With their first selection on the 2018 NFL Draft’s third day, the Seattle Seahawks stood pat at pick 120 and selected Washington Huskies tight end Will Dissly. The first Husky drafted by the team during John Schneider and Pete Carroll’s tenure in Seattle, Dissly will immediately become a key part of the running game as a blocker on the edge.
Why Dissly will succeed
What Dissly does well, he does extremely well. As a blocker on the edge, he’s able to seal off defenders on the backside, come across the formation and trap, create push at the point of attack and clear lanes. As much as the game is evolving with spread concepts and getting the football to playmakers in space, there should be a role for a player like Dissly in the NFL for the foreseeable future. As long as he can provide special teams value, Dissly will continuously carve out a role for himself on a team’s roster as a second or third TE and core special teamer.
Why Dissly will fail
Converting from defensive line to tight end heading into his junior season, Dissly caught just 25 balls for 336 yards and three touchdowns over the next two seasons. His value came almost exclusively as a blocker in the running game and in pass protection. If Dissly’s development stalls or has already finished, his ceiling is low. Without contributing on special teams, Dissly will be hard pressed to stick on a roster beyond his rookie contract.
Year one role
With Ed Dickson and Nick Vannett ahead of him, as well as TE project Tyrone Swoopes competing for a roster spot, Dissly’s role as a rookie could be minimal. Dickson had his most impactful season as a receiver since his sophomore campaign in 2017, catching a modest 30 passes for 437 yards and a touchdown, and figures to be the team’s starting tight end. Both Dickson and Dissly’s strengths are as a blocker, while Vannett shined as a receiver in his only season as Ohio State’s starting tight end. Dissly will see the field as a blocker, as a kind of sixth offensive lineman and could beat out Vannett for the second TE spot in a make-or-break year for the third-year TE.
Fit with the Seahawks
In Seattle’s best seasons as a running team, they flourished with an extra blocker at the point of attack. Be it Michael Bowie or Alvin Bailey entering the game as a sixth offensive lineman, or Zach Miller’s prowess as a blocker, giving help on the edge consistently saw the Seahawks running game benefit. The selection of Dissly is yet another statement about returning to what Seattle wants to do best: run the football. In that regard, Dissly will fit right in, and offer tremendous help blocking alongside Germain Ifedi.
Courtesy of our own Samuel Gold, here’s Dissly’s highlights from the NFL Draft broadcast: