Hello 12s! It has been a while since I have been able to get online here and talk Seahawks football, or any sports for that matter. First, I hope all of you are well and healthy as we are trying to get through these crazy times.
This past weekend, the NFL held the draft from the comforts of the owners’ and executives’ own homes. It was an interesting draft considering the circumstances, but the Seahawks, in true Seahawks fashion, made some interesting choices and trades during the three-day event. I am not by any means saying they made poor decisions, just interesting ones.
I will go through the draft order and give my thoughts and I will wrap up by discussing the undrafted free-agent signings.
Before I start, you can listen to Matt Keenan and I discuss these picks (with the exception of the 7th round since we started before we knew the Seahawks traded) below.
In the First Round, the Seahawks decided to go with defense and picked up Linebacker Jordyn Brooks out of Texas Tech as the 27th overall selection. My initial thought was that the Seahawks have a solid linebacker corps but then I realized they are aging. I chalked it up as the beginning of the linebacker replenishment. Jordyn will be able to learn so much from the senior leaders in the group, such as Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.
Seattle defense adds another playmaker
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 24, 2020
Brooks led the Big 12 in 2019 with 20 tackles for loss and was third in the Big 12 with 66 solo tackles. Since 2016, he has always been top-10 in the Big 12 in solo tackles, assisted tackles; total tackles and tackles for loss. In total, he amassed 360 total tackles with 32 going for a loss. He also racked up 6.5 sacks over his collegiate career, including three his senior year. This is the typical Seahawks linebacker and I honestly doubt the Seahawks had their eyes on anyone else in the first round. He will definitely fill a role that is much needed in Seattle.
In the Second Round, the Seahawks addressed their issue at Defensive End by trading up from the 59th selection with the New York Jets and selected Darrell Taylor out of Tennessee with the 48th overall selection.
— Yesh Naidu (@Yeshly_Snipes) April 25, 2020
Taylor was second best in the SEC with 8.5 sacks in 2019. In his collegiate career, he tallied 19.5 sacks, 118 total tackles with 26.5 going for a loss of yardage. He will definitely bring an immediate presence to the defensive front. John Schneider admitted the front office was considering taking Taylor in the first round and spend most of the day on Friday making trade attempts to scoop him up. We still don’t know what the future holds for Jadeveon Clowney in Seattle.
In the Third Round, the Seahawks finally picked up Guard Damien Lewis. No, not the actor from Homeland and Billions, but the offensive lineman out of Louisiana State. I really like this pick up because Lewis is a true offensive lineman and not someone who will be converted into an offensive lineman. His pass protection ability coupled with his ability to push defenders downfield will open up the offensive scheme for Russell Wilson. Running back Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny will have bigger holes to power through, which will open the options up for play action passes. George Fant and Germain Ifedi have since departed Seattle and the Seahawks have since released D.J. Fluker and Justin Britt. I expect Lewis to be a starter this year.
So, the Fourth Round is where things were a little interesting for me. The Seahawks picked up tight end Colby Parkinson out of Stanford and running back Deejay Dallas out of Miami—the 133rd and 144th overall selections respectively. The Seahawks picked up Greg Olsen and already have Will Dissly, Luke Willson, and Jacob Hollister on the roster. I would expect to see some trades happen since the Seahawks have plenty of options at tight end. Parkinson is six foot seven inches and 252 lbs. He will be a towering, sure-handed target in the red zone for Russell Wilson. In his senior campaign, Parkinson did not drop a single pass. During his tenure at Stanford, he amassed 1,171 receiving yards with 12 touchdowns.
Contact balance is great but DeeJay Dallas’ ability to accelerate after contact is even better
— Alistair Corp (@byAlistairCorp) April 25, 2020
Colby Parkinson caught *everything* with shoddy QB play. His size, catch radius and hands (his focus at the catch point is GREAT) playing with Russell Wilson has the potential to be pretty damn good pic.twitter.com/EO8hGHCKRi
— Alistair Corp (@byAlistairCorp) April 25, 2020
Deejay Dallas was Miami’s leading ball carrier in 2019 scoring eight rushing and two receiving touchdowns. In his time at Miami, he had a combined 19 TDs while rushing for over 1,500 yards. In his first two seasons with the Hurricanes, he backed up Travis Homer, which he will also do in Seattle. He is a converted wide receiver to running back, very similar to CJ Prosise. Oh, since I brought him up, I think this pick is his replacement. CJ had so much talent but injuries kept him off the field for too long. Having a back who can also run routes and catch passes fits right into the Seahawks’ game plan. With injuries to Seattle’s running back corps in 2019, leaving Travis Homer as the lead back, I believe the Seahawks wanted a versatile, physical runner who could step up when called upon.
In the Fifth Round, the Seahawks picked up the 148th pick with a trade with the Carolina Panthers (Carolina traded up from 69 to 64 to pick up safety Jeremy Chinn out of Southern Illinois). The Seahawks picked up Alton Robinson a defensive end out of Syracuse. I had a feeling the Seahawks would pick up a few DEs during the draft and they did. It is a role they need filled, especially with Clowney in question. However, Robinson is an absolute beast. In his senior season at Syracuse, he had 46 total tackles (nine for a loss) and four sacks. Overall, he tallied 115 total tackles (32 for loss) and 19 sacks in three seasons at Syracuse.
