn't relent:
The more and more you look at highlights, the more you can see how Seattle hopes that Rasheem Green can eventually grow into a player similar to what they had with Michael Bennett.
If approaches that level of productivity then he turns into a home-run pick in the 3rd round.
As always, keep it locked here for all your post-draft coverage.