The Seattle Seahawks traded down once on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. But they love players from Utah and in round three took linebacker Cody Barton from the University of Utah.
The Seahawks completed a minor trade to move up from pick 92 to 88, giving up a late 5th round pick for a late 6th round pick as well. With the 88th pick, they selected Cody Barton, a linebacker out of Utah.
Now, if you are anything like me, your initial reaction was, “who the heck is that“? It is a fair question because the Barton pick surprised a lot of people. Thought by some to be a fast riser over the past few weeks, Barton was projected as a mid-4th round pick when the Seahawks selected him in the late 3rd.
During his senior season at Utah, Barton racked up 116 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, one interception, and six pass breakups. This earned him All-PAC12 Honorable mention. He further intrigued scouts with a fascinating combine. He is a small linebacker, weighing in at 6’2” and 237 lbs.
But his forty-yard dash (4.64) ranked in the 70th percentile. His combine numbers show an agile, strong player. His 3-cone drill and 60-yard shuttle ranked in the 80th percentile, and his 20-yard shuttle was in the 96th percentile. Perhaps his most impressive number was the 30 reps he put up on the bench press.
The Seahawks love sure tackling players and Barton falls into the camp:
Barton will also be a big contributor on special teams, something the Seahawks value highly. It will be interesting to see how they deploy Barton. He is probably best suited as an inside linebacker, but the Seahawks have this guy you may have heard of named Bobby Wagner? Perhaps they think he can provide them some pass rush? Or maybe they just love the player and will figure out where to play him later?
Barton is a Seahawks kind of player. He is fast, quick, versatile, and plays with a chip on his shoulder. While most will tell you this was way too early to take him, remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Remember the Seahawks traded up to get this guy. That is rare in Seattle, reserved for players like Tyler Lockett and Jarran Reed. That worked out pretty well. Only time will tell if Barton will be a good pick or not, but he is, a good football player.