SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seahawks ‘surprised’ Brooks with pick, say he ‘checks all the boxes’

Apr 23, 2020, 11:11 PM | Updated: 11:31 pm
Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks...
The Seahawks selected Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks with the 27th pick. (Getty)
(Getty)

Many Seahawks fans were likely surprised by the team’s decision to stay at pick 27 and select Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks. They’re not alone. Brooks, too, was surprised at the selection.

Draft tracker: Keep up with every Hawks move

“I was a surprised that the Seahawks came and got me,” he told reporters late Thursday night. ‘I hadn’t talked to them since the combine, so I wasn’t really expecting them to pick me, but I’m forever grateful to be in Seattle.”

During his time at Texas Tech, Brooks played both inside and outside linebacker and was named to All Big-12 teams all four of his seasons. He’s an exceptional athlete, running a 4.54-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. That athleticism translated onto the field, and Brooks feels he can do whatever the Seahawks’ coaching staff wants.

“The fans and the organization are getting a heck of a football player,” he said. “I’m a linebacker, but I see myself as a football player that can do anything … I feel like I can do anything and add a lot of value to the team.”

Now, Brooks will be joining a linebacker room with perennial Pro Bowlers in Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Brooks is thrilled for that opportunity.

“Bobby Wagner is somebody I’ve looked up to since he entered the league,” Brooks said. “Just a guy I put on my pedestal as the best linebacker in the league, so to get the chance to learn from him, play beside him and feed off of him and pick his brain I think is just an incredible opportunity. And also K.J. Wright, (I have) two veteran linebackers (to work with). I’m just excited to play with those guys and learn and truly develop and be a great linebacker in this league.”

Head coach Pete Carroll said Wagner showed a lot of excitement over Brooks’ selection.

“The first call I got was from Bobby,” Carroll said. “He wanted his text information so he could get to him right away.”

Bringing up Wagner is interesting, as Brooks’ head coach at Texas Tech is Matt Wells, who was on the staff at Utah State when Wagner played there. Former Seahawks scout Jim Nagy now runs the Senior Bowl for draft prospects and said there’s similarities between the two.

General manager John Schneider said the Seahawks were working on a deal to move back in the draft with the Green Bay Packers, but their general manager told him they had a better deal they were going to be taking. The Packers moved up from 30 to 26, one pick ahead of the Seahawks, and selected quarterback Jordan Love. Seattle stayed at 27 and selected Brooks, who Schneider was thrilled to land.

“We’re real excited, obviously, with Jordan. We actually had a trade set up to move back … It worked out great,” he said. “… He’s real tough, a great person. He’s got a ton of grit. He’s our kind of guy.”

Those traits made him an ideal fit for the Seahawks, Carroll said.

“We just found a guy that could really check all the boxes … Really on it.”

Schneider said that Brooks had a tough childhood and was homeless for a time during his youth and that football is everything to him.

“(He’s) got an edge and chip on his shoulder and we’re excited to get him in the program,” he said of his newest player.

It sounds like Brooks will be competing primarily with 2019 rookie Cody Barton at the strongside linebacker, but he has the ability to play elsewhere as well.

“We’ve got good players inside that we love. We love Bobby and K.J. and what they’ve done and we’re going to give this guy a chance to see where he can fit in,” Carroll said. “We’ll work the competition so we can uncover exactly what’s best and we think he’s got a chance to be fighting for playing time right away.”

And though the last time the Seahawks really spoke to Brooks was at the combine, it was clearly enough for Seattle to feel comfortable taking him 27th overall.

“This guy blew us away there,” Carroll said. “He was awesome, confident, clear, he had a plan knew how to express to us what was important to him. He was really clear about all that and was just on point.”

And with the NFC West being one of the toughest divisions in football, especially due to speed on opposing offenses, having a player like Brooks is vital.

“We always need to get faster and tougher on defense no matter what spot we’re talking about,” Carroll said.

“I think where you play him, just in general when you look at our division (with) team speed, we’ll figure it out,” Schneider said. “That’s not necessarily for today. The guy can fly and he’s a run and hit guy.”

Brooks was a leader for the Red Raiders who talked about how he enjoys watching film during his conference call with reporters. With coronavirus potentially delaying or canceling rookie training camps and organized team activities, drafting pro-ready players is a must.

“Our philosophy was trying to get players in the environment that we’re in that can come in and act like pros right away and this is one of those guys, obviously, or we wouldn’t have taken him,” Schneider said. “There’s no doubt in my mind this guy’s going to come in ready to go.”

The rest of the draft continues Friday at 4 p.m. Seattle has six picks remaining, including two in the second round.

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