The Seahawks will likely trade down in the 2019 NFL Draft. When they do, they might take defensive end L.J.Collier with their first pick.
The Seahawks need a pass rusher in the 2019 NFL Draft. And really, they need one high in the draft who can hopefully help them this coming season. Relying on just Frank Clark and Jarran Reed to get to the opposing quarterback would not be enough. Defensive end L.J. Collier from Texas Christian University might be a good fit for Seattle.
Collier isn’t as tall as many edge rushers in the NFL but he is stouter. He is just 6’2″ but weighs 283 pounds. Clark, for example, is 6’4″ and weight 270 pounds. But Seattle needs a defensive lineman who can be versatile and stop the run and rush the passer. But then, doesn’t every team? Collier, however, is big enough to contain a running back on the edge when other edge rushers simply can only get to the quarterback.
Seattle really needs an edge rusher first, though. That Collier is good against the run as well is simply icing on a quarterback-eating cake. In his senior season at TCU, Collier had 11.5 sacks. Collier is more of a bull-rusher than using his quickness, like Clark does, to get to the quarterback. Think more Michael Bennett rather than Cliff Avril.
One huge strength of Collier’s is his tenacity. There will be no doubt about his motor. This aspect of Collier’s game is a lot like Bennett’s as well. Bennett, of course, went undrafted, as difficult as that is to believe, but he made himself into a great player. Collier has that same drive.
Collier is not a perfect prospect, however. He only started one year in college, his last. Even though he got plenty of snaps as a reserve, he might still be a little raw to produce early in his NFL career. The Seahawks need someone who can play a lot early and help Clark and Reed. Collier may not be able to do that.
Collier also lacks overall quickness and speed and relies mainly on his strength. He is already strong enough to play in the NFL but of course his technique would need to improve against veteran players to leverage his strength.
So maybe Collier won’t start week one if the Seahawks choose him with their first pick in the 2019 draft. But maybe by week 10. And possibly every week thereafter for seasons to come. Collier might also be available if Seattle does trade down from the current pick of 21. Seattle always trades down. If Collier’s career is anything close to Bennett’s, Seattle will wish they had taken the defensive end.