The Seahawks made two picks on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft: Tennessee DE Darrell Taylor (second round, 48th overall) and LSU G Damien Lewis (third round, 69th overall).
Following the conclusion of the third round, John Schneider and Pete Carroll explained why they wanted each player.
It was the worst-kept secret in NFL history that the Seahawks were in need of a pass rusher. Seattle traded up in the second round to pick No. 48 in exchange for pick Nos. 59 and 101 in order to get him.
Carroll views Taylor as the prototypical LEO, comparable to Frank Clark and Chris Clemons.
"He's exactly that," Carroll said. "He's right in that mold. His height, weight, speed thing is there. His aggressiveness is there. His flexibility. His savvy for turning the corner. The things that that position calls for. The power he has to finish. He has speed-to-power moves, and there's enough ability there to drop him (into coverage) on the few times we mix up our looks and all. … We know he's going to have the chance to contribute early."
A lot of the criticism on Taylor is that he's a raw pass rusher. Lance Zierlein's scouting report said that Taylor had "five-star tools with a three-star skill set." Carroll doesn't view Taylor to be nearly as raw as critics might suggest.
Additionally, the Seahawks love the personality fit with Taylor that will help bridge the cap and get him ready to be an NFL pass rusher.
"If he brings that fight, then he won't have any trouble learning what we're asking him," Carroll said.
Schneider explained that Seattle coveted Taylor so much that the team was hellbent on getting him on Friday. According to the GM, the front office spent most of the day working to find a trade partner to move up in the second round. They tried to go higher than No. 48, but that was the soonest they could find a willing team to make a deal. Schneider said that Taylor was in consideration for Seattle in the first round.
Taylor was one of the few prospects that Seattle got a full medical on prior to the COVID-19 travel ban. That helped the Seahawks feel comfortable in the stress fracture in Taylor's shin that he played through in 2019. He impressively posted 8.5 sacks despite the injury.
"If not for the injury, who knows where he would have been drafted," Schneider said, indicating that Taylor offered great value in the second round.
Lewis will be strictly a right guard for the Seahawks, and Carroll confirmed that he'll compete against D.J. Fluker to start immediately. Cutting Fluker at the end of camp would only cost Seattle $500,000 in dead cap space, which makes the competition at right guard very legit and not just Carroll-speak.
"(Lewis) won't take a backseat to anybody. He's going to come in and battle for it. That's part of the reason we took him. We want him to come in and battle to play. All of that competition will make us better."
Added Schneider: "He's a grown man. Russ [Russell Wilson] wants grown men in front of him, and that's what this guy is."
The Seahawks pick four more times on Saturday (barring any trades, of course).