As always, the Seattle Seahawks were active on draft day. After about three and half hours or so of waiting anxiously for the Super Bowl champions to take their first player at pick 32, the Seahawks did something we all should have expected. We traded out of our first pick. Seattle traded the 32nd pick to Minnesota in exchange for their 40th pick and 108th pick (Cassius Marsh). Quite the anticlimactic ending of the day, but I was excited to pick up additional picks. So who did we want at 32? And who would we have taken?
As tweeted by Doug Kyed, the Seahawks had Dominique Easley taken right before them at #29. The pick makes all the sense in the world, and it would have been quite the steal. Not only does Dan Quinn have ties to Easley, but he would have been an asset to rush the passer along with Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and whoever the heck is out there at LEO. Besides Aaron Donald (and of course Jadeveon Clowney), Dom Easley was my favorite defensive lineman in the draft. Despite the two ACL injuries, he’s a high-risk, high-reward player I would not have minded, to say the least.
So who would we have picked otherwise? None other than Paul Richardson – also known as the stud we took with the 45th pick.
Paul Richardson, WR, Pick 45 (#10)
John Schneider said the name they had ready for pick 32 was Richardson if they could not trade out of it. He’s a skinny kid at 6038 (6’0″ 3/8), 175, but he also has blazing speed. Richardson has said he’s 183 pounds and is planning on beefing up to 190 pounds as his playing weight. He ran a 4.40 at the combine and said he has ran as fast as 4.28 before. He is going to bring the playmaking that we lost in Golden Tate, however he is not much of a returner, according to Seahawks scout Matt Berry. He has the ability to play outside, and that’s where they plan on playing him. He has torn his ACL once, but there are not any concerns over his knee. Richardson was disappointed that he ran a 4.33. He is the epitome of a Pete Carroll player. Richardson was initially with UCLA, but was kicked off and transferred to Colorado after being arrested and pleading guilty to a felony theft charge. The charge was for him and two other football players stealing an unattended bag left by a UCLA student. One of the three players was University of Washington defensive end Josh Shirley.
Justin Britt, RT, pick 64 (#68)
Justin Britt was the lone Day 2 pick for the Seahawks. He was a guy that Seattle picked over Morgan Moses and also someone that would have been taken by the Redskins two picks later. Carroll said he is going to be playing right tackle, but that he can play left tackle. With Britt looking to lock down the right tackle spot, Michael Bowie will likely kick inside to left guard if Britt wins the job. Alvin Bailey will likely backup a couple positions and possibly get some action in heavy sets against physical teams such as San Francisco. Since Russell Okung had foot surgery, Bailey will be getting first team reps at left tackle in his stead. Carroll said Britt is flexible enough to play guard, but that he wanted to have the competition on the right side with Bowie and Britt. Cable said Britt could play either guard position and has had experience at both tackle positions. Random fact — he was 45-0 as a heavyweight wrestler.
Cassius Marsh, LEO/DE/SAM, pick 108 (#91)
Marsh is a player Pete knew from high school. Carroll repeatedly noted his attitude, versatility, and how hard he plays. Will play end and kick inside on later downs. He said he will be somewhat of a similar role as Michael Bennett. He may get some looks as an H-Back or tight end, and Marsh has said he wants to be a two way player. Schneider said his workout as a tight end was excellent. He has a tendency to play with a ton of intensity — sometime too much. Cassius is somewhat of a tweener, but he should be able to produce at multiple positions. He is very similar in height and weight to former Seahawk Chris Clemons, and current Seahawks Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa.
Kevin Norwood, WR, Pick 123 (#81)
Schneider says he was surprised they were still able to snag him this late. Said he had huge games and was a clutch player and great on third downs. He said there was nothing overly exceptional about him but he was “tough, reliable, smart, and savvy” and he was solid all around. His speed was a big thing that was questioned and Norwood subsequently ran a 4.47. Big hands, route running savviness, and length were specific traits that Schneider noted were good.
Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB, Pick 132 (#58)
WILL linebacker. Good special teams player. Very good range and instincts. Todd Brunner compared him to Navarro Bowman and said he was his favorite player in the draft. Malcolm Smith is a comparison to KPL, but likened him to Bowman instead. Seahawks scout Todd Brunner said he looked at him like a linebacker, but that he is capable as a safety. He can play SAM and WILL and on the line of scrimmage. He didn’t play special teams much his senior year (mostly because he was starting and a senior), but he will have an impact as a special teams player for the Seahawks.
Jimmy Staten, DT, Pick 172 (#67)
3-Technique DT. Good technique and hands. Had a knee injury like a few other of our draft picks. Had a good week of practice for the Players’ Association game. He could play at 5T as a swing position. Captain for his school.
Garrett Scott, LT, Pick 199 (#75)
Under the radar guy; quick hands and good first kickstep; will be given a shot at left tackle and it sounds like he’ll end up there. Pete Carroll noted all of their guys should have some versatility.
Eric Pinkins, FS/CB,Pick 208 (#39)
Receiver background. Physical – and will be tried as a corner first. Played a lot of man and slot receivers, but he will be tried outside. He could also be used as a safety and play in the box. Pete said he could fall right into Kam’s kind of role. However, the #39 he was assigned could be indicative of what they expect out of him as a player.
Kiero Small, FB, Pick 227 (#34)
At 5’8″, 247(!!!), Small is a thumper. According to Small, he has broken 26 facemasks. John Schneider repeatedly praised his ability to dig guys out. He’s a pretty unique player for PC/JS to draft because he’s not a SPARQ freak like most Seahawks are. Schneider gave him a Rock Cartwright comparison.
Schneider contended that there were no upsets on day three. Despite the change of their team and the large amount of talent, Schneider and Carroll said the process hasn’t changed at all. He (JS) said the only thing that has changed was that they have made mistakes with guys who weren’t mentally ready to compete right away. A recent player that could fall under that category is WR Chris Harper. Out of all of the drafted players, Schneider said he wanted to come away with Kevin Pierre-Louis and Pinkins.
I am a huge fan of this draft despite once again getting poor grades and criticism for reaching. Seattle did a spectacular job of getting depth and filling needs and improving a roster that doesn’t have much room to improve. I think this is going to go down as the best draft class since Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s first draft. They did a masterful job of moving back and collecting picks, while at the same time not moving back too far and missing on guys they wanted. After the draft, they also did a remarkable job of landing solid UDFAs. Paul Richardson and Kevin Pierre-Louis are going to have an immediate impact, and I think every player has a very good shot at cracking the roster.
– Michael Ajeto