Eric Parks, Section Editor
After a relatively uneventful free agency period, the Seahawks looked to the NFL Draft, which was held on April 25-27, to fill out their roster. The team was able to retain free agent guard D.J. Fluker and linebacker K.J. Wright. Seattle also signed guard Mike Iupati from the Cardinals, as well as kicker Jason Myers from the Jets.
While this was a good start, the team still has needs across both offensive and defensive line, as well as the secondary, wide receiver and tight end. In the first round of the draft, the team selected defensive end L.J. Collier to replace Frank Clark, who was traded to the Chiefs a few days before the draft. While some analysts considered this pick to be a reach, Seattle is known for doing that, and they have had mixed results. Collier’s production in college has not been stellar, but his playing style is similar to that of Clark and Michael Bennett.
In the second round, the team selected safety Marquise Blair and wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. Like Collier, Blair is considered by some to be an overdraft. However, all of his negative attributes as a player are coachable, except for his height at 6’1”. He has often been described as over-aggressive in pass coverage, but he makes his presence known in the run game. He projects to fit in nicely in Pete Carroll’s defensive scheme. Additionally, the Seahawks have had success drafting and developing defensive backs in the past. With the loss of safety Earl Thomas and nickel corner Justin Coleman, they will need immediate production from Blair. Metcalf was initially projected as a first-round choice, but wide receivers fell in this draft. Additionally, there were rumors that Metcalf has a performance enhancing drug history, which could also explain why he was available late in the second round. Still, he projects to fit in nicely along Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin as he possesses a rare combination of size and speed.
Seattle’s other selections in the draft were wide receiver Gary Jennings, guard Phil Haynes, cornerback Ugo Amadi, linebacker Ben Burr-kervin, running back Travis Homer, and defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas in the later rounds.