Wyman: Seahawks’ 2020 draft class has a chance to be ‘really good’
The Seahawks’ decade-plus long run of success under head coach Pete Carroll started off with quite a bang as from 2010 to 2012, the team drafted a number of Pro Bowl players who were central figures in Seattle’s Super Bowl win in 2013.
In 2010, the Seahawks drafted left tackle Russell Okung and safety Earl Thomas in the first round, receiver Golden Tate in the second round and safety Kam Chancellor in the fifth.
The next year, Seattle drafted linebacker K.J. Wright in the fourth round, cornerback Richard Sherman in the fifth, cornerback Byron Maxwell in the sixth and linebacker Malcom Smith, the Super Bowl 48 MVP, in the seventh.
And in 2012, the Seahawks added linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second round and quarterback Russell Wilson in the third.
That run of draft success is extremely rare in the NFL, so naturally there’s been some regression in Seattle’s more recent drafts, but the Seahawks have not done nearly as well in that department overall since that 2012 draft class.
There have been some major hits, such as Frank Clark and Tyler Lockett in 2015, Jarran Reed in 2016, Shaquill Griffin and Chris Carson in 2017 and DK Metcalf in 2019, but there have also been some tremendous misses along the way as well.
Bob Stelton and former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman discussed the draft’s importance, how the team has done in recent years and, in particular, one draft class that will likely be remembered very fondly during Thursday’s edition of Wyman and Bob on 710 ESPN Seattle.
“As the years have gone on, they haven’t been that lucky or that good at it,” Stelton said of the Seahawks’ drafts since 2012. “And you’re wondering, all right, well, we can’t go out there and buy every player, there is a salary cap and as much as they do have room they’ve got to sign their their own free agents. So you need those young guys the cheaper guys to step up and be impact players at times.”
Wyman noted that in the summer of 2020, he did research on the Seahawks’ more recent drafts compared to perennial playoff teams like the Packers, Saints, Patriots and Ravens, and that the Seahawks have been better in the draft department than people give them credit for.
Wyman pointed specifically to Seattle’s 2020 draft class as one that will likely be remembered fondly.
“This 2020 draft has a chance to be really, really good,” he said. “… You got here what I would call Rasheem Green-type of players.”
Green was the Seahawks’ third-round pick in 2018 and quietly had a solid season in 2019 and then finished second on the team in sacks with 6.5 in 2021.
Wyman thinks four members of Seattle’s eight-man draft class (seven are still with the team), have a chance to be impact role players like Green has been.
“You’ve got Freddie Swain, although he might be a step above that … Alton Robinson, DeeJay Dallas and Colby Parkinson,” Wyman said. “Those four guys could be like a Rasheem Green. Not a superstar, but just like filling your roster really nicely.”
Swain, a receiver, was the Seahawks’ sixth-round pick in 2020 and he has just over 500 yards and six receiving touchdowns in his first two seasons. He’s also a core special teamer.
Robinson, a defensive end, was taken in the fifth round and after recording four sacks as a rookie in 2020, he recorded just one in 2021 while playing just 31% of Seattle’s defensive snaps.
Dallas and Parkinson were both fourth-round selections. Dallas, a running back. has played a decent amount at running back and on special teams, and he has 500 total yards on offense in his career and five touchdowns. Parkinson battled injuries as a rookie and had just two catches in 2020 and the big tight end caught only five in 2021.
“Alton Robinson was disappointing this year, and I blame the defensive scheme,” Wyman said. “And you’re talking about Parkinson having a chance to be pretty good.”
And while the hope is those four can emerge into larger contributors, the team appears to have hit in a big way with its first three picks that year.
“Your first three are (Jordyn) Brooks, Darrell Taylor and Damien Lewis,” Wyman said. “So this has a chance to be one of those drafts that going forward as you look back and go, ‘Wow, they hit on a lot of players.'”
Brooks was a first-round linebacker and he finished 2021 with the most tackles in Seahawks history in a single season.
Taylor was drafted in the second round to rush the quarterback and after missing his rookie year, he finished second on the team with 6.5 sacks and regularly flashed with “wow” plays.
Lewis was drafted in the third round and was immediately starting for the Seahawks at right guard. He started every game for the Seahawks in 2020 and started 15 for Seattle this season at left guard.
What made that draft more impressive, Wyman noted, was that the Seahawks, as is usually the case were drafting near the bottom of each round as they were coming off a playoff berth.
That won’t be the case in the 2022 draft, though, as Seattle finished 7-10. The Seahawks don’t have their first-round pick due to the Jamal Adams trade, but they do have picks in every other round but the sixth, and also have two fourth round picks.
“With their second, third and fourths, those are going to be pretty high draft choices there,” Wyman said.
And regardless of who the Seahawks take this year, Wyman wants to see them on the field right away, something the Seahawks haven’t done as much of in recent years.
“You got to play him too. I think they’ve gotten away from playing the young guys,” he said. ” … Get those guys out there. Get him some experience.”
Listen to the full discussion on the Seahawks and the NFL Draft at this link or in the player below.