The Seahawks’ finally chose a defensive tackle, with their 10th and final choice in the draft.
Seattle used its 209th-overall pick obtained in a trade from Minnesota and selected defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas from Florida State.
Christmas is 6 feet 3 1/2 inches tall and 302 pounds, according to the Seahawks. He was third-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference for the Seminoles last season.
Seattle allowed 4.9 yards per rush last season, the worst of the Pete Carroll coaching era. Stopping the run is the bedrock tenet to Carroll’s system, which is why a run-stopping defensive tackle appeared to be a higher priority in this draft and beyond.
“I’m a run-stuffer,” Christmas said on the telephone from his family’s home in Bradenton, Fla., Saturday afternoon.
And there’s why he’s now a Seahawk.
Christmas said he played mostly three-technique tackle on Florida State’s defensive line, between the offense’s guard and tackle (the so-called “B” gap) and less straight up at nose tackle. Seattle’s base defense is a 4-3 with three-technique tackles.
The Seahawks used their first pick of round six on a running back, Travis Homer from Miami. Homer is 5-10 and 202 pounds.
Perhaps the reason Carroll wanted him. Look how he ran at times for Miami:
Straight ahead. Running over guys. That’s how Chris Carson became Seattle’s seventh-round pick as a part-time rusher at Oklahoma State two years ago. Carson is now the Seahawks’ featured back after his 1,151-yard rushing season in 2018.
Homer said when Carroll called him in Miami to say the Seahawks had drafted him “I really was speechless. When the coach called on the phone all I could say is ‘Yessir. Yessir.’ I couldn’t think of anything else to say…”
As for being a running back coming to the NFL’s top-ranked rushing offense from 2018, Homer said: “That’s definitely an amazing thing. It’s definitely an opportunity…”
Then, a pause.
“Sorry,” he said. “I got a little choked up there.”
Homer and Christmas having their dreams comes true were the final two of 10 selections for Seattle in this weekend’s draft. The team began the week with an NFL-low four choices—then made seven trades to get up to 10 picks.
The Seahawks chose a defensive end, two safeties, two linebackers, two wide receivers, one guard, one running back and one defensive tackle.
Next up, an area in which the Seahawks have excelled under Carroll and general manager John Schneider: signing effective undrafted rookie free agents. Teams can sign those immediately after the seven-round draft ends Saturday afternoon.
Seattle has led the league in undrafted free agents on its active roster during recent seasons.