Seattle Seahawks Rookie Training Camp Progress Reports
The Seattle Seahawks had a pretty good draft class in 2014, and they definitely found some quality contributors within the group.
The standouts so far have been tackle Justin Britt and receiver Paul Richardson, who were both drafted in the second round. Britt has been tearing it up in training camp and is slated to become the team's next right tackle.
Richardson has also been impressing throughout camp, but he has a bit more talent ahead of him than Britt and will struggle to find a starting spot on the team. Even so, he's a talented receiver whose offseason impressions will surely warrant a slice of the offensive pie.
Though Britt and Richardson have been pretty top-notch and are in great spots going forward, there are a couple of promising rookies who have been battling health issues.
Garrett Scott is one guy who has a mound of potential, but a rare and unfortunate heart disease has his NFL hopes dwindling, though things are looking up for him after a recent test came back negative.
All in all, this is a well-rounded group that should become a big part of the Seahawks' production on both sides of the ball.
DL Jimmy Staten, DB Eric Pinkins, FB Kiero Small
I included these three guys on the same slide for a few reasons—one reason being that quality information regarding the trio's camp performances have been skimp, though that's partially because a couple of them have been sitting out with injuries.
Jimmy Staten hurt his leg a couple of weeks ago during practice (via Todd Dybas, TheNewsTribune.com) and hasn't been talked about much since. He did show up to rookie minicamp overweight (per Danny O'Neil, MyNorthwest.com), which probably won't help him when the coaches decide whether or not he's worth keeping.
Eric Pinkins, on the other hand, has been struggling with a Lisfranc injury (via SeattlePi.com) and may not make it back in time for the regular season, which could lead to his release from the team, especially given their crowded secondary.
Kiero Small is also trying to break into a crowded group at fullback, with Spencer Ware and Derrick Coleman already ahead of him. Small has received reps with the backups and ran well with those opportunities (via Zach Whitman, FieldGulls.com), but he will have a tough time passing Coleman.
Because of the minuscule taste we've gotten of them through camp so far, they'll receive an incomplete grade for now.
LB Kevin Pierre-Louis
Kevin Pierre-Louis is unfortunately stuck behind some talent at outside linebacker, so it's unlikely he'll find a starting role with the team, but he's shown enough potential to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.
KPL has been sitting out with injury (via T.J. Cotterill, The Olympian) but could find a role in the defense as a small-time contributor in rotational packages.
He's an athletic backer who will learn a lot from the talented veterans ahead of him on the depth chart, but first he needs to get healthy and back on the field. There simply hasn't been enough from him in training camp to give him an accurate and fair grade.
WR Paul Richardson
Paul Richardson is finding a nice niche within the team's offense and should definitely be a contributing factor in 2014. He'll get a good chunk of playing time in Seattle's preseason opener on Thursday, and he should impress.
Richardson has also received a tip of the hat from Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, being noted as having good speed and "really, really solid hands" (via Bob Condotta, Seattle Times).
His size would be a concern to some, but the 'Hawks have done well with smaller receivers before (Golden Tate wasn't the biggest guy, though he was good) and should have no problem using Richardson effectively.
The second-round pick is blossoming into exactly what the team had in mind. He will surely help them out on their quest for a second straight title.
DL Cassius Marsh
Cassius Marsh has been nothing short of impressive since being drafted. He's a versatile defender who has caught the eye of many people since donning Seahawk blue, including that of head coach Pete Carroll.
Carroll has spoken very highly of Marsh, mentioning that the team is "real happy" with what he's done thus far (via Bob Condotta, Seattle Times).
Whether he is a starter on opening day or not is up in the air, but Marsh has been working with the starting defense (via Tony Drovetto of Seahawks.com) and will undoubtedly get a good number of reps when the 2014 season officially starts.
He was a low-risk, high-reward pickup when they drafted him, and he will pay dividends.
WR Kevin Norwood
Kevin Norwood has made the most of his chances in training camp. He adds some quality depth to Seattle's receiving corps and will surely find some sort of playing time in 2014.
Past Harvin, I thought the other standout at receiver was Kevin Norwood, a Seahawks fourth round pick this year out of Alabama. He caught three sideline passes (that I saw) after running deep outs or crossing routes, and provided exactly what had been projected -- a big target with soft hands. He displayed great body control to go up and get one off-target pass that came in at an awkward angle, and smoothly brought it in and turned upfield to run.
Norwood unfortunately suffered a foot injury during practice yesterday (via AL.com) and will spend some time off in order to heal up, but that shouldn't affect what type of role he has with the team in 2014. Once he's healthy and ready to play, it'll be hard to argue that Norwood doesn't deserve to be on the field.
OT Justin Britt
Justin Britt is arguably Seattle's best draft pick of this class. He's worked his way up the ladder and is now locked in a battle for the right tackle spot with Eric Winston. Tom Cable, Seattle's O-line coach, has hinted that Winston will be more of a mentor to Britt than competition (as Terry Blount of ESPN scribes) and will only help the budding right tackle.
Cable recently shared some kind words on the former Missouri Tiger, labeling him as a "tremendous learner." He went on (via Blount):
He gets better each day. If he makes a mistake, he gets up and fixes it. What every young guy has to learn to do is pass protect in the NFL. That's not easy. There's a real craft there that you have to learn and figure out. But in terms of the system, I would say he's on it.
All of this bodes well for Britt's chances of being the official starter at right tackle, and that should be how things shake out, barring an unforeseen event.
OL Garrett Scott
Garrett Scott's NFL career is in a bit of a holding pattern right now as he battles a rare heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As Stephen Cohen of SeattlePi.com details, the condition basically causes the heart to become unusually thick, deterring its ability to pump blood throughout the body.
The rookie tackle has obviously been kept out of training camp thus far, but he received some positive news not too long ago (via Jack Bogaczyk, Herdzone.com):
I got good news recently in that I had one test come back negative, and so that was a good sign of everything working in my favor. I’m just staying positive, all I can do, praying that everything will work out all right.
There's no telling what's next for Scott as he quests to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL, but hopes are high, and there's still a chance he can accomplish that dream.