The Seahawks were slated to pick in the 64th spot of the second round on Friday, but instead, they struck a deal with the Panthers to trade down for pick No. 69 along with pick No. 148 in the fifth round.
After moving down five spots, Seattle selected LSU guard Damien Lewis with the 69th pick, adding more depth on an already deep interior offensive line.
Lewis says the Seahawks won't regret taking him, and he shouldn't be doubted given his journey to the NFL. At the conclusion of his time at Canton High School in Mississippi, he received zero Division I offers.
However, that did not deter him from following his dream. He would take his talents to Northwest Mississippi Community College after graduating a semester early. In 2020, he was a key starter for the national champion LSU Tigers.
"I've been overlooked my whole life, I had to take the long route in everything," Lewis said. "Since Day 1, I always had big dreams. I felt like high school wasn't my final destination… I had to find [a] way to get me where I wanted to go, so I took the Juco route."
How did the top media outlets grade Seattle's third-round selection? Here's a look at four different opinions on Lewis landing with the Seahawks.
Chris Trapasso: "Squatty, power guard who wins in a phone booth. Super-sturdy anchor in pass pro. Above-average feet for [a] guard spot. Lateral agility [is] lacking, as is his balance against counter moves. Seattle needed more nastiness inside. Gets it with Lewis."
Joe Tansey: "The Seahawks also improved their interior talent with LSU guard Damien Lewis at the start of the third round. Lewis was one of 10 players from the title-winning side to be chosen in the first three rounds."
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Steven Ruiz: "Lewis is a people mover in the run game, which is obviously valued in Seattle more than it may be with other teams."
Eric Edholm: "A pick we can get behind. Lewis is a nasty road grader in the run game and can help add competition to a Seattle unit that year in and year out seems to be looking to upgrade. We feel Lewis is best in a gap-blocking system and only likely a guard. But he adds some nastiness to that group."
Per coach Pete Carroll, Lewis is expected to compete right away at right guard against D.J. Fluker for a starting role.
"He won’t take a back seat to anybody," Carroll remarked. "He’s going to come in here and battle for it. We feel really good. That’s really part of the reason why we took him. We want him to come in here and battle to play. All of that competition will make us better.”
General manager John Schneider agreed, citing Lewis' impressive lifting prowess, as he can squat over 600 pounds and also benches close to 500 pounds.
“He’s a grown man. I think we talked about it a couple of days ago, [Russell Wilson] wants grown men in front of him and that’s what this guy is.”