Alton Robinson is a high motor type of edge rusher. Has okay power and a decent first step to rip around the edge. Might be able to combine those with better hands for a speed-to-power move in the NFL to win through. Bottom of your screen (#94) on this one. #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/yp4HWlw4jp
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) April 25, 2020
In the Sixth Round, you know, the round when we thought the Seahawks would finish the draft, they picked up a wide receiver out of Florida Freddie Swain with the 214th overall pick. This draft class had an ocean full of WRs to choose from and the Seahawks decided to go fishing. I believe this to be a special teams pickup for the Seahawks as I don’t see a six-foot receiver doing a whole lot offensively but he could line up in the slot if needed. As a senior, he had 517 receiving yards with seven touchdowns and 38 receptions.
See ya later, Freddie Swain ✌️ pic.twitter.com/ahAAyPlE3x
— Sports Daily (@SportsDGI) October 5, 2019
In the Seventh Round, the Seahawks made a trade with Miami to send a 2021 sixth rounder to pick up the 251st pick. They selected a TE/WR out of LSU Stephen Sullivan. I don’t think Seattle wanted Sullivan to fall into free agency so they traded up to get him. He played TE at LSU and is coming off a senior campaign where he tallied 12 receptions in six games but did not find the end zone. Again, the Seahawks are deep at tight end so it will be interesting to see what happens at that position.
Moving into undrafted free agency, the Seahawks went all over the place. What caught me off guard is that they picked up Quarterback Anthony Gordon out of Washington State University. Obviously he will not get a whole lot of playing time if Wilson stays healthy, but he is a gunslinger. Pro Football Focus listed Gordon as the second best undrafted free agent. Last season, he was second in the NCAA in the percentage (69.4%) of his passes determined to be accurate behind Joe Burrow.
I follow WSU football pretty closely and I was surprised that he did not get drafted. In one season with the Cougs, he set all sorts of records in the Pac-12. He threw for 5,579 yards throwing 48 touchdowns and had a completion percentage of 71. The Seahawks currently do not have any backup QBs on the roster as Geno Smith has yet to be signed in free agency. I may be partial, but I really like Gordon. I think he can learn a lot from Russ. He is an accurate passer and has a cannon. I am excited to see what he does during the preseason.
The Seahawks also picked up a pair of defensive tackles in Marcus Webb of Troy and Josh Avery of Southeast Missouri. Webb racked up seven sacks and 27 tackles (seven for loss) in 2019. Avery weighs in at 330 pounds and can be unruly in the middle as a nose tackle. He tallied 20 tackles in 2019, six of which went for a loss.
Adding to their secondary, the Seahawks picked up safety Chris Miller out of Baylor, cornerback Kemah Siverand out of Oklahoma State, and Gavin Heslop out of Stony Brook. Miller has only six pass deflections and three forced fumbles to his name through college. Siverand started out at Texas A&M before transferring to Oklahoma State. His college numbers are bleak not recording an interception or forcing any fumbles while making only 17 tackles. Heslop, in 2019, amassed 52 tackles, 8.5 for a loss, a sack and a half, three forced fumbles and a defensive touchdown. He also played special teams blocking two kicks. He did not record an interception in 2019.
— Stony Brook Football (@StonyBrookFB) September 22, 2018
To add to their linebacker and defensive corps, the Seahawks signed Eli Mencer out of Albany. In 2019, he racked up 57 tackles, 23 for loss (10th in FCS); sacked opposing QBs 13.5 times (8th in FCS), had one interception, and forced five fumbles (4th in FCS), recovering three for 52 yards. His numbers are mind blowing for NCAA Division 1 FCS. After doing research for writing this piece, I really like Eli Mencer and I am excited to see how the Seahawks are going to use him this season.
UAlbany wins 19-10 in OT. Villanova stopped on fourth down and Eli Mencer returns fumble for TD: pic.twitter.com/4CDlqMNQB6
— Mark Singelais (@MarkSingelais) September 24, 2017
On the offensive side of the ball the Seahawks signed a pair of running backs: Anthony Jones from Florida International and Patrick Carr out of Houston. Throughout his time at FIU, Jones rushed for 2,010 yards and found the end zone 21 times. Overall, he tallied 2,281 yards with 25 touchdowns. He is a converted wide receiver and made the switch to running back in 2018. Knowing this, he may give Deejay Dallas a little bit of competition during the preseason. Patrick Carr started his freshman year at Colorado before transferring to Houston. In his time in college, he put up 1,546 yards while scoring 10 touchdowns. I believe this is a depth selection and do not anticipate him on the roster, but possibly the practice squad.
To finish off UDFA, the Seahawks picked up another tight end and added a receiver. Tyler Mabry is a TE out of Maryland who transferred from Buffalo. In one season with Maryland, he had 13 receptions for 155 yards and three touchdowns. Seth Dawkins played four years at Louisville but was only able to play nine games his senior season, but was able to score three times. In his sophomore campaign, he tallied 642 yards and scored four touchdowns—his best season.
Overall, I’m excited for this season to get underway barring any delays. For more updates, follow us @CascadiaSN on Twitter and Facebook.