(This series focuses on the x-factors/wildcards on the Seahawks roster who will make or break Seattle's 2020 season.)
I wrote about Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson on Thursday in regard to the challenges the rookie pass rushers will face this season.
Damien Lewis is in the same boat, only the LSU product has even more pressure on him. While Taylor and Robinson will have opportunities to earn gameday reps, Lewis is penciled in as a Day 1 starter at right guard.
The incumbent, D.J. Fluker, was cut by the Seahawks the day after Seattle drafted Lewis in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Pete Carroll will surely tell us once training camp opens that it will be a competition at right guard, but something will have gone terribly wrong – either injury or egregiously poor play – for the starter to be anyone other than Lewis.
"He'll be the starter in Week 1 or he, or somebody (in scouting), will have failed," Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune said on a recent episode of the Talkin' Seahawks Podcast.
Seattle believes Lewis' SEC pedigree will help expedite his learning curve. He's played against the nation's top collegiate competition and on the biggest stages as a part of the Tigers national championship team.
Should everything go to plan, Lewis will be part of an overhauled offensive line that will be at least 60% brand new (and potentially 80% depending on whether or not Mike Iupati is able to win the job at left guard again).
"(Lewis) won't take a backseat to anybody," Pete Carroll said back on draft night. "He's going to come in and battle for it. That's part of the reason we took him. We want him to come in and battle to play. All of that competition will make us better."
GM John Schneider called Lewis a "grown man." Hopefully he's also a quick learner given the absence of an offseason program, a diminished training camp, no preseason reps and a maximum of 14 padded practices.
Seattle Seahawks make or break players: RG Damien Lewis originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest