It’s apparent that theme of the 2019 Seahawks is to get back to the DNA that made them a Super Bowl contender. In the first round on Thursday, Seattle took a tough, physical, tone setting defensive lineman in LJ Collier that can stack the run, and rush the QB from multiple positions, a la Michael Bennett. On day two, with the 47th pick, Seattle took arguably the hardest hitting free safety in all of college football last year in Utah’s Marquise Blair. Watching his highlights, I can’t tell if Blair is more Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor, but I think if they had a baby together is would be this guy. We’ve mocked both of these players to Seattle over the past couple weeks, and Blair we mocked twice.
If you study the draft and look at these players, both make a ton of sense. Both guys feel like Pete Carroll players, and during many Utah games, commentators would frequently mention how much Blair seemed like a Seattle type of DB. So, there we have it. Blair is a Seattle Seahawk DB.
He’s fast, hard hitting, he can cover, and he can tackle, and that is probably what Seattle wants more than anything else. I think when Earl Thomas was lost to injury last year, what began to plague the defense, more than anything else, especially in the games against the Rams, was missed tackles in space. You won’t get that from Blair, and that’s why I love this pick.
But if that wasn’t enough, Seattle traded back up into the end of round one and to 6-3 228 lb wide receiver DK Metcalf, who looks like he is something straight out of Marvel Studios Casting. The dude is cut like a greek god comic book character, and runs a blistering 4.33 forty yard dash. That’s faster the Tyler Lockett, and that’s a dude built like Kam Chancellor. While he’s a bit of a one trick pony running go patterns, at the same time, that pretty much fits a lot of what Seattle now does these days offensively. Once he learns more comprehensive patterns, good night Irene, there is no telling what he might do in this league. The one caveat here, out side of his limited route running, is that he had a neck injury his senior year, and those two things together probably add up to why he was available at 64.
What’s most exciting about Seattle moving up to get Metcalf is that they clearly are ready to swing for the fences on this guy. Carroll has always wanted a receiver like this in Seattle, but they have never been in great position to take one, and if what he does is stretch defenses and out muscle DBs for deep balls, well he’s about to be matched with one of the premier deep ball passing quarterbacks in the league in Russell Wilson. On paper, this seems like a fascinating match, and with the sad news coming out the Doug Baldwin might be calling it a career, it’s also seems to be a suddenly necessary one.
Seattle had one final pick on day two and that was Utah linebacker Cody Barton at pick 88. Honestly, I don’t know much about Barton, but it is interesting that Seattle moved up in front of Indianapolis to take him, and Indy took Stafford linebacker Bobby Okereke, who is probably a more widely known player. It’s clear that Barton was Seattle’s guy and they were afraid of loosing him to Indy. Looking at highlights from a 2018 game against Washington, it appears like Barton is a fluid athlete the drops comfortably in coverage, and is a patient sure tackler. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the PAC 12 starting linebacker with the least amount of missed tackles last year, and a national leader in coverage stops. Put all that together with good speed, strength and agility at the combine, and things become clear why Seattle moved up for him. He’s the highest drafted Seattle linebacker since they took Bobby Wagner in the second round in 2012, and with KJ Wright getting older and coming off an injury filled season, linebacker was probably a bigger need for the team than many were anticipating. I’m excited to see what this guy does.
With Collier, and Blair, Seattle is clearly looking for new tone setters on the defense. They want to be the intimidators again, and they want players that will get under the skin of the opponents. With Barton, they want steady and reliable play at linebacker, a la KJ Wright.
But with Metcalf, they want an absolute beast of a man at wide receiver. This guy satisfies the “Build Around Me Damn it” Clause in Russell Wilson’s new mega contract.
Thoughts about Day Three for Seattle.
Seattle has three picks in the fourth round, one pick in the fifth, and one in the sixth. Teams can still find decent starting talent in the fourth. Seattle has addressed pass rush, safety, receiver, and linebacker. They could look for more pass rush, or run stopping help. They could add a corner. They can also add more receiver, or tight end help, and of course, they can go offensive line.
Here is a list of some interesting players with definite starting potential.
Hakeen Butler, Wide Receiver, Iowa State; another long fast receiver.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Safety, Florida; an athletic slot defender thought to be a high second round pick.
Renell Wren, Defensive Tackle, Arizona State; a massive human being who is an athletic freak for his size but needs to play with better disciple.
Dander Walker, Edge rusher, Georgia; thought to be a potential second round pick.
Christian Miller, Edge rusher, Alabama; kind of a Bruce Irvin type speed rusher.
Michael Jordan, Guard, Ohio State; not that Michael Jordan, but a massive run blocker.
Dru Samia, Guard, Oklahoma; an athletic guard who plays with a nasty edge.
Anthony Nelson, Defensive End, Iowa; a long base end with good pass rushing traits.
Amari Hooker, safety, Iowa; another hybrid defender thought to be a second round pick.
If Seattle should land any one these guys, you should rejoice as a Twelve. These guys are solid talents. Clearly, there is still value left at edge rusher, a really interesting defensive tackle, and there is some extremely interesting options left at DB. Don’t be surprised if Seattle targets another safety to convert to corner or nickel. They lost nickel corner Justin Coleman to free agency, and Gardner-Johnson, and Hooker could be interesting options early in the fourth.
Also, I don’t know if they do go for another big body at receiver, but I find the idea of adding Butler fascinating. Seattle has always been about shorter quicker receivers in the Russell Wilson era. I’ve always wondered about how Wilson would fair with bigger faster targets like the Saints have always surrounded Brees with. Just a thought.