In addition to Lucas, the Seahawks also have Jake Curhan, a versatile lineman who not only made the team as an undrafted rookie last season, but who also started five games at right tackle in place of an injured Shell. And coming out of the draft it looked like those two would battle for the job, but in offseason workouts, Stone Forsythe, a 2021 sixth-round pick, started seeing action at right tackle after working almost exclusively at left tackle as a rookie.
“Stone’s in there, yeah,” Carroll said when asked about Forsythe and the competition at right tackle. “Stone has really improved with time. Those guys all did a nice job. They’re a little bit different, but Stone has really become better. He’s physically better than he was as he came here. He’s stronger, he’s more flexible, and he can play both sides, but yeah, he’s in it.”
While the Seahawks by no means are heading into camp set on starting two rookies at tackle, they also aren’t worried about being that young should things work out that way, because if Cross and Lucas are indeed starting when the Seahawks open their season against the Broncos, it will mean they earned the right to do so.
“In my mind, by the time we get to that first game and the best guys are playing, they’ll have earned those positions,” offensive coordinator Shane Waldron said earlier this offseason. “And if it’s the two rookies, that means that they’ve beat out some guys that are good players in their own right. So, we have a lot of competition at those tackle positions. The draft obviously has taken that competition to a different level, as far as younger guys that are competing against each other. So, I think it’s going to be a great thing in the long run. And if those guys go out and earn that job, then you feel comfortable because they’ve earned it over other guys that have had a chance to play and play well in the NFL.”
As for the other offensive line spots, the Seahawks return both starters at guard in veteran Gabe Jackson, a 2021 trade acquisition, and Damien Lewis, a 2020 third-round pick and a two-year starter. While neither will just be handed a starting job, both will head into camp the heavy favorites to retain those jobs. Leading the way at guard behind the two incumbents is Phil Haynes, a 2019 fourth-round pick who has battled injuries for much of his career, but who impressed in two starts late last season, playing both guard spots.
Center, like tackle, will be an interesting position to watch. Austin Blythe, a free-agent addition who started for the Rams while playing under Waldron and offensive line coach Andy Dickerson, would seem to be the leading candidate to replace Ethan Pocic at center, but by no means is that spot set. The Seahawks also brought back Kyle Fuller, who opened last season as the No. 1 center, starting nine games before Pocic took over that job. Another name to keep an eye on is Dakoda Shepley, a player Seattle claimed off waivers last year and about whom general manager John Schneider spoke highly of this offseason.