The 3 Seahawks draft picks who will make the most immediate impact
The Seahawks’ draft may end up being more about 2022 than 2020, as 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny O’Neil explained in his latest column. But that doesn’t mean the Hawks won’t see contributions from their rookie class this year.
Former Seahawks quarterback Jake Heaps spent some time during the Four-Down Territory segment of Monday’s edition of Tom, Jake and Stacy to identify three players he thinks have the best chance to jump right into key roles in 2020. Let’s take a look at what he had to say.
Seahawks first-round pick Jordyn Brooks (linebacker)
What you need to know: Brooks is regarded as a tackling machine with exceptional speed at his position, even drawing comparisons to Seattle’s five-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, who has twice led the NFL in tackles in a season.
What Jake said: “I believe Jordyn Brooks, if he is used correctly and he is the starting ‘Will’ (weakside) linebacker for the Seahawks, I think he’s gonna be a tremendous addition to this defense, adding more speed in a division where there is a tremendous amount of offensive talent. Having a guy who can run and hit, who can run sideline to sideline, I think is going to be very critical for this defense, so I expect Brooks to be an immediate impact starter.”
Third-round pick Damien Lewis (guard)
What you need to know: Lewis played at LSU, helping the Tigers win the 2019 national championship. Seahawks general manager John Schneider remarked that Lewis’ college experience means he’s already played 22 games of “big-time football,” and head coach Pete Carroll said Lewis would compete to start right away. Then just days later, Seattle released starting right guard D.J. Fluker, clearing the path even more for Lewis to start as a rookie.
What Jake said: “This is his job to lose at the right guard position. I’m hoping that Damien Lewis can come in and be that road grater that he showed he can be in college football.”
Fifth-round pick Alton Robinson (defensive end)
What you need to know: Robinson was the second of two pass rushers taken in the draft by the Seahawks, the other being second-rounder Darrell Taylor from Tennessee. While Taylor could have a lot of pressure on him due to the current state of Seattle’s pass rush, Syracuse product Robinson could slide right into a rotation role while facing less expectations.
What Jake said: “Darrell Taylor is a guy that I hope has that impact but you have to be cautious of putting too much pressure on a college player as they’re coming through. If they don’t sign (Jadeveon) Clowney or Everson Griffen and he is your first down, second down starting ‘Leo,’ I think that there is going to be a lot asked of him. But if they can continue to feed that rotation, I think that that’s where they could be successful, and that’s why I say Alton Robinson out of Syracuse can make an immediate impact.”
A different kind of immediate impact for the Seahawks
After Heaps shared his answer, co-host Stacy Rost had an interesting point to make about another Seahawks draftee who could contribute in 2020, albeit in a more out-of-the-box manner.
“(NFL Network analyst) Daniel Jeremiah called Dallas the best pass-protecting back in the year’s draft and a bulldog in short-yardage situations,” Rost relayed. “That really stood out to me because it’s something that Pete Carroll has always valued that his wide receivers can do, it’s something that the Seahawks need to get better at undoubtedly in 2020, and because Dallas said himself (to reporters after being drafted) it was one of his favorite parts of third-down situations. It wasn’t getting the yardage.It wasn’t running and breaking away for a big touchdown. It was, ‘My favorite part of third-down situations is protecting the quarterback. You get to kinda enforce your will on the other guy across from you.’ How often do you hear a running back say that?”
You can hear the full Four-Down Territory segment beginning at the 18:25 mark of this podcast.