Moore: 10 takeaways after the Seahawks’ 2020 NFL Draft
The Seahawks added eight new players in the NFL draft. What kind of impact will they have on the current roster? What does it all mean?
If I had to guess…
• 1) The drafting of linebacker Jordyn Brooks in the first round signals a possible end to K.J. Wright’s career in Seattle and is further proof that the Seahawks won’t be re-signing free agent Mychal Kendricks. The Seahawks could save around $7 million under the salary cap by cutting Wright. But I’m also wondering about Bobby Wagner, whose huge contract extension kicks in this year. He didn’t play at a level warranting $18 million a year in 2019. If he has a similar season in 2020, look for the Seahawks to try to restructure Wagner’s contract in 2021, perhaps paving the way for Brooks to take over at middle linebacker. Matt Wells, Wagner’s coach at Utah State and Brooks’ coach at Texas Tech, called Brooks the next Bobby Wagner, and maybe he’ll be right about that.
• 2) The drafting of Colby Parkinson in the fourth round and Stephen Sullivan in the seventh round adds two more players to an already-crowded tight end room with Greg Olsen, Jacob Hollister, Will Dissly and Luke Willson. It’s interesting that in 2018 the Seahawks took one of the best blocking tight ends in the fourth round in Dissly, only to see him turn into a terrific receiver too. Parkinson is known more for his receiving than blocking, but maybe he’ll blossom as an asset in the run game as well. Unlike Jimmy Graham, at least he said he’d work at being a better blocker. Additions of Parkinson and Sullivan could mean subtraction of Willson before the season starts.
• 3) DeeJay Dallas gives the Seahawks another running back from Miami to go with Travis Homer but I doubt that two young Hurricanes will be enough injury insurance for Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. I’d expect the Seahawks to get Carlos Hyde, Devonta Freeman or another veteran free-agent running back soon.
• 4) Picking right guard Damien Lewis in the third round could mean the end of the road for D.J. Fluker. The Seahawks could save $3.5 million against the cap by cutting the incumbent starter at right guard.
• 5) I’m still thinking the Seahawks will cut center Justin Britt to get a cap savings of somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 million. But Lewis was the only offensive lineman drafted, helping Britt’s case to stay. Something else helped too…
• 6) Based on John Schneider and Pete Carroll’s post-draft comments, the Seahawks’ GM and coach feel pretty good about the pass rush after adding Darrell Taylor in the second round and Alton Robinson in the fifth round. They join a group of pass rushers that includes free-agent acquisitions Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa, expected growth from Rasheem Green and L.J. Collier and a return to Jarran Reed’s dominant days in 2018.
“We should be really better than we’ve been,” Carroll said. “We’ve addressed an issue and now we have to make it come to life.”
Schneider said he’s “very excited” about the pass rush.
Could this mean they feel confident enough to end their pursuit of Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen, Michael Bennett and other pass rushers in free agency? If so, it’s good news for Britt.
• 7) Tyler Lockett won’t be returning punts or kickoffs next year. The Seahawks drafted two players – Florida wide receiver Freddie Swain and Dallas – who both have experience returning punts and kicks. David Moore is also a possibility.
• 8) The Seahawks didn’t draft any defensive backs but did sign an undrafted free agent who is certainly worth keeping an eye on. That’s safety Chris Miller from Baylor.
“He was one of my favorite players to watch on tape,” said Brock Huard. “An absolute heat-seeking missile.”
But even with the signing of Miller, it indicates the Seahawks are comfortable with their secondary after the offseason trade with Washington for Quinton Dunbar, who is expected to challenge Tre Flowers at right cornerback.
• 9) Could undrafted free agent quarterback Anthony Gordon actually be Russell Wilson’s primary backup this year? Not likely. You’d think the Seahawks will still try to re-sign free agent Geno Smith, who was the No. 2 guy last year. But if Gardner Minshew can make the leap from the sixth round to starter in his first season in Jacksonville, maybe Gordon could go from undrafted to backup in his rookie season. Coug 2.0? Let’s hope so anyway.
• 10) Last observation, and it’s a cynical one. Think other coaches around the league roll their eyes when Carroll talks about the highly competitive nature of his program? This time around we hear how jacked he is about the competition at right guard between Lewis and Fluker. It’s “always compete” all the time. As if that’s not happening with every other team at every position in the league.
More Seahawks draft coverage
• Clayton: Seahawks’ 2020 NFL Draft class points to a transition
• Rost: Superlatives for the Seahawks’ eight-player 2020 NFL Draft class
• Moore: 10 takeaways from the Seahawks’ draft
• Groz: Draft was a badly needed break of ‘business as usual’
• Just two Huskies, one Cougar taken in draft