The Seattle Seahawks showed just how confident they are in Jordyn Brooks when they drafted him in the first round at 27th overall in 2020. That confidence didn’t show through on the field in 2020, but that was for good reason: this team already had two exceptional linebackers in Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright.
However, Wright remains off the roster and it’s likely he won’t be a Seahawk in 2021, though Pete Carroll isn’t ruling it out.
So, what does this mean for Jordyn Brooks? It means he is going to be the biggest piece of change from 2020 to 2021 for this defensive unit. While some players shifted around on the line, that unit remains about the same. The secondary looks a bit different, but chances are only one corner will be different than the starters from last year.
Jordyn Brooks will be the biggest change in the Seahawks defense
Meanwhile, Brooks only played on 32% of the defensive snaps for the Hawks last year, but I project him to play almost 90% of snaps this season. After all, he’s mostly taking over for KJ Wright, who played on 86% of snaps last year. This is clearly a large leap for Brooks to make in one season, but I really believe he’ll make it and succeed.
While he was on the field in 2020, Brooks played well for a rookie. He racked up an impressive 57 tackles, including 2 for a loss. In coverage, he was decent. Brooks gave up 17 catches on 25 attempts (68% completion) for 139 yards and a touchdown. This equated to a 95.2 passer rating. When Brooks gets on the field more than twice as much as he did last year, he needs to be better in coverage.
A big part of his game will be stopping the run, which he showed he could be great at, but he needs to be better in coverage than KJ was last year. This shouldn’t be hard, as Wright actually played quite badly in coverage (77.3% completion, 106.6 passer rating, 4 TDs).
I won’t ask him to do everything, but it would also be nice to see him get to the quarterback every now and then. Brooks had just one quarterback pressure last season, and it would be great to see that part of his game improve.
Overall, here’s my projection of what would be an excellent sophomore season from Jordyn Brooks:
General: 85% of snaps, 90 tackles, 10 for a loss
Coverage: 65% completion, fewer than 350 yards and fewer than 3 TDs
Pass Rush: 12 quarterback pressures resulting in 2 or more sacks
Jordyn Brooks is going to be heavily leaned on by Ken Norton and the Seahawks defense. Will he be able to stand up and play well in what we know is the KJ Wright role? What I saw last year tells me that he can and that he is the future of the linebacker position for the Seahawks.