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Ex-Jets OL Brandon Shell has been ‘solid as a rock’ for Seahawks

Original Source: https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2020/12/13/brandon-shell-seattle-seahawks-new-york-jets-week-14/

Sunday’s matchup between New York and Seattle will pit a former Jet against his old team. Actually, make that two ex-Jets.

While plenty of attention has been paid to Jamal Adams this week, Brandon Shell is also set to face his previous employer (this game is loaded with former Jets). The offensive lineman will return to Seattle’s starting lineup after missing two games due to a high-ankle sprain.

The Jets and Seahawks inadvertently traded right tackles over the offseason. Shell went to Seattle as a free agent, while ex-Seahawk George Fant signed with New York. While George Fant has been a solid addition to New York’s offensive line, Shell has been sturdy for the Seahawks as well.

Seattle is excited to get its starting right tackle back just in time for its playoff push. In 10 starts this season, Shell has allowed just five quarterback hits and is the recipient of a 79.3 pass protection grade, per Pro Football Focus. He has an overall grade of 72.1.

“He’s just been a real positive, solid as a rock,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said, per Seahawks Wire. “Unfortunately he missed a couple of games here but every way, running game, pass game, he’s really been a great acquisition for us and he filled the spot and we’re real excited about him.”

During his tenure in New York, Shell, a former fifth-round pick out of South Carolina, struggled to stay consistent but showed signs of potential early on.

In his rookie campaign, Shell made three starts in eight games and didn’t allow a single pressure in 114 pass-blocking snaps. After starting 12 games at right tackle during the 2017 season, Shell looked to be Gang Green’s right tackle of the future.

From 2018-19, Shell started 25 of 32 games between the left and right sides. His development appeared to plateau and the writing appeared to be on the wall for Shell when the Jets selected Chuma Edoga in the third round of the 2019 draft.

Shell proceeded to finish last season with a PFF grade of 63.6, which ranked 54th among eligible tackles. A right tackle by trade, Shell did New York a favor by playing left tackle with Kelvin Beachum absent. The experiment went pretty poorly.

Still, the Seahawks took a gamble on Shell to help replace Fant, signing him to a two-year deal worth $11 million. Seattle’s gamble on Shell looks to be paying off, as Russell Wilson got some adequate protection for the first time in a long time.

Shell’s protection has been sorely missed in Seattle lately with him out, but that won’t be an issue against his old team.