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Rookie, Undrafted Free Agent Watch for Seattle Seahawks Training Camp

Dan TylickiAnalyst IOctober 10, 2016

Rookie, Undrafted Free Agent Watch for Seattle Seahawks Training Camp

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    The Seattle Seahawks had 11 selections in the 2013 NFL Draft, and with only three of them coming in the first four rounds, many of the draft picks will be competing just to make the roster.

    With a slew of skill players in Christine Michael, Chris Harper, and others to go with two early defensive tackle selections in Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, anywhere that seemed to be weak on the depth chart was filled easily during the draft.

    The players still have to produce, however. Here's a look at what to expect from each rookie.

Christine Michael

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    • College: Texas A&M
    • Draft Status: Round 2
    • Height: 5'10''
    • Weight: 221 lbs
    • College Production: Four-year career, 2,791 yards, 34 touchdowns, 5.3 yards per carry

    Michael was a productive, punishing running back in four seasons at Texas A&M. His production dipped in 2012 compared to previous seasons, though that was due to fewer attempts.

    The Seahawks' first selection plays the game much like Marshawn Lynch. He is not afraid to mow a defender down in an effort to gain more yards or get a touchdown.

    He does have a history of injuries and off-the-field issues, but he has the pure talent to possibly be the best running back in this draft class when all is said and done.

    For 2013, he'll be competing with Robert Turbin for the backup running back spot, and both will see a decent amount of carries.

Jordan Hill

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    • College: Penn State
    • Draft Status: Round 3
    • Height: 6'1''
    • Weight: 292 lbs
    • College Production: Four-year career. In final two seasons, 123 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, and 3 passes defended

    Jordan Hill was the big man in the middle for Penn State. During his senior year in particular, he stepped up big time, which showcases a lot given everything that occurred this past year.

    The Seahawks have a gap at defensive tackle when they are in a 4-3, and he can be someone who completes for that spot, though he will likely be a primary backup to start off.

    He has the motor to do well, and while he is a bit undersized, he has the bulk to be a run stopper. He likely won't be asked to make sacks since the Seahawks have others who can do that, so he can focus on his strengths.

Chris Harper

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    • College: Kansas State
    • Draft Status: Round 4
    • Height: 6'1''
    • Weight: 228 lbs
    • College Production: Four-year career (three at Kansas State), 122 receptions, 1,725 yards, 12 touchdowns

    Chris Harper started his career at Oregon, so he has some flashiness about him. He transferred to Kansas State after his freshman season and evolved into Kansas State's top receiver.

    Last year, Harper had 57 receptions for 848 yards. He has also shown surprising strength via 20 reps on the bench press at the combine.

    Seattle's wide receiver group is already deep, so he will have to fight hard for playing time. If he can show reliablility to go along with his speed, then he could compete with Doug Baldwin for the fourth wide receiver spot.

Jesse Williams

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    • College: Alabama
    • Draft Status: Round 5
    • Height: 6'3''
    • Weight: 323 lbs
    • College Production: Two-year career at Alabama, 61 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3 passes defended and 1.5 sacks.

    Jesse Williams was a junior college prospect who turned into a durable force with Alabama. In fact, he was projected to go much higher than the fifth round where the Seahawks drafted him.

    Williams can immediately play nose tackle at the next level, and if the Seahawks do a 3-4 scheme more often in the future, he would work well in the middle. He fits well in a 4-3 also with his motor and strength.

    His athleticism leaves something to be desired, but the Seahawks have players to rush the quarterback and catch up to players already. He could end up competing with fellow draft pick Jordan Hill for a primary backup spot, and he could be the surprise of training camp, given his draft expectations.

     

Tharold Simon

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    • College: LSU
    • Draft Status: Round 5
    • Height: 6'2''
    • Weight: 202 lbs
    • College Production: Three-year career, 95 tackles, six interceptions, and 28 passes defended

    Tharold Simon was a physical cornerback during his time at LSU, a school that has provided the NFL with its share of dynamic cornerbacks in recent years.

    After a four-interception season in 2012, Simon declared for the draft and was picked up in the fifth round by Seattle. He has great leaping ability, evidenced not only by his ability at LSU, but a 128-inch broad jump at the combine.

    While the starting and primary backup cornerback slots are filled, Simon has enough natural ability that he will find a place on the team. He may be on special teams to start while he gradually sees playing time at cornerback over the next season or two.

Luke Willson

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    • College: Rice
    • Draft Status: Round 5
    • Height: 6'5''
    • Weight: 250 lbs
    • College Production: Four-year career, 78 receptions, 986 yards, 9 touchdowns

    Luke Willson did not have a lot of production while at Rice, which was perhaps the result of being the backup to Vance McDonald, and he did not attend the combine. Despite this, Seattle picked him up in the fifth round.

