Seahawks Insider

Carroll on draft: Let the competition begin

Post by Eric Williams on April 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm with 23 Comments »
April 28, 2013 7:48 am

With Seattle selecting nine players on the final day of the draft, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll understands it will be tough for his team’s latest addition to carve out spots on an already-talent roster that made a deep playoff run last season.

“The whole idea is to make this roster as competitive as possible,” Carroll said. “And so that means it’s hard for theses guys to make it. But also, the quality of guys we were able to draft and attract here in free agency makes it hard for the guys to keep their jobs. And that’s just understood. That’s part of the makeup of being here with the Seahawks.”

Carroll said that fifth-round pick defensive tackle Jesse Williams will compete for time as an early down run stuffer, the role Alan Branch held down for two years.

“He’s really an intense, jumps off the ball and is strong,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said. “I think he benches 600-something pounds. He’s a guy who will really fill a specific role for us. Just his strength, his movement down the line of scrimmage and his ability to compress the pocket really is an intriguing thing for us.”

The expectation is that fourth round draft choice receiver Chris Harper will be an outside receiver for Seattle who will compete for time at split end, Carroll said.

“We don’t see him as a slot guy,” Carroll said. “We see him as an outside receiver. He’s got some real special qualities that we’ll learn and make use of. But we’ll see him mostly at X (receiver).”

Sixth-round draft choice Spencer Ware will be groomed as fullback who can play some running back, Carroll said.

“That flexibility was exciting for us,” Carroll said. “And he’s such a tough guy. We really liked his nature, and the way he brings it. And we expect him to fit into a number of different areas, special teams as well.”

Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson is schedule to make $2.5 million in base salary, so Ware could be a cheaper alternative for Seattle if he shows that he can play at a similar level.

Also, Seattle likely will run less two backs sets this year with Percy Harvin in the fold.

Schneider said Luke Willson was the second-highest tester among tight ends in this year’s draft. Carroll said Willson will be groomed as both an in-line tight end and a guy who can line up outside the defense and threaten the middle of the field with his speed.

Carroll also indicated that seventh round selection Jared Smith will convert to offensive guard from defensive tackle, just like J.R. Sweezy did last season. Carroll said that offensive line coach Tom Cable worked Smith out last week.

“So we’re excited about his upside from an athletic standpoint. He’s in a very similar mode as Sweezy.”

Schneider said that Russell Okung helped recruit Michael Bowie to Oklahoma State, giving Seattle a certain comfort level with the pick. Bowie will get a look at right tackle.

Bowie had to transfer from Oklahoma State to Northeastern State because he was dismissed from the team for violating team rules, according to Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy.

He’s a guy who was picked where he was picked for a reason,” Schneider said. “He’s had a little bit of a background. And he needs to overcome those things. And if he overcomes them, he has a good chance to be an excellent pro.”

Seventh-round pick Ryan Seymour is a versatile offensive lineman who will start out at offensive guard.

Malcolm smith leads competition at OLB

Carroll said the Malcolm Smith will get the first opportunity to earn the starting outside linebacker spot left open by Leroy Hill not coming back.

However, Carroll said that the similar nature of the Leo and SAM outside linebacker position gives Seattle some flexibility. That’s one of the reasons Seattle did not draft an outside linebacker prospect until the seventh round with Ty Powell.

“He’s the guy who has the lead shot at the Will spot,” Carroll said. “But we’re moving some things around to make sure we utilize everybody well. You’ll see how that works out coming out of camp.”

Carroll said because of the versatility of Cliff Avril and Bruce Irvin, defensively the Seahawks can return to some of the schemes he used in college when he had Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews.

Tate the punt returner

Carroll said that Golden Tate will get the first crack at the punt return job left vacant when the team released Leon Washington, who later signed with New England.

New addition Christine Michael also will get a shot at the job, Carroll said.

Tate has 16 career punt returns for 202 yards, including a long of 63 yards.

Longtime scout Derrick Jensen retires

Derrick Jensen, an area scout for the Seahawks for 22 years, made the last two picks of the draft for the Seahawks by speaker phone.

Jensen, who suffers from ALS, retired in December. A third-round draft choice by the Oakland Raiders in 1978, Jensen played seven years in the NFL.

Jensen also celebrated his birthday today.

“We had a really cool moment where we got him on the speaker phone, and he actually made the last two picks for us,” an emotional Schneider said. “He joked around with us while he was doing it. He’s still doing great.”

Added Carroll: “We were just lucky to have a chance to celebrate with him today.”

Categories:
NFL Draft
Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. Thanks guys for the great coverage and great stories here. I like hearing Coach’s take on each guy. Keep it up!

  2. ^^^^ Agreeed!! love the coverage and your writing!!

    When do rookie camps start?

