The Seahawks intended to continue their tradition of trading down in the first round and move out of the No. 27 pick. However, their potential deal with the Packers fell through at the last second when Green Bay opted to vault up to No. 26 instead.
“Sorry we got a better deal,” Packers GM Brian Gutekunst told John Schneider over the phone.
“It happens,” Schneider relayed the conversation later on to a group of local reporters over a Zoom call.
Seattle then took the best player left on their draft board: Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks.
Brooks was an extremely productive player in college and earned All-Conference honors in the Big-12 all four seasons. He’s overcome some personal hardships as well as his family was homeless for a period of time growing up.
The entire package made him a no-brainer pick for the Seahawks, who fell in love with the player and the person. Schneider said there were several members of the front office who had a lot of conviction regarding Brooks and championed the pick.
“He’s our kind of guy,” Seattle’s GM said over the Zoom call Thursday night. “He can fly. He’s 233 pounds and ran a 4.46. He’s just a great kid. He had a great formal interview at the combine. He’s just a real passionate kid. Football is the deal for this guy."
Brooks began his career at Texas Tech as an outside linebacker in a “rover” type role before moving inside as a senior. Pete Carroll noted that Brooks spent a lot of time spying the quarterback which kept him in the box and close to the line of scrimmage.
The result? 108 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks in 2019. Brooks said his best game was against Oklahoma where he posted a whopping 19 tackles, four tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
“He really adjusted and did a great job,” Carroll said. “The strength coach did a great job working with him. He bought in, and he really ripped it up this year.
"He’s a guy that can check all the boxes. We love his attitude. Just his mentality – he’s really on it. He’s got versatility. … We’ve seen him do a variety of things that give him the scope of ability that he could play inside or outside for us."
Brooks will need to tap into that versatility if he’s going to find playing time in 2020 amid a standout group of linebackers on the Seahawks roster. Bobby Wagner isn’t going anywhere, and K.J. Wright figures to have a stronghold on the WILL linebacker job. Though Wright could transition into more of a part-time role, it’s likely that Brooks and 2019 third-rounder Cody Barton will fight for reps at SAM.
As Pete Carroll prefers it, the competition is most definitely on.
“We’re going to give this guy a chance to see where he can fit in,” Carroll said. “We’ll work the competition to uncover what exactly is best. We really think he’s got a chance to be fighting for playing time right away.”