With the calendar flipping to July and offseason programs wrapped up across the country, NFL training camps will begin around the NFL in less than a month time. To celebrate the new incoming season, the All Seahawks staff 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 2022 campaign.
Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Linebacker
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 205 pounds
2021 Stats: Four tackles, one forced fumble
A former fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky, the 235-pound Iyiegbuniwe immediately made an impact on special teams with the Bears, playing 315 snaps and producing six tackles in 2018. Over the past four years, he's logged more than 1,200 special teams snaps and amassed 19 tackles, but he never carved out much of a role on defense with just 47 combined snaps. He brings an intriguing athletic skill set to Seattle's linebacker group, as he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds, clocked in a 7.06 seconds in the 3-cone drill, and produced a 35-inch vertical jump at the NFL combine. After having minimal chances to prove himself on defense in Chicago, he will be hoping to surprise and potentially push Cody Barton for playing time at MIKE linebacker while remaining a core special teams standout.
Best Case Scenario: Flying all over the field during the preseason, Iyiegbuniwe racks up tackles in bunches and easily earns a spot on the 53-man roster, putting additional pressure on Barton and positioning himself to get a shot at playing time if the former Utah standout can't handle replacing Bobby Wagner as hoped.
Worst Case Scenario: Despite being a quality special teams player, Iyiegbuniwe winds up falling down the depth chart behind undrafted rookie Vi Jones and a healthy Ben Burr-Kirven, leading to a surprise cut at the end of August.
What to Expect in 2022: Coming out of Seattle's offseason program, Iyiegbuniwe received praise from several people within the organization, with one assistant coach tabbing him as a player to keep an eye on in August. Still just 26 years old, he hasn't had a chance to truly showcase his capabilities on defense in his first four seasons in the league and reunited with associate head coach Sean Desai, who was his coordinator in Chicago last season, he will likely get a long look at one of the two off-ball linebacker spots in the preseason. While he isn't likely to earn a starting job on defense, he should be one of the Seahawks' best special teams stalwarts and help fill the gap left behind with Barton no longer playing on kickoff and punt coverage teams. He also should be next in line if Jordyn Brooks or Barton gets banged up, providing quality depth at the position.
Previous Seahawks 90-Man Roster Profiles
Kevin Kassis | Cade Brewer | Liam Ryan | Deontez Alexander | Elijah Jones | Josh Turner | Scott Nelson | Joshua Onujiogu | Jarrod Hewitt | Darwin Thompson | Matt Gotel | Lakiem Williams | Tanner Muse | Greg Eiland | Aaron Fuller | Shamarious Gilmore | Cade Johnson | Dakoda Shepley | Deontai Williams | Bubba Bolden | Josh Johnson | Vi Jones | Dareke Young | Myles Adams | Jacob Eason | Tyler Mabry | Jon Rhattigan | Penny Hart | Josh Jones | John Reid | Mike Jackson | Tyler Ott