Bob Condotta: What to make of Seahawks' 2019 draft with L.J. Collier gone

Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times on

Published in Football

It was no surprise Tuesday to learn that L.J. Collier — Seattle's first-round pick in the 2019 draft — was moving on, signing a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.

After the fanfare of his selection at No. 29 overall died down, Collier's career never really worked out with the Seahawks.

On draft day, the Seahawks envisioned Collier playing the same role as Michael Bennett, who had departed a year earlier.

"He'll play the spot where Michael Bennett played, and we'll ask him to do a lot of similar things and in time, you know, we'll see what that means," coach Pete Carroll said during the 2019 draft. "But that's where we're starting anyway."

But Collier's career began as ominously as possible when he was carted off the field in his first week of training camp in July, 2019, with an ankle injury the team later said was bad enough that there was an initial fear he would miss the season.

That injury limited Collier to 11 games and 152 snaps and three tackles as a rookie.


Hopes that Collier might fulfill his potential bloomed some in 2020 when he got healthy and started all 16 games, making 22 tackles and three sacks. Those were the only sacks of his Seahawks career.

The addition of veteran Kerry Hyder and emergence of Rasheem Green in 2021 put Collier back on the bench. Not only was he on the bench, but for six of the first eight games he was inactive despite being healthy, the team preferring to go with Robert Nkemdiche as a reserve.

All involved hoped the switch to a 3-4 in 2022 might benefit Collier. In June, defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt praised the way Collier seemed to be adapting.

"Out of the entire group of guys on defense, he's had one of the better springs out of everyone," Hurtt said. "So really excited for him and where he is going. ... He's come in bigger and stronger and faster than what he has been in previous years."


swipe to next page

(c)2023 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus