Twenty Reasons Why the 2019 Seattle Will Make the Playoffs: Number 10; Poona Ford

The 2019 Seattle Seahawks are a playoff team that can and should retake the NFC West Division. Last year, they were a playoff team because of their offense. This year, I think the defense catches up to the offense, and I think this guy will be a big part of that equation.

Defensive Tackle Poona Ford.


Why will Poona make an impact?

Poona, Poona, Poona, Poona.

Poona, Poona, Poona, Poona.

Poona, Poona, Poona, Poona.

Get ready to chant that mantra a lot every time Poona Ford makes a play in the backfield this year because he lived in the backfield in college at Texas when he won Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, and he flashed mightily making plays in the backfield down at stretch for Seattle last year. In fact, he was so impactful that Pro Football Focus gave him a remarkable analytical grade of 90.3 for the year, the tenth best overall grade for a defensive tackle in the league.

Good lordy-ba-gordy. I have been chomping at the bit to write about this guy. Where to start?  How about here.

Every indication from Pete Carroll is that this team is going to give this guy every opportunity to earn the starting role next to Jarran Reed inside, and the vibe that I get listening to players, coaches and those close to the team in the media is that this guy could become a really special player for Seattle for years to come. Like, really special.

One thing that really caught my attention was a couple months ago, shortly after Seattle traded Frank Clark, when I was listening to former Seattle middle linebacker (and 12thLife favorite) Dave Wyman on 710 ESPN comment that not only does he think Poona is special, he thinks Poona is the best player currently on the defensive line and that includes Jarran Reed. Wyman is not known at all for hyperbole, but he even went so far as to compare him to legendary Seattle defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy. That most definitely raised my eyebrows, but in his explanation, he said Poona is a rare inside player that can basically do whatever he wants to, and blockers are going to have a really hard time with him.

Why is this? Well, in a simple word, it is all about leverage. Poona is listed at 5-11 and 310 lbs. That is significantly short for a defensive tackle (clearly the most likely reason that he went un-drafted coming out of Texas despite winning defensive player of the year honors), but it is mitigated by the fact that he possesses unusually long arms, which work in his favor disengaging and getting through blockers. Over the recent five years or so, shorter bodied but long armed defensive tackles have become increasingly more vogue thanks to the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald. It’s really tough to block someone who is strong and quick and low and has long arms. Simply, if you are a taller guy, it’s really hard to get inside them, which is what offensive guards, and centers need to do.

When Seattle’s defense was at it’s very best, they had squatty Brandon Mebane over center, and it made a center’s life miserable. I fully expect Poona Ford to play this role in Seattle, and I think the likes of Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright are going to love that. Mebane used to be able to get under the center, and forklift them backwards into the quarterback. I think this is very much going to be Poona’s game but with even more quickness. A few months ago, Seattle defensive end Quinton Jefferson was boasting on AM 950 KJR that in one late season game against the 49ers, the 49er center was literally crying in frustration because there was nothing he could do to blocker Poona Ford.

Expect Poona Ford to be even more un-blockable in 2019. In fact, don’t be surprised if he increasingly becomes the new fan favorite in this market. I think Seattle definitely has landed its latest undrafted gem in this guy, and I cannot wait to see more out of him this year. I am really excited.

Poona, Poona, Poona, Poona.

Go Hawks.


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