Seahawks Insider

The 5 spot: Rookie minicamp

Post by Eric Williams on May 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm with 26 Comments »
May 9, 2013 12:59 pm

Rookie minicamp begins on Friday for the Seattle Seahawks, and all 11 draft picks are expected to be there, along with the nine undrafted rookie free agents signed two weeks ago.

The Seahawks will practice Friday and Saturday afternoon, and finish off the three-day session on Sunday morning. All three sessions will be open to the media, so we’ll have practice reports on the blog each day.

The roster still is being finalized for tomorrow, but if it becomes available I will pass it along later today.

A year ago this week, Russell Wilson took the first step toward winning the starting job by wowing Seattle’s coaching staff with his performance over the weekend, leading to Pete Carroll announcing that he was part of the competition for the starting quarterback job.

I remember thinking the announcement was typical Carroll – a move to create some buzz during the off time leading up until training camp. But then I bumped into the Seattle head coach as I was leaving the facility, and he continued to rave about Wilson’s performance, noting how much farther along he was in learning the playbook and executing on the field.

It was my first real insight into how much Carroll and the coaching staff really believed in Wilson’s ability to seize control of the job.

That said, here’s five things to look for heading into this weekend’s three-day practice session for the upcoming rookies.

Can Jordan Hill help jumpstart Seattle’s pass rush?

I think if third round draft choice Jordan Hill plays up to his potential, he could have the type of impact defensively for Seattle that Russell Wilson had for the Seahawks offensively last season, helping to jumpstart the team’s pass rush.

What I like about Hill in watching some of his highlights from Penn State is his quickness off the ball and his ability to finish. And you rarely see him quit on plays. He uses his hands pretty well, plays with good field awareness and does a nice job of locating where the ball is.

Carroll and general manager John Schneider said that Hill will get an opportunity to compete for one of the rotational positions inside as a third down pass rusher. But I think Hill also is solid against the run, and if he’s ready to compete, he could have a chance to earn the starting defensive tackle job next to Brandon Mebane if others falter. I really like his versatility inside as a player who can line up on the nose or at 3-tech.

Can Chris Harper create explosive plays?

There’s no questioning fourth round pick Chris Harper’s physical prowess.

At 6-1 and 234 pounds, he ran a 4.46-second, 40-yard dash, posted a 35-inch vertical jump and bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times.

He appears to have the physical tools to win contested catches in the NFL, which helps moves the chains. But what I wonder about is Harper’s ability to consistently create separation at the next level, providing a window for Wilson to deliver the ball to him. And I also have questions about his short-area quickness to avoid defenders in order to create more explosive plays.

I know Harper had Tim Tebow Jr. in Collin Klein throwing to him at Kansas State. Harper had a respectable seven catches of 25 yards or more in 2012, but just three touchdowns. Bringing in players that can create explosive plays and score touchdowns is something the Seahawks put a premium on.

Is Christine Michael coachable?

We really won’t know the answer to this question for a couple months, but Texas A&M running back Christine Michael can begin to put to bed doubts about his ability to handle tough coaching by showing up, working hard and continuing to say all the right things over the weekend.

Michael is not expected to supplant Marshawn Lynch or Robert Turbin in the pecking order at running back. But the Seahawks do want him to come in and compete, and show that he can contribute as a special teams player in his rookie season.

And Michael couldn’t have landed a better coach/mentor in Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith, who has a great rapport with all the guys in the running back room.

Which fifth round pick steps up?

Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams, Louisiana cornerback Tharold Simon and tight end Luke Willson all have uphill climbs to supplant players on the back end of Seattle’s roster in earning a spot on the team.

Williams has the best shot because he fills a specific need as a run-stuffing defensive tackle on early downs.

Simon, at 6-2 and 205 pounds, has the most upside because of his size, ball-hawking ability and ability to special teams.

Willson is the most intriguing prospect because of his 4.5 speed at 251 pounds. Still, it’s hard to look past the fact that he finished with just nine catches in his final college season.

Which undrafted rookie free agent has a chance to make the final roster?

An undrafted rookie free agent has scratched their way onto Seattle’s roster in each of Carroll’s first three seasons with the Seahawks.

In 2010, center Lemuel Jeanpierre, linebacker Joe Pawelek and defensive backs Josh Pinkard and Marcus Brown all finished the season on the active roster.

In 2011, safety Jeron Johnson won a job over fifth-round draft choice Mark LeGree, while receiver Doug Baldwin, quarterback Josh Portis and offensive lineman Jarriel King fought their way onto the roster on offense.

In 2012, tight end Sean McGrath, cornerback DeShawn Shead, offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson and receiver Jermaine Kearse all finished the season on the active roster.

Two undrafted rookie free agents I’m interested in seeing this weekend are Southern Illinois defensive end Kenneth Boatright and Arkansas offensive guard Alvin Bailey.

At 6-4 and 253 pounds, Boatright finished with 12 sacks and 27 tackles for loss in two seasons with the Salukis.

Bailey entered the draft early and was projected by some draft analysts as a mid-to-late round draft pick, but fell to the Seahawks as a priority undrafted rookie free agent.

He started 26 games for the Razerbacks. At 6-3 and 312 pounds, Bailey ran a 4.95-second, 40-yard time at the scouting combine.

Categories:
Minicamps
Leave a comment Comments → 26
  1. Great stuff Eric! Thanks!

  2. I’m really looking forward to this season I hope Pete Carroll learn from his mistakes about managing the clock better and not go for it on 4th and 1 and not kicking the field goal before the second half is over. Go hawks I still think about that Falcons game.

  3. yankinta says:

    I am also counting on Huge contribution from Jordan Hill and Jessie Williams, this year. I love our Draft picks and hoping we’ll have a couple of DROY candidates by the end of this year.

    I hope we keep all 5 RB’s and keep on 2 QBs on the roster.

  4. Stevos says:

    Eric, Thanks for posting some of your favorite youtubes. Jordan HIll really didn’t get his pass rush on much in that game against Wisconsin, but that’s a good one to watch since Wisconsin’s line is usually pretty close to NFL caliber. Hill got his pass rush on in other games.

    It will be interesting to see if Hill keeps his weight around 300 where it is and works his pass rush skills, or if he might instead bulk up a bit over the next few years and become a bit more Mebane-like. I could see him playing at both 3DT and 1DT like ‘Bane.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Seattle hasn’t had a capable interior pass-rush presence since 2005. If Hill can provide that for this defense, they will go from one of the top defenses in the league to *the* top defense. I don’t expect that from him this season necessarily, certainly not early on, but short of saying Seattle desperately needs that from the 3-tech position, Seattle desperately needs that from the 3-tech position.

    I would love to see Williams and Hill become the Tubbs and Bernard of this squad (only for a much, much longer period).

  6. Stevos says:

    Three D linemen who have tremendous hands. Hard for an O linemen to to get their hands on them: Chris Clemons, Michael Bennett, (and Jordan Hill?)

    Dan Quinn is going to have fun coaching this D line.

  7. ChilledOne says:

    Don’t sleep on Ken Boatright. That dude is going to turn some heads.

  8. Stevos says:

    “I would love to see Williams and Hill become the Tubbs and Bernard of this squad (only for a much, much longer period).”

    Ha. Yes, that was a nice little run they had back around 2005, wasn’t it?

  9. Dukeshire says:

    Boatright sure as hell doesn’t look fast, but he always seems to get there. That highlight package above is a clinic in proper angles of pursuit and hand technique. Look forward to reading how he does.

  10. Anthony64 says:

    I say move Red Bryant back to DT. Big Red and Jesse William’s will be good in goal or run stuffing situations.

  11. hawkdawg says:

    Boatwright’s film is interesting. Looks like a very fluid athlete with good closing speed and size.

