Seahawks make 8 picks during ‘unique’ 2020 NFL Draft

SEATTLE — Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have assembled their 11th draft class in Seattle -- and they did so without ever being in the same room.

Earlier this month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league would conduct a “fully virtual” draft due to the coronavirus pandemic. That meant all team personnel, including scouts, coaches, etc. were separated in their own homes for the entirety of the draft.

Teams were also unable to bring players in for visits or attend pro days, making the pre-draft process even more challenging.

In all, the Seahawks made eight picks -- five on offense and three on defense.

Carroll and Schneider will now turn their attention to signing undrafted free agents.

Here’s a look at each player taken by the Seahawks:

Round 1, 27th overall: Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks

With their first pick in the draft, number 27 overall, the Seahawks selected Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks.

The 6-foot, 240-pound linebacker was named second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Big 12 in 2019 after leading the Red Raiders with 108 tackles, 20 for loss (ranking in the top 10 in the country), and three sacks in 11 starts.

Former Seahawks scout Jim Nagy, who currently serves as the director of the Senior Bowl, said Brooks reminds him of current Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Brooks’ coach at Texas Tech, Matt Wells, was Wagner’s coach at Utah State and also made comparisons between the two players.

“What I think I bring to the table is aggressiveness, passion, toughness and discipline. That’s what I pride myself on, those are my core values that I take with me,” Brooks said during a conference call with reporters after getting drafted.

Schneider said a trade with another team fell through just before they drafted Brooks, but added that Brooks was the best player remaining on their board.

“We’re really excited to add a real tough, great person. Jordyn’s the youngest of seven. He’s got a twin sister. He’s been through a lot and he’s overcome a lot. He’s got a ton of grit. He’s our kind of guy. He can fly at 233 pounds -- he ran a 4.46 (40-yard dash). Just a great kid,” Schneider said.

The selection of Brooks marked the first time in eight years that the Seahawks used their original first-round pick. The last time the Seahawks used their original first-round pick was in 2011 when they selected James Carpenter.

Round 2, 48th overall: Tennessee defensive end Darrell Taylor

With the 48th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seahawks selected University of Tennessee defensive end Darrell Taylor.

Taylor, 6 foot 4 and 267 pounds, led the Volunteers with 10 tackles for loss, including 8.5 sacks, in 2019, posting 46 total tackles and four pass breakups in 13 starts.

The Seahawks traded pick number 64 (second round) and pick number 101 (third round) to the New York Jets to move up in the second round to select Taylor.

Schneider said the Seahawks thought about taking Taylor in the first round.

“He was in consideration last night,” Schneider said. “Our guys did a great job of working their tails off trying to keep getting up to try to acquire him, and it was pretty hot. We view him as one of the very, very top pass rushers in this (class).”

Head coach Pete Carroll said Taylor will play the team’s LEO role -- like Frank Clark, Cliff Avril and Chris Clemons in years past.

“He is exactly that, he is right in that (LEO) mold,” Carroll said. “The height, weight, speed things is there, his aggressiveness is there, his flexibility, his savvy for turning the corner, and doing the things that that position calls for -- the power, he has to finish.”

Round 3, 69th overall: LSU guard Damien Lewis

With the 69th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected offensive guard Damien Lewis out of Louisiana State University.

Before selecting Lewis, the Seahawks traded the number 64 pick in the draft to the Carolina Panthers -- moving back five spots in the third-round and picking up a fifth round pick in the process.

Lewis began his college career in the JUCO ranks at Northwest Mississippi Community College before transferring to LSU.

Lewis started all 28 games for the Tigers the last two years at right guard -- including 15 during the team’s 2019 national championship season where he was also named second-team All-SEC.

Lewis’ selection gives the Seahawks 19 offensive linemen on their roster, but Schneider said the competition at offensive line will only make the team better.

“We’re just trying to get as much competition as we possibly can to protect our quarterback. We think we have the best quarterback in the National Football League, and we have to figure out the best group to protect him,” Schneider said.

Round 4, 133rd overall: Stanford tight end Colby Parkinson

With the 133rd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seahawks selected tight end Colby Parkinson out of Stanford University.

The 6-foot-7 inch, 252-pound tight end was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection following the 2019 season where he had 48 catches for 589 yards and one touchdown.

According to Pro Football Focus, Parkinson did not drop any passes during the 2019 season. Parkinson is the seventh tight end drafted from Stanford since 2012.

Parkinson joins the following tight ends already on the Seahawks roster: Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister and Luke Willson.

The last time the Seahawks took a player out of Stanford was in 2011, when they drafted Richard Sherman.

Round 4, 144th overall: Miami running back DeeJay Dallas

With the 144th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected running back DeeJay Dallas out of the University of Miami.

Dallas was a quarterback in high school and began playing wide receiver at Miami. In 2017, he was converted to a running back. He finished last season, his first as the team’s primary back, with a team-high 693 yards on 115 carries with eight touchdowns.

The selection of Dallas comes as running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny are recovering from season-ending injuries.

This is the second straight year the Seahawks have drafted a running back from Miami after taking Travis Homer in the sixth round in 2019.

Round 5, 148th overall: Syracuse defensive end Alton Robinson

With the 148th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seahawks selected defensive end Alton Robinson out of Syracuse University.

The 6-foot-3 inch, 264-pound defensive end was an honorable mention all-conference selection following his senior season after finishing with 46 tackles, 9.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks and three pass breakups in 12 starts.

He finished his junior season with 17 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 12 starts.

Robinson joins Darrell Taylor as the second defensive end drafted by the Seahawks this year.

Round 6, 214th overall: Florida wide receiver Freddie Swain

With the 214th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the final pick of the sixth round, the Seattle Seahawks selected wide receiver Freddie Swain out of the University of Florida.

The 6-foot, 197-pound wide receiver started six of 12 games played as a senior and led the Gators with seven receiving touchdowns.

Swain finished the year with 38 catches for 517 yards.

Swain ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at the combine -- tied for the 13th-fastest time among all wide receivers.

Swain and fellow rookie Stephen Sullivan join the following wide receivers already on the Seahawks roster: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett, David Moore, Penny Hart and Cody Thompson.

Round 7, 251st Overall: LSU wide receiver Stephen Sullivan

With the 251st pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected wide receiver Stephen Sullivan from Louisiana State University.

The Seahawks traded a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins to move back into the seventh round to take Sullivan.

Sullivan measured in at 6 feet, 5 inches and 248 pounds at the combine. He played tight end at LSU, but the Seahawks are listing him as a wide receiver.

Sullivan was the second LSU Tiger the Seahawks drafted -- joining Lewis, who was taken in the third round.