With their penultimate pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Seahawks added defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas from Florida State. The selection of Christmas rounded out a draft which saw Seattle hit on seemingly every position of need, even if Christmas was a departure from past trends.
Simply put, Christmas is by far the least athletic defensive tackle the Seahawks have drafted since 2010. His chart on Mock Draftable looks like it was forgotten about:
Though Christmas’s game isn’t predicated on short-area quickness or agility, it’s still quite the departure from Seattle’s history drafting the position.
Where Christmas Wins
It becomes apparent very quickly when watching Christmas that he is, in every sense, a rotational piece. He will not offer any pass rush, nor will he collapse the pocket from inside, but he will be a strong, stout run defender. Christmas wins by holding up at the point of attack and not giving up any ground, taking on blockers and allowing the defenders around him to work to the football.
Demarcus Christmas, asked to describe his game, says first "I'm a run stuffer.'' Seattle can use that.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) April 27, 2019
Where Christmas Loses
Christmas will lose if he’s asked to be something he’s not. If he needs to work laterally down the line, he’ll be wasted. If he’s asked to shed blockers and penetrate, he’ll lose. If he’s asked to make a play in space, he’ll lose. He’s a one-dimensional player who can play that one phase physically.
Year One Role
It came as a bit of a surprise that Christmas was drafted, and he is well outside the Seahawks’ established mold at the position. His roster spot is absolutely not guaranteed. Should he make the 53, Christmas could see a dozen snaps a game on early downs, working into the game as a 3-tech.
Best Case Scenario
Christmas’s lack of movement skills gives him a very defined ceiling, which would be maxing out his existing skill set. If a seventh round selection can give Seattle four years of extremely cheap, rotational play at 3-tech—playing stout against the run—that’s an absolutely fine best case scenario.
Worst Case Scenario
Pretty much what led the “Year One Role” section. In a deep group of defensive tackles, Christmas fails to impress, and is released after preseason.
There were more appealing prospects available, and prospects who cleared their athletic thresholds at that. Defensive tackle needed to be addressed though, and if Christmas possesses the skill set that the Seahawks wanted to add, then it’s a fine selection at the back of the draft.