Dissly is the first Husky taken by the Seahawks since another tight end — Jerramy Stevens in 2002. He fills a hole opened by the departures of Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson.
With the first of their eight picks in the NFL Draft on Saturday’s final day, the Seahawks selected Washington tight end Will Dissly.
Dissly, listed at 6-4, 265 pounds, was called by NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock as the best blocking tight end in the draft, something the Seahawks are obviously attracted to as they hope to revive their running game in 2018.
Seattle also had just three tight ends on its roster heading into the draft — Ed Dickson, Nick Vannett and Tyrone Swoopes — making it an obvious area of need this weekend. Seattle’s top two tight ends last season, Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson, signed with Green Bay and Detroit as free agents, respectively.
Round 1 | Pick 27 | No. 27 overall (via GB)RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Round 3 | Pick 12 | No. 79 overall (via PIT)DL Rasheem Green, USC
Round 4 | Pick 20 | No. 120 overallTE Will Dissly, Washington
Round 5 | Pick 4 | No. 141 overallOLB Shaquem Griffin, Central Florida
Round 5 | Pick 9 | No. 146 overallDB Tre Flowers, Oklahoma State
Round 5 | Pick 12 | No. 149 ovr (via DEN)P Michael Dickson, Texas
Round 5 | Pick 31 | No. 168 overallOT Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
Round 6 | Pick 12 | No. 186 overall (via GB)LB/DL Jacob Martin, Temple
Round 7 | Pick 2 | No. 220 overall (via PIT)QB Alex McGough, Florida International
Dissly began his career at UW as a defensive end before moving to tight end his final two years and had 21 receptions for 289 yards and two touchdowns as a senior in 2017, both of the TDs coming against Montana, his homestate school — Dissly grew up in Bozeman.
Dissly was in Bozeman when the Seahawks called on Saturday.
“It feels like half the town is here,” he said.
Dissly met with the Seahawks at the Combine and said he knew Seattle was interested but also knew the Draft could lead him anywhere.
“I just had to have an open mind,” he said. “Going in I had few expectations. But I really enjoyed getting to know coach (Pete) Carroll and (Seahawks tight end coach Pat McPherson) through the process. So when I got the call I was just really excited to become a Seahawk.”
It’s the first time the Seahawks have drafted a player from the University of Washington since taking tight end Jerramy Stevens in the first round in 2002 and the 11th overall.
In a conference call with Seattle reporters Saturday, Dissly recounted again the story of how he began to make the switch to tight end during practices before Washington played in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2015. Dissly, who had played tight end in high school, asked if he could take part in a tight end drill, which led to the team putting in a package of plays for him for the game, and then a fulltime position switch the following spring.
“It’s unbelievable,” Dissly said of being drafted to play tight end in the NFL barely two-and-a-half years after making the switch. “It wasn’t the perfect story by any means. But I’m just really glad the way it worked out. I don’t think it stops here, man. Keep working hard and let’s go win some games for the Hawks.”
A former two-star recruit from Bozeman, Mont., Dissly was all set to attend Boise State as a defensive lineman. He had no Power Five scholarship offers until Chris Petersen asked Dissly to follow him to Seattle before the 2014 season.
Dissly’s selection continues Washington’s strong history of producing NFL tight ends. He is the 19th UW tight end bound for the NFL, and the fourth in the past five years.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was a second-round pick in 2013, and Joshua Perkins (2016) and Darrell Daniels (2017) made NFL rosters as undrafted free agents.
Seattle’s other picks Saturday are: 141 (fifth), 146 (fifth), 156 (fifth), 168 (fifth), 186 (sixth), 220 (seventh) and 226 (seventh).