  12. hawkdawg says:

    I should also say that if Hill truly does this year for the defense what Wilson did last year for the offense, as Eric suggests, we are going to be an immovable object on defense.

  13. yankinta says:

    I wonder if we have any compensatory picks coming our way next year. 49ers will have a 3rd round compensatory pick again next year for losing their Safety to the Bucs….

    Seattle’s free agents

    DT Alan Branch — one-year contract with Buffalo.
    DE Patrick Chukwurah — unsigned.
    K Steven Kauschka — one-year contract with Seahawks.
    LB Leroy Hill — unsigned.
    DT Jason Jones — three-year contract with Lions.
    K Ryan Longwell — unsigned.
    TE Cameron Morrah — one-year contract with 49ers.
    TF Frank Omiyale — unsigned.

    CB Marcus Trufant — one-year contract with Jaguars.

  14. chuck_easton says:

    Anthony,

    I don’t know if you recall this, but Bryant was a borderline bust as a DT. The move to DE was a last ditch attempt to salvage his career in Seattle. It worked.

    Why would they take Red out of the position where he has thrived and put him back at a position where he was average at best?

  15. Southendzone says:

    Awesome post today with great info and look-ahead to rookie stories.

    Thanks Eric

  16. SandpointHawk says:

    For anyone collecting worthless trivia : The Southern Illinois Salukis translates to a S.I Persian Greyhound. Thought I would save you a trip to Google.

    Eric great stuff, thanks

    Go Hawks

  17. chuck_easton says:

    Thank you Sandpoint!

    You have saved me countless minutes of useless internet searching that I can put to much better use such as more time to play ‘Class of the Clans’! :)

  18. HawkfaninMT says:

    Yeesh! So Scruggs injury opens things up on the DL a bit

  19. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I can’t wait to see what Alvin Bailey can do for this team.

  20. CDN_C_Hawk says:

    Another kid, that was brought in, is a small school DE/OLB Ayo Idowu, 6’2″ / 265 from St. Thomas University. From what I saw, he is smart and and finds the ball, nice moves to get past OL. think his 40 time is 4.70
    Seems like one of those PC type guys.

  21. I don’t why I get the feeling but . . . I suspect that both Williams and Hill make this squad and contribute somehow. Not total studs this year but definite contributers.

    I also feel that Michaels and Ware are going to really battle it out for the spot left open by Leon.

    Scruggs getting hurt is going to create an opportunity. I would guess 7-8 months for recovery if truly a full ACL injury. Thats December and IR for the season. If just a partial tear still a possible PUP start.

  22. killemall says:

    And how does this guy or anyone really know what the hell their talking about here? Did anyone watch all of these players college games? Just a lot of repeatative sound bites from the national TV/Radio sports shows. Pure speculation people – its just a bunch of dribble! Lets see which players prove it out on the field next year.

  23. seahawkfan97 says:

    actually these guys are pretty sharp with everything seahawks as I have been reading them for a few years now…havnet commented for a few years but enjoy the INFORMED bantor these guys perform daily….good stuff people
    gotta change my screen name as kearney is long gone and of course need a new jersey…….
    former season ticket holder and big fan..go hawks..damn wish i still had them season tickets

  24. Seehawkgo says:

    @xcman:

    Michael and Ware won’t be battling each other for the 3rd RB spot. If Ware makes the final roster, it will be as a FB.

    Also, I just about guarantee that Michael will beat out Turbin the #2 RB this season – either from the very start in week 1 or at some point during the season. Michael is the most explosive, quickest accelerating runner in recent memory. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up with 100+ carries and 1000+ yds.

  25. sluggo42 says:

    Chuck,

    I don’t know that theRed at DE experiment is a done deal. While he is an unloveable object there, he also create 0 rush or pressure. It is a very predictable situation. He was also young at DT, and now he understands his strengths better. He may be too tall for the inside at the end of the day, but I’m not so sure he remains outside with all of our new guys…
    Goal line stands with red, Williams, mebane, and others would be difficult to move though eh?

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