Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

Jordyn Brooks’ skeptics have diminished in the week-plus following the 2020 NFL Draft. Most Seahawks fans and many NFL pundits have gotten past the initial surprise of the pick and now see why Seattle coveted the Texas Tech linebacker.

His remaining critics all have the same sticking point, though, and it centers around Brooks’ perceived lack of coverage skills. It’s something he wasn’t asked to do much as a senior for the Red Raiders. Matt Wells had Brooks regularly spy the quarterback in order to best utilize his speed. That also allowed Brooks to tap into his pass rush ability.

“I think he’s a really good blitzer,” Wells said on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast.

John Schneider noted Brooks speed but added that the linebacker’s foot quickness is a trait that projects well from a coverage standpoint. Ultimately, Wells suggested that the Seahawks have earned the benefit of the doubt given their successful history at the linebacker position.

“I certainly think that John Schneider and Pete Carroll know what the heck they’re doing,” Wells said. “I’ll just say it that way. They have drafted and they have trained and developed really good linebackers. I believe Jordyn Brooks can cover. I believe they’ll teach him to cover. Ken Norton is one of the best (coaches) in the game. He’ll develop (Brooks).”

Brooks was an extremely productive player in college, leading Texas Tech with 108 tackles in 2019. He was named All-Big 12 in all four of his collegiate seasons. He’s got menacing size at 6-feet tall and 240 pounds. Brooks had shoulder surgery following his final game at Texas Tech and was cleared for physical activity just a week before the NFL Combine. And yet, he still somehow posted a blazing 4.54-second 40 time.

 

Schneider is hoping that Brooks can be a foundational piece on Seattle’s roster for years to come, both as a leader and from a production standpoint. Wells is confident that his former pupil is up to the task.

“I think he’s fast,” Wells said. “He’s extremely fast. He’s got closing speed. He’s got a lot of grit and toughness. He has the ability to make tackles in open space -- certainly is of a premium in the Big-12 conference in terms of offenses that we face.”

Wells called Brooks a “durable guy” despite the shoulder injury. Instead, the coach referred to Brooks playing through the ailment as evidence of his football character.

“I think there’s so much grit and toughness there,” said Wells, hitting on two buzzwords often used by Carroll and Schneider. “I think people in Seattle are going to really love him.”

Given that Seattle is already considering moving K.J. Wright to SAM so Brooks can take over at WILL, the rookie may have an immediate chance to become a fan favorite in the Pacific Northwest.

You can listen to the full Wells interview here.