Moore: Gauging expectations for all 8 Seahawks draft picks
Since the April 23 NFL Draft, we’ve been talking about the Seahawks’ picks, trying to figure out who will make the biggest impact, who will contribute immediately, who will be special-teamers, things like that.
Every year I make the mistake of thinking all the rookies will have a role in the Seahawks’ success in the coming season and years to come. That never happens.
I always think some will shine right away and others will in time. I typically don’t think many will flame out, unless the Seahawks draft a receiver in the fourth round, and they didn’t do that this year. But history gives us a better idea of what to expect from the Seahawks’ draft choices based on where they were picked and other factors.
For the purpose of this post, I went back and looked at the 10 previous John Schneider drafts and gauged expectations for the 2020 draft choices.
First round: Jordyn Brooks, LB
The Seahawks haven’t really had a first-rounder stand out since Russell Okung and Earl Thomas in 2010. But they were chosen in the first 14 overall picks, increasing their odds of becoming premier players. The Seahawks’ other first-rounders were chosen lower, and none have truly lived up to being what you’d expect from first-round picks – James Carpenter, Bruce Irvin, Germain Ifedi, Rashaad Penny and L.J. Collier.
Expectations: Fair-to-good chance to become a longtime starter, but odds against Brooks being a Pro Bowler.
Second round: Darrell Taylor, DE
Will he help the Seahawks’ pass rush? Probably, but I wouldn’t expect much from him in 2020. Pass rushers typically take time to develop and aren’t firing on all cylinders right away. Taylor has history going for him though – the Seahawks have scored in the second round with selections of Golden Tate, Bobby Wagner, Justin Britt, Frank Clark, Jarran Reed and DK Metcalf. There have been a handful of swings and misses, though – Christine Michael, Malik McDowell and Ethan Pocic.
Expectations: A part of the solution to the missing pass rush in 2021 if not this year.
Third round: Damien Lewis, G
The Seahawks thought so much of him that they cut starting guard D.J. Fluker four days after they drafted Lewis. As much as we want to think that Lewis will be the answer at right guard for the next decade, the Seahawks’ history of picks in the third round says otherwise. Granted, they hit home runs with Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett, and a double with Shaquill Griffin, but they were caught looking with third-round selections of Jordan Hill, Nick Vannett, Rees Odhiambo, Lano Hill and Amara Darboh.
Expectations: A fixture for awhile but iffy long-term future.
Fourth round: Colby Parkinson, TE
In my opinion, their worst pick of the draft. Not a need position and there are concerns about Parkinson’s blocking. The idea of him being a force in the red zone doesn’t compensate for his apparent shortcomings in other areas, and he’s got the fourth round working against him too. K.J. Wright and Mark Glowinski are Schneider’s only true hits in the fourth round, though Will Dissly could be one too if he stays healthy. The list of fourth-round disappointments is long and features Kris Durham, Jayne Howard, Chris Harper, Kevin Norwood and Tedric Thompson.
Expectations: Two years from now you can add Parkinson’s name to the disappointing list.
Fourth round: DeeJay Dallas, RB
Another player fighting history in the fourth round. Has a chance to compete for playing time at running back with Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny returning from injuries. I like hearing that he always gets an extra yard or two out of his runs and averaged 6 yards per rush last year at Miami. Also appreciate that he’s a good pass blocker.
Expectations: Should pass Travis Homer in the running-back rotation but will be more serviceable than memorable.
Fifth round: Alton Robinson, DE
Pete Carroll says the defensive end from Syracuse has similar traits to pass rushers who were drafted much higher. And the fifth round is where Schneider has found Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Luke Willson, Quinton Jefferson, Tre Flowers and Michael Dickson.
Expectations: Strictly a guess, but if we’re having a conversation about Robinson in 2030, I’m thinking he’ll have more sacks in his Seahawks’ career than Taylor.
Sixth round: Freddie Swain, WR
A really deep draft for wide receivers, so if you’re taken in the sixth round like Swain was, you have a reasonable shot at a decent NFL career. But understandably there are reasons why sixth rounders are overlooked for a long time in the draft and usually don’t make it in the league. Schneider has drafted 15 players in the sixth round and only one, Byron Maxwell, could be considered a hit, though Jeremy Lane and Joey Hunt have had their moments.
Expectations: Five years from now you’ll be having beers with your buddy and asking: “Hey, do you remember the name of that receiver they drafted in 2020 from Florida?” And your buddy will say: “No.”
Seventh round: Stephen Sullivan, TE
Hard to say whether the Seahawks will use him as a tight end or wide receiver, but history says it likely won’t matter. Schneider scored in the seventh round with Chris Carson and J.R. Sweezy and to a lesser extent with Malcolm Smith and David Moore. Twelve of his other seventh rounders aren’t in the league anymore.
Expectations: Sullivan had a great reaction to the phone call from Schneider when he was chosen, but history says he’ll be challenged to make the team and will become the answer to a trivia question: “Who was the other player from LSU that they drafted in 2020 when they got Lewis in the third round?”
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