A day after one Wildcat was drafted and three more signed contracts as undrafted free agents, linebacker Warren Long was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks. Long, who began his Northwestern career as a running back, played in 12 games at linebacker in 2017, logging 21 tackles, including three for loss, and two forced fumbles.
Long logged 104 carries and 508 yards over the first three years of his Northwestern career as a backup running back. He scored five touchdowns, including this 55-yarder against Duke in 2015. On his first carry of 2016, Long suffered a season-ending injury and was granted a medical redshirt.
In the offseason, he made the transition to linebacker, and saw plenty of snaps as a reserve. As a senior, Long logged a season-high four tackles against Minnesota, and recorded a sack in the Music City Bowl victory.
Long’s athleticism undoubtedly impressed NFL scouts. At Northwestern’s pro day, he ran a 4.50 40-yard dash and recorded an absurd 38.5-inch vertical. Standing only 5-foot-11, he’s a bit small for a linebacker, and he obviously lacks extensive experience, but his athletic profile compares well to some of the linebacker draftees this weekend.
It seems more likely Long will get his chance as a linebacker given that’s where he most recently played, but his versatility is an important aspect of his game as well.