Huard: The big draft risk that’s worked out well for the Seahawks

Dec 9, 2021, 9:31 AM
Seahawks DE Darrell Taylor...
Darrell Taylor #of the Seattle Seahawks pressures Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at Lumen Field. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

When it comes to the Seahawks and their drafts over the last few years, let’s just say that they’re not looked upon too fondly, especially when looking at the team’s earliest selections.

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Yes, there have been a small handful of hits since 2015, but for every Tyler Lockett taken by Seattle, there’s been an L.J. Collier and Malik McDowell.

One player who looked like another early draft whiff last season was 2020 second rounder Darrell Taylor, who missed all of last season with a shin injury. That hasn’t been the case this year, though, as Taylor has been a bright spot for the Seahawks defensively, leading the team with five sacks. He also has nine quarterback hits and four tackles for loss.

During the Blue 88 segment on the latest Brock and Salk Podcast for 710 ESPN Seattle, former NFL quarterback Brock Huard shared his thoughts on Taylor’s play and what he wants to see Taylor do to finish out the season.

First off, Huard discussed the risk factor of selecting Taylor in the second round of last year’s NFL Draft.

“The one thing that they do is they take risks in the draft, right? And Darrell Taylor was a risk,” he said. “A lot of people flagged him and did not clear him and would not draft him with some of the medical history and the background and we saw that unfortunately come to light as he missed the entirety of his rookie year and had to get that leg right and everything else.”

Huard said that the Seahawks have taken “a bunch of risks” in the NFL Draft, and that many have “blown up in their face.”

But Taylor’s physical traits are starting to take over, and Huard said it’s kind of similar to that of another big draft risk who worked out well for the Seahawks on defense.

“Kind of like Frank (Clark),” Huard said. “Frank was an enormous risk off the field, but you started to feel Frank’s just physical traits, those things they love to talk about and his presence. Frank did not miss his rookie year – he flashed. And Darrell Taylor has done much more than that this year, man. He has been impressive. When you just watch, there’s a reason that he’s doubled everyone else in sack total.”

Huard said what’s been most impressive is that Taylor is flashing against “the top dudes in the league,” during his first taste of NFL action, and not doing this in preseason against backup players or depth pieces.

Now, Huard is hoping for a very strong finish to the year for Taylor and another recent draft risk.

“(Rookie receiver) Dee Eskridge and him right now in my sights for the (rest) of this Seahawks season are going to be front and center,” Huard said. “Because if Darrell can end this (year on a high note) against Detroit and against Chicago and in Houston this week, those are games he should absolutely make his presence known and maybe add another sack or two in those games. If he gets around seven, eight or nine sacks, that is a huge bonus moving into the years to come. Same with Dee Eskridge, who finally (got the ball in space) and finally showed why again, they took a risk on him.”

“We felt both of them on Sunday (against the 49ers),” Huard later added. “We have felt Darrell Taylor over the course of the season and we really need to feel him over the (rest of the season).”

Listen to the latest Brock and Salk Podcast at this link or in the player below.

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