A week ago the Seattle Seahawks held just four picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, however, between trading Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs and then making a boatload of trades, they finished the weekend having added eleven new players. Now that the draft is in the rear-view mirror, we can go ahead and see how the experts across the country are grading the team’s picks.
There are a few things that are guaranteed in life and one of them is the Seahawks trading back. After trading back from the No. 21 pick, the Seahawks took Collier with the No. 29 pick, which was quite the shock considering most viewed him as a Day 2 pick. They then took Blair in the middle of the second round, which was another reach, as most (myself included) had him going at the start of Day 3. Fortunately, they had some value that couldn’t be passed-up at the end of the second round when Metcalf fell into their arms. He may not be perfect, but he possesses things you cannot teach. Their over-drafting trend continued in the third round with Barton. It seems the Seahawks just reached for their guys in this draft rather than taking value that presented itself. That can work on certain prospects, and it’s something you must do at times, but doing it too often (like they did) doesn’t typically work out.
Draft Guide: D+
Day 1 grade: A-
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: A
Overall grade: A-
Draft analysis: It was shocking to no one that the Seahawks moved down from the 21st overall selection to get more picks later in the draft (two fourth-rounders from Green Bay). With the extra pick they gained by trading edge rusher Frank Clark to the Chiefs, the Seahawks selected Collier, who is a very similar player. Forget about his 4.91 40 time -- he’ll be a stout run defender and powerful pass rusher. Then, GM John Schneider acquired even more draft capital by trading the 30th overall selection to the Giants for a second-, a fourth- and a fifth-round pick.
The Seahawks apparently did not want to pick early as they moved down again to gain additional picks before selecting their guy at safety (Blair). Metcalf could be an Alshon Jeffery-type bargain for the Seahawks if he reaches his potential as a big-time downfield playmaker. Teams loved the intelligence and athleticism of Barton, and it’s not surprising the Seahawks found him intriguing.
Jennings is a solid mid-round receiver who bolsters the depth for recently-signed Russell Wilson. Haynes jumped up boards with nice workouts after being a sturdy, reliable player for Wake Forest for four years. Amadi is as tough and versatile as they come in the secondary, and Burr-Kirven will be a special teams star. Homer is a speed back to complement Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny.
This was a very Seattle draft: a ton of trades, players drafted higher than most expected, and filled needs. That started with their first-round pick. L.J. Collier is a consistent and powerful lineman whom they probably view as a new Michael Bennett.
Seattle kept moving back in the second round before settling at No. 47 and taking Utah safety Marquise Blair. Like Collier, Blair was selected earlier than anticipated. Blair is a hard-hitting safety with speed who can play nickel.
Seattle ended D.K. Metcalf’s drop by trading up to No. 64 to get him. The wide receiver has big-time traits, but he’s limited as a route runner. They added another receiver with Gary Jennings of West Virginia. If Doug Baldwin does retire, the Seahawks smartly safeguarded themselves.
They upgraded their nickel package with defensive back Ugo Amadi and linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven.
Next up we can see how every Seahawks fan’s favorite analyst felt about the Seattle draftees. However, first, let’s get his opinion on draft grades.
People hate drafr grades. Teams hate draft grades. But our bosses love them. So that’s why we do them. Deal with it— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) April 28, 2019
Seattle Seahawks: B
Best pick: I think they landed a big-time steal in fourth-round receiver Gary Jennings Jr. The kid can fly.
Worst pick: I think they took second-round safety Marquise Blair a round too high. I know they need range back there, but they had other needs.
The skinny: First-round defensive end L.J. Collier fits with what they wanted to do in replacing the traded Frank Clark. I like the pick. But this draft will be judged on Blair and second-round receiver D.K. Metcalf.
Best pick: Metcalf
Was he a workout warrior with some questions about durability, versatility and production? Absolutely. But did Metcalf land in a spot that could be terrific for his skill set? No doubt. Some evaluators are concerned that he could be the next Kevin White in some respects, but Metcalf has the vertical ability and blocking chops to be a home-run threat for Russell Wilson in this power-run/play-action/deep-shot offense. Metcalf’s risk quotient is high, but getting him at 64 mitigates that quite a bit in our eyes.
Worst pick: Blair
Taking Collier in Round 1 was too rich for our blood, but his makeup is very consistent with what they needed up front and in time he could be a one-for-one replacement for Frank Clark. The question with Blair isn’t with his fit, as he plays with fire and brimstone. But it’s more with his lean frame and a style that could lead to more injuries. He’s already battled knee trouble over the years, and Blair never really has shown a knack for playmaking even with his goof football IQ and his competitive spirit. He just felt like a reach with the 49th overall pick and a player whom most teams were considering a round or two later.
Overall: First off, turning four picks – which is what they entered draft week with – into a whopping 11 selections (along with some 2020 draft ammo) deserves special mention. Whether that strategy pays off remains to be seen, and they took a very Seahawksian approach to their picks. What I respect immensely about this scouting staff is that it has a very precise view of its type of players that seems to be in near lockstep with the coaching staff. There also was a clear emphasis on special teams, which always makes us pleased, and we especially liked the later-round finds of Haynes and Homer. But passing up certain talents along the way is something that prevents us from giving the Seahawks a higher grade.
I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more analysts, pundits and experts weighing in on the Seahawks draft class in the coming days, but for now it appears as though the draft class covers the entire spectrum of grades from top to bottom.