May 11, 2012; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jaye Howard (94) participates in a minicamp practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE
Sorry for the drag on this series. I need to speed these up, so the rest of the alphabet will be shorter blogs (and possibly a little out of order). Last week, my boss, who is also a good friend, suffered a stroke at the age of 36. He was in good health - just a random thing at this point. Anyhow, he is on a long road of recovery - relearning to walk and talk. Last week was crazy for our company and circle of friends, but things are starting to return to normal, if they can, considering. His name is David, and keep him in your prayers.
Ok, back to Seahawks talk-
H is for Jaye Howard
I feel like Jaye Howard is the cutoff point in the draft between the "big name" headline type players and the guys drafted after him that may fall in the "Who?" category.
Jaye Howard, DT, Florida, 6-3, 292 lb.
During his senior season, Howard racked up 65 tackles, 10 TFL and 5.5 sacks. Howard is a one-gap penetrator, not a big time point-of-attack or two-gap mammoth DT akin to Seattle's base defense. Howard is a fit as a 3-tech 4-3 defensive tackle, and specifically, as a rotational d-tackle in nickel situations. What I like about Howard is that he adds more talent to attack a need - basically, the need for interior pass rush. Obviously, the biggest acquisition for Seattle in the offseason in the interior pass rush department is Jason Jones, but with Jones on a one-year contract and starting 3-tech Alan Branch on the last year of his deal, adding another young lineman to the rotational mix was a great move, in my opinion.
I am not trying to project Howard's game, as I am not a scout, but I am speaking to the role and importance of this pick and what it represents. Additionally, the blessing of Florida, and former Seahawks Defensive Line Coach Dan Quinn, makes me feel confident about this pick. Quinn was with Carroll when they designed this hybrid defense, and knows what Carroll is looking for to fit this scheme, and, of course, knows Howard's abilities. During his pre-draft presser, Carroll said edge pass rushers must have "speed" and interior pass rushers have to have "a knack." Carroll and Quinn must have seen that "knack" in Jaye Howard.