Seahawks training camp: Pete Carroll’s take on Seattle’s top rookies

Aug 15, 2020, 12:02 PM | Updated: 12:22 pm
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll discussed his 2020 rookie class with John Clayton. (AP)

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll took a quick timeout from training camp Friday to jump on the 710 ESPN Seattle airwaves for an interview with Pro Football Hall of Fame member John Clayton. Among the many topics they discussed, Carroll shared updates and thoughts on four of the Seahawks’ top 2020 NFL Draft picks.

Related: Pete Carroll provides a closer look at the Seahawks’ defense

You can hear the full interview with Carroll in this podcast.

Here’s what he had to say about Seattle’s rookie class.

Jordyn Brooks, LB (first-round pick)

Carroll stated a few weeks earlier that Brooks’ “most obvious path” to the field as a rookie would be at the WILL linebacker position, which has been K.J. Wright’s position. On Friday, however, Carroll seemed to indicate that Seattle is making sure not to put too much on the plate of their No. 1 pick.

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“There’s a lot for Jordyn Brooks to learn to have it all nailed and have base (defense) and nickel and all that stuff,” Carroll said. “As we go along here, we’ll figure out how we can best insert him but he looks to be very capable of being a factor and that’s awesome. … Jordyn Brooks has played a lot of different stuff in his days coming up. He played a lot of football in college (at Texas Tech) and we’ve seen him play everything.”

Darrell Taylor, DE (second-round pick)

Taylor is on the non-football injury list following a January surgery that inserted a titanium rod in his lower leg to repair a stress fracture in his shin.

“One guy that we’re missing is Darrell Taylor right now. He had his best day (Thursday) and he feels really good and feels like he’s really coming back,” Carroll said. “He’s just in the recovery mode.  There’s no damage or anything in his rehab, he’s just got to get through the workload and endure it, so I don’t know what to put time-wise on that, but he had his best day so we’re encouraged. He’s in on everything, he’s studying like crazy and chomping at the bit to get out.”

Carroll didn’t rule out Taylor being ready in time for the start of the regular season.

“If he’s going to have a chance to help us in the opener, he’s got to get going a couple weeks from now. We’ll see, but (participating in practice with full pads) is important for him so he can get his feel for the pads and coming off the ball with our guys and learning what it feels like and all of that. I wouldn’t expect him to be a factor if he couldn’t do that in the opening game or about that time.”

The Seahawks have stated they considered taking Taylor in the first round, and Carroll’s comments Friday shined a light on why.

Why Taylor may be the Seahawks’ most important young player

“We think he’s a legit edge guy. He’s done so much at Tennessee and they had a lot of stuff they did with him,” Carroll said, noting that Taylor has experience in multiple formations and as someone who dropped into coverage as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. “… He brings the versatility that you love. He’s really fast and he’s a big, good-looking athlete and he’s bright and knows the game and understands it. So there’s no reason not to think he’s going to be a really good factor. He might give us the kind of play we’ve seen from Cliff (Avril) and (Chris Clemons) and those kind of guys in the past. He looks a lot like those guys in his makeup.”

Damien Lewis, G (third-round pick)

Lewis could have the quickest path to a starting job out of any of Seattle’s rookies, and he’s already engaged in a position battle at right guard.

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“He is getting reps with the first group, but we’ll rotate our guys through there,” Carroll said. “We have a really competitive spot at the guard spot with (Jordan) Simmons and Philip Haynes. Those guys are battling. Those guys are big, monstrous guys and they know their stuff. We want Damien to have the benefit of knowing the guys around him can make the calls for him so it can accelerate his process. He’s a really smart football player. He started all those games at LSU out of junior college … He could do it. He has a chance to do it and we need to see if physically he can hold up technique-wise and technically can he play the game like we want that quickly.”

DeeJay Dallas, RB (fourth-round pick)

Carroll had a quick note that was encouraging about the University of Miami product.

“Running back, there’s been a nice little competition. DeeJay Dallas has been a spark for us out there on the field, he can do a lot of things.”

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