For the second straight year, a University of Washington standout is staying in Seattle to start his NFL career. A year after taking tight end Will Dissly in the fourth round of the draft, the Seahawks selected Huskies linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven in the fifth round of the 2019 draft, taking him with the 142nd overall pick.
Burr-Kirven led the nation in tackles last year with 176, earning first-team AP All-American honors while also winning the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Award. Burr-Kirven also posted two interceptions, two sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, six pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles. With the Seahawks picking him, Burr-Kirven will get to continue his career in Seattle, something he hoped might happen when the Seahawks started showing interest in the pre-draft process.
"It's awesome," Burr-Kirven said on a conference call. "I've loved Seattle these last four years, and I was definitely hoping I'd get to stay up there and be with the same fans and such a great organization. It couldn't have turned out any better."
Joining a defense that already features the likes of Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, Burr-Kirven knows he'll likely have to earn his keep on special teams first.
"It's just being willing to come in and compete and do everything they ask," he said. "A lot of that is going to start with special teams for me. I know I'm a guy who's hopefully going to be a core special teamer for them and go down and do the dirty work, cover kicks, block, all that kind of stuff. That's probably where it starts, and hopefully I earn the trust and get a chance to show what I can do on defense too."
And Burr-Kirven is looking forward to learning from Seattle's Pro-Bowl linebacker duo, who he had a chance to work out with leading up to the draft at Ford Sports Performance in Bellevue.
"I got to know them some," Burr-Kirven said. "They've both been great guys. I actually got to talk to Bobby on the phone when (general manager John) Schneider and coach (Pete) Carroll called me, so that was really cool. You couldn't learn from better guys, they're two of the best linebackers in the NFL, so it's pretty incredible."
Here's a look at the Seahawks' draft so far and at the picks they have coming up:
Round 1, 29 overall: DE L.J. Collier, TCU
Round 2, 47 overall: FS Blair Marquise, Utah
Round 2, 64 overall: WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
Round 3, 88 overall: LB Cody Barton, Utah
Round 4, 120 overall: WR Gary Jennings, West Virginia
Round 4, 124 overall: G Phil Haynes, Wake Forest
Round 4, 132 overall: S Ugo Amadi, Oregon
Round 5, 142 overall: LB Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington
Round 6, 204 overall
Round 6, 209 overall
With the No. 142 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft the Seahawks took Ben Burr-Kirven, a linebacker out of Washington.