Just last week, Damien Lewis was playing Madden20 with his best friend. Lewis used the Seahawks, his stated favorite team. That's because he likes running the football with Seattle.
Now he'll be part of the Seahawks run-first approach after they drafted him with the 69th-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The LSU product is coming off of a National Championship season with the Tigers and now figures to be Seattle's right guard of the future. Current starter D.J. Fluker is currently entering the last year of his contract.
Shortly after being drafted, he received a FaceTime call from the man he'll be protecting on Sundays.
"Man, you ready?" Russell Wilson asked Lewis.
The call clearly made an impression on Seattle's new guard.
"He's a great guy, a great leader," Lewis said. "He gets guys going as a captain. Everything is going to revolve around him. He gets people fired up. I'm ready to meet him in person. I told him, ‘Day 1 I'm coming in to compete, trying to earn a spot. I'm going to give it my all.'"
Pete Carroll and John Schneider surely shared their usual spiel with Lewis about coming in to compete, etc., but Wilson took things a step further.
"We're trying to win the Super Bowl over here," Wilson shared with Lewis. "We don't play (around). We're trying to make it happen this year."
Added Lewis: "He was fired up about it, and I'm fired up about it. I'm ready to make it happen."
Lewis is touted for his proficient skills as a run blocker, which makes it obvious why Seattle became so fond of him. His pass protection is a work in progress, but there doesn't seem to be any reason why those skills can't improve over time.
His tape, according to NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, was mostly impressive aside from a bout against Auburn's Derrick Brown. It's fair to give Lewis somewhat of a pass on that game given Brown, this year's seventh-overall pick, got the better of most of his opponents.
Lewis acknowledged his subpar performance against Brown and said he used it as a learning experience. LSU ultimately beat Auburn, 23-20, in a game that went down to the wire. There was no time for Lewis to feel sorry for himself. He simply had to press forward and keep battling.
"It was a tough game, but the game is won in 60 minutes," Lewis said. "You've just got to keep on chopping down wood and just keep on going up."
Like every player getting drafted over this three-day event, Lewis is realizing a dream many years in the making. It was evident in Lewis' voice that the magnitude of this opportunity is not lost on him.
"I'm determined," he said. "I'm going to be there for the team. I'm going to lay it all on the line. I'm going to come to practice; be at the meetings; be responsible; be accountable. I'm going to leave it all out there and give it all for this team."
Russell Wilson to Damien Lewis: Were trying to win a Super Bowl over here originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest