The Seattle Seahawks doubled up on Michigan players in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Center Olusegun Oluwatimi has already been hailed as “the biggest steal of the draft” by ESPN’s Chris Low, but before the Seahawks took him they drafted his teammate Mike Morris, who had a breakout season in 2022 as a big edge rusher.
Following the departure of Aidan Hutchinson to the NFL, Morris became the main pass rusher and the best player along the Wolverines’ defensive line. He led the team with 7.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss, winning the Big Ten award for the best defensive lineman. Morris also played on special teams, recording a blocked field goal against the Indiana Hoosiers.
Morris is 6’6 and according to him, he was asked by the Seahawks to put on the pounds. Outside linebacker is probably not in his future, so the expectation is that he’ll kick inside as a 3-4 defensive end instead of lining up in a two-point stance.
Mike Morris told reporters just now that he's weighing 295 and the #Seahawks told him to get bigger than 275 at combine.— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) April 29, 2023
He expects he will be playing 3-tech/4i in Seattle.
Here’s the scouting report from Dane Brugler’s The Beast:
SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Michigan, Morris lined up as an edge defender in defensive coordinator Jesse Minter’s scheme and was flexed inside and on his feet. With Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo off to the NFL, he stepped up as the Wolverines’ top pass rusher in 2022 and led the team in pressures, sacks and tackles for loss, which earned him the Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year Award. As a pass rusher, Morris accelerates quickly with his first two steps and jars blockers off balance with his hands, although his high pads tend to work against him. In the run game, he has the frame, length and active hands to hold the point and anchor, but his run production was underwhelming (averaged just 1.5 tackles per game over the last two seasons). Overall, Morris doesn’t currently rush with savvy and needs to broaden his assortment of moves, but he is a nimble-footed power rusher with the scheme-diverse traits to be a sound run defender. He has the talent to be a rookie rotational end with NFL starting upside.
Morris even got a shoutout from Michael Bennett on getting drafted.
Obviously he’s a bit of a project in the sense that his best tape is not with his hand in the dirt, but he knows how to get to the quarterback which is something the Seahawks badly need. Watch his highlights below: