Tyson Alualu wasn't the only prospect playing in the Poinsettia Bowl, and between taking notes on him, I had a chance to look at a couple other interesting players. Before I get to all that, has there ever been a quarterback that has done less than Kevin Riley yet retained his position without competition? Even Nate Longshore marvels at his futility. I think sometimes the worst attribute a coach can have is being nice. In football, the only rule should be best player plays. Easy to say.
Syd'Quan Thompson worried me a bit with his speed, or lack thereof, but he was struggling with a badly sprained ankle. He's thickly cut and though he's shorter than ideal, he has good coverage instincts and compensates for his height with good hops and better timing. Timing is more important than overall height. While 5'9" is considered too short, 5'10" is just fine. That one inch doesn't matter much if a player can time his jump and high point the football. Without Tim Ruskell drafting, I don't know where Thompson is selected, but I hope Pete Carroll will know when he's dropped too far and make a play for him. He's agile and quick, not the burner Josh Wilson is, but quick nevertheless. I didn't see an ability to tackle in the open field the way a Tampa 2 corner needs to, but he timed his breaks well, charged hard downhill and showed a willingness to wrap low. We'll revisit Thompson around the Combine, but if Seattle wants to press and run short zones, Thompson could complement Wilson and put a pair of corners with elite ball skills and elite return skills on the field every snap.
That hypothetical pairing would need a tall safety to contest deep jump balls and double dominant tall receivers like Larry Fitzgerald. Utes safety Robert Johnson has had the quietest 13 career interceptions I can remember. I can't tell you that means he's good, and most scouting services project him as a late round flier, but he does have good speed and better athleticism, is 6'2", shows great awareness and really plays around the ball a lot for a center-field type free safety. If he's maybe not fit for a cover-1 in the pros, he does seem like a smart addition to a cover-2. Seattle needs starters at safety, but not really next year. Seattle lost Courtney Greene and if Jamar Adams has done anything to impress coaches, no one has filled me in. Lawyer Milloy still owns a roster spot and though he looked savvy and terrifying in spot appearances, one can only dream how exposed the 36 year old would be if pressed into regular action. I'm not sure I see this as a need, but it can't be neglected.