  3. raymaines says:

    My early guess about veterans on the Cap Room Hot Seat are Mike Robinson, Zach Miller, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Paul McQuistan & Breno Giacomini. What a brutal business this is.

  4. freedom_X says:

    If I recall correctly, Tate’s in the last year of his contract so there’s little point in cutting him. Zach Miller’s cap number drops dramatically next year, so again there’s not much reason to cut him this year unless they’re trying to sign another big $$$ free agent.

    Baldwin can’t be making that much, can he, as he’s still on his rookie free agent deal? I doubt any of the young linemen will step up enough to obsolete McQuistan and Giacomini. Michael Robinson, bless him, is the player at greatest risk, if the rookie shows anything.

  5. rramstad says:

    Golden Tate shouldn’t be on the list.

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/golden-tate/

    “Golden Tate is signed for 4 years / $3.26 million with the Seattle Seahawks. He is making $630k in 2013.”

    This is the last year of his rookie deal. That’s a tiny cap hit, would make zero sense to cut him.

    Similar situation with Doug Baldwin.

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/seattle-seahawks/doug-baldwin/

    “Doug Baldwin is signed for 3 years / $1.41 million with the Seattle Seahawks. He is making $555k in 2013.”

    I also have a feeling that the OL picks have more to do with motivating Carpenter and Moffit. If the new guys can beat them out, good, and if they can’t, that’s good too… someone has to want the position. I agree though that if as a side effect by developing the new OL players they can move away from McQuistan and Giacomini, they will.

  6. If Carroll is so big on competition, how come he didn’t draft a QB to give Russell some competition? Surely he can’t be satisfied with Brady Quinn and Josh Portis.

  7. freedom_X says:

    Carroll probably doesn’t think any of the QB’s available in the late rounds can challenge Wilson. To say the least.

  8. We have seen a few times that he doesn’t ALWAYS feel the need to provide competition for everyone.

  9. That was a great update Eric – answered alot of my questions.

    I haven’t seen any USC games, so I will be watching to see how the WLB situation works itself out.

  10. hawkfan777 says:

    I think Carroll always wants competition at every position but as freedom_X stated Carroll probably didn’t want to waste a pick on a bad QB. He already has a few bad backups, why add one more? This year is supposed to be one of the worst in the history of the NFL for QB’s. Of course, nobody knows for sure until these guys get a chance in the NFL.

  11. I would have preferred drafting a QB like Nassib or Barkley to adding two more RBs. But I’m sure you guys are right. Carroll and Schneider just didn’t think highly of them. And perhaps Christine Michael is going to be great.

  12. Dukeshire says:

    Yes, good update Eric. I’m really looking forward to seeing how, and what, players they shuffle at Sam and Leo in different situations.

  13. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    Canfan, do you think even manning or brady could push wilson more than he pushes himself? it’s wilson’s drive that makes him so good
    constantly pushing to get better to improve never settling always striving.

    i see several people that have made the team not making it this year if they don’t step up moffit, carp and many of the previous projects.
    i think smith steps up and takes the job that is his for the losing.
    i think robinson is safe this year but not next same with McQuistan and Giacomini.

  14. RB with our first pick is still a bit of a headscratcher to me after a couple days. But I do trust our guys.

    Seems like Williams has a chance to make an impact way above what you’d expect from a 5th rounder if he can stay healthy.

    Got to evaluate our draft alongside our FA pick-ups this year, where we’ve picked up 3-4 starters.

  15. Why are there so few comments from the team on Jordan Hill, who was taken before Harper and Williams. I have seen a comment from the Huddle Report that mentions Warren Sapp as a comparable player. While that is likely a stretch, it still makes him interesting, and I found only a short report on him here.

  16. I don’t think Carp needs any motivation. He just needs to stay healthy- Moffit/Sweezy onth other hand . . . Neither guy played well enough to grab the position last year, for one reason or the other.

    It will be interesting battles to watch I say 1 of the rookie OL guys makes the team – unless they decide to do a cash dump.

  17. ChrisHolmes says:

    “Canfan, do you think even manning or brady could push wilson more than he pushes himself? it’s wilson’s drive that makes him so good
    constantly pushing to get better to improve never settling always striving.”

    I’m glad someone said that.

    Wilson is a QB in the same mold as Brady and Manning. The kid spends countless hours watching and studying film, preparing, getting mentally ready to dominate next year. He’s going to be throwing to his receivers after practice. First guy in the facility, last to leave. You can’t push him. He’s as motivated as they come.

    QB is the most important position on the team. Competition is great, but when it comes to QB, you want a designated leader. We have a legit franchise QB now. We don’t need anyone else to push Wilson. We just need to let him do his thing.

    As for Barkley… Listen, he’s just not going to have much of a career in the NFL. He can be a career backup if he so chooses, but he’s not starter material. Not at the NFL level. PC knew it.

