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NFL Draft 2015: Recapping all the Seahawks picks, UDFA signings

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The Seahawks' 2015 NFL Draft is now in the books so it's time to start digesting everything that happened. I'm just going to go pick-by-pick and give a few reactions.

NFL Draft 2015 Class (including trades):

Round 1, Pick 31 (31) -- Jimmy Graham, TE -- 6'6, 260 (from New Orleans)
Round 2, Pick 31 (63) -- Frank Clark, DE -- 6'3 271 Michigan
Round 3, Pick 5 (69) -- Tyler Lockett, WR -- 5'10 182 Kansas St.
Round 4, Pick 31 (130) -- Terry Poole, OT/OG -- 6'5, 307 San Diego State
Round 4, Pick 35 (134) -- Mark Glowinski, OL -- 6'4, 307 West Virginia
Round 5, Pick 34 (170) -- Tye Smith, CB, 6'0", 190 Towson
Round 6, Pick 31 (207) -- Marcus Burley, CB -- 5'10, 185 (from Indianapolis)
Round 6, Pick 33 (209) -- Obum Gwatcham, DE Oregon State 6'5, 245
Round 6, Pick 38 (214) -- Kristjan Sololi, OG Buffalo 6'5, 290
Round 7, Pick 31 (248) -- Ryan Murphy, SAF Oregon State 6'3, 214

UDFA Class:

LS Nate Boyer, Texas 5'10, /216
OL Jesse Davis, Idaho 6'6, 309
WR Austin Hill, Arizona 6'2, 214
SAF Keenan Lambert, Norfolk State 6'0, 209
SAF Ronald Martin, LSU 6'0, 200
LB Quayshawn Nealy, Georgia Tech 6'0, 236
RB Thomas Rawls, CMU 5'9", 215
DB Trovon Reed, Auburn 6'0, 191
DT Tory Slater, WGU 6'4, 290
RB Rod Smith, Ohio State 6'3, 231
LB Alex Singleton, Montana St 6'2, 242
FS Triston Wade, UTSA 5'11, 185


A quick caveat to this report: I really liked the whole draft, and it's hopefully not just that I'm a homer. There wasn't a pick in there, from a football point of view, that made me scratch my head. It also helped that with the help of Zach Whitman and Jared Stanger's work, I knew about and had studied just about all of them pretty closely. They really nailed the player profile the Seahawks look for and identified many of these guys from the jump.

Thus, this is going to be pretty positive and optimistic, but there's obviously a pretty long road for these guys to take before they're on-field contributors. That could mean months, or potentially years -- and some may wash out without seeing the field. What I liked, principally, was that this class is rife with potential -- almost every pick is high-ceiling.

Let's look:

TE Jimmy Graham 6'6, 260 -- (from New Orleans)

The Seahawks picked up an elite tight end with their first round pick, months before the Draft even happened. "When you acquire a player of Jimmy's caliber with the 31st pick, that makes it that much easier to sleep at night knowing that we wouldn't be able to get a player like that," Schneider said back in April, noting that the Seahawks had only 16 players with first down grades. They got Graham there because they felt it was the best use of their Draft capital.

He's a touchdown maker on an elite level and should give Seattle a very potent and proven redzone and 3rd down threat. He should make the offense better immediately and will come in on day one and be Russell Wilson's go-to guy. Over the last three seasons, 35 of Graham's 50 red zone catches were touchdowns. "That's legit," Carroll boasted.

"He is as special as a tight end can get," said Carroll on Saturday night. "He is big, he is fast and he is athletic as a guy can be. What I am counting on is him complementing the guys and making everybody better. I think we will hopefully be able to add to his game—he is planning on that—and he is going to help us, help Doug (Baldwin). He is going to help the running game, and the running game is going to help him. There is a lot of stuff that is going to work together here, and I think it is a big, big positive for us. And we will see, it will take us some time to unveil, but we are planning on that being a big factor and helping us in general."

As Carroll has pointed out, Graham's basketball background features into his game, and he was the leading rebounder in the history of the ACC at the time he left. "That's a huge stat about toughness," Carroll said. "You can't get rebounds year after year after year unless you compete and battle to get the ball. He shows that kind of desire and he shows that toughness in his play. You can see it when he's carrying the football and he's trying to run over guys, leap over guys and make things happen. So we have no problem with that. I think he's going to fit in very well here. And I think our mentality and the grit and the toughness that we have here will only bring out even the best in him. So we're excited about it."

