The Best Rookie Storylines at Seattle Seahawks OTAs

Sigmund Bloom@SigmundBloomNFL Draft Lead WriterJune 1, 2012

RENTON, WA - MAY 11:  Defensive end Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during minicamp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on May 11, 2012 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Seahawks have been one of the most unpredictable teams in the draft since head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over in 2010. Their bold moves always give us plenty talk about when analyzing their rookie class.

Which rookie storylines are the most fascinating going into next week's OTA and the team minicamp from June 12-14?

Can first-round pick Bruce Irvin take advantage of defensive end Chris Clemons' absence at OTAs to earn a larger immediate role?

Chris Clemons has been very productive for the Seahawks since coming over from Philadelphia, but he is in the last year of his contract and Brock Huard of ESPN 710 thinks it's because he wants a new contract. While he's away, Clemons could actually lose leverage if Irvin impresses in his stead and shows signs that he can suitably replace Clemons next year.

Will second-round pick Bobby Wagner win the starting middle linebacker job?

Clare Farnsworth of the Seahawks official website reported that like Irvin, Wagner lined up with the first-team in a May OTA practice.

Free agent Barrett Ruud is the other main candidate for the job, but he is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. His exact return date is unknown, but Carroll said they were going to be "very careful" with him, according to Eric Williams from the Tacoma News-Tribune.

Wagner is coming from a small-school program, but he's a terrific athlete and the team could decide to endure growing pains on the field if he flashes playmaking ability and steady development over the summer.

How long will third-round pick Russell Wilson hang around in the starting quarterback position battle?

Carroll's proclamation that Wilson "showed enough"ย to compete to start at quarterback after watching him for all of three days at a rookie minicamp was surprising, to say the least. Perhaps he just wants to motivate Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn, but Carroll is playing a dangerous game.

First-team offensive snaps are finite and Flynn needs as many as possible to develop timing and chemistry with his new teammates. If Jackson is going to be given a fair shot to hold off Flynn, he needs his reps, too.

Unless Wilson is wowing onlookers, his role in the first-team offense should diminish. If neither of those things happen, we'll have to seriously question Carroll's strategy here.

Can undrafted wide receivers Lavasier Tuinei and Jermaine Kearse take advantage of the absence of three of the Seahawks' top wideouts?

Sidney Rice is recovering from shoulder surgery, Mike Williams is recovering from a leg injury, and Golden Tate has a broken hand. Tuinei, a 6'5", 215-pound potential red-zone specialist, and Kearse, a rugged 6'1", 209-pound possession receiver and underrated athlete, will get more looks while the trio is out.

Even if neither makes the final roster, they could earn a practice squad spot or get on the radar of other teams by impressing in OTAs and minicamp.


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