LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 10: Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers slips past Kyle Knox #53 of the Fresno State Bulldogs during their game at Memorial Stadium September 10, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
The Seahawks have signed Kyle Knox to their 90-man roster and have released former Cincinnati DE Monte Taylor. Knox is a linebacker out of Fresno State that had a tryout during the team's Rookie Mini-Camp and again for the Mini-Camp that went on this week. He apparently impressed enough to warrant a longer look, and according to Seahawks.com, he worked with the no. 3 unit at outside linebacker this week. As for Taylor, he had the chips stacked against him - he missed the first several weeks of camp, waiting for school to get out, then had to sit out Wednesday and was limited Thursday with an injury.
Knox is 6'1, 230, ran the 40 in 4.72, had strong times in the 3-cone (6.95) and short shuttle (4.44) and showed explosiveness in the vert (36.5") and broad jump (10'11") at his Pro Day back in March.
Now - going back to my bit about the Seahawks inheriting some of the Al Davis philosophies on defense that call for, especially at linebacker, big hands and long arms, I keep remembering a segment Michael Lombardi did on Path to the Draft where he was asked about Davis' draft philosophy. Responding to a comment on Davis' predilection for guys with big hands and long arms, Lombardi noted - "That was huge. He believed big hands were like weapons, especially for defensive players. Because, when you could push those hands into somebody, they were really like weapons. The long arms, the length, really helped, especially as we got into a one-gap scheme in the NFL - because the longer the length, the better the defender could close out the gap. He used to love the basketball teams of Syracuse - they played a 2-3 zone, that became a 3-3 zone because of the long arms. That's what he wanted - he wanted a long team, and he wanted a big-hand team."
With back-of-the-roster moves like this, the Seahawks tend to evaluate potential based on measureables, and to go along with Knox's short-area quickness, he also has the advantage of possessing very long arms (33", 79.5" wingspan) and very large hands (10 1'8"). His hand size and wingspan are, not surprisingly, almost identical to Bobby Wagner. Little things like this are something the Seahawks have shown interest in, particularly towards the back-end of the roster when trying to find that competitive edge with every single player on the payroll.
Knox becomes the 12th linebacker on the roster, joining K.J. Wright, Malcolm Smith, Bobby Wagner, Korey Toomer, Mike Morgan, Allen Bradford, Heath Farwell, Barrett Ruud, Jameson Konz, Matt McCoy, and Leroy Hill