Many were surprised when the Seattle Seahawks selected a linebacker, not a pass rusher, in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
They were even more astonished when it was Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks whose name was their preferred choice, not LSU’s Patrick Queen, who was still available when Seattle was on the clock.
But the Seahawks stunned NFL observers and selected Brooks out of Texas Tech at No. 27 overall. Beat reporters at home, rather than in media room headquarters, frantically combed through NFL draft bios to get to know the Seahawks’ first-round surprise.
General manager John Schneider knew there was a solid chance the top three linebackers in the draft would still be on the Big Board when it was their time to pick. So, he made sure to come away with one.
“These guys are too special,” Schneider told Sports Radio 950 KJR. “I think that you’ll see [Kenneth] Murray, Queen, Brooks be really outstanding players for a number of years. All three of these guys could be culture changers. These guys are unbelievable kids, unbelievable work ethic. We basically had a wall where we were like ‘look, we’re not going to leave if one of these guys is here.'”
Brooks was their guy.
The 6-0, 240-pounder will have an opportunity to make an impact on Seattle’s linebacker corps which features a cast of Pro Bowlers including Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, as well as veteran Bruce Irvin who had 8.5 sacks in 2019. All three players are presumptive starters entering the 2020 season.
John Schneider revealed Wright is rehabbing from an offseason surgery, which makes a little more sense as to why the Seahawks drafted a linebacker in the first round. Schneider did not reveal a timeline for Wright’s return, but said the procedure was not serious.
The recent offseason surgery could carve way for Brooks to slide into the weakside linebacker spot, as Seahawks Insider Joe Fann mentioned, allowing veteran Wright to be used on the strongside.
As a senior at Texas Tech, Brooks racked up 108 tackles with 20 tackles for loss. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds unofficially, giving Seattle another tantalizing and speedy player on defense. One NFL scout told Fann his mentality, grit and passion make Brooks simply “a Seattle guy.”
Seahawks fans may still be coming to grips with the Brooks selection, but Schneider, for one, believes he will be a playmaker in the middle of the Seahawks defense for years to come.
“He embodies what our organization is all about with a chip on his shoulder and just being a guy that really wants to be the best at his craft,” Schneider said. “Once he’s here, he’ll remind you a lot of Bobby and K.J. in the way he plays and everything.”
Be sure to listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms.