With the 19th pick in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Seahawks have selected Korey Toomer, a linebacker out of Idaho. Toomer is another long, rangy athletic freak type linebacker that had 68 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks last year for the Vandals (he also scored three touchdowns in goal-line back duties). Toomer has a lot of upside because of his length and speed, but is a small-school prospect that missed 2010 with a wrist injury so he's a bit of a risky pick. Still, I like it - he's very similar in makeup to 2nd round pick Bobby Wagner, a guy that can play multiple positions at linebacker - SAM, MIKE, or WILL, and gives the Hawks another rangy, sideline to sideline guy that should be an upgrade in pass coverage against tight ends and also able to track down the shifty running backs on the edge, something the Hawks struggled in mightily with 2011.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com, after Toomer's impressive Idaho pro day: "Toomer (6-2 1/4, 234) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 and 4.55 seconds. Toomer recorded a 42-inch vertical, a 10-foot-10 broad jump, a 4.00-second short shuttle and a 6.87-second three-cone. He also threw the bar up 20 times. Toomer looked very good in his position drills, which were run indoors on brand-new FieldTurf."
The short shuttle and three-cone numbers (and vert and broad jump) are, simply, stupid fast for a linebacker, and his speed/length ratio is in line with an already fast linebacker corps for the Seahawks that now includes K.J. Wright (4.6 speed), Bobby Wagner (4.4 speed), Malcolm Smith (4.4 speed), Mike Morgan (4.4 speed) and maybe even Jameson Konz (4.4 speed). Veterans Barrett Ruud and Matt McCoy are obviously still in the mix - probably ahead of some listed above-, and I expect to see Tressor Baptiste, Adrian Moten, and Allen Bradford compete for spots as well.
Sports Illustrated's Tony Pauline lists the following positives:
"Athletic linebacker with tremendous upside. Fluid and smooth moving in every direction of the field, quickly changes direction and covers a lot of area. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself and displays the ability to get through blocks and make plays up the field. Remains disciplined with assignments, recognizes coverage responsibilities and can run downfield with tight ends. Solid open-field tackler who effectively makes plays in space."