The Seattle Seahawks traded up on day two of the 2020 NFL Draft to select Tennessee pass rusher Darrell Taylor with the 48th overall pick. Taylor, who put up 16.5 sacks in the last two seasons in Knoxville, will now be tasked with replacing Jadeveon Clowney, who remains unsigned.
Seattle general manager John Schneider explained that the team nearly took him during the first round, and spent most of the day on Friday trying to move up to get him.
“He was in consideration last night,” John Schneider said. “Our guys did a great job of working their tails off trying to keep getting up to try to acquire him, and it was pretty hot. We view him as one of the very, very top pass rushers in this class. From the get go this morning, we were on it, trying to move the whole way. We were trying to go up pretty high to get him.”
Taylor had been projected to in the third round throughout the draft process. Late mock drafts popped up with Taylor landing in the first round with the Seahawks. While that first-round projection didn’t pan out, Taylor didn’t have to wait too long on Friday night for his name to be called.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll explained that Taylor is a prototypical fit in their defensive system.
“He is exactly that, he is right in that LEO mold,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “The height, weight, speed things is there, his aggressiveness is there, his flexibility, his savvy for turning the corner, and doing the things that that position calls for—the power, he has to finish. He’s got speed to power moves.”
The Seahawks finished at 11-5 in 2019, earning a spot in the playoffs. After a wildcard round win, the Green Bay Packers defeated them in the divisional round. Taylor will immediately slot in behind new additions Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin with a legitimate chance to become a starter quickly.
The NFL Draft continues today, picking back up at noon ET on ESPN.