The Seahawks surprised everyone when they took Jordyn Brooks with their first pick. I was mystified at first, but once I thought about it…
I must confess that when Mr. Charisma himself, Roger Goodell, announced the Seahawks pick of Jordyn Brooks, I was completely mystified. Okay, maybe half mystified and half stunned. No…let’s make that 60 percent mystified, 25 percent stunned, and 15 percent flabbergasted. With a touch of anger. And a dash of WTAF thrown in for good measure. I mean, Jordyn Brooks?
Seattle, the team with the best middle linebacker in the game, drafted an inside linebacker with their first pick. The Hawks, who desperately needed to add pass rush and line protection, who for the first time in nine years didn’t trade up or down from their initial spot, burned that pick to back up the best player at his position the game. Who, by the way, has two years left on his contract. I imagined Bobby Wagner knew exactly how Aaron Rodgers must feel.
And then I thought about it some more. I read that Wagner immediately asked for the rookie’s phone number, so he could welcome him to the team and start talking business. I saw the Griffin brothers welcome Brooks to the Hawks family, despite that Shaquem could eventually be cut to make room on the roster for the new kid on the block. And I remembered, the Seahawks completely buy into Pete Carroll’s philosophy, “Always Compete”. They have total faith that Carroll and John Schneider always take the player they believe will make the team better, regardless of who might lose out in the competition. Sure, all teams do, but what sets the Hawks apart is that virtually every current player accepts that, and takes it as a challenge to be better.
For now, I expect the Seahawks to use Brooks on the strongside often, or to spell K. J. Wright as needed. Most of his game action in 2020 will come on special teams, where tackling tends to be pretty valuable. I don’t see the Hawks cutting Wright at all to make room for their first-round pick. Brooks definitely needs work on coverage, and I don’t see Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven, Griffin, or anyone else quite ready to step up there. Don’t forget, Seattle has Bruce Irvin ready to go too, so it’s going to be a full house in the linebacker room.
My initial reaction of “What were they thinking?” has been completely replaced by happiness. This may not have been the slam-dunk pick we wanted on the field in 2020, but Brooks is absolutely a great fit for the Seahawks for this coming decade. I can’t wait to see him on the field.