Hopefully the wait was worth it.
As expected, the Seahawks traded back in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft on Thursday, dealing the No. 21 overall pick to Green Bay for No. 30, No. 114 and No. 118. They then flipped the No. 30 pick to the New York Giants for picks No. 37, 132 and 142.
But with the 29th overall pick — which Seattle received from the Kansas City Chiefs as part of this week’s Frank Clark trade — John Schneider, Pete Carroll and Co. addressed an area of need by selecting TCU defensive end L.J. Collier.
Let’s get to know this Munday, Texas, native a little better.
Name: L.J. Collier
The Skinny: Collier surged during his senior season at TCU in 2018, producing career-highs in tackles (42), tackles for loss (11.5), sacks (6) and passes defended (4). He was named to the All-Big 12 first team by both the conference’s head coaches and Pro Football Focus, which gave him the highest grade of all Big 12 edge rushers in 2018.
But can Collier really be a pure pass-rusher? The former Munday High School standout — whose only scholarship offers came from TCU and Texas Tech — produced just 20.5 total tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in four seasons. That’s partially because he only played in four games in his first two seasons in Fort Worth, Texas.
With a robust 6-4, 276-pound frame, Collier’s long-term future may lie on the interior of the Seahawks’ defensive line.
Many 2019 mock drafts called for Seattle to add pass rush help on Thursday, and that’s no coincidence. Besides Clark and defensive tackle Jarran Reed, who racked up 10.5 sacks in a breakout season, no other Seahawk mustered more than three sacks in 2018. Second-year defensive ends Rasheem Green and Jacob Martin will receive opportunities to take a positive step in their sophomore seasons.
But it also looks like Collier will be counted on to make an instant impact this fall.