DANNY AND GALLANT

2 Seahawks draft picks should have opportunities right away

May 7, 2020, 1:50 AM
Seahawks RB DeeJay Dallas...
Michael Bumpus thinks RB DeeJay Dallas can make an early impact for the Seahawks. (Getty)
(Getty)

The Seahawks added eight rookies in the 2020 NFL Draft last month and now, the logical question is who will be able to contribute right away?

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Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard has said that he thinks Seattle’s draft class has more developmental players than he would like due to the team’s ability to win now and that he doesn’t expect major contributions from the class this year.

Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus was a little more optimistic, and pointed to two Seahawks draft picks he thinks can make early impacts for the team.

The first name he brought up wasn’t too shocking, as he named second-round defensive end Darrell Taylor, who fills an immediate need for a Seahawks team that had one of the worst pass rush units in the entire NFL last year.

His second choice, though, was a little more surprising. Many would point to third-round guard Damien Lewis, who many expect to start right away, especially with the recent release of D.J. Fluker, but Bumpus chose another player on offense.

“It’s all about opportunity, right? Who do you think is going to have the most opportunity to make an impact?” Bumpus said. “And when I look at this draft class, the two names that stick out to me are one, Darrell Taylor, because of the issues we’ve had on the defensive line, and then (running back) DeeJay Dallas just because the nature of the position.”

Dallas may be a strange pick at first glance because Seattle has a returning 1,000-yard rusher in Chris Carson as well as 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny and 2019 sixth-round pick Travis Homer. But there is definitely an opening for playing time.

Carson is recovering from a hip fracture he suffered in Week 16, Penny tore his ACL Week 14 and could miss regular season games as he recovers and Homer contributed in Week 17 as the lead back, but struggled to get going during the postseason. Dallas could easily see snaps early on, especially if Penny misses games.

Additionally, Dallas’ position may allow him to step in right away, even in an offseason that could be limited due to the coronavirus.

“There’s not a lot of learning that goes into the running back position. A zone run is a zone run, a power is a power … it’s been the same since the beginning of football,” Bumpus said.

But between the two rookies, he thinks Taylor will have a greater chance to play this upcoming season.

“He’s going to be in that (pass rush) rotation and he’s going to get opportunities,” Bumpus said. “(2019 first-round defensive end L.J. Collier) would have gotten opportunities last year if he didn’t get hurt and the nature of that position is there’s not a lot of scheme that goes into playing defensive line. Yes, there are gaps you have to fill, yes, there are stunts that are going to be run, but there’s nothing that takes a long time to develop as long as schematics (compared to) a quarterback or a linebacker.”

And while Bumpus thinks Taylor will have a lot of opportunities on the field, that doesn’t mean he’ll make the biggest impact.

“That’s going to be on him. That’s going to be on his development and how he adjusts to the game,” he said.

Pressure on Jordyn Brooks?

The Seahawks’ 2020 first-round pick, linebacker Jordyn Brooks, has been questioned as linebacker wasn’t seen as a major position of need for Seattle heading into the draft. Additionally, many fans expect first-round picks to contribute immediately. Bumpus said that doesn’t need to be the case for Brooks for a few reasons.

“Jordyn Brooks, he got picked later in the round and he’s behind a Bobby Wagner and he’s behind a K.J. Wright, so there’s no pressure on him to make an immediate impact,” Bumpus said. “Would you like to see him on the football field? Most definitely. I think that when you draft a guy in the first round, the fans want to see the guy produce right now, but you also have to break down his situation … because he was drafted later in the first round and he’s behind some really good linebackers, I wouldn’t press the issue.”

Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Michael Bumpus on Twitter.

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2 Seahawks draft picks should have opportunities right away