Seahawks News & Notes: WR Cameron Kenney Signed, Justin Helwege Released; Eric Stokes Hired by Tampa Bay

Wide receiver Cameron Kenney #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners scores against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium on November 27 2010 in Stillwater Oklahoma. The Sooners beat the Cowboys 47-41. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Seahawks have signed Cameron Kenney, an undrafted free agent from 2011 out of Oklahoma that originally caught on with the Chargers after last year's Draft. Kenney has been on the Seahawks' radar for some time, and took part in their Rookie Mini-Camp a few weeks back, along with 54 other rookies, free agents, and tryout players. To make room on the roster, the Hawks released Justin Helwege, a WR out of Central Washington that was signed last week.

Kenney is 6'1, 199 and at his pro day in the run-up to the 2011 Draft he ran a 4.5 in the 40, posted a 35.5 inch vertical, a 10-9 broad jump and a 4.09 in the 20-yard shuttle. That shuttle time is very good for a receiver - would have been 6th in that positional group at this year's Combine, as was the 10-9 broad jump, which would have been good for 2nd among receivers. The Seahawks like their back end roster guys to have something special in the athleticism department and Kenney's main strength appears to be agility and explosiveness. Just watching the highlight tape available on him (embedded after the jump), he shows nice change of direction ability - you'll see this show up after the catch as he dodges, ducks, dips, dives, and dodges around would-be tacklers, and his YPC his senior year will confirm this some (see below).

Kenney caught 55 passes for 812 yards and five touchdowns with the Sooners after transferring there from junior college, and posted a healthy 16.7 yards per catch average in 2011. One thing I've noticed about the Seahawks when they churn the back-end of their roster is that they're looking for 'gamers' - guys that show up at the big moment - and though Kenney was relatively quiet in his college career he had seven catches for 154 yards and a TD in his final game, the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, in which the Sooners beat the Connecticut Huskies. (This is similar to another UDFA the Seahawks signed after the draft, Lavasier Tuinei - who showed up huge for the Ducks in their bowl game last year).

The Rookie Scouting Portfolio's Matt Waldman highlighted Kenney as a top UDFA last year, noting "Kenney was a JUCO player with too few starts in the Big 12 and overshadowed by Ryan Broyles. I can't argue that Broyles isn't a strong prospect in his own right. However, I suggest Kenney's performance against top-tier prospect CB Prince Amukamara. Kenney was matched against perhaps the best cover cornerback in the nation and his six-catch for 65-yard performance was better than the stats suggest. Amukamara gave Kenney a ton of respect, often playing a significant cushion. When the CB pressed Kenney, the receiver demonstrated the skills with his hands to work away from the press and get open."

From the other scouting reports I've read, Kenney has a lot of athletic potential but is still raw and unproven. My guess is he'll be one of these players you see hang around on the practice squad or get a call when injuries happen throughout the season, but there's always the chance he'll impress enough to grab a roster spot, however unlikely that seems.

In other news, according to The Football Scoop, the Bucs have hired away the Seahawks Assistant Director of College Scouting, Eric Stokes, to be their Director of College Scouting. Stokes has been with the Seahawks' since 2002, serving in several capacities - as a pro personnel assistant, scout and assistant director of college scouting.

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