JAKE AND STACY

Heaps: 2020 rookie class should restore faith in Seahawks’ front office

Dec 17, 2020, 11:48 AM
Seahawks RG Damien Lewis...
Seahawks rookie RG Damien Lewis started all 13 games for Seattle. (Getty)
(Getty)

The Seahawks’ draft hits in recent years haven’t been nearly on the same level as they were in the early 2010s, and that has shown through the team’s inability to get past the divisional round of the playoffs since 2014.

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There have been successes of late, such as DK Metcalf in the second round in 2019 as well as 2017 picks Shaquill Griffin and Chris Carson in the third and seventh rounds, respectively, but there have also been some big misses, like Malik McDowell in the second round of 2017 and Rashaad Penny in the first round in 2018.

Those draft misses have caused some to question the Seahawks’ front office, but the Seahawks’ eight-man 2020 draft class should restore faith in general manager John Schneider and his crew, former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps said. He explained why on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy on Wednesday.

“There has been a long history – I’d say about five years – of a whole lot of mess-ups,” Heaps said of Seattle’s recent drafting. “And you talk about why this roster has been in the position it has been since 2018, it’s because of a lot of those misses that they had.”

Things are turning around with this most recent draft class, however, Heaps said.

“In this 2020 draft, you look at every single player outside of (second-round defensive end) Darrell Taylor, they have been good, solid selections,” he said. “They’ve been contributors, they’ve been guys that haven’t had any negative reports on them whatsoever, and it seems like they are going to be really good key pieces of their future going forward.”

Of the Seahawks’ eight draft picks, seven have appeared in games this season and two are regular starters. Taylor has yet to practice or play this year due to a shin injury, and it’s unclear whether he will appear in any games for the Seahawks in 2020. But even while getting nothing from the team’s second-round pick, Heaps says the Seahawks’ rookies have done well this year.

“You’ve got to love the Jordyn Brooks pick in the first round. He’s really coming into his own,” Heaps said of the first-round linebacker. “Their third-round pick couldn’t have been a better selection in Damien Lewis, who I think has all the makings to be a Pro Bowler or All-Pro-type of guard. (Fourth-round running back) DeeJay Dallas has been a nice contributor for you this season. (Fourth-round tight end) Colby Parkinson has been able to get himself on the field and have his first catch of the season. (Sixth-round receiver) Freddie Swain is contributing.”

Brooks has become Seattle’s starting outside linebacker with Bruce Irvin out for the year, Lewis is the regular starter at right guard and has played in all 13 games, Dallas has three touchdowns, Parkinson caught his first NFL pass in Week 14, and Swain has two touchdowns.

The other two players Heaps didn’t mention are fifth-round defensive end Alton Robinson and seventh-round tight end/defensive end Stephen Sullivan. Robinson has appeared in 11 games and has two sacks, two quarterback hits and four tackles for loss while Sullivan played one game as a defensive end and had a tackle for loss but is currently on injured reserve.

“They have done a really good job with this draft and it does restore your faith a little bit as to their ability to find the right fits for their franchise,” Heaps said.

Listen to the second hour of Wednesday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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