    He had a quick 40-yard dash time at his pro day, and he has showcased great athleticism. In a sense, he's a boom-or-bust guy, since he could become a starter in a couple years at the position, but could just as easily be out of the league.

    For 2013, he will be the backup tight end, given that the spot is wide open, and since Seattle invested the pick in him, he is the most likely option to get playing time there. If he does get time, he will likely have to show more production than he did at Rice.

Spencer Ware

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    • College: LSU
    • Draft Status: Round 6
    • Height: 5'10''
    • Weight: 229 lbs
    • College Production: Three-year career, 295 attempts, 1,249 yards, 10 touchdowns, 4.2 yards per carry, 404 receiving yards

    Spencer Ware may have left college a year too early, given that he was a sixth-round pick. Despite that, he finds himself in a good situation with Seattle.

    Ware is a hybrid back: a running back who can both receive and serve as a fullback. His production was decent at LSU, but not great. He is not particularly fast, but is a tough back who can be physical.

    In other words, he is just the type of back Seattle looks for. He could be the heir apparent to fullback Michael Robinson, but since the running back group is otherwise crowded, it's a toss-up as to whether or not he makes the team right now.

Ryan Seymour

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    • College: Vanderbilt
    • Draft Status: Round 7
    • Height: 6'5''
    • Weight: 300 lbs
    • College Production: Four-year career, 34 starts

    Ryan Seymour was a starter for three years on Vanderbilt's offensive line, and while he was not invited to the combine, he impressed enough at pro day for Seattle to draft him.

    The offensive line is currently deep, especially at guard. This means it will be tough to earn a roster spot, but it also means that Seymour has a chance to show what he can do.

    The fact that he was a three-year starter who did not miss playing time certainly helps, as stability is one thing that is nice to see on the offensive line.

Ty Powell

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    • College: Harding
    • Draft Status: Round 7
    • Height: 6'3''
    • Weight: 250 lbs
    • College Production: Two-year career at Harding

    Ty Powell did everything while playing at Harding. He played several games on the defensive line, and he played a few games at defensive back as well.

    His versatility could be big in landing him a roster spot, since he's a seventh-round draft pick from a small school, and as a result, he may have the least amount of history to do on out of any draft pick.

    He will be penciled-in at linebacker during training camp, and that position is deep enough that him making the team is unlikely. His versatility could earn him a spot on the practice squad, though.

Jared Smith

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    • College: New Hampshire
    • Draft Status: Round 7
    • Height: 6'3''
    • Weight: 292 lbs
    • College Production: Four-year career, 42 games played, 129 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks

    Jared Smith was a defensive tackle during four years at New Hampshire, and with the Seahawks, he will be making the transition to guard.

    The transition is surprising, since not only did Smith put up good numbers on the defensive side of the ball, but his size is more suited to defensive tackle. Plus, the guard depth is rather full right now.

    As a result, it would be a big surprise if he made the team, but he does have the athleticism to  successfully make the change.

     

Michael Bowie

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    • College: Northeastern State
    • Draft Status: Round 7
    • Height: 6'5''
    • Weight: 330 lbs
    • College Production: Four-year career over three schools

    Michael Bowie was originally a part of Navarro College and Oklahoma State before being dismissed from the team, and he ended up finishing his career at Northeastern State.

    Bowie has great size for the tackle position, though the issues surrounding his transfer combined with a transition from left tackle to right might be too much to overcome.

    The Seahawks could use a bit more depth at tackle, but it would still be a surprise if Bowie made the team.

     

Undrafted Free Agents

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    Undrafted free agent list (courtesy of NFL.com):

    Utah State WR Matt Austin; Arkansas T Alvin Bailey; Southern Illinois DE Kenneth Boatright; Miami LB Ramon Buchanan; UNLV LB John Lotulelei; Colorado SS Ray Polk; Bowling Green G Jordon Roussos; Oklahoma RB Dominique Whaley; Old Dominion LB Craig Wilkins

    Of the listed players, the most interesting is John Lotulelei, a linebacker who had 120 tackles for UNLV. Of the players listed, he is the most likely to make the roster, despite how many linebackers are already on it.

    In fact, quite a few of those players are already off the roster, as the Seahawks have been tweaking the end of the roster quite frequently over the past few months.

    Alvin Bailey is another one to watch. While the Seahawks drafted more than enough offensive linemen late in the draft, Bailey's versatility on the line could be a good selling point.

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