Seattle Seahawks' 2019 draft: Analysis for every pick

NFL draft profile: L.J. Collier (0:37)

L.J. Collier is a defensive end prospect from TCU who recorded five sacks in his senior season. (0:37)

Breaking down the Seattle Seahawks' class in the 2019 NFL draft.

Round 1, No. 29 overall: L.J. Collier, DE, TCU

My take: Going the entire first round without taking a defensive end would have been a questionable play given how much the Seahawks needed to restock after trading Frank Clark. They pretty much had to address that spot with their first selection, and the pickings were getting slim with five edge players already off the board in the first 16 picks. By moving back from No. 21 to No. 30 and taking Collier with their other first-rounder, the Seahawks filled the need without having to significantly overdraft to do so. And they picked up a ton of draft capital by trading back again from No. 30. Hard to argue with how the first round went for Seattle.

Where Collier will play: The Seahawks believe Collier's frame -- 6-2 and 283 pounds -- gives him the ability to move inside in passing situations. He will play five-technique defensive end in base situations. Coach Pete Carroll compared him to Michael Bennett in that regard. "He has the versatility and the style and the penetration ability," Carroll said. "He's really slippery. Terrific pass-rush makeup." That trait appeals to the Seahawks. They had it with Bennett and they thought they would have it with Malik McDowell. Now they hope they have it with Collier, who produced 14.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss over his final three college seasons.

"He fits us." The Seahawks have shown a proclivity for drafting players who have overcome personal hardships, which leads to what they like to call grit. Collier follows that pattern. "L.J. fits us," General manager John Schneider said. "He's a heavy-handed, tough, chip-on-his-shoulder guy. He lost his mother when he was a freshman in college and he didn't play well in the last game that she saw, and he's always used that to his advantage." Said Carroll: "We think we've really got something really special in him. I fell in love with the fact that he's got a big chip on his shoulder and he wants to prove it and all that."


NFL draft profile: Marquise Blair

Marquise Blair is a safety out of Utah who closes well and limits production after the catch.

Round 2, No. 47 overall: Marquise Blair, S, Utah

My take: Blair helps a Seahawks secondary that could use some restocking after Earl Thomas became the last remaining member of the Legion of Boom to move on. It wouldn't have been a shock had the Seahawks stood pat with 2017 draft picks Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson as starting options alongside veteran Bradley McDougald, though their interest in some of the early-round safeties suggested they could draft one. Blair said he split his time 50/50 at Utah between deep safety and in-the-box safety. The Seahawks will play him at strong safety, where he’ll compete with Hill. McDougald can play both strong and free, so the Seahawks will have all sorts of options there assuming Blair beats out Hill and Thompson. Blair, who is not a man of many words, was asked if "nasty" is an accurate description of his playing style. "Yessir," he said. He's listed at 6-1, 195 and ran a 4.48 40 at the combine.


NFL draft profile: DK Metcalf

DK Metcalf has an elite combination of height, weight and speed in addition to long arms and big hands.

Round 2, No. 64 overall: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

My take: The Seahawks needed to reinforce their receiver corps given the growing uncertainty with Doug Baldwin, who, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, may be unable to play again due to the cumulative effect of multiple injuries. They started Day 2 of the draft in excellent position to do so with only two of them going off the board in the first round. They have to be thrilled to get Metcalf as late as they did, even with the fourth-rounder it took to move up 13 spots into the final pick of the second round. Pete Carroll has long had an affinity for big receivers and he got maybe the biggest one in this draft. Metcalf is built like a superhero at 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds -- as you've surely seen in the viral photo of a shirtless Metcalf showing off his hulking frame. He seemed headed for the first round after running a 4.33 at the combine, though his less impressive times in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle raised questions about his lateral agility. Regardless, the Seahawks got great value by taking Metcalf at the end of the second round after numerous projections had him going much earlier.