If you're getting technical, obviously Graham isn't a part of this draft class, but since the Seahawks used that valuable chip to acquire him, he fits in on a de facto level.

DE Frank Clark, DE -- 6'3 271 Michigan

This pick is obviously controversial and troubling for Clark's domestic violence incident last November, but from a football perspective it made a lot of sense. He's one of the top SPARQ defensive ends in the class and his measureables are more or less elite across the board. Great speed, great explosiveness, great length, great aggressiveness, great motor -- and he's only 21 and likely to improve from there. Projecting what defensive ends will do in the NFL is a very difficult thing to do, even for the best scouting departments, but Clark could be a day-one contributor in the defensive line rotation and will be valuable depth there as well.

Mike Silver shared an anecdote in his column on the Dante Fowler pick in Jacksonville on Thursday, and in it he pointed out Pete Carroll's emphasis on adding depth to the pass rusher position.

Jacksonville's most accomplished edge rusher, Chris Clemons, turns 34 in October, and [Gus] Bradley -- who previously coached Clemons as the Seahawks' defensive coordinator -- recalled a conversation with his former boss, Seattle coach Pete Carroll, after a 30-28 divisional-round playoff defeat to the Atlanta Falcons in January 2012.

"Chris Clemons hurt his knee in that game, and we had to put an outside linebacker (Mike Morgan) at edge rusher, and we really struggled," Bradley said. "On the flight back from Atlanta, Pete said, 'I'll never do that to you again ... that position is too important.' You remember after that he signed (Cliff) Avril and (Michael) Bennett and (O'Brien) Schofield -- he just brought in waves of guys, one after the other."

The timeline is wrong -- Clemons hurt his knee the game before in Washington, but as we all know, the Seahawks really struggled to get after Matt Ryan in that Falcons playoff game and ultimately it was a big factor in the loss. Carroll remembers this lesson vividly, and while he's worked to add as many pass rushers to the group as possible, he nonetheless experienced another version of that nightmare in this past Super Bow. Cliff Avril left the game with a concussion, and it changed the dynamic of the Seahawks' normally-dangerous pass rush.

"This is a 272-pound man who is extremely explosive," said Schneider of Clark in a presser on Friday night. "He still has an upside, he's an interior rusher, edge rusher, can play Sam, set the edge — they did a lot with him at the school."

"His mentality in the way he plays the game," said Carroll. "He is such a competitive kid and it's so important to him to play his best. He plays so tough and chases the football — he is physical in the way the players play. He just has the kind of nature that really fits in with those players. He has a ton of upside, as John said, and he is going to improve a lot. We think he is going to be a really exciting addition to the club."

In the short term, I'd expect that he's a nickel rusher and he can spot-fill at the strongside linebacker spot as well. He'll likely feature heavily on special teams.

WR Tyler Lockett, 5'10 182 -- Kansas St.

My initial reaction to this pick was a little bit of surprise, because of his size, but after I digested it a little bit it made too much sense. I've been on record for quite a while saying that Pete Carroll and John Schneider would draft a kick return/punt return specialist, and Lockett is arguably the best in the country in this role (along with Ty Montgomery, who I thought may have been the Seahawks' target).

"We wanted a returner in this program so badly," said Carroll Saturday night. "John just needed to figure out where we were going to get him, and I am thrilled we got him. He is such a special return guy. He is going to be a terrific receiver, as well, but what I just thought was so unique, and I thought other people would want that, too."

"The week he had at the Senior Bowl was phenomenal," said Schneider on Friday night. "We just felt like he is the premier returner in this draft"

"As a return specialist, he really adds that to our team, knowing that he can be our punt returner," added Carroll. "He can be our kickoff returner. It's just so obvious, we think that's an area of our football team we needed improvement at and we could hit it with one guy. He is also a very accomplished receiver, you see his numbers and everything that he has accomplished, but the fact that we can put a guy back there with that kind of confidence and style and tremendous speed and explosiveness, and great history—he's got all kinds of documentation. That's why were so happy John made the move to get that done. I think it's a really exciting thing to add to our football team."

So, obviously, the return game fiasco that was 2014 was just as annoying to Pete Carroll as I suspected. Lockett adds more than Montgomery in the passing offense though, and he should find himself on the field early on in his career.

He's a nuanced and savvy route runner, setting up cornerbacks before executing double moves, and his self-comparison to Antonio Brown, while bold, holds some weight because of the quick foot speed he shows and the creativity in the pass game that he exhibits.

Bruce Feldman noted that the Big-12 defensive coaches he talked to "told me they thought Tyler Lockett was the best player in their league and the toughest to defend," which makes his crazy ass production even more impressive. This guy was by far the top target on a team with a bad quarterback, meaning opposing defenses would load up and scheme with the principal goal of stopping him in mind. He just went out there and caught 106 passes for 1,515 yards (not dink and dump -- 14.5 yards per reception), and 11 touchdowns in 2014 for K-State. He caught 81 passes for 11 touchdowns the year before. Dude just balls out.

One of the main complaints that Seahawk fans have had over the past two years -- whether it's right or wrong, I'm not totally sure -- is that Seattle's receivers can't get open. Well, Lockett is a guy that knows how to get open -- his father, a former NFL receiver -- has been teaching him the subtleties of the position since he could walk, and it shows up on the field.

Additionally, Lockett's a very high-character guy with a laundry list of awards and personal accolades.

OL Terry Poole, -- 6'5, 307 San Diego State's Tony Pauline had been touting Poole for the Seahawks for quite a while so it was not surprising that he was a pick here. He was projected as a sixth/seventh round type but you know how this front office works -- they're not waiting around and hoping to get their guy, they'll just go ahead and draft him now, thanks.

Poole is a guy that can play all five offensive line spots, potentially, and that's likely a huge reason they liked him.

"That's the reason we took them, because we have a little mix and matching to do," said Tom Cable. "We like who's here, and this is going to give us even more flexibility. Both of them will have some learning to do at this level, but that's normal. I think the fact that they can play a number of spots is going to help us."

Carroll intimated that they'll start Poole at left guard, but he'll probably get a lot of work all along the line, honestly.

Cable noted that if Alvin Bailey becomes the starting left guard (which is what they hope), that means that the "swing" position will need to get filled, and Poole (along with Garry Gilliam) seems like the likeliest candidate for this role, because of his versatility and size. He also has that nasty attitude that Cable loves, and the Seahawks' offensive line coach acknowledged this on Saturday.

"I don't think we would take an offensive lineman that didn't have that trait. We like to use the term ‘gritty'. These guys have an orneriness, and a grittiness to them. Both of them are finishers. I think the thing that jumps out to me about Mark is that he did a bunch of pulling and his ability to instinctively adjust on the move and finish. Terry, I think about any film you turn on, he's ripping somebody pretty good."

"I think the impressive thing about Terry is his ability to strike people, and his quickness," Cable added.

I haven't yet watched a ton of tape on Poole, but the attributes are obviously there, particularly the hand-violence and smoothness in footwork.

OL Mark Glowinski, 6'4, 307 West Virginia

Glowinski is set to start out at right guard, and again, is a guy that we've had our eyes on because of his great athletci profile (3rd ranked SPARQ offensive lineman), and his versatility along the line. He's a former tackle that played guard at West Virginia this past year, and he will add some great depth on the interior.

He's a "very, very exciting mover and athlete," said Carroll after the Draft. "Really good measurables again. Very smart kid."

"I think Mark, probably the one thing that stands out is his ability to stay in front of people in pass protection as a one-on-one pass blocker," Cable added. "I think the thing that jumps out to me about Mark is that he did a bunch of pulling and his ability to instinctively adjust on the move and finish."

I really like the Glowinski pick a lot because while J.R. Sweezy has been remarkably durable, he's heading into his contract year and could always use a similar-styled player to back him up. This is that "roster mirroring" that Zach Whitman has broken down, and Glow is similar in terms of athletic profile to Sweezy (and even closer to former Seahawks Ryan Seymour). It's no surprise they're starting him at right guard.

