The Seahawks have signed seven players, filling out their offseason roster. The players include offensive lineman C.J. Davis, quarterback R.J. Archer, long snapper Luke Ingram, linebacker Brendan Kelly, defensive end Will Pericak, center Jared Wheeler and wide receiver Kevin Smith.
-- OL C.J. Davis:
Davis was with the Seahawks for a spell during training camp last year. He's a 27-year old veteran that was an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh in 2009, and has bounced around from Carolina (injured reserve his rookie year, practice squad second year before playing in seven games to end the year) to Denver (7 games in 2012) and now here. He's 6'2, 303 pounds.
-- QB R.J. Archer:
According to a release by the Arena League Jacksonville Sharks,
Archer is a four-year AFL veteran who spent each of the last two years in Jacksonville. After serving as the Sharks' backup quarterback in 2013, he stepped into the starting role this past season. In 2014, Archer finished third among all AFL passers with 4,661 yards, completing 367 of his 634 attempts for a total of 92 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.
Throughout the 2014 season, Archer tossed six or more touchdowns on 10 separate occasions, a total that includes a pair of eight-touchdown games. He capped the campaign with a 318-yard, six-touchdown, no-interception performance in the season finale against the Los Angeles KISS, for which he earned Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Archer, 6'2, 220, went to the College of Williams and Mary, spent time in Minnesota in 2010, Detroit in 2012, and will now get his third shot at the league. Archer is the second Arena League player that the Seahawks have signed of late, joining WR Douglas McNeil. I guess they're scouting that league pretty heavily as well.
-- LS Luke Ingram
He's a longsnapper. I refuse to provide a scouting report for a long-snapper. He snaps the ball. Maybe he snaps it well.
-- DE Brendan Kelly
Former LB/DE out of Wisconsin that spent some time with the Hawks in training camp last year. Here's what Tony Pauline had to say about him:
Positive: Part-time starter the past three seasons. Led Wisconsin with 4.5 sacks as a senior. Athletically limited defensive end who gets the most from his ability. Quick off the snap, fast up the field, and makes plays down the line of scrimmage. Flashes the ability to drop off the line of scrimmage and play in space on zone blitzes.
Negative: Easily blocked from the action. Possesses just a short burst of speed.
Analysis: Kelly is a try-hard prospect who lacks the size for defensive end and speed necessary for linebacker.
At 6'5, 260, my guess is that he's a Michael Bennett type of project. The "quick off the snap, fast up the field, and makes plays down the line of scrimmage" description seems to indicate he'd be an interior rusher in nickel.
-- DE/DT Will Pericak
I'd guess that Pericak is in the same mold as Kelly in that the Seahawks will look to develop him as an interior pass rusher on nickel downs. One intriguing thing about Pericak is that he was Baltimore's top undrafted free agent get last year, receiving a signing bonus of $13,500, the highest signing bonus for the Ravens' UDFAs \and one of the highest bonuses league-wide. Baltimore, generally speaking, knows defensive linemen, and though they likely planned to utilize/develop him as a 3-4 end, he's likely to be a guy that will get a look at a number of spots for Seattle. He's 6'4, 296.
-- C Jared Wheeler
Former lineman for Miami that got 38 starts in his college career. Was the Unsung Hero of the Year for the Hurricanes in 2013, but went undrafted. Has spent time with Carolina and Buffalo. Brennan Carroll, newly minted as an assistant offensive line coach, should know Wheeler well.
-- WR Kevin Smith
I'll copy/paste what I wrote on Smith back on June 25th, when the Seahawks signed him to their offseason roster:
Smith's route to Seattle has been surprisingly circuitous -- he was originally signed as an undrafted free agent in Arizona, was released there, and claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was subsequently released a second time and from what it sounds like, the Jags were dealing with injuries to a few guys in their receiver corps and simply needed a body to catch some passes in camp. Obviously, he didn't make a big enough impression to stick there, but he sounds like a Seahawky type of player.
This past season (2013) as 1090 The Fan points out, Smith was "lauded by the UW coaching staff for his outstanding blocking and leadership within the locker room," noting that Huskies Head Coach Steve Sarkisian "named him as one of his 'two or three favorite players' on the team prior to his departure."
Rob Rang said this of Smith's Pro Day performance in which several of the Seahawks' personnel people were on hand, including John Schneider:
"... pass catcher Kevin Smith certainly helped his cause as well. Measuring in at 5-11 (1/2) and a solid 208 pounds, Smith was clocked at 4.54 seconds in the 40-yard dash and recorded a 37" vertical jump...
.... Plus a 10'6" broad jump, the kind of lower-body explosiveness the Seahawks like in their receivers.
He also ran crisp routes, showed the ability to track the ball over his shoulder and good hands to extend and pluck outside of his frame.
Smith noted this after his pro day:
"I just wanted to show my natural ability. I'm really athletic, and I don't think a lot of people know that. I wanted the show the explosiveness in my vertical jump and my broad jump, and show the quick change of direction and fast feet. Most important, run good routes and catch the play. I really wanted to show my versatility - I can do multiple things on offense and special teams. That's what I played in college, including all four phases of special teams, and I got the ball in my hands a lot of different ways on offense."
"I feel like I'm a dirty-work guy. I can do the scrappy stuff, the dirty work on the field. I take pride in that, in being a team player. Anything the coaches ask me to do, I can do. I feel like they can use me a lot in different areas of their system."
Smith caught 50 passes for 765 yards and four touchdowns in 2013, best among Husky receivers, after sitting out all of 2012 rehabbing a torn ACL.
After the draft wrapped up, Smith said he got offers from five teams: the Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals. He ultimately chose Arizona, despite the fact that his good friend Jermaine Kearse had set a pretty cool precedent in Seattle by working his way into the lineup as a UDFA out of Washington. Nonetheless, Kearse guided him through the process.
"Jermaine helped me a lot. A lot of people criticized him and his game when he went undrafted but his game showed. He could have been drafted and the same thing could be said for me. He's been like a big brother to me over the past few years and someone who's always been there for me and was a huge help going through the process."
Smith had a few drops in this game (including a controversial one at the end of the game), but he did have a few nice digs of low passes, and this play was impressive too:
As were these: