In his rookie minicamp summation Sunday afternoon, coach Pete Carroll seemed most pleased that all the draft picks “looked like they fit into the role that we hoped for,” while adding they all still had “a million miles to go.”
He cited the play of both defensive tackles drafted, Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, who caused problems all weekend for the green offensive linemen. The most pleasant surprise, Carroll said, was that those two big guys showed up in good condition and were not “taxed by the work load.” Although he expects those two to eventually learn multiple positions, right now Hill is mostly at nose and Williams at the 3 technique. Both were quick to penetrate. On occasion, the eager Hill over pursued and Williams sometimes played a little high while peeking into the backfield. But they both certainly pass the early eye-ball test.
Two other drafted players he thought were ready to get thrown into the mix during off-season training activities that start next week were receiver Chris Harper and tight end Luke Willson. Harper had one of the plays of the day Sunday when he pulled in a 45-yard touchdown pass from Jerrod Johnson. Harper, at 234-pounds, is more physical than the Seahawks have had at that position in a while. . Carroll said he will not hesitate to toss Harper into the receiver competition when they reconvene next week for the start of OTAs. Willson, too, will get a good look early, as he’s already the fastest tight end on the roster. Carroll said he scripted a number of plays for Sunday’s practice to explore the skills of Harper and Willson. “He’s a big, solid dude like we thought,” Carroll said of the 6-1, 243-pound Harper. “He really has great hands. He did very well and learned very well, too.”
Carroll liked the aggressive play and size of 6-2 cornerback Tharold Simon. A lot of the discussion about Simon on draft weekend was about his legal problems and suspension at LSU, but it didn’t take long for him in practice to show how well he fits the profile Carroll and John Schneider have established for secondary players.
The three offensive linemen drafted had a hard time standing out. Perhaps most intriguing is tackle Michael Bowie, who transferred out of Oklahoma State. He has the look of an NFL tackle (6-4, 332, with those giant tackle feet).
Asked if any of the undrafted guys flashed surprising talent, Carroll named Idaho defensive end Benson Mayowa, who showed good speed and nice cornering ability on his pass rushes. But, as Carroll said, the Seahawks have become “a very difficult team to make … we’ve got some big decisions to make to figure out how we’re going to round out the roster,” he said.
Jerrod Johnson got a good look this camp in his third try to land with an NFL team. His camp experience allowed him to run the offense with some effectiveness. At 6-5, 250, he’s got a little bit of a Vince Young look to him. “He did a nice job running the club and was able to give us a little expertise out there,” Carroll said of Johnson. “He’s got a very good arm, can really gun the football down the field. He’s got a presence and he’s such a big guy in the pocket. He’s bright and he’s handled stuff really well.”