Ex-Seahawks First Round Pick Bolts for Division Rival: Report

It looks like the Seattle Seahawks are losing a former first-round draft pick.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, former Seahawks defensive end L.J. Collier is signing with the Arizona Cardinals. Collier had spent the past four seasons with Seattle since he was selected with the 29th overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

“Former Seahawks’ first-round pick DE LJ Collier is signing a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals,” said Schefter on Monday, March 21.

Collier made sure to thank the Seahawks in his farewell message shortly after the report of his signing with the Cardinals.

“Just wanted to say thank you to seattle Seahawks they gave me a chance of a life time im forever grateful now cardinals nation lets get to work,” Collier tweeted.

L.J. Collier Failed to Produce With Seahawks

The 27-year-old Collier was a first-round bust in Seattle, failing to emerge as a viable contributor during his four seasons with the Seahawks. For most of his tenure in Seattle, Collier had been a reserve lineman, only emerging as a starter during the 2020 season when he started 16 games. However, he failed to stand out, producing just 22 tackles and three sacks while appearing in 49% of the defensive snaps.

According to Pro Football Focus, Collier posted a mediocre defensive grade of 59.1 during his lone season as starter in 2020. Despite seeing 559 snaps as a defensive lineman that season, Collier generated just 21 total pressures — three sacks, four hits and 14 hurries. That means that Collier posted a pressure rate of just 3.8%.

For perspective, Uchenna Nwosu — who co-led the Seahawks with 9.5 sacks during the 2022 season — generated 61 total pressures (35 hurries and 16 quarterback hits) in 875 snaps for a total pressure rate of 7.0%.

Collier’s lack of production was a theme during his tenure in Seattle, posting a total of 18 tackles in 35 games during his three other seasons as a reserve lineman with the Seahawks. Outside of his three-sack season in 2020, Collier didn’t produce a single sack during his three other seasons.

SB Nation’s Field Gulls actually pointed out Collier’s lack of ability to produce anything during his rookie season in 2019 when he had seen his most playing time up until that point.

“LJ Collier apparently played in a career-high 37 snaps yesterday,” SB Nation’s Field Gulls tweeted on Dec. 16, 2019. “That’s 76 snaps in the last 4 games. His stats over those 76 snaps: 0 tackles, 0 TFL, 0 sacks, 0 QB hits, and for now (maybe more details will emerge), 0 pressures Hard to describe as anything other than concerning. The part that really gets me is the 0 tackles, and to consider how unlikely it is for any player to get 140 snaps at DE in a season and come away with only 2 tackles.”

L.J. Collier’s Agent Takes Jab at Seahawks

Despite Collier’s lack of statistical output throughout the course of his career, his agent — Scott Casterline — managed to take a little jab at the Seahawks as he believes Collier has found a superior fit in the Cardinals.

Via Aaron Wilson of KPRC2:

“Our main objective was getting L.J. to the right team, right coaching staff and right scheme,” said Casterline. “Look at what they did last year in Philadelphia. They play upfield. Jonathan Gannon is what you want in a coach.”

With Collier finding a new home, we’ll see if the former TCU standout can finally live up to his first-round billing.

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