Round 3, No. 88 overall: Cody Barton, LB, Utah

My take: Linebacker wasn't considered one of the Seahawks' most pressing needs, with Pete Carroll saying last month that this could be the best group of linebackers he's had in Seattle. But it makes sense to add some depth there. Mychal Kendricks' availability for 2019 is still uncertain, K.J. Wright is about to turn 30 and is playing on a two-year deal and Bobby Wagner is entering a contract season.


NFL draft profile: Cody Barton

Utah outside linebacker Cody Barton is an average-sized linebacker with below-average length and very good top-end speed.

Barton (6-2, 237) is coming off a productive final year in college in which he led the Utes with 116 tackles. He finished his career playing inside linebacker after beginning on the outside. Adding another linebacker to the mix in Barton will make it harder for Shaquem Griffin to see the field on defense in his second season. The Seahawks taking Barton after drafting his Utah teammate, Marquise Blair, in the second round is reminiscent of when they double-dipped at Utah State in 2012 with Wagner and Robert Turbin.

Round 4, No. 120 overall: Gary Jennings Jr., WR, West Virginia

My take: When general manager John Schneider said that Doug Baldwin's status didn't weigh into the decision to draft DK Metcalf at the end of Round 2, he might have been saying that Metcalf was the type of big receiver they'd be going after under any scenario. Well, they just got another big receiver, albeit one who doesn't quite have Metcalf's size. Jennings is listed at 6-1, 214 and ran a 4.42 40 at the combine. A two-year starter, he scored 13 touchdowns as a senior despite dealing with an ankle injury. The Seahawks have reinforced their receiver corps with Baldwin's future seemingly in doubt -- and they've added some size to complement the smaller Tyler Lockett (and maybe Baldwin).

Round 4, No. 124 overall: Phil Haynes, OL, Wake Forest

My take: At first glance, Haynes looks and sounds like a prototypical Seahawks offensive lineman under new coach Mike Solari. He's got a massive frame (6 feet 4, 322 pounds) and prides himself on run-blocking. "This is a big, massive man," Seahawks area scout Todd Brunner said, via the team. "He gets into folks and can move people. Phil’s got a lot of power and is a disciplined player and person." Haynes was a four-year starter in college, spending his first two seasons at right tackle and right guard before finishing his career at left guard. Seattle views him as a guard and will have him begin on the left side. He said he's most comfortable at either guard spot and his size suggests that's where he projects to play. The Seahawks re-signed D.J. Fluker and added Mike Iupati , but both guards have injury histories and are playing on short-term deals. Haynes was a basketball player and only played one season of football in high school, which suggests there could be some room to grow in his game.

Round 4, No. 132 overall: Ugochukwu Amadi, S, Oregon

My take: When the Seahawks were sitting with a league-low four draft picks, restocking their secondary seemed like an easier-said-than-done proposition. But that became possible with all the extra selections Seattle acquired by moving back four times. After taking strong safety Marquise Blair in the second round, the Seahawks doubled back with Amadi, whom they view as a free safety. He played all over the secondary during his four years at Oregon. "They want me to do everything," Amadi said, noting that he played nickelback for two seasons. He's listed at 5-9, 199 pounds with arms measuring 31 3/4 inches, which is below the cutoff of what Seattle usually likes in its outside cornerbacks. But they've gone with smaller guys in the slot role and they have an opening there with Justin Coleman's departure. Amadi played in all 51 of Oregon's games during his four seasons there and won the collegiate Lombardi Award in 2018.

Round 5, No. 142 overall: Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington

My take: The Seahawks double-dipped at safety (Blair, Amadi), receiver (Metcalf, Jennings) and now at linebacker, with Burr-Kirven following the third-round selection of Cody Barton. "Ben is smart, fast, instinctive and really productive," Seahawks West area scout Tyler Ramsey said, via the team. "He can play Mike and Will and he’ll dominate on special teams. He also has the unique quality of avoiding blocks to get to the ball." Burr-Kirven led FBS with 176 tackles last season -- seventh-most in Washington history and the most by a Husky since 1987 -- en route to being named the Pac-12's defensive player of the year. He's a bit undersized at 6-foot and 230 pounds, which is why Seattle doesn't view him as an option to play the strong-side spot, which lines up on the ball.

