Seahawks draft second pass rusher, taking Syracuse DE Alton Robinson

Apr 25, 2020, 11:41 AM | Updated: 12:14 pm
Seahawks DE Alton Robinson...
Syracuse DE Alton Robinson could fit Seattle's leo position on defense. (Getty)

Pass rush was the Seahawks’ top need going into this offseason and the 2020 NFL Draft and that need is certainly being addressed, as Seattle drafted their second defensive end of the draft in Syracuse’s Alton Robinson in the fifth round.

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Seattle acquired the second pick of the fifth round in Friday’s trade with the Carolina Panthers. In that deal, the Seahawks traded back from No. 64 to get the No. 69 pick, where they took LSU guard Damien Lewis, and the 148th pick, which they used on Robinson. Robinson joins Tennessee’s Darrell Taylor, who Seattle traded up in the second round to take 48th overall, as pass rushers taken by the Seahawks this year.

Robinson totaled 19 sacks in three years at Syracuse, including 10 sacks his junior season. Robinson is 6 foot 3, weighs 264 pounds and has 23 and 3/8-inch arms. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.69 seconds.

According to his scouting report, Robinson faced a robbery charge after an alleged altercation with his girlfriend when he was set to stay in his native Texas at Texas A&M. The charge, which was later dismissed, cost him his offer at A&M. He then signed at Northeast Oklahoma A&M and played his freshman year there, totaling 14 sacks. He then transferred to Syracuse.

The addition of Robinson and fellow draft pick Taylor fills a big need for the Seahawks, who had the second-fewest sacks in the NFL at 28 last year.

Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy is a big fan of the selection.

“What I loved about the pick is one of the things I’ve been talking about heading into this draft. I want the Seahawks to get back to finding guys with unique strengths,” he said. “… It’s about finding the unique strength and trait that this guy possesses and then figuring out how we can accentuate that strength and how it fits into our scheme. And I think Alton Robinson out of Syracuse is exactly that player.”

Heaps put it plainly: Robinson can get after the quarterback.

“His ability to rush the passer, be explosive off the edge, be quick-twitched – I think he can be an immediate help to the Seahawks and that’s a great selection for them in Round 5 because you’re not asking him to come in and be a great all-around player,” Heaps said, adding that Robinson has a great ability to “bend the edge” when rushing the quarterback. “You’re asking him to play a specific role in your rotation.”

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Friday night that Taylor was a fit for their defense as a leo on the defensive line. Danny O’Neil thinks Robinson may fit that bill even better than the second-rounder.

“It’s a guy that’s long, he’s fairly lean and what Jake just said, bending the edge,” O’Neil said of the leo position in Seattle. ” … You certainly see Alton Robinson even more epitomizes that (compared to Taylor). Seattle’s been able to find guys that fit very specifically the prototype for what they want as a leo.”

Robinson and Taylor join free-agent additions Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa as new Seattle pass rushers for 2020.

Follow’s Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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Seahawks draft second pass rusher, taking Syracuse DE Alton Robinson