Seahawks draft profile: Ross Blacklock could replace Jarran Reed
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks need to re-make their defensive line in 2020. One was to make it good long-term is to draft defensive tackle Ross Blacklock.
The Seahawks face a near-future potentially without Jadeveon Clowney, Jarran Reed, Quinton Jefferson and others from their 2019 roster. This is good and bad, possibly. First, the defensive line was not good last year, even with Clowney. For Seattle to make deep runs in the playoffs – heck, to even get to the playoffs – their defensive front needs to get much better. Drafting former TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock could be one way of doing so.
Saturday at the NFL combine, Blacklock put on an impressive display. He weighs 305 pounds and stands 6’4″ yet that did not stop Blacklock from running a 4.9 40 yard dash. He was also athletic enough to have a 29-inch vertical. In on-field drills, he was quick, balanced and moved laterally with ease. He didn’t do everything perfectly that was asked of him, but he did it better than most other players of the same position group.
At TCU, Blacklock played two seasons, 2017 and 2019. He missed 2018 with an Achilles injury. But he came back in his junior year to have 9 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. There is no reason those sack totals shouldn’t increase in the NFL, though. TCU’s scheme was such that Blacklock’s assignment wasn’t to rush the quarterback but to allow the linebackers and secondary to clean up and make splash plays.
One reason Blacklock might get drafted by the Seahawks has nothing to do with him. The Seahawks took former TCU defensive end L.J. Collier in 2019 and Collier was a complete bust in his rookie season. There could be some thinking that Seattle doesn’t take Blacklock because they might not trust the coaching in college to prepare him for the NFL, if they think Collier was underprepared.
Still, the Seahawks need an anchor on the interior of the defensive line, probably even two of them. Blacklock was a borderline first-round pick heading into the combine but after Saturday, he might be a lock to go early. If he is still around at pick 27 and the Seahawks still have their pick or maybe only traded down a spot or two, Seattle should grab Blacklock. He will be a productive starter within two years.