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Playin’ Nice: Field Gulls

Our friends from Field Gulls drop by to preview how Damien Lewis and Stephen Sullivan mesh with the Seattle Seahawks

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks played a big part in helping LSU tie the record for most ever draft picks in a single seven-round draft. Seattle took right guard in the third round of the draft and then surprisingly traded back into the draft just before it concluded and picked Stephen Sullivan.

With Seattle taking a pair of Tigers, it made sense to reach out to Mookie Alexander, associate editor at our sister site Field Gulls.

1. I don’t think LSU fans are surprised Damien Lewis got drafted, but center Lloyd Cushenberry III was the favorite to be the first LSU offensive linemen selected. What did Seattle see in Lewis?

Lewis’ run blocking skills already look NFL caliber, and knowing Pete Carroll he absolutely loves the way Damien just moves people on the inside. The Seahawks may have a very good rushing attack as is, but they ranked poorly in yards before contact. If Lewis can easily open up rushing lanes, it would be welcome news for Chris Carson and the rest of Seattle’s running back depth chart. As far as his pass-blocking, it could use some work but it’s hardly a disaster and the team obviously sees someone who can start right away and have a high ceiling. I can’t even believe I’m excited about a Seahawks offensive lineman on purpose, but it’s real!

2. Seattle cut D.J. Fluker, is the right guard spot now Lewis’ to lose?

It really is. Other options at right guard are scarce in the first place. BJ Finney is a guard/center but he’ll probably start at center after Justin Britt was cut, Mike Iupati is likely to remain at left guard, so all other options are fringe players or camp bodies who probably won’t even be on the team in preseason. I think Lewis is going to be a day one starter and with some considerable expectations. His pass-blocking development would be huge given interior pressure has been just as big a problem for the Seahawks compared to the edge.

3. If an LSU tight end was going to get drafted, we all expected it to be Thaddeus Moss. But it was Stephen Sullivan who got picked, not Moss. Not only that, Seattle traded back into the draft just before it ended and took Sullivan. Why was Sullivan so highly coveted to Seattle?

I selfishly wanted Thaddeus Moss just for the fantasy of having a “You got Mossed!” moment with Russell Wilson throwing to Randy’s son. Alas, that won’t be happening. As for Sullivan, I was pretty surprised that the Seahawks traded into the 7th round for yet another tight end. It’s an interesting situation because Sullivan is a recent convert to TE but could easily be moved back to WR. I assume Sullivan’s abilities as a pass-catcher caught Seattle’s attention, along with his ability to block in space (compared to in-line blocking).

4. In your opinion, does Sullivan ultimately make the final 53 roster, kept on the practice squad or ultimately let go?

Sullivan has a serious uphill battle whether he’s a WR or TE. At TE he has to contend with Greg Olsen, Jacob Hollister, Luke Willson, Will Dissly, and fourth-round pick Colby Parkinson. At wide receiver he’s likely going to be in a battle with sixth-round pick Freddie Swain, John Ursua, and Penny Hart to be the 5th WR. I think the Seahawks will look to keep him on the practice squad, otherwise I don’t see the avenue for him to make the active roster.