After trading up to make their first pick on Day 2 of the draft and losing a third-round pick, the Seahawks got a pick back by trading down and sending the 64th pick to the New York Jets in exchange for the 69th pick and a fifth-round pick (No. 148 overall).
With the 69th pick, Seattle selected guard Damien Lewis from the NCAA champion LSU Tigers. Lewis joins a roster that seems to have about 234 offensive linemen. Well, OK, the Seahawks had 18 linemen on the roster coming into the draft including eight guards and five linemen listed as center/guard.
So what does that mean? Well, Lewis’ playing time might be limited with starters D.J. Fluker and Mike Iupati returning. But he certainly fits the Seahawks profile in terms of intangibles and mindset.
Let’s get to know the 19th lineman now on the Seahawks roster …
Name: Damien Lewis
The Skinny: Not surprisingly, given the Seahawks run-first philosophy, Lewis excels at run blocking. With a squattier build, he’s shown above-average power while moving defensive lineman off the line of scrimmage and a nasty streak in terms of finishing off plays.
“The first goal is to get you out of the way, the second goal is to keep on mauling you through the whistle. That goes for both the pass and run game,” he told USA Today.
Lacking length on his frame, there are some questions about his ability to pass block one-on-one and struggles against Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown provided an example of the problems.
Playing for Cantonville High in rural Mississippi — a team that is far from a football powerhouse — Lewis had teams with less than 30 players on them and won a total of 11 games in three years. While he played well, the obscurity of his school and questions about NCAA eligibility left Lewis with zero scholarship offers out of high school. He enrolled at Northwest Mississippi Community College and played there two seasons, making the dean’s list and earning All-American honors before heading to LSU.
At LSU, he grabbed a starting spot with head coach Ed Orgeron telling reporters that Lewis could have a 10-year career in the NFL. While at LSU, he earned reputation for maniacal effort in the weight room, squatting 600-plus pounds and benching pressing 475 pounds.