Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primer: Benson Mayowa

While Mayowa struggled as a starter early in the 2020 season, his return to Seattle proved to be a success as he shined in a reserve role in the second half. Now back on a two-year deal, will his strong finish carry over into 2021? Or could improved depth around him lead to less playing time?
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With the calendar flipping to July and offseason programs recently wrapping up, NFL training camps will begin around the league in less than a month. To celebrate the new incoming season, we will be breaking down the Seahawks' 90-man roster over the next several weeks, exploring best and worst case scenarios and what to expect from each player entering the 2021 campaign.

Benson Mayowa, Defensive End

Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 265 pounds

2020 Stats: 24 tackles, 6.0 sacks, two forced fumbles in 13 games

Originally beginning his career in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle brought Mayowa back to help inject life into an anemic pass rush ahead of the 2020 season. The move paid off in spurts. He racked up 6.0 sacks in 13 games, including two against the 49ers in Week 17. But particularly during the early stages of the season when he was starting games at the LEO defensive end spot, he seemed to disappear in spurts and produced just 2.0 sacks in his first seven games. Once Carlos Dunlap arrived via trade and he returned to a reduced rotational role, his performance picked up down the stretch, re-confirming his perfect role is as a situational pass rusher, not as an every down defender. This year, after re-signing on a two-year deal, he will have a larger supporting cast around him with the likes of Dunlap, Kerry Hyder, Alton Robinson, and Aldon Smith, barring legal issues.

Best Case Scenario: While he only earns a pair of spot starts during the season, Mayowa continues to thrive in a "less is more" scenario as a reserve rusher, tying his career high with 7.0 sacks and amassing 15 quarterback hits while rotating at both end spots with Dunlap, Hyder, and Smith.

Worst Case Scenario: Beginning to show signs of decline during training camp and the preseason, Mayowa falls down the depth chart in favor of a much-improved Robinson and Smith, leaving him with minimal defensive snaps to open the regular season and potentially on the cutting block.

What to Expect in 2021: Though he turns 30 years old in August, Mayowa's roster spot isn't in jeopardy at this point. While he wasn't able to fully capitalize on his opportunity to start a year ago, he proved to be one of the team's more valuable pass rushers late in the season and with more talent around him, he should stay fresh pinning his ears off the edge with a lighter workload. In the event Robinson takes a major step forward and Smith is cleared to play, reps could be scarce and the battle for playing time will be intense in training camp. Nonetheless, Mayowa is a reliable veteran the coaching staff trusts who possesses a different skill set than many of the team's other pass rushers and should maintain a significant reserve role when the season kicks off in September.

Previous Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primers

Alex McGough | Darvin Kidsy | Greg Eiland | Joshua Moon | Cam Sutton | Walter Palmore | Jared Hocker | Brad Lundblade | Aashari Crosswell | Myles Adams | Jon Rhattigan | Aaron Fuller | Bryan Mills I Jake Curhan | Jarrod Hewitt | Connor Wedington | Nate Evans | Danny Etling | John Ursua | Gavin Heslop | Pier-Oliver Lestage | Tamorrion Terry | Tommy Champion | Cody Thompson | Josh Johnson | Saivion Smith | Jordan Miller | Aaron Donkor | Robert Nkemdiche | Alex Collins | Tyler Mabry | Damarious Randall | Cade Johnson | Cedrick Lattimore | Phil Haynes | Geno Smith | Kyle Fuller | Travis Homer | Tyler Ott | Rasheem Green | Ben Burr-Kirven | Penny Hart | Jamarco Jones | Aldon Smith | DeeJay Dallas | Nick Bellore | Stone Forsythe | Colby Parkinson | Al Woods | Cedric Ogbuehi | Alton Robinson | Jordan Simmons | Pierre Desir | Ryan Neal | Tre Flowers | Michael Dickson | Jason Myers | Freddie Swain | Cody Barton