While it’s never an easy task for any rookie to come in and make an immediate impact during their inaugural campaign, the Seahawks' first-round pick from the 2020 NFL Draft has done just that in spite of the unusual challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite having OTAs, minicamp, and the preseason canceled, rookie Jordyn Brooks was still able to make a strong impression during training camp, which helped him earn a reserve spot to begin the regular season. Though a knee sprain forced him to miss two games, the 23-year old has bounced back from his injury extremely well and has been seeing consistent playing time over the last five games.
Considering the obstacles Brooks has already overcome so far this season, the Seahawks couldn’t be happier with his performance and are hopeful he’ll be able to continue building off it moving forward. Citing his dynamic attributes, coach Pete Carroll admitted he’s been very impressed by the Texas Tech standout up to this point and also feels the youngster will be able to continue improving as he gains further NFL experience.
“He’s a really good ballplayer, he’s helping us,” Carroll discussed. “The running and hitting part is really what he specializes in. He’s a terrific athlete, very explosive, as he continues to learn and get more in command of what he’s doing, he’s just going to be really good.”
Since teammate Bruce Irvin suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 2 against the Patriots, the defense has needed Brooks to emerge into a larger role in just a short period of time, forcing him to essentially make all of his adjustments on the fly. That being said, the 6-foot linebacker hasn’t allowed those issues to slow him down, proving that he’s capable of taking on any challenge that’s presented to him.
Along with showcasing his impressive football IQ and toughness, the Texas native has also been one of the hardest working players on and off the field, which certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed. While there’s still plenty of room for growth, Carroll is extremely pleased with the way the former Red Raider has handled himself and discussed how he’s very happy to have him on the roster.
“He’s instinctive, smart, and tough,” Carroll explained. “He’s kind of got a real quiet toughness about him and he’s doing a really good job of being the first pick, being humble, and just working hard. So I’m really thrilled about that pick and what he contributes to this team.”
Over eight games, Brooks has earned a pair of starts, producing 22 total tackles, 12 solo tackles, two pass defenses, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit and pressure, along with a 6.3 percent pressure rate.
In pass coverage, the promising young linebacker has been targeted 10 times, allowing eight catches, 85 yards, 27 yards after the catch, 10.6 yards per catch, and a 102.1 passer rating. Those numbers should get better as he plays more snaps.
With just six games left in the regular season, it’ll be crucial for Brooks to remain effective as the defense looks to produce consistent results through this final stretch of the 2020 campaign. As a result of controlling the starting role at the WILL position, the former first-round selection has spent a ton of time working with teammate Bobby Wagner and Carroll explained how he feels confident when they're each on the field together during both passing and rushing situations.
“He and Bobby [Wagner] have really similar traits, they both run real fast, they both tackle hard, tackle well, and cover a ton of ground,” Carroll detailed. “It really feels secure having those two guys behind the line of scrimmage in all situations - run and pass. So we’re just getting started with pressure, Bobby is an active part of it but we’re just starting with Jordyn [Brooks]. I just feel like we got the right guy for our system and he fits the WILL position really well.”