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14 Jul 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

Hits and Misses of the Seattle Seahawks 2020 Draft

Alton Robinson

COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 07: Alton Robinson #94 of the Syracuse Orange in position during a college football game against the Maryland Terrapins at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium on September 7, 2019 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The 2020 NFL Draft has come and went quickly. It was the first-ever virtual draft and I’d say it was a success. The Seahawks stayed to their true selves throughout the draft, taking a few relatively surprising players. In this article, we will analyze the hits and misses of the Seahawks 2020 draft.

Hits and Misses of the Seahawks 2020 Draft

Round 1, Pick 27: LB Jordyn Brooks – Texas Tech

The Seahawks surprised—or shall I say not surprised—fans by taking a day two player with their first-round draft choice yet again (L.J. Collier, Rashaad Penny). Fans either expected Seattle to draft an edge rusher or trade down. Instead, they drafted Jordyn Brooks at 27th overall.

Brooks is a 6’0” 240 pound highly productive linebacker out of Texas Tech but has questions surrounding his coverage abilities coming out of college. A lot of these questions can be answered by taking a close look at this tape.

In 2019, Brooks saw a role change in the Red Raider’s defense, moving from outside linebacker to playing primarily as the Mike. With this role change, Brooks became a short area attacker, engaging in pressure plays and being tasked as a quarterback spy. There wasn’t much opportunity for him to drop back into coverage consistently.

Players still on the board:

Verdict: Neutral

This verdict is based on the positional value of the pick and the players they could have selected instead. Linebacker wasn’t a major need for Seattle and they should have instead focused on drafting a top pass rusher. Brooks is no doubt a talented player but can he live up to his first-round draft value?

Round 2, Pick 48: EDGE Darrell Taylor – Tennessee

Darrell Taylor was a player Seattle considered drafting with their first-round selection. When day 2 rolled around and he was still on the board, they knew they had to take him and traded up to do so.

Had Taylor not played with a stress fracture in his shin in 2019, he likely would have been drafted far sooner than pick 48. He had 19.5 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss in college but still seems to be underdeveloped in some critical areas as a pass rusher.

While Taylor succeeds in his burst, bend, and dip, he still struggles with timing the snap and his counter rush moves.

Players still on the board:

  • DL A.J. Epenesa (drafted 54 overall by Buffalo)
  • WR Chase Claypool (drafted 49 overall by Pittsburgh)
  • CB Kristian Fulton (drafted 61 overall by Tennessee)

Verdict: Hit

There were still some better players on the board at the time of this pick but Taylor was a leading tackler among the SEC while in college. He stills has a ways to go in terms of development but if his potential hits, he could be a huge steal for Seattle here.

Round 2, Pick 69: G Damien Lewis – LSU

Seattle added a handful of offensive linemen this offseason but the decision to draft another early on was smart. Damien Lewis‘ stock seemed to go up following the Reeses Senior Bowl and many regarded this pick to be a steal by Seattle.

At 6’2″ 327 pounds, Lewis moves exceptionally well for someone his size and is an absolute tank in the run blocking game. He lacks a bit of lateral agility so he’s going to have work on his slides and footwork in the pass block.

Players still on the board:

Verdict: Hit

There were still plenty of talented players for the Seahawks to pick from here but they felt like Lewis was the best direction to go and he fits in well with what they want to do with their run game.

Round 4, Pick 133: TE Colby Parkinson – Stanford

This was a bit of a surprise pick by Seattle who had five tight ends on the roster going into the draft. This offseason, they signed veteran Greg Olsen and re-signed restri cted free agent Jacob Hollister to a one-year deal. Will Dissly is still a bit of a question mark because of his two season-ending injuries so Seattle could be just assuring their future at tight end.

Colby Parkinson is really going to have to fight for a spot in the crowded TE room in Seattle. What sets Parkinson apart from the others is he is big-bodied (6’7″ 252 pounds) and can line up in the slot or out wide. Stanford used him as a bit of a tight end/wide receiver hybrid.

Players still on the board:

Verdict: Hit

Brycen Hopkins was still on the board here (until three picks later) but Seattle felt like Parkinson was a better fit for what they want to do on offense. At first, I did not like this pick but once the dust settled, it started to make more sense.

Round 4, Pick 144: RB DeeJay Dallas – Miami

Seattle was expected to address the running back position at some point this offseason and they chose to do it here at pick 144 in the draft, reuniting Dallas with Miami teammate, Travis Homer, in the backfield in Seattle. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny both had season-ending injuries last year and Seattle was forced to turn to retired playmaker Marshawn Lynch.

DeeJay Dallas has good acceleration but has a problem with second-guessing himself at the line of scrimmage. He has a history of playing quarterback and wide receiver, which means he’s underdeveloped in the backfield but also means he has less mileage on his plate.

Players still on the board:

Verdict: Hit

Dallas is likely headed to Seatle as the number four running back behind Carson, Penny, and Homer, and comes in as the replacement to injury-prone C.J. Prosise, who was also very good as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Round 5, Pick 148: DE Alton Robinson – Syracuse

Seattle needed to make up for potentially losing Jadeveon Clowney by taking another edge rusher in Alton Robinson. Robinson, who stands at 6’3″ and 264 pounds, finished his career at Syracuse with 19 sacks, 32 tackles for loss, and five forced fumbles.

Robinson is an explosive ‘attack the ball’ kind of player who has great snap anticipation and power, but still struggles to key in on secondary rush moves.

Players still on the board:

Verdict: Hit

If you even so much as glance at Robinson’s tape, you can see that he looks like a prototypical Seahawks edge rusher. If I were Seattle, I would be eager to get this guy on the field (depending on how COVID-19 blows over).

Round 6, Pick 124: WR Freddie Swain – Florida

Even after drafting D.K. Metcalf and John Ursua last year, and adding Phillip Dorsett in free agency, Seattle still needed to look for a wide receiver in this draft.

Freddie Swain had 68 receptions, 996 yards, and 15 touchdowns at Florida and was also utilized as a special teams returner. He’s not a very skilled route runner coming out of college but does possess the speed and ability to become a skillful slot player in the NFL.

Players still on the board:

Verdict: Neutral

Right now the question is if Swain will be able to even make the Seahawks roster. It’s slowly becoming a crowded wide receiver room and his skillset does not match up to the same level as others on the roster. Seattle had a chance to get a slightly better receiver prospect here with Jauan Jennings but ultimately let him slip to divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers.

Round 7, Pick 251: TE Stephen Sullivan – LSU

Stephen Sullivan was a part of the exciting 2019 College Playoff Championship LSU team. He caught 46 receptions for 712 yards but only three touchdowns in his three years at LSU.

Sullivan (6’5″ 248) played in a tight end/wide receiver hybrid role on LSU’s offense. Seattle passed on taking his teammate Thaddeus Moss for Sullivan because he’s far more athletic and can move around the offense.

Players still on the board:

Verdict: Hit

Sullivan is the third player the Seahawks drafted in this class that can play as a hybrid player in their offense. He has the physicality to be a successful big slot receiver but there’s going to be a lot of competition this offseason and limited roster spots.

Until further notice…

We can judge picks all we want but we really won’t know how a draft picks turns out until we see them play. While it’s been a few drafts since Seattle has really hit on their picks, they know what they’re doing and it’ll be some time until we see how this draft class fairs for them.

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