The Seattle Seahawks got off to 10-2 start in 2019, but faded down the stretch of the regular season to finish the year 11-5. They defeated the Eagles in the Wild Card round of the postseason, but lost the next weekend to the Packers.
In the 2019 NFL draft, Seattle opted to take TCU defensive end L.J. Collier with its first-round pick. The Seahawks then added safety Marquise Blaire and wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the second round. In the third round, Seattle drafted linebacker Cody Barton from Utah. The Seahawks then had seven picks between rounds four through seven, adding the following players: Wide receiver Gary Jennings, guard Phil Haynes, safety Ugochukwu Amadi, linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven, running back Travis Homer, defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas and wide receiver John Ursua.
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According to The MMQB's NFC West team needs, given that a strong offensive line is so critical for keeping the Seahawks offense intact, if the team comes across a prospect they love at that position they should target that area. Maybe just as important, however, is the need to add more firepower to its pass rush. Finding a slot-cornerback is another area of need on defense.
During the draft, you can follow along with the SeahawkMaven live blog.
A full list of Seattle's picks will be updated below as the draft progresses.
Round 1, Pick 27 (No. 27 overall): Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
Andy Benoit's analysis: Perennially underappreciated star veteran K.J. Wright is in the final year of his contract. Though he showed little sign of decline last year, it stands to reason the Seahawks might be willing to move on once his deal expires. (That’s largely how Seattle has approached 30-plus-year-old star defenders in the past.)
Bobby Wagner might seem old because he has been playing at such a high level for so long, but he doesn’t turn 30 until June and his contract runs through 2022. There is an opt-out after 2020, but it’s hard to fathom Seattle planning to go that route at this point. Wagner has shown no sign of decline on film. (Though remember, teams often start seeing a player’s decline up close in practice before that decline makes its way to the playing field.)
The Seahawks also drafted a future starting linebacker last year in Cody Barton, who has the coverage skills to maybe even push for all-important nickel snaps this season. So it’s not like things were looking bereft at linebacker for 2021 and beyond. So why take Brooks in the first round?
Recall that last season the Seahawks often played base 4-3 personnel, even against three-receiver sets. It was a highly unusual move in a nickel-heavy league, but it worked well, in part because Seattle is so comfortable playing zone. (4-3 vs. 3 WRs does not work well in man-to-man.) We assumed the 4-3 move was in part because Seattle did not have any great options at slot corner. But at pick No. 27, there were decent slot corner prospects on the board. And yet they still took Brooks. Is Pete Carroll planning to commit to the 4-3 approach long-term?
This will be a fascinating scenario to watch play out. Grade: B
Round 2, No. 48 overall: Darrell Taylor, DE, Tennessee
Andy Benoit's analysis: The Seahawks think highly of defensive line coach Clint Hurtt and are giving him a talented but unrefined specimen to develop. Hurtt best get results sooner than later; Seattle’s four-man rush—which is vital in their zone scheme—was nowhere near good enough last season and has since said goodbye to its top force, Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney remains unsigned, in part, because he’s not a truly bendable edge player. Taylor, on the other hand, has those traits in spades. But they must be honed. Grade: B
Round 3, No. 69 overall: Damien Lewis, G, LSU
Andy Benoit's analysis: At first glance, this might look like an unofficial admission that 2017 second-round pick Ethan Pocic has not fully panned out. But more likely this pick is a response to veteran guards Mike Iupati and D.J. Fluker being in contract years. At 6' 2", 327 pounds, Lewis, though not quite as big as Iupati or Fluker, has the sheer bulk that Seattle has come to value at guard. Grade: C
Round 4, No. 133 overall: Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford
Round 4, No. 144 overall: DeeJay Dallas, RB, Miami (Fla.)
Round 5, No. 148 overall: Alton Robinson, EDGE, Syracuse
Round 6, No. 214 overall: Freddie Swain, WR, Florida
Round 7, No. 251 overall: Stephen Sullivan, TE, LSU