The Seahawks made three more trades on Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft, and they drafted three more players Friday, two from Utah—safety Marquise Blair in the second round and linebacker Cody Barton in the third round—as well as University of Mississippi receiver D.K. Metcalf at the end of the second round.
“Really good night tonight, a lot of activity,” general manager John Schneider said. “Our guys did a great job in there. We moved around a little bit. We actually traded up, which is really weird for us. But yeah, it was great, we’re excited about tonight.”
After wrapping up another busy day in the Derrick Jensen Draft Room, Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll met with the media to recap their picks and also provide an update on the future of receiver Doug Baldwin, who is recovering from multiple surgeries this offseason.
The draft resumes Saturday morning with Rounds 4-7, beginning at 9 a.m. PT. Here are five takeaways from Carroll and Schneider’s press conference:
1. They weren’t expecting to have this many picks when the week began.
Heading into the week, the Seahawks held only four picks, and while Schneider was always hopeful that the Seahawks would be able to trade down and add some picks, he didn’t think they’d be able to leave the draft with as many new players as Seattle will have acquired by Saturday afternoon. Schneider was so upset about having just four picks that he had someone put Duane Brown’s name on their draft board in the second round to take the spot where they would have had a pick.
“We literally put his tag up there,” Schneider said. “We have red tags where we don’t have picks so you can look over and see what teams don’t have picks in those rounds, and I went, ‘Can somebody please put a Duane Brown sticker up there?’”
The Seahawks added a first-round pick prior to the draft in the trade that sent Frank Clark to Kansas City, and that extra first-rounder gave them the flexibility to really start dealing on Day 1. The Seahawks moved back again with their first pick in the second round, again adding to their draft haul. And even after making moves up to get Metcalf and Barton, Seattle still has five more picks tomorrow, giving them a total of nine this draft if they use all five.
“I feel really blessed we were able to have (trade) partners, and our guys have done a really good job in that room working relationships and having quick, strong negotiations and clear concise communication,” Schneider said.
What set the Seahawks up for so much wheeling and dealing in particular was the first-round pick, No. 29 overall, they added in the Clark trade.
“Having the extra one starting off just gave John the flexibility to do a bunch of stuff, and it just changed the whole complexion of our draft,” Carroll said. “We’re just in the midst of—with a huge day coming up tomorrow—of really making a statement here for our club. It’s the result of experience and understanding how to do it. This is a marvelous turnaround from where we were going in."
2. Marquise Blair is “scary tough.”
After trading back in the second round from No. 37 to No. 47, the Seahawks picked Utah safety Marquise Blair, a player known for his big hits and physical play.
“Just physical, great athlete, ran fast, true competitor,” Schneider said. “When he worked out at the combine, we were like, ‘Man, this guy can play corner.’ He’s just that kind of athlete. Really intense tempo-setter. Just a tough, tough dude… He’s scary tough.”
Blair played both safety spots in college, and the Seahawks like his versatility, but Carroll said to start off they’ll look at him at strong safety.
“We’d like to start him at safety in the inside knowing that there’s other things he may be able to do,” Carroll said. “We really like him attacking the line of scrimmage. He blitzes well, tackles well, hits well, great feel. It’s his toughness that we really are excited about; he happens to be a really good athlete as well. We’re going to zero him in to make it focused for him as he starts out at strong safety.”
3. D.K. Metcalf can be “a real weapon” because of his size and speed.
With receivers coming off the board late in the second round, the Seahawks saw an opportunity to land a player who they didn’t think would still be around at this stage of the draft, so they moved up, trading a third-round pick and a fourth-rounder for the last pick of the second round, which they used on Metcalf, a receiver who possesses a rare combination of size and speed.
“We were (surprised he was still available),” Schneider said. “We thought he was going to go earlier, that’s why we made the move to go get him.”
Added Carroll, “I thought John did a fantastic job of setting us up for the opportunity to get the guy. It just worked beautifully. This is a guy who has extraordinary potential. We’re really excited about the fact that he’s a down-field guy because he has great speed, but he’s also a big guy.
