During the NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks built up assets to help construct the future of their franchise.
BODY: Two paragraphs talking briefly about the draft. Include what some of the initial expectations for the team were ahead of the draft, and whether or not these expectations were/weren’t met/achieved.
Round 1, Selection 29
L.J. Collier, EDGE, TCU
The Seahawks made a couple trades before they found themselves with the 29th overall pick. From there, they took the 6-foot-2 Collier who at 283 pounds can struggle defensively. At the combine, he ran a 4.91 40-yard dash while bench pressing 25 reps. He also picked up 30 inches on the vertical jump and 118 inches on the broad jump. Collier started 10 of 11 games in 2018, garnering first-team All-Big 12 honors by posting 42 tackles, 11.5 for loss, six sacks, and four pass breakups. Although he may have been drafted a bit too early, he will certainly fit right in with the Seahawks’ scheme to defend the run.
Round 2, Selection 47
Marquise Blair, S, Utah
Blair brings more help to Seattle’s secondary and although he may have been selected a bit earlier than most analysts would have expected (especially with names like Nasir Adderley and Lonnie Johnson, Jr. still on the board), he will still be of assistance in the Seahawks’ defensive backfield. At Utah, Blair started all 14 games in 2018, receiving second-team All-Pac-12 honors with 59 tackle, two for loss, two interceptions, two passes defended, and a forced fumble. He did not showcase many skills at the combine, but in the events he did participate in, he posted solid numbers, running a 4.48 40-yard dash and tallying 35 inches on the vertical jump and 125 inches on the broad jump.
Round 2, Selection 64
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
All of the Seahawks’ first- and second-round selections were acquired via trade, with the 64th overall pick being a gift from the Patriots. With the final pick in the second round, the Seahawks took a flier on D.K. Metcalf, the jacked Ole Miss wideout that wows the public with essentially everything he does. With Doug Baldwin mulling retirement, pulling the trigger to select the falling Metcalf (he had been projected to go in the middle to end of the first round) makes sense … especially at No. 64. Metcalf ran a 4.33 40-yard dash, bench pressed 27 reps, jumped 40.5 inches upwards and 134 inches broadly, completed the three-cone drill in under 7.4 seconds and knocked out the 20-yard shuttle drill in 4.5 seconds. He will be a perfect weapon for newly-extended Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson.
Round 3, Selection 88
Cody Barton, LB, Utah
Another acquired draft pick, the Seahawks used the 88th overall selection to snag their second Ute of the night, bringing linebacker Cody Barton aboard. At the NFL combine, the 6-foot-2, 237-pound Utah native impressed in the bench press, three-cone drill, and 20- and 60-yard shuttle drills while boasting a solid 4.64 40-yard dash time. When in Indianapolis, an AFC scout told NFL.com, “I like how he plays and I put a backup/special teams grade on him. I like his play strength and he’s going to be much faster than people think.” As the Seahawks re-build their defensive following the destruction of the Legion of Boom, Barton provides depth and potential at a valuable linebacker position.
Round 4, Selection 120
Gary Jennings, Wide Receiver, West Virginia University
This is a decent selection for the Seahawks, as Jennings was projected to be selected in the third round but slid to the Gulls in the fourth. Jennings sped through a 4.42 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, impressing scouts and fellow prospects. Jennings is a reliable target and has a high football IQ, but he needs to work on yards after reception and breaking free from hovering defenders when the ball is headed his way.
Round 4, Selection 124
Phil Haynes, Guard, Wake Forest
Haynes, a 6-foot-4 lineman who checks in at 322 pounds, struggled at the combine in the speed drills (he ran a 5.20 40-yard dash), but impressed at the bench press with 33 reps. Haynes, who is likened to Laken Tomlinson, was projected to be selected in the fifth-round, so this may be a bit of a reach. However, the Seahawks had yet to select a lineman, and Haynes was an enticing name. Although he was drafted too early, he should be a near lock to make the NFL roster and could even become a starter.
Round 4, Selection 132
Ugo Amadi, Cornerback, Oregon
Although Amadi slid to the seventh round in most mock drafts, he only made it to the fourth round before winding up with the Seahawks. Despite the potential reach, I really like this pick for the Gulls. Checking in at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, Amadi is expected to begin his career as a depth defensive back but is a good candidate to become a special teamer. Amadi ran a 4.51 40-yard dash and has a wingspan that is considered large for his size. He has grit and is willing to pay through pain, and is a strong leader as hinted at by his role as a permanent team captain with Oregon. Although he is able to keep up with speedy receivers, he can sometimes struggle to hang with larger receivers who may be able to reel in a contested ball. Still, this is a very good selection for Seattle and should be a pick that Seahawks fans remember for a while.
Round 5, Selection 142
Ben Burr-Kirven, Linebacker, Washington
A 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker, Burr-Kirven ran a 4.56 40-yard dash and boasted 21 bench press reps. Projected to go in the sixth or seventh round, he has been described as a passionate athlete who always gives 110 percent and doesn’t fear getting involved in big plays. He does a terrific job at staying with receivers and matching up with them no matter where their route brings him. His lack of size and short arms, coupled with his inability to consistently contest passes despite shadowing receivers, might hurt his NFL performance, but it’s worth a shot.
Round 6, Selection 204
Travis Homer, Running Back, Florida
Homer, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back, ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine. After being likened to Chargers’ running back Austin Ekeler, Homer was projected to go in the fifth or sixth round. Homer is able to make last-second cuts and runs with aggression and determination, and he is able to withstand hits at a stronger rate than other running backs. He has several weaknesses, too, but most of them can be fixed. He has been known to try to truck defenders rather than avoid them, and also fumbles a lot. NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein also likened his vision to that of one filtered by a straw, meaning he doesn’t see much of anything except for what is straight ahead of him. Still, he fell later than expected and the Seahawks have been known to be in the market for a running back for a while, so this could be a great pick for Seattle. It’s another low-risk, fairly high reward situation.
Round 6, Selection 209
Demarcus Christmas, Defensive Tackle, Florida State
Christmas, a 6-foot-3 defensive tackle approaching 300 pounds, didn’t stand out at the combine, boasting just 22 reps on the bench press and a 40-yard dash time of 5.08 seconds. Projected to be taken with one of the final few picks in the draft, Christmas won’t be a starter right away but still has a chance to make the opening roster out of training camp and the preseason. He has above-average size while also having surprising athleticism when it comes to finding a loose ball. He has been known for lacking initial quickness, though, and does not have a lot of fire. I am not a fan of this pick, but at least it is justifiable because they hadn’t taken a defensive lineman yet.
Round 6, Selection 236
John Ursua, Wide Receiver, Hawaii
There isn’t much information out there about Ursua, and there were certainly better choices for the Gulls than opting to select their third wide receiver of the draft. Ursua is 5-foot-9 and 178 pounds, which makes it hard for him to haul in contested passes when facing off against a taller opponent. He is a longshot to make it past the early wave of training camp roster cuts, and likely needs time showcasing his skills in a different league before he attempts to showcase his skills to NFL clubs.
Overall, the Seahawks had a solid draft. Despite trading down often (their first pick came one slot before the third round), they were able to find hidden talent to improve their squad. The true outcome of this draft will become much more clear during training camp and the preseason, but it doesn’t seem like it was too shabby of a performance from the Seattle brass.