The Seahawks have selected UCLA DE/DT Cassius Marsh with the 8th pick of the fourth round. Marsh is 6'4, 252 pounds and played five-technique in the Bruins' 3-4 his final two seasons, so he's got some nice positional versatility as either a LEO, strongside defensive end, or even perhaps a standup SAM linebacker. Further, he was a highly recruited big time recruit that turned down LSU to head to UCLA as a 300 pounder, so the Seahawks may see him eventually as an interior rusher in the mold of Michael Bennett. He slimmed down and played at 260 or so during his college career, but it will be interesting to see if they see him in a multiple role.
I'm not super familiar with Marsh but he was a VMAC visitor in the run up to the Draft. He's known to be a little bit of a hot-head on the field and was ejected from a game this past year for throwing a punch, but I'm guessing the Seahawks see this as a positive, as long as he 'walks the line' and plays clean but with an element of dirtbag to him. In the tough NFC West, having guys like this on your defensive line or front-seven is a must.
More analysis to follow soon, but here's what a few of the scouting reports said:
STRENGTHS Outstanding effort and field energy. Good pursuit production -- flattens and chases. Plays past the whistle and keeps working to come free. Sacrifices his body around piles. Flushes production to teammates. Flashes strength and power on the edge. Uses his hands well to control and shed blockers. Emotional leader who plays with intensity. Tough and durable. Has NFL pedigree (father and brother). Versatile and can line up inside and outside. Has contributed as a tight end.
WEAKNESSES Lacks ideal foot speed to outquick left tackles. Could stand to improve weight-room strength and functional core strength. Is tightly wound and will rise out of his stance and play tall. Can be overly emotional, lose focus and play undisciplined (too many errors). Will require a strong positional coach.
DRAFT PROJECTION Rounds 4-5
BOTTOM LINE Very active, high-motor, steady, consistent producer. Lacks ideal bulk for the inside and speed to work the edges, but can set the edge and bring value to an odd front in a LOLB role or as a Sam linebacker. Is most natural moving forward piercing gaps. Will need to be managed, needs to cut down on errors and must learn to play within the structure of the defense.
STRENGTHS: Possesses a tall, lean-muscled body type with good arm length...light on his feet with good initial quickness and redirection skills...flexible with natural bend when he chooses to use it...tough at the POA with aggressive, active hands...nose for the ball and works through the echo of the whistle to finish at the ballcarrier...always alert and plays hyper, rarely turning off the switch when he's on the field...confident with a team-first, band-of-brothers type of attitude.
Used in short-yardage and goal line situations at times on offense - two career catches, two career receiving scores...versatile experience, lining up mostly nose-to-nose with the OT in UCLA's three-man front, but has experience moving inside, outside and dropping into space...solid resume (36 career starts) with 24.5 tackles for loss over his career, steadily improving his production each year.
WEAKNESSES: Struggles to consistently disengage blocks with disappointing functional strength and immature hand technique...streaky pad level and doesn't show a natural understanding of leverage...swift swim move, but needs to develop more counter moves to fool blockers and keep them guessing.
Doesn't always have method to his madness and needs to have a plan as a pass rusher...needs to keep his cool and stay under control emotionally on the field...tends to freelance at times and not play assignment sound football...needs to find a comfortable playing weight, fluctuating from 270 to 300 and now down to 250 pounds...lacks a position identity with tweener flashes.