Paul Moyer: Why Seahawks made right call drafting Brooks over Queen
A little less than a week removed from the 2020 NFL Draft, everyone has opinions about each team’s draft class. Here at 710 ESPN Seattle, we’ve seen hosts that love the selections the Seahawks made, such as Tom Wassell, while others were disappointed, like Brock Huard.
With the 2020 draft, the debate regarding Seattle’s class came from the very start, when the Seahawks selected Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks with the 27th pick. With pass rush being the team’s top concern this offseason and three starting linebackers seemingly in place, the move was somewhat surprising.
The debate then shifted to whether the Seahawks selected the right linebacker.
General manager John Schneider told 710’s Danny and Gallant this week that he and the organization were really impressed with a trio of linebackers they thought could be available at 27: Brooks, Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray and LSU’s Patrick Queen.
Murray went 23rd overall to the Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle selected Brooks over Queen, who the Baltimore Ravens took with the very next pick.
The Ravens were praised by many outlets and experts for selecting Queen while many questioned Seattle drafting Brooks. Former Seahawks safety and secondary coach Paul Moyer, who is also a Seahawks radio analyst, thinks that if the team was sold on taking a linebacker at 27, they made the right choice in Brooks.
“I thought they went after the guys they thought were the best players,” he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore. “The one thing the Seahawks don’t like to do, particularly in the first couple rounds, they don’t like to grab guys who haven’t played a lot of football.”
"I'm more than cool with it, I'm more than cool with it!"
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) April 29, 2020
Queen is only 20 years old and entered the draft as a redshirt-sophomore. He was only a starter this last season. Additionally, Moyer said he wonders what Queen’s position on the field is and that he doesn’t like how inexperienced he is coming out of college.
“Patrick Queen is a 225-pound linebacker who played one year for LSU,” he said. “He had a great year and he’s a really good athlete. I’m not sure if he’s a safety or an outside linebacker. I’m not sure where you play him. But I’m not picking a guy in the first round who’s played, really, one year (in college).”
Brooks, 22, is a completely different story.
“The Seahawks went and got a guy who’s a four-year (college) starter who (weighs) 240 pounds and is a sideline to sideline guy and they know what they’re going to get,” Moyer said.
Moyer believes Brooks can contribute down the road. Because of veterans like Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright being on the roster as well as 2019 third-round pick Cody Barton, who started a few games last season, Brooks may not need to be thrust into action in 2020. Moyer also believes that the team’s pass rush struggles may have played a role in Brooks’ selection being questioned.
“I thought that was an interesting pick because we all had blinders on and we thought it was going to be a defensive end with the first pick, but when we got to the 27th pick, there really wasn’t a guy that I thought was a first-round-worthy defensive end,” Moyer said. “And they obviously thought they could get (defensive end) Darrell Taylor in the second round.”
Of the Seahawks’ eight draft picks, there’s one guy Moyer thinks is ready to start right away, and that’s Seattle’s third-round pick.
“The one guy that flashed on me was Damien Lewis, the guard from LSU,” he said. “I thought he was maybe a little bit smaller than (D.J.) Fluker and I thought that was a problem for Fluker and sure enough we ended up letting him go because of salary cap issues. I think he’s a guy you plug and play right away.”
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) April 25, 2020
Fluker and center Justin Britt were released this week, clearing over $12 million. Both head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider said after the second day of the draft that Lewis would compete for the starting right guard position. Moyer watched Lewis’ tape against top competition and came away extremely impressed.
“He dominated the Alabama game and the Oklahoma game,” he said. “Go watch him against really good football players. He’s a really good pass protector. He’s going to have to get a little better, but his base is solid, it’s just experience and technique. But his run blocking, this is a man who loves the game of football and you hear the Seahawks talk about it all the time, they want guys who love to play football and he loves to play. He moves people 3 to 4 yards downfield. I think he has a chance to be a really special player for us.”
Listen to Moyer’s full discussion with Bob, Dave and Moore at this link or in the player below.