Per Curtis Crabtree, and via his agent, the Seahawks signed 2nd year safety Chris Maragos, recently released by the 49ers, to their practice squad today, obviously not content to let a day go by without making a roster move. They did so while following the pattern they've established by signing athletic freaks of nature and hoping they'll turn into good football players.
Maragos is a freak of nature, and I say that in the most complimentary of ways. At his Pro Day at Wisconsin in 2010, as Combine legend Gil Brandt put it, Maragos "ran the 40-yard dash in 4.50 and 4.47 seconds, had a 36-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot broad jump and did 15 repetitions in the bench press at 225 pounds. Where Maragos really made his mark was in the agility drills. Quickness is a vital attribute for defensive backs, and Maragos showed he has what it takes athletically. His 6.55-second three-cone drill and 3.98-second short shuttle would have been the best times at the NFL Scouting Combine for any position."
Uh, holy crap. For any position? That's decent.
Anyway, this signing follows the recent signings and/or tryouts (and eventual releasings of a few) of other freaks of nature Neal Howey, Jameson Konz, Fendi Onobun, and probably several other players I'm forgetting. As I've said here before, it seems to be part of their methodology. Also, perhaps they like to stash these players on their practice squad as 'athletes' that can play multiple positions and give the Seahawks scout team elite speed to practice against. If they develop, great, but if not, at least they give the Hawks' first and second teamers headaches and provide a challenging matchup athletically.
Here's CBSSports' scouting report on Maragos:
Read & React: Quarterback of the secondary, reads plays and directs teammates. A bit overaggressive, comes up to take underneath routes, leaving deep half open for seam routes.
Man Coverage: Has enough agility and speed to stay with running backs in the flat and receivers all over the field. Lack of height and bulk will hurt him in coverage against larger NFL receivers.
Zone Coverage: Attacks plays in front of him. Good speed to track down receivers and running backs on the side. Fair range, and likes to lower his shoulder to try and dislodge the ball. Lacks height and length to make plays on the ball unless he gets a great jump.
Closing/Recovery: Not much of a pass rusher, fair closing speed if open lane is available but won't beat blocks to reach the passer. Has a burst to the ball in the air, and gets up to attack run plays on the edge in a hurry.
Run Support: Could play in the box. Sniffs out inside and outside runs, steps up to take on blocks in the hole. Avoids or shoulders fullback blocks, gets off to grab backs on the way by. Feels and gets off most receiver blocks.
Tackling: Solid tackler in space and near the line of scrimmage. Good effort and technique sell out and swipe if unable to get to the ball. Feels and slides off linemen and receiver blocks. Wraps up when coming from the side of the ballcarrier, not just straight-on. Great hustle and chase downfield, enough speed to get the angle on most backs. Will be a special teams coverage contributor.
Intangibles: Troubled in high school, admitted to selling drugs and committing various non-violent crimes. Turned around before college, however, now is a solid character guy. 2009 team captain.
I haven't heard yet who they plan to release to make room for the athletic safety. In other news:
-- Sidney Rice practiced full today. Barring setbacks, it's looking like he'll play.
-- Michael Robinson might practice tomorrow. He's getting closer to a return.
-- Byron Maxwell is out for Sunday, and so is Robert Gallery, obviously.
-- Malcolm Smith returned to practice today, so he might be available come Sunday.
Also, Dominique Byrd worked out with the Giants today but wasn't signed immediately. That per Aaron Wilson.
Anything else going on out there in NFL land? Let's talk about it.