For the first time since 2011, the Seahawks used their original first-round pick, and they did so to acquire a player who they hope can be a difference maker for their defense, Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks.
The Seahawks came into the draft with the No. 27 overall pick, and unlike the past eight drafts, they used that pick to take Brooks, a 6-foot, 240-pound linebacker who was a second-team Associated Press All-American in 2019.
And if it was a surprise for observers to see the Seahawks use their first-round pick and not trade back, getting the call from Seattle was just as surprising to Brooks, not because he didn't believe in his ability, but because he hadn't been in contact with Seattle since the NFL Scouting Combine. Brooks said on a Zoom call with the media that he was in the kitchen making some pasta when he was told his phone was ringing.
"I was a little bit surprised it was the Seahawks; I wasn't surprised about the first round, but was surprised the Seahawks came and got me," Brooks said. "I hadn't talked to them since the Combine, so I wasn't really expecting them to pick me, but I'm forever grateful and excited to get to be there in Seattle."
Brooks, who ran a 4.54-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, finished his Red Raiders career with 367 career tackles, including 108 tackles in 11 starts in a senior season in which he also had 20 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and 12 quarterback hits.
His size, speed and playmaking ability has led to Bobby Wagner comparisons, including one from Texas Tech coach Matt Wells, who was an assistant at Utah State when Wagner played for the Aggies.
But while Brooks was a middle linebacker like Wagner last year, he also played outside linebacker in high school and during his first two years at Texas Tech, "So I feel pretty comfortable playing either position… It's something that comes naturally to me. So if (outside linebacker) is a position they're looking for me to play, I'll feel comfortable."
Asked to describe himself as a player, Brooks said, "What I think I bring to the table is aggressiveness, passion, toughness and discipline. That's what I pride myself on, those are my core values that I take with me. The fans and the organization, they're just getting heck of a football player. I'm a linebacker, but I see myself as a football player, a player that can do anything."
As for playing with Wagner and K.J. Wright, two of the NFL's best linebackers over the past decade, Brooks said, "I'm excited. This is just a blessing from God. Bobby Wagner is somebody I've looked up to since he entered the league, just the guy I put on my pinnacle as the best linebacker in the league. So to get a chance to learn from him, play beside from him, feed off of him, pick his brain, it's an incredible opportunity for me. And also K.J. Wright, two great linebackers, I'm just excited to play next to those guys and learn and truly develop to be a great linebacker in this league."
Here is the Seahawks' eight-player 2020 draft class:
- Round 1, No. 27 overall: LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
- Round 2, No. 48 overall: DE Darrell Taylor, Tennessee
- Round 3, No. 69 overall: G Damien Lewis, LSU
- Round 4, No. 133 overall: TE Colby Parkinson, Stanford
- Round 4, No. 144 overall: RB DeeJay Dallas, Miami
- Round 5, No. 148 overall: DE Alton Robinson, Syracuse
- Round 6, No. 214 overall: WR Freddie Swain, Florida
- Round 7, No. 251 overall: WR Stephen Sullivan, LSU
With the No. 27 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Jordyn Brooks, a linebacker out of Texas Tech.