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2020 NFL Draft: Seattle Seahawks: Round Up and Evaluation Day 1-3

Well I have to say that this Seahawks draft was interesting and for evaluation purposes I am thankful that they selected 4 / 8 players who were also on my shortlist, plus 2 more who just missed out on my shortlist. That makes the evaluation a lot easier for me.

So let’s dive straight in:

Round Overall Player Position School
1 27 Jordyn Brooks LB Texas Tech
2 48 Darrell Taylor EDGE Tennessee
3 69 Damien Lewis G LSU
4 133 Colby Parkinson TE Stanford
4 144 DeeJay Dallas RB Miami
5 148 Alton Robinson DE Syracuse
6 214 Freddie Swain WR Florida
7 251 Stephen Sullivan TE LSU

 

1.27 LB Jordyn Brooks (Texas Tech) [A+]

Well I really missed on this one. I was looking for a LB for my fantasy team, but Jordy Brooks was not someone I had on my list. Watching his tape now he is a physical, downhill player who you see shooting gaps and making plays all the time. In the future, once Wagner is gone, Brooks could be the heart of a LB trio with Barton and BBK.

You see it all in his game, explosive TFLs, spying on QBs and runners, goal-line stops and physical play. He is your prototypical Seahawks LB who will bring the boom. I think that this might have been one of the best 1st round picks the Seahawks have made in a long time and he may well turn out to be the 1st or 2nd best LB in this class depending on how good Isaiah Simmons turns out to be (who I think has a higher ceiling with his athleticism if he is in the right scheme, but also has a lower floor).

2.48 EDGE Darrell Taylor (Tennessee) [B]

The Seahawks have admitted that they were considering Taylor with their first round pick, which is why they traded up for him in the 2nd. Any time you manage to get a 2nd player who you had a 1st round grade on during Day 2, you’ve done a good job.

He looks like a big, athletic DE with long arms and bend. He has the versatility to be considered both as a 4-3 DE and a 3-4 OLB, which usually tells you a lot about a player having both strength and athleticism. Beyond that, however, he seems pretty raw for a “1st round talent”.

3.69 G Damien Lewis (LSU) [A]

The first of the 4 players from my list, my assessment of him was short but sweet, because I wasn’t expecting to draft a Guard in rounds 3 or 4.

Came from a JUCO to LSU and became starter. Held his own, to some degree, against Raekwon Davis and Derrick Brown. He is a beast in the run game, but not the best in pass-pro.

To add to that assessment I would say that his skills translate very well to Seattle’s scheme and I think that he could be a contributor, if not a starter, early on. Especially with the release of DJ Fluker. He has the requisite size, strength and athleticism to succeed.

4.133 TE Colby Parkinson (Stanford) [B+]

In terms of his measurables Colby Parkinson may be average in a lot of areas, but at 6’7″ he is as tall as you like. Here is what I had to say about him in my assessment:

Colby Parkinson is tall. Was utilised in the end zone and out wide, he is a real “big WR”. His blocking is sub par, but what he can do in the receiving department makes up for it. I also believe that the fact that he will be around on day 3 makes him a bargain.

The big surprise is that he is a guy who needs serious improvement in the run game, more specifically with blocking, but what the Seahawks might have got themselves is something else entirely: a big bodied WR. After Metcalf worked so well in their offense, adding big bodies who can catch the ball might have been more important to them than blocking.

4.144 RB DeeJay Dallas (Miami) [B-]

3rd down back with experience as a WR who will probably come in to replace CJ Prosise on the roster. An interesting decision I thought, because Homer did a very good job there last year.

The main reason why Dallas didn’t make it among my final selections is because he didn’t really fit into the three categories I had identified: RB1s, speedsters and big bodies. I also had a couple of extra RBs who did make it into my selection, primarily JaMykal Hasty, because I thought he had better hands and a better running style than Dallas.

One thing I really love about Dallas though is his willingness to pass-pro for his QB. He relishes it and has been quoted as saying that he loves the fact that you get the chance to  “assert yourself on the guy across from you”. While I believe there were backs with better hands, you also have to say that this is not a department you can fault him on. He has also been projected as a contributor on special teams. Overall a very decent pick.

5.148 DE Alton Robinson (Syracuse) [B]

The first thing that I remember about Robinson, was seeing his speed at the combine. The reason he didn’t make it into my assessment was simply because it was an area I was not targeting at all (even though I ended up drafting 3 and taking an UDFA). I decided to to my top 5 at the position, if it had been top 7 he would have been on the list.

He is long, bendy and powerful with explosive traits. He does not have the arm length you would hope for and I hope that doesn’t hinder him in the pros. He is still a little bit raw and he doesn’t seem 100% go on every snap. Nevertheless, he has the physical and athletic traits to be very successful if he puts it all together.

6.214 WR Fredie Swain (Florida) [B+]

Another speed weapon to stretch the field for Wilson, plus Swain works the middle better than Lockett. Here is what I had to say about him in my assessment:

Stood out to me while watching Gator tape on Van Jefferson. Gets into space and has the speed to make yac, he also cuts like a RB in space to great success. One thing that might see him slip down draft boards is that you have to throw him into space and on the ground because he is not too effective above the rim. Crossing routes are where it’s at for him as well as a vertical threat. Not the best in contested catches either. If he can show that he has special teams value (he’s a tough guy so maybe) then maybe he can make a roster in the late rounds or as an UDFA.

When a player jumps off the tape while you are actually watching someone else it is always a good sign. There are some limits to his catching ability, which is why this draft position is fair, but the speed is undeniable. It’s going to be exciting to see how he works in the Seattle offense, I think it is a great match.

7.251 TE Stephen Sullivan (LSU) [A]

Similar to Parkinson, Sullivan is more of a passcatching threat than a blocker, going with my theory that this is what they were targeting. Sullivan is a converted WR (something he wasn’t too happy to do) and this was my assessment of him:

Stephen Sullivan is a raw, explosive WR who is too big and has therefore been moved to TE. 98th percentile arm length, 91st percentile broad jump and 86th percentile vertical jump. He is the kind of guy who you pick up on day 3 or if you are lucky as an UDFA, but I think that he won’t last that long due to his measurables. One big downside which I have heard (although I do not know how true it is), is that he is not good with the playbook and really struggles there. That makes predicting his landing very difficult, I think round 5 or 6 is fair.

The Seahawks love their long arms, be it at CB or obviously on the opposite side of the field at WR / TE. Add to that the explosiveness and the Seahawks got themselves a steal. The only concern I would have is that rumor regarding the playbook. If that turns out to be true, then he could be Gary Jennings 2.0.

 

Draft Grade: B+

There is not much you can fault the Seahawks on in this draft. They even picked up a decent QB as an UDFA to compete for the backup spot in Gordon.

One of the biggest areas of need, especially after not re-signing Clowney, was DE where they picked up 2 very decent, but developmental players and you have to remember that they got Irvin as a FA.

Picking an inside linebacker with the first pick might not make too much sense in itself, but they could now be set at a very high level for at least the next half a decade.

O Line was addressed more in FA than the draft, but they managed to get a potential starter in Round 3. Protecting Wilson had to be a prio. That is why they also got the RB with perhaps the best pass-pro in the draft and some good hands to go with it.

To top it all off they did what they had to do: give Wilson some more toys. I said this last season already: they invested so much money in him that they have to do everything to support him. They got him a tall redzone threat (Parkinson), another speedster (Swain) and a big, athletic, long-armed, WR/TE hybrid (Sullivan). Add that to the likes of Lockett, Metcalf, Dorsett, Dissly, Holister and Olsen and you can start to see a formidable offense forming with Wilson at the center of it.

Full Team Summary

Looking at the Seahawks team now, they have strong units at every position on offense, presuming their new look O Line gels, and the same could be said for defense. Their Secondary should be a lot better 2020, their LB group has great quality and depth, the only slight question marks remain above the D Line.

At DT you have to question the depth. Starters Ford and Reed are joined by not fully proven Jones (injury concerns but a great player when healthy), Christmas (Injured his rookie year) and Mone (didn’t stay on the roster all of last year). All of the 5 players have their merits and in a best case scenario could be a really strong unit, but it is a bit of a risk.

At DE you have a lot of depth, but no 1 player where you are like “wow yeh he is an elite DE1”. You have 2 speed guys in Irvin and Griffin, 1 player who has been developing well in Green, 1 solid roster addition in Mayowa who had 7 sacks last season, 1 roster filler in Jackson, a struggling sophmore in Collier and then the rookies of this year. I think that the Seahawks would do well to add Clowney back, simply for the presence he brings and the respect he demands from opposing defenses. Bennett is also an option but also not that no.1 guy anymore.

It is going to be interesting to see how the roster shapes up for the 2020 season.

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