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Pros and cons for the Seahawks’ first 3 selections

NFL: FEB 27 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks have come away with three players in the first 70 picks of the 2020 NFL draft. Nearly every element of their choices were head-scratching on some level, though it doesn’t mean they were bad decisions.

Here’s a quick look at some of the pros and cons of the top three players to join the team this year.

Jordyn Brooks, Linebacker, Texas Tech

What they did right:

  • Not take a worthless trade. They were working something up with the Green Bay Packers before a better deal arose for the Packers to move to No. 26 instead. To their credit, the Seahawks stayed their ground to pick at 27, instead of accepting a last-minute deal that might not have brought value.
  • Take their highest-rated guy. John Schneider readily admitted how high they were on Brooks, and that he was their best value at that spot.

What they did wrong:

  • Have the wrong guy as highest-rated; potentially. This does not toe the line of subjectivity as much as cannonball straight in the deep end, but here goes.
    John Schneider’s most recent first picks are very, very questionable.

As I’ve argued before, Schneider’s unbelievable at trades. He’s very good in the third and fourth rounds, probably the fifth as well. But he’s straight up reliably baffling in the first 40 picks. Maybe they trade down in part for value, in part because their big board produces really awkward top picks.

  • Take a linebacker. It’s the far more confusing part of the selection, beyond the merits of Brooks himself. He’s reputed to be like Bobby Wagner, except Wagner is still here. K.J. Wright, despite opinion, did not yet get cut. Cody Barton was worthy of a third-round pick one very long year ago. Ben Burr-Kirven is now a deep bench play beyond special teams.
    Furthermore, Brooks’ strength is not against the pass, which is what Seattle linebackers are already sub-par. Now, the NFC West is running around with 10 WR sets and the Seahawks spent their first pick on a guy who’s better suited at stopping the run and containing quarterbacks.
  • Bonus wrong: take another Big-12 defensive player. Maybe it’s just me, but this seems unwise to do with too much frequency.

Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee

What they did right:

  • Take a human being who is supposed to rush the quarterback!
  • Take a proven player at a position of need who has experience succeeding against high competition.

Tennessee is not a perennial NCAA powerhouse, but the SEC is. And that type of notoriety is not easily handed out when there are so many stout defenses in the conference.

  • Select an athlete trending up, over a consistent period of time and not just their Senior Bowl. Taylor recorded eight or more sacks in his two full seasons, including playing primarily as an outside linebacker in 2018. Extra experience and coaching at DE should continue to help Taylor improve, and he’s far from a helpless project.

What they did wrong:

  • Not do something like this earlier, last season, in free agency, or any other time over the last two years. He’s not just a safe pick; he’s a pass-rush that actually gives confidence.
  • Trade up. These things are hard to say with any certainty, but only one DE was taken between 48 and Seattle’s original 59, including Josh Uche still being available at 60. They might have been tipped off to some interest, but it’s not as though there was a run on DEs happening. Giving up a third for 11 spots is unfortunate, and they only made up a mid-fourth in their subsequent trade.

Damien Lewis, Guard, LSU

What they did right:

  • Draft an offensive lineman. Lewis is the highest OL taken since Ethan Pocic in 2017.
  • Draft an interior lineman. “But we wanted a tackle...” no, you actually didn’t. Lewis was the second-highest rated guard in the draft. Why a guard? Because Aaron Donald. Because the 49ers front four, who also just added DT Javon Kinlaw at 14. Because Duane Brown has never been a problem, but Mike Iupati and D.J. Fluker are not pictures of health. An argument can absolutely be made that the bigger problem on the Seahawks’ line was the interior, as much as you’d like to heap the entire thing on Germain Ifedi.

What they did wrong:

  • Take a guard. Yeah, I know, we just argued the other side, but it’s undeniable that tackles have more value than guards. But Josh Jones was still available, and is now in the conference with the Arizona Cardinals. Statistically, it was the wrong decision - but when has Seattle ever made a statistically and traditional sound draft choice?
  • Accumulate 17 other offensive linemen. Now the roster is approaching 50% linebackers and offensive line, and that’s kind of weird.

The Seahawks aren’t loaded like they have been in years past, but they’ve got four more picks on Saturday, including three selections within 15 slots.