Just when Seahawks fans might have thought their team was done with the 2020 NFL draft, the Seahawks pulled them back in.
Mere minutes before the draft ended Seattle pulled off a trade with Miami dealing a 2021 sixth-round pick for Miami’s choice at 251.
And the Seahawks then drafted receiver Stephen Sullivan of LSU, though he also played some tight end last season as well as at the Senior Bowl.
Wherever he ends up, you won’t find a better story of perseverance, though the Seahawks have had a lot of those in this draft.
Sulllivan is from Donaldsonville, La. A story last August from TheAdvocate.com detailed how he overcame a childhood of poverty while his parents struggled with legal issues, spending time living with coaches and families of friends but overcoming that to graduate from LSU with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, becoming the first college graduate in his family.
Sullivan detailed to Seattle reporters in a conference call shortly after he was drafted how he bounced away from home to home during a turbulent childhood in which both of his parents battled legal and other issues, eventually living with the family of a good friend for the final three years of high school.
“Been some nights I didn’t know where my next meal was going to come from,” he said. “I didn’t know if I would have clean clothes for school.”
Some nights, he said, he slept under highway overpasses.
He said all that went through his mind when he heard his name called by Seattle following the trade — and after he had been told that Miami was going to maybe pick him.
“It’s just so much that I’ve been through and every single day I think about my situation growing up and I guess you can say that motivates me every single day,” he said.
Let’s take a closer look at the newest Seahawk.
Name: Stephen Sullivan.
The Skinny: Sullivan became the second LSU player drafted by Seattle, joining guard Damien Lewis who went in the third round.
He had 12 receptions for 130 yards last season with the Tigers and finished with 46 for 712 in his career.
But as noted, he arrived at LSU as a highly-touted receiver before struggling to make a real home at that spot and moving to tight end as a senior.
He played tight end at the Senior Bowl where he apparently caught the eye of Seattle coach Pete Carroll — Sullivan said Carroll came up to him there and told him Seattle was going to get him.
According to Sports Info Solutions “his downfield athleticism was on display at the Senior Bowl working out of his new position, proving he can grow into a valuable weapon with time.’’
Seattle, though, is listing Sullivan as a receiver, so that may be where the Seahawks will start him out.
Wrote NFL.com in its scouting report: “Big receiver with the body type and contested catch toughness to make transition to a big slot or flex tight end role. He added weight and played tight end early in the year, but simply lacked the functional strength as a blocker. However, he’s an above-average blocker in space who can help spring receiver screens, jet-sweeps and outside runs. He finds traffic and coverage too often in his routes and needs to get better at using his burst and body to separate. He’s a developmental project worth a stash spot while teams keep tinkering and teaching to see if they have something.’’
It also marks the second straight year Seattle moved back into the draft by dealing a future sixth-round pick to take another player in the seventh round. Last year, Seattle dealt a 2020 sixth-round pick to Jacksonville for receiver John Ursua. Jacksonville used that pick Saturday on tight end Tyler Davis of Georgia Tech.