For the second consecutive year, the Seahawks decided they needed one more pick to add a pass catcher.
After using what looked to be their final pick of the 2020 NFL draft late in the sixth round, the Seahawks made a trade to get back into the draft, sending a 2021 sixth-rounder to Miami for Pick No. 251, which they used to select LSU receiver Stephen Sullivan.
A year ago, the Seahawks made a similar move, trading a future pick to get the seventh-rounder they used on receiver John Ursua. Sullivan was the second receiver taken by Seattle in as many rounds following the sixth-round selection of Florida's Freddie Swain. He's also the second member of LSU's national championship-winning team drafted by the Seahawks along with guard Damien Lewis, a third-round pick.
Sullivan, who is 6-foot-5, 250 pounds played both receiver and tight end at LSU, and ran a 4.66 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, which was the second fastest time among tight ends, his listed position during his last season at LSU.
Sullivan caught 12 passes for 130 yards as a senior after earning his degree last August. As a junior, he was second on the team in receiving with 23 receptions for 363 yards.
After playing two positions in college, Sullivan said he's willing to do whatever it takes to help the Seahawks.
"I'm willing to honestly fit anywhere," he said. "I'm willing to do anything the team needs. I can play receiver, I can play tight end. Whatever the team needs for me to help produce and win the game, I'm all for."
Before the Seahawks made the trade to get Sullivan, he said he was preparing to become an undrafted free agent, then Seattle called, meaning he not only was going to get drafted, but by a team that wanted him badly enough to give up a 2021 sixth-rounder to make the pick.
"I really don't even know what to say, it was so mind blowing and I didn't expect it at all," he said. "At first, I was a free agent like five minutes ago and then next thing you know I'm getting a call from Seattle saying they're going to pick me, and it was crazy. It's something that I really can't explain.
"It feels great. It feels like I'm wanted, and it brings that fire to me. It feels like I need to go in there and prove myself. I have to go in there and give them 110 percent every single day. They believe in me. I appreciate them for believing in me and believing in my talent. I'm ready to get to work and I'm ready to win a Super Bowl, honestly. I'm ready to get to it, for sure."
Sullivan had some contact with the Seahawks at the Senior Bowl, and said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll even told him he was going to become a Seahawk, and for Sullivan, getting drafted is just the latest impressive accomplishment for a young man who has overcome so much. Last summer, Sullivan became his family’s first college graduate, getting his degree from LSU after three-plus years, and as he detailed to reporters on a Zoom call, he has persevered through a number of hardships that helped shape him into the man he has become.
"Just the things that I've seen, the things that I've done growing up," he said. "I kind of became a man on my own just from learning and watching. Watching coaches, watching family and things like that. I've been through so much adversity. I've stayed under a bridge a few nights before. I saw my mom and dad get incarcerated. I saw my dad do cocaine in front of my mom. I saw my dad beat my mom. I saw my brothers and my dad get in a fight. It's just so much that I've been through. Every single day, I think about that and I think about my situation growing up. You can say that motivates me. It does, actually. It motivates me every single day. Just me thinking about my past and thinking about so much that I've been through, it's a long time coming. It's been some nights where I didn't know where my next meal was going to come from, it's been some nights where I didn't know if I was going to have clean clothes for school. Just hearing my name called, it's really a dream come true. I can't really ask for nothing more."
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. 251 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Stephen Sullivan, a wide receiver/tight end out of LSU.