The Seahawks 2019 Draft is very complex and has several layers that need to be examined in order to fully evaluate it.
First it is important to note that Seattle signed Russell Wilson the largest contract in NFL history 11 days before the NFL Draft. This signing meant one thing; less money to go around to the rest of the team. The Seahawks needed young cheap talent to put around Russell Wilson. The problem was, they only had four picks in the 2019 draft when that deal was completed.
Then, a second bomb hit. Frank Clark was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 1st round pick in 2019 (29 overall) and a second-round pick in 2020. The Seahawks now found themselves armed with two first round picks (22,29) as well as a 3rd, and two day 3 picks.
If you are going to fairly evaluate this entire draft it is important to consider why they only had these picks. The Seahawks traded their 2019 second round pick and fifth round pick to the Houston Texans last year for veteran pro bowl Left Tackle Duane Brown. Since that trade, Brown has established himself as the anchor for the Seahawks offensive line and signed an extension with the Seahawks. This trade was a win for the Seahawks despite the hefty price tag.
After watching the first 20 picks go by, it was the Seahawks turn at pick number 21. The Seahawks are notorious for trading down and did so again this year with the Green Bay Packers in exchange for three picks (#30,114 and 118). The Seahawks were now up to 7 total picks including back to back picks later in the first round.
Unfortunately, I think this trade was a big mistake by Seattle and I think they knew it. The Packers selected S Darnell Savage, and at pick 22, the Washington Redskins traded up and took edge rusher Montez Sweat. According to John Clayton of 710 ESPN, this was whom the Seahawks were targeting at 29, and thought would still be there. However, the trade made by Washington threw a wrench into those plans and the Seahawks were left to reach at pick 29.
PICK 29 – DL L.J. COLLIER – TCU
I admit I did not know much about the fifth-year senior from TCU when Roger Goodell called his name. But, what I have learned since is that the Seahawks see him as a versatile defensive lineman that can play in multiple spots, similar to how they used Michael Bennett in years prior. Collier did not play until late in his college career. Collier was seen as a mid-late second round prospect according to most mocks, however this is not the first time Seattle has “reached” on a defensive lineman under John and Pete. The Seahawks selected DE Bruce Irvin in the middle of round 1 in 2012 and Frank Clark in the 2nd round of 2014. Both seen as reaches that turned out to be tremendous talents. They also selected a player very similar to Collier in 2017 in the second round, Malik McDowell, whose NFL career ended weeks after the draft due to an ATV accident that caused severe head damage.
Bottom Line: The Seahawks probably did not get the guy they wanted here, but they have earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to evaluating young Defensive Lineman. Let’s all wait and see on Collier.
The Seahawks were on the clock again at pick 30 but decided to trade back again, this time with the NY Giants for picks 37, 132, and 142… They would then flip pick 37 to Carolina for #47 and 77…
PICK 47 – SAFTEY MARQUISE BLAIR – UTAH
The Seahawks add to their young secondary by taking Blair here. Blair is an old-fashioned box safety who loves to hit people. Blair is of the mold of Kam Chancellor where he is most effective being closer to the line of scrimmage yet does run well and can contribute in the Seahawks Cover 3 based defense. Blair will compete with Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill to play alongside last years breakout player Bradley McDougald.
PICK 64 – WR D.K. METCALF – OLE MISS
This is going to be the pick everyone will be talking about all season long. It is not often that the third player a team takes steals all the headlines, but that’s what happened here when the Seahawks traded up to select Metcalf. The Seahawks trading up in the draft is very rare. The last time the Seahawks traded up for a receiver was in 2014 when they selected star WR Tyler Lockett. Metcalf is a boom or bust pick. He could be Calvin Johnson, or he could be Braylon Edwards. Metcalf is 6’3”, 230 lbs and ran a 4.33-40 yard dash with a 40 inch vertical. He looks like an Avatar. The question becomes, can he be a polished NFL WR? Had the Seahawks not taken him here, Metcalf slips into the 3rd round, which would seem to indicate that most NFL teams did not think so. Time will tell..
More on Metcalf: The Seahawks held their NFL Rookie Camp on the weekend of May 3rd where all draft picks and dozens of other tryout players went through a 3-day camp of various drills and film study. I was tuned into this camp religiously and I can tell you one thing; everyone is down right giddy about DK Metcalf. The early returns on his route running and catch radius were off the charts from all media/coaches/players. The retirement of WR Doug Baldwin leaves a gigantic hole at WR for the Seahawks. DK Metcalf will have every opportunity to make an impact right away. Watch out. Metcalf might be biggest steal of the draft.
PICK 88 – LB CODY BARTON – UTAH
I didn’t understand this pick. The Seahawks seemed to be pretty set at Linebacker as they return everyone from last year at that spot. The Seahawks need a replacement for the aging KJ Wright, but I thought they had other needs and this pick for me was a head scratcher.
PICK 120 – WR GARY JENNINGS – WVU
Another receiver here for the Seahawks which again is much needed with the retirement of Baldwin. Jennings is a 6’1 slot receiver that ran a 4.42 at the combine and had great production at WVU. He is extremely effective in the red zone and should have the opportunity to compete right away for playing time.
PICK 124 – G PHIL HAYNES – WFU
Haynes did not start playing football until his Senior year in high school. Haynes weighs in at 322 pounds and projects as a run blocking guard that seems to fit the Seahawks style. He’ll compete with Jordan Simmonds and Ethan Pocic for a backup spot to DJ Fluker and Mike Iupati who are both on one year contracts.
PICK 132 – S/CB UGO AMADI – OREGON
Ah yes, a Duck! Amadi played primarily cornerback while at Oregon but will be moved around to see where he might be best utilized. Amadi is not the biggest defensive back at only 5’9 but played very physical while at Oregon and was a very reliable player who contributed in all 4 years at Oregon. He got better every year and according to one person inside the program I spoke with, matured over the years and became a good leader on the Oregon defense. I thought Amadi was a very solid player for Oregon and very much like this pick. He’ll have a chance to contribute right away on special teams.
PICK 142 – LB BEN BURR-KIRVEN – WASHINGTON
Seattle went from picking a player from a great school to a player from a terrible one; Washington. BBK had unbelievable production at UW, leading the entire nation in tackles. He doesn’t project well in the NFL with his limited size and athleticism. He might contribute on special teams but will have a hard time getting any reps so long as Bobby Wagner is still on the roster.
PICK 204 – RB TRAVIS HOMER – MIAMI
Homer is exactly what the Seahawks look for in a running back; a guy that like to hit people. Homer will compete to be the third running back on this team behind star RB Chris Carson and last years top pick Rashad Penny.
PICK 209 – DT DEMARCUS CHRISTMAS – FLORIDA STATE
Christmas is a massive human-being that could be used on running downs as a run stuffer. The Seahawks also signed veteran DT Al Woods this week so Christmas will have to compete hard to make this team.
PICK 236 – WR JOHN URSUA – HAWAII
Seattle trades into the 7th round to pick up Ursua. John Schneider felt the need to trade a 2020 6th round pick to get Ursua because he felt that they would not be able to sign him as a UDFA. Ursua lead all of college football in TD catches last season while at Hawaii and had a very productive senior season. He will be another player in the mix competing for reps at WR.
Draft grades are stupid. I remember vividly the Seahawks 2012 Draft getting just torched by every “expert” out there, calling it the worst of any team. Who did Seattle select that year? Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson, Jeremy Lane and JR Sweezy… Like all drafts, only time will tell how good this class will be. Just get ready for DK Metcalf.