After trading Defensive Lineman Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs days before the 2019 NFL Draft, for a first-round pick in 2019, a second-round pick in 2020 and a swap of third-round picks in 2019, the Seahawks had a mere four pick when Draft day rolled around on Thursday, April 25th.
After some of their best wheeling and dealing in club history, John Schneider and Pete Carroll walked away from the 2019 Draft with 11 draftees.
“We’ve concluded, we’re working on rookie free agency in there right now. It’s kind of like surgeons and doctors thinking ‘that operation was just ok.’ Obviously, we say this every year, but we’re super excited, ” Schneider said during the teams post-draft press conference.
” We thought it went great. We’re really proud of the collaboration between the coaches and the personnel staff on how all the preparation went throughout the weekend with the communication and what’s going on in there right now with rookie free agency. We just feel really blessed that we were able to [go from] what started out as four picks to get to 11 was a big deal for us. You’ll see a constant theme through here and that’s smart, tough, reliable guys; physicality, special teams help. We added a ton of competition and some alpha dogs to this group.”
SOME QUICK TAKEAWAYS
DOUG BALDWIN IMPACT
Wether they knew it before or during the draft Doug Baldwin’s future in the NFL had a major draft impact actions for the Seahawks. It would be too much of a coincidence that the Seahawks drafted three wide receivers after ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted out that Baldwin’s career might be over due to the cumulative effect of multiple injuries. Seattle drafted wideouts D.K. Metcalf, Gary Jennings and John Ursua and when asked about Baldwin’s future with the team Schneider was pretty clear in his answer.
Schneider did elaborate on what the team saw in each of the wider receivers.
“D.K. [Metcalf], he lasted, and we definitely moved up to go grab him. Jennings, he had a great year. Coming out of that offense, there’s always questions. But he did a great job at the Senior Bowl. He’s the fastest guy on the GPS, they tracked him at 23 miles per hour. Jim Nagy is running that now, he used to work for us.
He had the fastest feet of anybody at the Senior Bowl down there, with the zebra timing. Phenomenal hands. Really strong after the catch. And then, John [Ursua] has been honestly one of our favorite players throughout the whole process. He had an awesome visit with us, led the nation with 16 touchdowns. He is going to come in and compete for that slot spot. He is a really cool kid, he went to Paris, that’s where he did his mission.”
CROWDED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DEFENSE
Another position the Seahawks look to have an embarrassment of riches is at Linebacker.On paper, the Seahawks had starters, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Barkevious Mingo with backups Mychal Kendricks Austin Calitro, Shaqueem Griffin all looking to battle for starting positions in the upcoming season. The addition of Cody Barton and local boy Ben Burr-Kirven bring more intrigue to the linebacker question. The two draftees were the best in the Pac-12 at their positions.
Carroll on Burr-Kirven
“I thought it was a really exciting pick to evaluate because he’s such a unique type of player. Whenever you get a guy that’s this active and has these kinds of numbers, you have to take a look. We took a really deep look at what Ben’s all about. He reminded me so much of Lofa Tatupu. Lofa had this extraordinary knack for finding the football in unique ways and the way he fit in the running game, he was amazing.
This is the way that Ben plays. Our guys all latched on to him and the productivity, but he’s also got speed. The special knack was something that we were really excited about. We know that he’s going to be a factor on special teams. He’s going to be running down those kicks and making hits. He’s recognized as a really big-time player and the fact that he’s local is pretty cool also.”
On thing that impressed Schneider was Barton’s versatility.
“Versatility, size. He’s 6’2” and a half. He can play all three spots. He’s always been a phenomenal special teams player. The guy is really intense and loves football. He’s got true grit to him. His dad was drafted by the Blue Jays and his mom was a big-time basketball player out at Utah. We got two Utes. [Utah] actually had a really good defense. He comes from a system where Coach Whittingham is really demanding. [Marquise Blair and Cody Barton] are coming out of a system where they are both well-disciplined guys when they come out.”
When asked if they were done adding to the team Schneider was adamant in saying the draft was one phase of the Seahawks free agency plan.
“We talk about those phases of free agency and there’s basically three or four different phases and we’re basically now heading into phase three .”