Capping off a strong first NFL season, Seahawks guard Damien Lewis has been named to the Pro Football Writers Association's All-NFL Rookie Team.
Joining Lewis on the PFWA All-NFL Rookie Team, the offensive line was rounded out by Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry, Patriots guard Mike Onwenu, Browns tackle Jedrick Willis, and Buccaneers tackle Tristan Wirfs. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was honored as the PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year, while Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young garnered Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Drafted with the 69th overall selection in the third round, the Seahawks expected Lewis would be able to step right in and compete for a starting role right away. The former LSU standout did just that, securing the right guard job immediately in training camp and starting in the team's season opening win over the Falcons.
Though Lewis dealt with a few bumps and bruises during the season, he wound up starting all 16 regular season games as well as the Seahawks Wild Card round loss to the Rams. He logged 967 offensive snaps, including playing all 66 snaps as an emergency starter at center in a Week 11 victory over the Cardinals.
When reflecting on Seattle's rookie class as a whole, coach Pete Carroll said of Lewis, "The steadiest of all the guys, [he] did the most, had the biggest contribution that he played every game and he's a championship kid. He's really smart, he's really tough. It's not too big for him. He's going to have a great career."
Statistically, Lewis endured his share of struggles in pass protection. Per Pro Football Focus, he allowed 28 total pressures and three quarterback sacks on 633 pass blocking snaps. While those numbers are respectable on their own for a rookie, he led all NFL guards with 12 penalties, leading to a dismal 48.4 overall season grade as a pass protector.
But as expected, the 6-foot-3, 332-pound Lewis excelled moving defenders in the ground game and consistently mauled opponents at the line of scrimmage. Receiving an 81.5 overall run blocking score from Pro Football Focus, he finished with the second-best grade behind only Colts All-Pro Quenton Nelson for qualified guards with 900 or more offensive snaps.
While the Seahawks have plenty of questions to address along the offensive line moving towards 2021, including at left guard and center, Lewis' presence should give the franchise a cornerstone to build around in the trenches for years to come.