‘Seattle loaded up’: How the national media are grading the Seahawks’ 2019 draft

The Seahawks entered a deep NFL draft with only four selections. Knowing general manager John Schneider, that was never going to remain the case. But with Seattle, it’s not always a given its picks will be lauded in the immediate reaction to the draft — many of its draft moves have been head-scratching at the time.

But the media is giving plaudits to Schneider and the Seahawks for their work this year. There aren’t many “A” grades, but not many below “B,” either.

Here’s a roundup:

Mel Kiper’s grade: B

“General managers all over the league were excited about the middle rounds, and Seattle loaded up. In doing so they hit some big needs and addressed the wideout questions in doing so. … First-rounder L.J. Collier (No. 29) could be something of a Michael Bennett clone if he develops right. … As for the wide receiver question: You can question the agility testing of DK Metcalf (No. 64), but at the end of Round 2 for a big-bodied burner? That could pay off big. And Gary Jennings (120) in Round 4 is also big and fast. … Overall, impressive work from Schneider and Pete Carroll to extract so much value.”

Todd McShay’s favorite pick: WR D.K. Metcalf (Round 2, 64th overall)

“By now you know all about the combine legend of DK. He’s a physical freak with terrific strength and elite straight-line speed. He gets downfield in a hurry and can redirect on press coverage. And for a team with a quarterback like Russell Wilson — someone who extends plays — this makes a lot of sense. Metcalf’s ability to get vertical will lead to plenty of big plays.

And while there are some red flags, including drops, not winning on 50-50 balls and struggles on non-vertical routes, one or two big plays per game make this absolutely worth it, especially when you factor in where the Seahawks got him. It’s low risk. With Doug Baldwin potentially done with football, Seattle needs weapons in the receiving game. Metcalf could be one. He’s a hungry receiver who will be a real matchup problem for corners.”

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Grade: B-

“(D.K.) Metcalf was incredible value at the end of Round 2. Metcalf and (Doug) Baldwin are opposite styles of receiver, and Seattle had a serious need for a big downfield perimeter target in Metcalf’s mold. Metcalf’s unrefined route running is less problematic in a system that’s built around Russell Wilson’s deep ball excellence and scramble drill playmaking, where routes inherently lose their detail anyway…. L.J. Collier doesn’t have Clark’s all-around quickness (perhaps no player on Earth save for Von Miller does), but he’s twitchy and versatile, which is key in a pass rush scheme that features a lot of stunts and twists.”

Day 1 grade: A-

Day 2 grade: B

Day 3 grade: A

Overall grade: A-

“Forget about (Collier’s) 4.91 40 time — he’ll be a stout run defender and powerful pass rusher. … Metcalf could be an Alshon Jeffery-type bargain for the Seahawks if he reaches his potential as a big-time downfield playmaker. Teams loved the intelligence and athleticism of Barton, and it’s not surprising the Seahawks found him intriguing.”

Grade: B+

“GM John Schneider began the week with a league-low four draft picks but added 11 players to his roster by the time the event concluded. Without the Seattle context, first-round DL L.J. Collier and second-round S Marquise Blair both seem overdrafted. However Schneider gets another pass given his acute feel for this roster’s needs. Getting WR D.K. Metcalf with the final pick of Round 2 may ultimately prove larcenous given how well his specific abilities should meld with this offense and the way QB Russell Wilson operates. The deal of Clark brings a second rounder in 2020.”

Grade: Above average

“Landing LJ Collier at No. 29 was somewhat of a reach given that he finished as PFF’s No. 54 overall player, but his signature bull-rush move should translate to the NFL. … Utah products Cody Barton and Marquise Blair will both need time to develop into every-down starters, but they both bring something special to the table. … Miami (Fla.) Travis Homer is a talented, athletic back that can make a living at the next level catching passes out of the backfield or beating defenses to the edge on outside runs.”

Grade: B-

“This was a very Seattle draft: a ton of trades, players drafted higher than most expected, and filled needs. … If Doug Baldwin does retire, the Seahawks smartly safeguarded themselves.”

Seahawks draft picks

Round 1, 29th overall: DL L.J. Collier, TCU
Round 2, 47th overall: DB Marquise Blair, Utah
Round 2, 64th overall: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
Round 3, 88th overall: LB Cody Barton, Utah
Round 4, 120th overall: WR Gary Jennings, West Virginia
Round 4, 124th overall: OG Phil Haynes, Wake Forest
Round 4, 132nd overall: CB Ugo Amidi, Oregon
Round 5, 142nd overall: LB Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington
Round 6, 204th overall: RB Travis Homer, Miami
Round 6, 209th overall:
DT Demarcus Christmas, Florida State
Round 7, 236th overall: WR John Ursua, Hawaii

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