The Seahawks should know as much about him as any NFL team given that UW's campus is a short drive across Lake Washington from the team's headquarters. Burr-Kirven has even worked out with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Wagner popped on the phone when the Seahawks called Burr-Kirven to tell him they were drafting him. "He was giving me a little junk saying, 'You enjoyed getting your ass kicked by me in workouts so much you want to come and do it full-time,'" Burr-Kirven said with a laugh. "So he was having a little fun with me, but I'm really excited. He's the model of an inside linebacker in the NFL, so it's pretty incredible to get to learn from a guy like that." Burr-Kirven's selection following that of Barton does not bode well for Shaquem Griffin's chances of making an impact on defense.

Round 6, No. 204 overall: Travis Homer, RB, Miami

My take: The Seahawks are clearly set at the top of their backfield with Chris Carson and last year's first-round pick, Rashaad Penny. But Mike Davis' departure left an opening there and Homer will have a chance to fill it as the No. 3. He's listed at 5-10, 202 pounds and tested exceptionally well at the combine with his 40 time, vertical and broad jump all ranking in the top five at his position. Seahawks running backs coach Chad Morton mentioned traits of a third-down back in his description of Homer. “Travis has such a versatile skill set," Morton said, via the team. "He runs well, catches well and loves to pass block. He really fits our mold, and he's going to be a dynamic special teamer for us.” Coach Pete Carroll has a low tolerance for fumbles and Homer coughed it up four times last season, so he'll have to tighten up his ball security if he wants to see the field.


NFL draft profile: Demarcus Christmas

Demarcus Christmas is a defensive tackle out of Florida State who earned third team All-ACC honors during his senior season.

Round 6, No. 209 overall: Demarcus Christmas, DT, Florida State

My take: Defensive line was such a need for the Seahawks and such a strength in this draft that it's surprising Seattle didn't double-up earlier. Instead, the Seahawks waited until their 10th pick to take Christmas, meaning that should be a position group of emphasis as they recruit undrafted free agents. And it could mean some of the veterans Seattle looked at in free agency (Danny Shelton, Nick Perry, Earl Mitchell) come back into play. Christmas said he mostly played three-technique defensive tackle (which is where Jarran Reed plays) as opposed to nose tackle (where Seattle has an opening). Seahawks defensive line coach Clint Hurtt described Christmas (6-3, 302) this way: "He's a tough, rugged run defender. Very instinctive in the run game. He’s quiet by nature, but mature in his personality. Going to be a great fit in our D-line room."

Round 7, No. 236 overall: John Ursua, WR, Hawaii

My take: Ursua is the third receiver drafted by the Seahawks this year as they reinforce the position knowing they might not have Doug Baldwin. Whereas DK Metcalf (6-3) and Gary Jennings Jr. (6-1) are both bigger-bodied targets, the 5-9, 182-pound Ursua is the type of smaller slot receiver who would be more likely to fill the Baldwin role if needed. It looked like the Seahawks were done drafting when they had no more picks after their sixth-round selection of Demarcus Christmas, but general manager John Schneider had one more trade in him. He gave up a 2020 sixth-rounder to move into the seventh for Ursua, showing how much of a target he was for Seattle. Ursua had an interesting road to the NFL. He was born in Hawaii, attended high school in Utah and served a two-year church mission in France before enrolling at UH. He declared for the draft after leading the nation with 16 receiving touchdowns as a junior last season. "John's a super athletic and smart receiver who was really productive in college from the slot," Seahawks west area scout Tyler Ramsey said, via the team. "He's quick and has great ability to separate from his defender."