For the first time since they took offensive lineman James Carpenter with the 25th pick of the 2011 draft, the Seattle Seahawks, led by general manager John Schneider and Pete Carroll, did not trade out of the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night.
Instead of trading down to add more picks, the Seahawks selected linebacker Jordyn Brooks out of Texas Tech with the No. 27 overall pick.
When draft experts had the Seahawks actually selecting at 27, it was projected to be either an offensive or defensive lineman, or running back Jonathan Taylor out of Wisconsin.
Instead, Seattle veered into a different area, taking Brooks and adding him to a linebacker corps that features veterans Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright and second-year player Cody Barton.
Let’s get to know this “tackling machine” a little better.
• Name: Jordyn Brooks
• College: Texas Tech
• Height: 6-0
• Weight: 240
The Skinny: A four-year starter for the Red Raiders where he earned all-conference honors in each of them, Brooks was one of the top tacklers in the country, amassing 108 stops and 20 tackles for loss with three sacks, two fumble returns and a forced fumble.
He has above-average speed, posting a 4.54 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine.
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. was a fan of Brooks, but didn’t have him going this high in his mock drafts.
“There’s a wide range of opinions on Brooks across the NFL, but I love his film,” Kiper wrote on ESPN.com. “He’s a tackling machine (367 in his career) and sideline-to-sideline linebacker who showed good speed at the combine, running a 4.54-second 40-yard dash at 240 pounds. He was far and away the best defender on the Red Raiders’ roster. He could be a 10-year starter at middle linebacker in the NFL, and he has the athleticism to stay on the field on third down.”
The intriguing aspect is that Brooks is considered as a middle linebacker. It means he will have to shift over to an outside spot, which he is more than talented enough to handle. But given teams playing nickel coverage more and more, it remains to be seen how much playing time he would receive with Wright also on the roster. But it’s clear he’s the replacement for Wright, who will be a free agent after this season. It also speaks to some concerns about Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven, who both need to add size.