Heaps: Why Seahawks’ draft picks need speed, violence and passion

Apr 22, 2020, 4:13 PM | Updated: 5:05 pm


The Seahawks have seven picks heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. (Getty)


The NFL Draft starts on Thursday and many are excited to see how the Seahawks will approach the draft and fill the team’s needs.

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Seattle will likely address the defensive and offensive lines, as well as running back and wide receiver with their seven picks in order to improve on their 11-5 record in 2019 and get closer to returning to the Super Bowl.

But in addition to drafting players at positions of need, the Seahawks will need to draft players that carry attributes that the team values and needs more of. Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy said there are three attributes that he thinks Seattle’s draft picks must have.

“Honestly, there’s really three things I want to see in terms of the themes of these guys. I want to see speed, I want to see violence and I want to see passion,” he said.

When the Seahawks were at their best in the early- and mid-2010s, those three attributes were on full display each game, especially on defense. The Legion of Boom defenses were simply bigger, faster and stronger than any other defense in the league and they hit opposing offenses hard.

“You want guys who are fast and you want guys who can hit hard and you want guys that have some alpha presence to them,” Heaps said.

Those attributes are especially necessary given how tough the NFC West is.

“When you look at what’s in their division right now, you look at the (2019 NFC Champion) 49ers, the Arizona Cardinals (are) getting better this offseason (with) some of the acquisitions that they’ve made and the Rams have always been fast,” Heaps said. “Well, you need those three qualities, to me, to recapture this division you need speed at all three levels of your defense (and) you need it across your offensive line and at your skill positions. You need that violent nature. That attitude where when you hit somebody, that you feel their presence out on the field and then that and then that ultimately being one of those alpha male-type of personalities I think is something that they really need to do to get back atop the NFC West.”

When the Seahawks make their selections, Heaps wants players with specific roles in mind.

“I don’t want to see a ‘tweener.’ I don’t want to see a guy (where the team thinks) ‘well he could be this or maybe be that. He’s not that great at one particular thing.’ They need to get back to the roots of what made them successful (and that’s) not looking at the versatility (but) looking at one dynamic strength the player has and accentuating that strength,” Heaps said.

The Seahawks showed how that can work well last season with second-round receiver DK Metcalf. Metcalf was one of the more physically intriguing prospects in the draft, especially after his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. He measured at 6’3 and 228 pounds while running a 4.33 40-yard dash, jumping 40.5 inches in the vertical leap and doing 27 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.

But concerns over injuries and his route running led to a draft slide and the Seahawks selected him with the final pick of the second round. He rewarded Seattle with 900 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season before exploding for an NFL rookie record 160 yards in his first career playoff game.

“He had a tremendous work ethic but he had dynamic ability that they thought they could accentuate here in this particular offense, and look at what it did,” Heaps said.

The NFL Draft kicks off with the first round Thursday afternoon on ESPN and NFL Network. The Seahawks’ first pick is 27th overall.

Listen to Heaps, Tom Wassell and Stacy Rost discuss the draft and other happenings in the sports world at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps on Twitter.

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Heaps: Why Seahawks’ draft picks need speed, violence and passion