“He’s equipped to do a lot of stuff. Not just the stuff he can do in the throwing game, but in the running game too. He’s going to be a factor for us, a team that runs the football, he’s going to be a factor. And he’s going to be able to help us in the play-action game. He releases off the line of scrimmage with great violence. He’s one of the great starters in the draft—he ran 1.46 in his 10 (yard split) which is an amazing time, not to mention how big he is. And his feet can move and fire, so we know he can do a lot of stuff. We’re anxious to fit him into the whole play-action game and all the things we love doing, and just find out where it fits for him. We want to use his speed to get him down the field and threaten the defense in ways that will really complement the rest of our guys.”
The Seahawks have gotten plenty of good play out of their receivers in recent years, most notably Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, but they have not had a player with the combination of size and speed that Metcalf possesses.
“We’ve been attempting to find that guy, because it is a real factor if it fits right,” Carroll said. “That split end spot is there for a guy that can match up—you get a lot of one-on-ones over there—and if a guy can do a good job of beating whoever he’s going against, then you can have a real weapon on that side… We have not had that guy. D.K. has an opportunity to be that type of player. You can force the one-on-ones there more than any other spot, and if a guy can have the chemistry with the quarterback and all that, then you can really create a weapon. I talked to (Russell Wilson) already, he’s excited about working with him.”
4. Cody Barton brings versatility at linebacker.
While the Seahawks plan to start Barton out playing weakside and middle linebacker, one of the traits they like about him most is that he can do a lot of things both on defense and special teams, which is why they traded up four spots in the third round to get him.
“Versatility, size—he’s 6-2 and a half—he can play all three spots, he has always been a phenomenal special teams player,” Schneider said. “The guy is really intense, loves football, he’s got true grit to him. His dad was drafted by the Blue Jays, his mom was a bigtime basketball player at Utah.”
Said Carroll: “Cody played inside the box, played like the middle linebacker, played like the weakside linebacker, and played out on the slot as well. He showed comfort in all of that. He’s really smart, he handled a lot of the communications. That versatility is really important to us, and we know he’s an incredibly gifted special teams player as well. He’ll have a chance to learn under terrifically experienced guys. He’ll be a great asset to us, and we see him being a part of a lot of stuff right off the bat, so we’re really excited about that.”
5. An update on Doug Baldwin.
Doug Baldwin has been around Seahawks headquarters “rehabbing like crazy,” Schneider said, from multiple offseason surgeries. But what he nor the Seahawks know at this point is what will happen next for the Pro-Bowl receiver.
Following a report Friday night that Baldwin may have to retire due to the accumulation of injuries in his career, Schneider and Carroll acknowledged that they have talked with Baldwin about that topic, but said nothing has been decided yet.
“He has been an extraordinary part of this program since we’ve been here,” Carroll said. “He has given us everything he has had, been a great competitor and player and all that. We believe in him so much and trust in him so much that wherever this goes, we’re going to support him forever. He has been a great contributor in so many ways, not just on the team but in the community and everything else. He has been awesome. So we’ll see what happens, and he’s working through it, and we’re going to follow Doug on this one.”
The uncertainty about Baldwin’s future was not, however why the Seahawks selected Metcalf, Schneider said.
“It didn’t really weigh in,” Schneider said. “We know Doug’s going to have a hard time. There’s a process we need to go through with Doug. But at that point with D.K., that didn’t really weigh in. There’s still several doggone good receivers on the board, so we’re going to work our way through that.”
To recap, here’s what the Seahawks have done so far, as well as the picks they have left:
Round 1, 29 overall: DE L.J. Collier, TCU
Round 2, 47 overall: SS Blair Marquise, Utah
Round 2, 64 overall: WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
Round 3, 88 overall: LB Cody Barton, Utah
Round 4, 114 overall
Round 4, 124 overall
Round 4, 132 overall
Round 5, 142 overall
Round 6, 209 overall
Photos from inside the Seattle Seahawks draft room during Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.