The Seahawks never know what to do with first-round picks, so imagine the problem they had Thursday when they had two of them back to back and their only real goal was to expand the rest of their draft.
The Seahawks had two picks, and yet it felt like they had no plan for them — other than to bail out as much as possible to add more selections. And they didn’t do that very well either, failing to add a Day 2 selection (beyond the one their first-rounder became).
There’s a reason the Hawks usually trade out of the first round: When they stay, they typically use the pick on a second-round player anyway. They’ve now picked five players in the first round since 2011, and four of them have had second-round grades by most draft analysts. The Hawks have to hope L.J. Collier is a better version of Bruce Irvin (a first-round reach who had eight sacks as a rookie).
On Thursday, the Seahawks might have wanted pass rushers Rashan Gary or Brian Burns or center Garrett Bradbury, but those guys were drafted at 12, 16 and 18. The Hawks obviously weren’t sold on Montez Sweat or Jerry Tillery, or they would have stayed at 21 and drafted one of them.
Instead, they preferred to slide down to the bottom of the round and see what came to them at 29 and 30. They added two fourth-round picks for that move, which didn’t seem like quite enough (a third should have been involved).
Sweat was drafted at 26 and Tillery at 28, so John Schneider said Seattle decided to take Collier because “that was a position that was dissipating quickly.”
The Seahawks really needed a pass rusher who could make an immediate impact, but did they get one?
Collier does not fit the athletic profile Seattle typically likes in its rushers, and he didn’t have a lot of production until his senior year at TCU (six sacks). But the Seahawks (and others) compare him to Michael Bennett (where have we heard that before?), given his ability to rush from various positions and to stop the run.
Pete Carroll said Collier’s pressure percentage was better than Frank Clark’s coming out of Michigan in 2015. Rob Staton pointed out that Collier’s rush ability stacked up well against the draft’s top guys — Sweat, Burns, Josh Allen and Clelin Ferrell.
The Seahawks are desperate to replace Clark, and they showed it with their first pick. But Collier also might end up being worth it.
Carroll said they are not finished though. There are 10-12 pass rushers who could be drafted Friday, including Jaylon Ferguson, whom Seattle reportedly has done a lot of “homework” on.
The Seahawks need to add another pass rusher in the draft and then a veteran (Nick Perry?), and that might give them a chance to improve their lame 31.5 pressure percentage from 2018. Right now they might have enough, with Cassius Marsh and Collier, to make up for the loss of Clark. But they need to do much better than that. And Carroll said it again: 2018 third-rounder Rasheem Green needs to contribute this year.
Meanwhile, Schneider and Carroll seemed even happier that they “got back into” the draft. They now have two picks on Day 2 and six picks on Day 3.