CB Tye Smith,  6'0", 190 Towson

The Seahawks seemed to really love this pick, and he's a prototypical Seahawky style of cornerback. Quick. Long arms. Super competitive and confident. I'll just let Pete and John tell you their thoughts on him:

"Oh, man. Very aggressive," said Schneider: "A really cool mover. Length. Tough. Just competed his tail off all the time. He was always around the football. I want to throw a name out there to compare him to, but I can't because you guys will think I'm crazy. As a mover, and his ball skills. He probably had one of the cooler plays in college football this year."

"A great all around athlete," added Carroll. "Played a lot of sports. Stuff comes naturally to him, and he's a big hitter, too."

My first impression is that he's a similar type of player to Jeremy Lane but he'll start outside and see if he sticks.

CB Marcus Burley, 5'10, 185 (from Indianapolis)

Burley was acquired with the Seahawks native sixth-round pick last year, and ended up sticking with the team all year. He'll compete for a spot next year in the slot, but to be honest I have no real concept of his shot at winning the job and/or sticking on the roster. He's going to have some major competition, that's for sure.

DE Obum Gwatcham, Oregon State 6'5, 245

Toolsy height-weight-speed guy with some natural pass rush feel to him. He's a former wide receiver that has only played one season at defensive end, so obviously he's very raw.

"Obum is a unique player to pick up," said Carroll. "Again, John fell in love with this guy's motor right off the bat first time he saw him, and the transition he's made. It's going to take some time for him to develop, but to play that hard that fast so relentless, as he switched sides of the ball, that lit us up, and that fits what we're looking for. He jumped off the film at us with his effort and his intensity. We feel very consistent throughout this class with that makeup, we want these guys coming in with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove, and both these guys you just talked about are exactly that."

"He's an outside edge rush guy right now," Carroll added. "He doesn't have enough background to show us any more at this point. He's an athlete that is an outside backer, LEO-type, we'll see where he fits in. We don't want to try to load him up with too much, we'd like to get his hand on the ground and see how he does just coming off the football. Our coaches are excited to see what happens when we get to work with him a little bit. This off season will be so valuable to him to show how far he can go. We know he's going to go really fast and he's going to go really hard and he's not going to stop for anything, so that's a great place to start."

"He's a really cool kid," Schneider piped in. "He's a real intelligent guy, that's overcome a lot. I know you hear that a lot with us. Big time track athlete. Helped all the guys on the team manage their stipend money. You could see him throughout the season, improving, trying different things, trying to protect his hands."

In the sixth round, you're obviously looking for tools, and Gwacham has them. He'll be a two or three year project.

OG Kristjan Sololi, Buffalo 6'5, 290

Zach's been all over this guy from the start, and according to the SPARQ metric is the first 4-sigma athlete in the NFL. If that doesn't resonate, just know this: He's a freak.

And, the Seahawks are doing the J.R. Sweezy thing, as we'd predicted/speculated, and switching him from defensive line to the offense. They'll start him at center, but he could probably play guard as well.

"It starts with the measurables," said Schneider, "and the attitude of the person, and the grit, the makeup, his background, his character, what he's all about. He's one of our 30 guys that we brought in, too. To be able to come in and look the guy eye to eye and feel the passion. Of all the guys we selected, they all have different reactions when you call them and let them know what's shaking, and [Sokoli] was so intense, he was like, 'I'm not going to disappoint you.'  He was just really excited about the opportunity. It starts with the measurable, and then I have a coach that's willing to go ahead and dive in to all those intangibles and work with that and teach. It's huge."

"It's the measurable of the players, and the intensity with which he plays," said Schneider. "Toughness, the mental toughness, the way he prepares, and just knowing that there's certain guys that could be specific fits for our offense, especially on the offensive line. To have a coach like Tom, who's willing to dive into those intangibles, that's where it starts. If he's comfortable with it, then we go from there."

"He's in the 4.8s, I think he verted 38 or something, he had a great shuttle at 4.2 or something," said Pete Carroll. "Just phenomenal stuff at 300 pounds. And he's a hard-nosed football player, and he's real smart too, and you take all that together, and there's not another offensive lineman on the board, maybe, that has those measurables. He already separates himself physically, so we'll see what happens. We'll be very patient with that, but we've been through it. It doesn't always work, but we're going for it again."

Expect a learning curve with this guy. But, he has such crazy physical attributes that it's worth giving it a shot.

Said Schneider: "Provided the opportunity, Sweezy came along in a very fast fashion."

SAF Ryan Murphy -- Oregon State 6'3, 214

I don't know a ton about Murphy but Zach has watched him a lot at Oregon State and likes his game a lot. He's a very good athlete and has great size.

What does he bring? "Versatility," says Schneider: "Tough, a very steady football player. Returned a kickoff against USC for 100 yards."

"The guy started 38 games," added Carroll. "He averaged almost 70 tackles a year. Very consistent. Played in the nickel area so we saw him get close to the line of scrimmage like we play Kam and how he fits in. Played on the deep end as well. One of the things we really love about the guy is how his teammates feel about him. They want to go war with this guy. He's one of the first names that pop up, that this is a guy that we all trust and believe in. He's a grit guy, he's tough, he's just what we're looking for. Jeron Johnson leaving gives us a slot, we'd like to get a guy to come in here and compete for that spot and see what he does. We think he's got a great chance to do that."

Cool. Will look forward to watching him in camp.

UDFA Class:

LS Nate Boyer, Texas 5'10, /216
OL Jesse Davis, Idaho 6'6, 309
WR Austin Hill, Arizona 6'2, 214
SAF Keenan Lambert, Norfolk State 6'0, 209
SAF Ronald Martin, LSU 6'0, 200
LB Quayshawn Nealy, Georgia Tech 6'0, 236
RB Thomas Rawls, CMU 5'9", 215
DB Trovon Reed, Auburn 6'0, 191
DT Tory Slater, WGU 6'4, 290
RB Rod Smith, Ohio State 6'3, 231
DB Trovon Reed, Auburn 6'0, 191
FS Triston Wade, UTSA 5'11, 185

I won't break down everyone in the UDFA class but I really liked Thomas Rawls in the pre-draft run-up so that's a very interesting addition to me. He'll have a chance, I think, to compete with Demetrius Bronson, and they're somewhat similar in style. He's got a little Spencer Ware in him too -- that "bring it to the defense" mentality. He started at Michigan but transferred to Central Michigan after being arrested at a casino for three felonies, charges that were reduced to larceny. After watching his tape last month and really liking it, I searched for a scouting report on him and Lance Zierlein's is the first I found. My interest piqued even more. Here are the plusses:

STRENGTHS If you don't bring it to him, he will bring it to you. Powerful beyond his size with strong legs and outstanding balance at and beyond contact. Able to absorb contact on legs with defenders bouncing off. Coils into a ball of power and explodes into tacklers with cocked hip and low pad level to finish his run with a message being sent. Competes hard on every run with jump cuts and lateral shiftiness in the hole to go with his power. Sudden runner with ability to make sharp, decisive cuts. Can plant and go with immediate burst downhill or bounce to perimeter in search of new opportunities. Has desired foot quickness and hip fluidity. Has above-average vision and feel for the changing shape of running lanes. Hands are good enough to factor in passing game.

BOTTOM LINE Compact, powerful running back who runs just as powerfully on his 35th carry (back-to-back games of 40 carries) as he does to start the game. While he finishes with brute force, he possesses the vision and lateral movement of a finesse runner. He is more than capable of handling a starter's workload in the NFL, and had Purdue's safeties ready to tap out by the end of that game last season. His character must be vetted carefully, but the tools and the talent are those of a league starter.

Not surprising the Seahawks brought him in. He has the potential to be the jewel in their undrafted class crown, in my opinion.

Austin Hill is another guy that could be a future practice squadder for the Seahawks, so keep an eye on him. He's 6'2, 212 pounds and was a big-time producer for Arizona his junior year (81 catches, 1300+ yards, 11 touchdowns), but he tore his ACL, missed 2013, then came back and fell off as a senior, stats-wise. A big part of this was due to a loss of speed, post injury. He has some nice measurables (6.72 3-cone is intriguing for a guy that's 6'2), and is a tenacious blocker, so he's intriguing, particularly if his speed improves over time.

I'll be looking forward to seeing what Jesse Davis and Tory Slater do as well. I don't know much about the other guys yet.