  18. owenbytheway says:

    Solid performance, Eric, you beat the competition off the line and they didn’t catch up.

    Old Cole Slow, that Hill barely showed on anybody’s map … but he was far more identifiable than most of the side orders we seemed to pick up…but it seemed that way last year too.

    By the conclusion of the seventh round my head wouldn’t stop shaking in confusion.

    Now, after seeing the UFDA’s they selected I’m ready to give up trying to figure out what they’re doing (as must be the case with most of the “predictors” last week in this blog) … and just sit back and watch the movie and wonder if Rob Rang isn’t saying the same thing.

    I trust ‘em.

    I don’t know why after seeing the national reviews of these prospects, but I trust ‘em.

    May the birds drop where they may.

  19. ChrisHolmes says:

    “RB with our first pick is still a bit of a headscratcher to me after a couple days. But I do trust our guys.”

    Not a head-scratcher if you saw their board.

    That’s the thing… none of us saw Seattle’s board. If he was the top-rated guy on their board, and they took him, then that’s how you do it. That’s how you draft. You take the best available player when it’s your turn to pick. You have to trust the work you put in leading up to draft day and the rankings you gave guys.

    This is where teams get themselves into trouble: they don’t trust their board. Then they “reach” to fill a perceived “need” instead of just picking the best player and making their team better.

    You gotta trust your grades and your board.

    Not to mention, we only have two RB’s on the roster. We’re a running team. We need at least three guys to carry the rock going into the season (and pre-season snaps). If Lynch goes down we’re going to be happy to have the backups we do have (anyone remember the Saints RB problems the past few years? Or Green Bay’s?)

    I don’t have a problem with any of the guys we picked. Everyone is an unknown right now. The draft makes me laugh just because the analysts praise every single pick (almost). A guy gets picked and the analysts gush about the kid and how he’s a great “fit” for whoever just picked him.

    It’s horse pucky. Most of these kids aren’t going to make it very long. And that includes guys we just selected.

    But if we get even one pro bowler out of this draft, that’s a win.

  20. owenbytheway says:

    Quick accounting of suckers on this blogsite shows HonhawksLSB running away from the rest of us with Jesse Williams and Christine Michael and a 5th round trade.

    CDN C HAWK got both Michael and Harper.

    6 entrants got one right.

    nobody else converted anything except blood, sweat, and tears.

  21. “That’s the thing… none of us saw Seattle’s board. If he was the top-rated guy on their board, and they took him, then that’s how you do it. That’s how you draft. You take the best available player when it’s your turn to pick. You have to trust the work you put in leading up to draft day and the rankings you gave guys”

    Yeah, I hear you. But it still seems to me that when you’re talking about a position with a pro bowl starter and a seemingly very solid back-up, you don’t spend your top pick on that same spot. Again, I’m not really complaining, I know that we have the kind of roster this year that allows us this kind of luxury.

    And I am the first to admit that I know zero about the guys coming out of college to play pro bal, other than what I read in the weeks leading up to the draft. Just don’t have the bandwidth these days to follow college football; so I’m certainly not going to critique individual guys that they picked, my only commentary is looking at areas where we’re more covered personnel-wise than others.

  22. chuck_easton says:

    pdway,

    I too immediately went ‘HUH????’ when I saw Seattle took a RB in the 2nd.

    But when I watched the film on this guy I began to see the method behind the apparent madness.

    The guy is a beast JR of a runner. One cut and he’s gone downfield. He is much closer to being a plug and play replacement to Lynch than Turbin is.

    Turbin is more of an east/west dance around until you find a hole type of runner. Lynch, and apparently Michael from what I see on tape, are the type of guys who’s style is to say ‘screw the hole, I’ll make my own!’.

    If/when Lynch has his inevitable back spasms and can’t play a game or so, or if his pounding running style begins to take its toll on Lynch’s production Seattle now has an understudy a few years and several bruising miles of wear and tear younger that can step in and continue the type of running style the team wants to use.

    Turbin doesn’t give that. I am willing to bet that by the first week of the regular season Michael has passed Turbin on the depth chart and is the #2 RB going into the season.

  23. “Turbin doesn’t give that. I am willing to bet that by the first week of the regular season Michael has passed Turbin on the depth chart and is the #2 RB going into the season.”

    If that turns out to be right – then the pick makes sense. But I thought Turbin was pretty good in his limited opptys, definitely showed enough to me to hang on to his #2 RB spot. But yeah, I do get that Lynch’s health given his back issues and the way he runs, isn’t a given.

    I think it’s more what you said in your earlier post. The Hawks are sitting pretty roster-wise, and they can take chances with true BPA picks. Last year’s picks were a bit more targeted, but this year, w/the way we scored in free agency, we can take big swings.

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