With four days of separation between the end of the 2020 NFL Draft and this writing, four additional draft takes have a had a chance to percolate and replace some of the bad ones.
A) Taking Jordyn Brooks is a signal.
That linebackers, even All-Pros, don’t last forever and that even if they could, BPA is still a thing to which the Seattle Seahawks subscribe, in their own inimitable way.
Oh, other teams go best player available, but nobody does it quite like Seattle, whose franchise motto is “We’re the Seahawks and the moment you think you know what we’re gonna do or who we’re gonna take, we WILL make you look foolish. Again.”
John Schneider and Pete Carroll can read a calendar, and they see Bobby Wagner’s 30th birthday, in red 200-point font, looming on June 27 of this year. They sent K.J. Wright a card for his 30th last summer.
It’s entirely possible the longtime linebacker duo will last into 2021, and one of them 2022. But I don’t believe the front office is counting on it. So without a shred of regard for the consensus big board, they went with the top guy on their board, position be damned, positional value be likewise smote, and 2019 draft capital already spent on linebackers be discarded into the hellfire.
B) Trading up to get Darrell Taylor, however, was not.
Not a signal, that is. It was classic Day 2 Schneider instead. Part of the reason he usually trades back and accumulates mid-round draft picks is for greater maneuverability, so he can jump a dozen teams to get a player they adore who’s falled within range.
It’s not my suggestion to read Taylor’s selection at 2.48 as “Jadeveon Clowney’s gone and we won’t sign Everson Griffen or trade for Yannick Ngakoue.” The Seahawks might well do one — or more! — of those things yet. Maybe even by the time this post goes live. I posit, instead, that Schneider could not pass on Taylor in a vacuum. And then, even if (when) they make a move for a veteran DE, Taylor isn’t redundant in the long term.
A brief history of Seattle’s second rounders under Schneider? Yes, we have that.
2010: Golden Tate. Big hit.
2012: Bobby Wagner. The biggest hit.
2013: Christine Michael. Did nothing wrong.
2014: Paul Richardson and Justin Britt: Two hits.
2015: Frank Clark: Big hit.
2016: Jarran Reed: Hit.
2017: Malik McDowell and Ethan Pocic: Not hits.
2019: Marquise Blair and D.K. Metcalf: A little early to judge, but at least one hit, probably a big one too.
Schneider hits doubles, triples and home runs in the second round. And one can never, ever have enough pass rush, or too much, or just the right amount, because the right amount is never enough.
C) Zero tackles taken remains a puzzling move.
The 2020 draft was largely praised as tackle-rich. The Seahawks will go into the next season, whenever that is, with a ton of adept or promising interior linemen. B.J. Finney, Mike Iupati, Damien Lewis and Chance Warmack, plus all the expected reserves like Phil Haynes, Joey Hunt, Ethan Pocic, Jordan Simmons and others.
What they won’t have is a lot of depth at tackle. Which they need. Duane Brown turns 35 in August, new guy Brandon Shell is either competent or another J’Marcus Webb type who won’t stick, and beyond the two presumptive starters there’s Jamarco Jones and... who? Six-year vet Cedric Ogbuehi and practice squad promotee Chad Wheeler. Seattle’s never done making moves, certainly not on the offensive line, so the tackles might be shuffled again by Week 1, but there’s not a lot of margin for error on the outside edges of the OL.
Problem on the horizon: If there is no 2020 season (still a real possibility), the Seahawks will go into 2021 with an even older Brown, Shell or another free agent, while Jones and Wheeler gather no game experience.
Russell Wilson deserves a right tackle who can play, one of these seasons. This draft might have been the Seahawks’ best chance to get one and bring him along without rushing.
D) The Stephen Sullivan acquisition: a calculated risk after all
On Saturday, I bemoaned the “indefensible process” of spending a sixth rounder from next year, a season that likely will happen, on a seventh rounder this year, for a season that is threatened by a pandemic. Here I was thinking, the novel coronavirus may get worse in several places around the country, who knows if schools will even be in session in the fall, a second wave is possible like with the Spanish Flu in 1918, and a vaccine isn’t imminent. A full season of a contact sport might be exceedingly tough to pull off under such circumstances. What are you doing, Seahawks, forfeiting 2021 draft capital, in the face of such a real risk?
The 2021 NFL season will occur— John Fraley (@johndavidfraley) April 25, 2020
The 2020 season might not
Ergo, 2021 picks are MORE valuable, not less
Indefensible process #Seahawks
The feedback I received changed my mind.
“If this guy grades on your board as a 5th rounder or something though, and calls with him and/or his agent indicate he’s not coming in UDFA... I have no problem parting with pick ~#205 in a year.” — @scott_peterson4
“Wouldn’t it make sense to take a flier on a high talent player that needs more seasoning then?” — @PBR_Tallboy
“You could also make the case that this year is more valuable because if the 2020 season doesn’t happen, you can acquire and develop talent this year for an extended period of time without all the game day wear and tear.” — @KBNIX
“Isn’t it just as likely that the next CFB season doesn’t happen so those draft picks are devalued?” — @j_ohn_h
“If the upcoming NCAA season doesn’t take place, gonna be tough to evaluate 2021 draft. So there’s also that.” — @Matt_Johnson_75
I was thoroughly owned. But the good part about being chastened and having your poor logic stomped all over is that the new opinion will hold up better than the old one.
Draft season is poll season. Let’s close with another question.
Which draft day move by the Seahawks will prove more shrewd in the end?
This poll is closed
Nabbing Jordyn Brooks
Trading up for Darrell Taylor
Using 2021 draft capital in 2020