UDFAs shine for Seahawks in preseason opener

Seahawks rookie running back Christine Michael got plenty of opportunity, carrying the ball 16 times for 89 yards as well as returning kickoffs. Rookie tight end Luke Willson got his fair share of reps playing with the first team offense. Other drafted rookies Ty Powell, Spencer Ware, and Michael Bowie also got significant playing time.

But while all of these players were drafted, undrafted rookie free agents (UDFAs) Alvin Bailey out of Arkansas and Benson Mayowa from Idaho were two of the best players on the field on Thursday night for the Seattle Seahawks.

While there aren’t many tangible statistics for offensive linemen, offensive tackle Alvin Bailey dominated in both pass protection and in run blocking. He did not give up any sacks, and played just about as good of a game as a left tackle can play. Many won’t notice Bailey’s fantastic game since the offensive line isn’t normally a point of a typical fan’s attention (I actually had to watch the game over again before I saw the true extent of Bailey’s dominance), but it will be interesting to see if Bailey gets playing time next week with the first team, although it would probably be at a position other than left tackle since Russell Okung is already the starter there.

Benson Mayowa and his two sacks from the defensive end/outside linebacker position were slightly easier to notice. He also had at least two more pressures, and had the opportunity to come away with a couple more sacks. Like Bailey, Mayowa played well against lesser competition, but he should see playing time earlier in the game next week. If Mayowa continues to rush the passer well, the Seahawks may have found their second edge rusher who will see significant playing time when Bruce Irvin and probably Chris Clemons are absent to start the season.

The players drafted by the Seattle Seahawks played reasonably well in their respective NFL debuts. But UDFAs Alvin Bailey and Benson Mayowa outshone just about everyone.