After trading back — again — the Seahawks finally made their second pick of the 2019 draft, taking a thumper in safety Marquise Blair out of Utah on Friday night with the 47th overall pick.
Name: Marquise Blair
The Skinny: Seahawks fans may remember Blair, but not for positive reasons. The 2018 All-Pac-12 second team selection was ejected for a targeting hit on Washington running back Myles Gaskin last September.
But there’s certainly plenty to like. Blair registered 107 tackles, six passes defended, five tackles for loss and two interceptions in his two seasons at Utah in 2017 and 2018. He was a first-team junior college All-American selection — with 100 tackles, four interceptions and three sacks — at Dodge City Community College in 2016. He originally signed with Syracuse before finally landing at Dodge City. Blair ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash and notched a 35-inch vertical jump at the NFL Combine as well.
In his draft overview, NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein called Blair an “athletic, full-throttle prospect with the mindset of a linebacker in a free safety body.” He told the Seattle media following his selection that he rotated equally at Utah between the free safety and strong safety spots. That pick certainly addresses a need for the Seahawks, who (finally officially) lost Earl Thomas this offseason and are still searching for stability beside standout safety Bradley McDougald. Blair will compete with third-year safeties Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill for a spot in the rotation.
With somewhat of a slender frame at safety, Blair will have to prove he can stay healthy at the NFL level. But the Wooster, Ohio, native has the physicality and aggressiveness that Pete Carroll and John Schneider typically covet.