On the first two days of the 2020, the Seattle Seahawks focused on getting faster with the front seven of their defense, and then that took the best offensive lineman on their board. On day three of the draft, they looked for a combination of depth players, and players that offer some unique high end potential. Let’s break these players down a bit.
Stanford TE Colby Parkinson gives Russell Wilson an interesting red zone target
I will be honest. I didn’t have tight end much on my radar before this draft. Seattle seemed loaded up on the position by adding veteran pro bowler Greg Olsen to compete along with promising youngsters Will Dissly, and Jacob Hollister. They also brought back fan favorite Luke Willson. I simply did not see this as a position of need for the team.
What Colby Parkinson might be, though, is simply the best player on Seattle’s board at pick 133, regardless of position, and Seattle chose to make that type of selection. Essentially, they chose best player over biggest remaining need.
Parkinson is a unique red zone target at 6-7 252 lbs, with basketball player traits, and sure hands. Pro Football Focus noted that he remarkably did not drop a single pass last year in college football. His 4.7 forty time is fast enough for the tight end position and his 3 Cone Time of 7.15 indicates an ability to get out of his breaks quickly. He is also a former five star athlete, and a high football IQ player that understands route trees. It should be also noted that Stanford has produced numerous high end quality tight ends over the last decade. Parkinson seems to be continuing that trend.
I believe, at this range of the draft, this pick satisfies the “let Russell cook” crowd of Seahawk fans. Parkinson is more of a Jimmy Graham move tight end type than the inline player Dissly is, and could be used as a big slot receiver type in two tight end sets.
Heading into the college football season, there was some hype that he could be a first round pick. So, I think Seattle gets really solid value here. I like this pick.
DeeJay Dallas is a Seattle Seahawk style running back
At 5-10 217 lbs, Miami’s DeeJay Dallas fits the physical mold of a Seattle Seahawk style running back. He’s a physical inside runner that tries to punish tacklers, and was an explosive tester at the Combine with a 33.5 vertical jump and a 119 broad jump, and his 4.58 forty time is close to what Chris Caron’s was coming out of college.
What makes Dallas interesting is that he started out as a receiver at Miami and ended up as their featured running back in 2019. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr ranks him as the best pass blocking back in this draft class.
Put all this together, and I believe Seattle drafted a player likely compete as a third down back, and to provide quality depth. I think his closest comparison to a Seattle runner is Mike Davis. Seattle drafts a position of need here.
Alton Robinson provides interesting depth at Leo end
Seattle double dipped in this draft at edge rusher. Robinson was a productive player coming out of Syracuse. At 6-3 and 264 lbs, running a 4.64 forty, and boasting an impressive 35.5 vertical jump, he is also an explosive combine tester. Some mock drafts have had him as a second round pick. On tape, you can see pretty go bend off the edge, as well.
I didn’t have him much on my radar for Seattle because his arm length is shorter than the 33 inch threshold they use for their defensive linemen. I think in an effort to boost the pass rush, they are willing to use a mid round pick on an outlier player, though, who has other pass rush traits they like.
It’s also interesting that he has been spending recent time training in Bellevue Washington with none other than former star pass rushing Seattle Seahawk Cliff Avril. Thus, it’s easy to assume Seattle has had some good intel on this player.
He’s an interesting pick.
Freddie Swain adds slot receiver and punt returner potential
Seattle waited out a deep receiver draft class to the bottom of round six before that took a player. Swain is a fast slot receiver type with soft hands and a natural run after the catch ability. He also has decent size at 6-0 and 197 lbs.
What makes him a plus for Seattle is his abilities as a returner. I suspect Seattle would love to further remove the chains of the return game off of star receiver Tyler Lockett, and if Swain can come in and compete with David Moore as the fourth of fifth receiver option for Russell Wilson, that job might be his. This is a depth pick.
Finally, if Seattle didn’t have enough at tight end, they traded back into round seven to take LSU’s Steven Sullivan
What can I say, Seattle loves tight ends big time these days. Sullivan is another unique athlete at 6-5 and 248 lbs with long 35 inch arms and runs a fast 4.6 forty. Like Parkinson, he is a big flex tight end and not the inline blocker type that Will Dissly is. In fact, he is a former wide receiver that converted last to the position just last season.
I’m not going to pretend that I know much more than that about him. He wasn’t on my radar, and I didn’t think tight end was that big of a need. Clearly, I thought wrong.
I’m going to be interested to hear what Pete Carroll thinks of this guy. Is he another tight end, or do they see a big receiver in him? He’s a project player.
Further thoughts about day three of the NFL Draft
I love that Seattle took best player available at pick 133 and got Russell Wilson a unique big receiver/tight end in Colby Parkinson. I think Russell always had a fondness for Jimmy Graham during his time in Seattle and probably covets getting another big red zone target that he can rely on. I think this guy has intriguing upside to his game, and could factor in as a rookie.
I also liked that Seattle double dipped at edge rusher as it was clearly the greatest position of need. With no certainty of Jadeveon Clowney coming back, and Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa both signed to one year deals, Seattle had to come out of this draft class with a long term option, and it looks like they got two. I’m good with that.
What I am not good with is that Seattle missed out on drafted a defensive tackle with upside potential. Arizona Cardinal generation manager Steve Keim must have been studying my silly little blog because last night after the day two selections, I noted defensive tackles Leki Fotu (Utah) and Rashard Lawrence (LSU) as great day three options for Seattle. That big fat bald headed SOB took both of them in round four before Seattle had a chance to pick. I literally yelled at the television when he took Lawrence two picks ahead of Seattle. What a jerk face.
All and all, I really like this draft for the Seattle Seahawks, though. I will have final notes posted tomorrow about this draft class along with some musings over what further actions this team could take in free agency or trades to bolster the roster heading into training camp (hopefully there will be a training camp). For now though, I will just say this; after three days of this draft I feel more at ease about the direction of this club, I feel that their roster has improved in places it needed to, and I am good with that, but I think there is a little bit of work left to be done. So, roll up your arms, John Schneider.