Jordyn Brooks is making a mess for Seahawks’ D, which is what they need
The Seahawks made a lot of people scratch their heads when they used their 2020 first-round NFL Draft pick on linebacker Jordyn Brooks.
Yes, Seattle needed defensive help, but the big concern was the defensive line after a poor 2019 season when it came to rushing the passer. But instead of targeting a defensive end with their top selection, the Seahawks added a player to a position group where they had stalwarts Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright and had recently brought back Bruce Irvin.
So why did Seattle pick Brooks? Because he just makes tackles. While at Texas Tech, he stood out for his speed and desire to hit opposing players, registering 103 tackles as a senior to earn second-team All-American honors. And after assuming a first-string role for Seattle following a season-ending injury to Irvin in Week 2 and recovering from a knee injury of his own, the same thing that drew the Seahawks to Brooks has been on display.
“I’d like to see Jordyn Brooks play more because he appears to be someone who is very interested in hitting people,” Danny O’Neil said Tuesday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant. “… Jordyn Brooks looks good, man. I like seeing him (out) there. I think he creates a lot of things, I think he plays violently, I think he wants to hit dudes, and I think they could use his reckless abandon. I want to see more of that from him.”
Brock Huard, a former NFL quarterback who serves as a color commentator for NFL on FOX broadcasts, said Brooks isn’t having trouble finding ways to be productive even though it’s still clear that he’s a rookie with much to learn.
“The game does not look too big for him,” Huard told Danny and Gallant. “Now, is he hyper efficient in his angles all the time and reading and diagnosing? No. But I also don’t look at him and (see) a linebacker when thrown in there (who is) just overwhelmed. He’s got some juice to him. Pete (Carroll) likes to say he’s just a natural linebacker, and from his movement and his size and explosion, he is. The fact that he’s starting each and every week, I think that is a positive and there definitely is progress.”
Paul Gallant pointed out that Brooks is providing something that are no longer strengths for Wagner and Wright, who are in their ninth and 10th seasons, respectively.
“You need more splash plays like that out of Jordyn Brooks,” Gallant said, “because you’re not getting them to the same degree that you maybe were at the beginning of the season out of K.J. Wright and honestly for most of the season out of Bobby Wagner. … (From) Brooks we need to see more of this, but we have seen flashes. It started in that Cardinals game (in Week 7) where he tackled Kyler Murray for a loss.”
O’Neil delved further into the point.
“Bobby Wagner is a linebacker who racks up tackles and has an understanding and experience, but he’s not the kind of young, headstrong player that’s just going to go stick his nose (into things) and mess stuff up,” he said. “He’s not the kind of guy that’s going to try to go through a guard to make a tackle. That’s not the way he plays the position right now. And Jordyn Brooks, whether it’s his youth, whether it’s the excitement of getting out there, he is someone that’s willing to make a mess of things more.
“Look, this defense isn’t going to knock anybody’s socks off in the way that they’re able to shut people down, but at least make a mess. I’ve liked to see how active and big and fast Jordyn Brooks is.”
There’s one thing Gallant would like to see Brooks do, however, and O’Neil has an idea of how.
“He’s really powerful. You need him to start creating takeaways, though. How do you do that?” asked Gallant.
“Hit people harder,” O’Neil exclaimed. “Hit them harder.”
You can hear Huard discussing Brooks during Blue 42 in the first segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below. Danny and Gallant revisit the play of the rookie linebacker in the final segment of the same podcast.