The Seahawks drafted their second edge rusher in as many days in an attempt to improve their pass rush, selecting Syracuse defensive end Alton Robinson in the fifth-round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Seahawks moved up in the second round Friday to take Tennessee's Darrell Taylor, who along with Robinson and free-agent signings Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa will try to improve a pass rush that produced only 28 sacks in 2019.
Robinson, who began his college career at Northeast Oklahoma A&M, earned second-team All-ACC honors as a junior, recording a team-high 17 tackles for loss and 10 sacks while starting 12 games. As a senior, Robinson was an honorable mention all-conference selection, recording 4.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss, again starting 12 games.
While Robinson is from Texas and played at Syracuse, he has some close ties to the Seahawks. Through former Syracuse teammate Zaire Franklin, Robinson connected with Ford Sports Performance in Bellevue and began training there following the 2019 season. Seahawks linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright also work out at Ford Sports Performance, so Robinson got to know them a bit, and he also spent time working out with Seahawks Legend Cliff Avril. Robinson was also high school teammates with Seahawks corner Tre Flowers.
"I was actually training in Bellevue, so I'm familiar with the area," he said. "I love the West Coast vibes out there. I'm a Texan, so it's a little different out there, but it's definitely a desired place to be. I'm not too familiar with a lot of the guys, but the at the facility I was training at, actually, I got a chance to meet Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, and I went to high school with Tre Flowers."
On working with Avril, Robinson said, "Pro Bowler, Super Bowl winning defensive end—to be able to have that opportunity is a blessing, really, and it's even more of a blessing that I'm a Seahawk now."
Asked about his skills as a pass-rusher, Robinson said, "One of the things I pride myself in most is my relentless competitiveness. Being a defensive lineman, you're going up against the same guy pretty much the whole game. It's you and that offensive tackle. Out of 10, I want to win 7. I know I was bred to believe that I can't always be the biggest, fastest, strongest, but working hard can overcome a lot of that."
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. 148 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Alton Robinson, a defensive end out of Syracuse University.