With the Seattle Seahawks kicking off their 2020 season Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, optimism for the contributions from many of the youngsters added in the April draft was high. However, much of that optimism was quickly dashed to the side when two members of the team’s rookie class, DeeJay Dallas and Alton Robinson, were healthy scratches for the opener. In addition to Dallas and Robinson being inactive, Darrell Taylor and Colby Parkinson remain on the nonfootball injury list, and will not be eligible to play in the immediate future.
The fact those two were unavailable meant the Seahawks kept just four rookies on the 48 man gameday active roster: Jordyn Brooks, Damien Lewis, Freddie Swain and Penny Hart. They all played, and three of the four did enough to get their name in the box score, but overall it was an unremarkable day for the team’s rookie class. That should not come as a huge surprise or a letdown in any way, as the non-existent offseason coupled with the complete lack of a preseason created a situation where it would have been difficult for rookies to step in and immediately contribute. That said, here’s a look at what each of the four rookies who were active did during the game Sunday.
First Round Pick Jordyn Brooks
In spite of the Seahawks holding a significant lead for much of the game, Brooks logged just seven defensive snaps Sunday against the Falcons. On those snaps he did record a tackle, but other than that it was largely a quiet day. In addition to his seven defensive snaps, he did play eleven special teams snaps.
Third Round Pick Damien Lewis
Lewis started and played the entire game. While his run blocking was superb and exactly as advertised coming in to the game, his pass blocking still needs some work and refinement. As always, that’s to be expected of any rookie offensive lineman, and as good as Lewis is likely to become in future seasons, he’s no exception to the growing pains of rookie offensive linemen.
Against the Falcons, Lewis allowed four pressures of quarterback Russell Wilson, and his three penalties (two holding calls and a false start) currently lead the NFL. It’s obviously early, and first game jitters are to be expected, so this isn’t anything to get too worked up about as long as it’s not a pattern that continues going forward.
Sixth Round Pick Freddie Swain
Swain’s 16 offensive snaps nearly doubled the number played by Brooks on the opposite side of the ball. On those seventeen snaps Swain was the recipient of a single target from Wilson, and he capitalized, hauling it in for a seventeen yard gain.
While Hart is in his second year in the NFL, having never made it to an active roster during the 2019 season, he technically remains a rookie. A native of the Atlanta area who played his college football at Georgia State, Hart was on the field for a lone offensive snap and two special teams snaps.
And that is the entirety of the contributions on the field Sunday from the rookie class. As the season develops and they get more practice time and more reps under their belt, it won’t be a surprise to see those contributions grow, especially once Parkinson and Taylor return from the NFI list and as injuries deplete the roster, as they do every season.