The draft, which had been scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, is instead being done virtually from the homes of coaches, general managers and other front-office staff because of the coronavirus pandemic. The draft began Thursday (8 p.m. ET) and continues Friday (7 p.m. ET) and Saturday (noon ET) on ABC, ESPN, ESPN App and NFL Network.
Here’s a pick-by-pick look at how each player the Seahawks selected will fit. Check out the 2020 NFL draftcast.
Round 1, No. 27 overall: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
My take: Taking Brooks at No. 27 was every bit the Seahawks first-round surprise as James Carpenter in 2011, Bruce Irvin in 2012 and Rashaad Penny in 2018. Everything about it was a surprise, from even making a pick instead of trading down like usual and taking Brooks over LSU’s Patrick Queen, a much-higher-rated linebacker by most, if not all, draft analysts (but not necessarily among most NFL teams). Say what you will about the Seahawks drafting a player you didn’t expect them to, but you can’t fault them for adding a speedy playmaker to a defense that struggled across the board in 2019.
• DraftCast » | Best available prospects »
• Round 1 analysis: Kiper » | Experts »
• Pros and cons of every draft pick »
• Round 1 trade tracker » | Draft order »
• Fantasy spin » | Social reactions »
• Full class rankings from Scouts Inc. »
More NFL draft coverage »
No pass-rusher?: Yes, that was arguably the bigger need. But taking one at 27 like Yetur Gross-Matos or A.J. Epenesa would have meant — in the Seahawks’ eyes — reaching for a prospect well ahead of where the team had them rated. GM John Schneider said Brooks was the highest-rated player left on their board, so they took him when a trade with Green Bay fell through. Linebacker is more of a need than you might think. K.J. Wright will be 31 in July and has only a year left on his contract. Irvin seems like a short-term option at the other linebacker spot. And the Seahawks’ defense didn’t just struggle to pressure quarterbacks last season. It allowed 6.02 yards per play and 4.85 yards per rush last season. Those were the worst and second-worst marks of the Pete Carroll era, respectively.
Where Brooks fits: Schneider mentioned Brooks being briefly homeless in his youth as an example of his grit, a trait that carries significant appeal to the Seahawks. Brooks “blew us away” with his earnestness and “kicked ass” in his combine meeting with Seattle. On the field, the Seahawks say Brooks can play inside (which he did his final college season) or outside (which he did his first three seasons). The Seahawks timed him at 4.46 in the 40. That’s the type of speed their defense seemed to lack last season. It would be better suited at weak-side linebacker, which in Seattle’s defense plays in space. That’s Wright’s position. Jim Nagy, a former Seahawks scout who now runs the Senior Bowl, said Brooks reminded him of another speedy linebacker — Bobby Wagner, his new teammate.
What’s next: Schneider said the deal with the Packers fell through at the last minute. Depending on how far back the Seahawks were about to move, that could have set them up for a busy Day 2. As it is, they already have three picks: two in the second round (Nos. 59 and 64) and one in the third (No. 101). A pass-rusher probably will be in play, but the Seahawks also have a need at running back with Chris Carson and Penny coming off injuries. Only one running back was drafted in the first round, so they could have some strong options if they go that route.