The Seattle Seahawks were active on day two of the draft, making six selections between 35 and 106. All six are almost certain to make the final roster, though they’ll be competing for various levels of important roles in 2017. At least two of them — second rounder Ethan Pocic and third rounder Shaq Griffin — may in fact be regular starters right away. Others could be basically right on that next cusp between starter and regular role player.
Here’s some of what the second and third round rookies have been up to in the two months or so since the draft, including tweets, film breakdowns, news articles, and more.
Malik McDowell, 35th overall, DT, Michigan State
I've been waiting on my chicken wings for like 2 hours— Malik McDowell (@MSU_LEEK4) May 14, 2017
As far as Malik’s film at Michigan State and his potential future with the Seahawks, there’s an in-depth RSP Film Room breakdown with Matt Waldman and Doug Farrar:
Carroll said Malik McDowell "has really come on already." Said he'll be able to play 5-tech spot for them.— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) June 2, 2017
Ethan Pocic, 58th overall, C/G, LSU
Pocic was an All-American center at LSU, but he’s been competing at tackle for Seattle. If he wins that job on the right side, it could keep Germain Ifedi at right guard, which may or may not be a good thing. Pete Carroll, to no one’s surprise, had good things to say about Pocic so far:
“He’s already studied his tail off to get here, you can tell,’’ he said. “He’s a bright football player, really tuned in, just all of the right signals in the first day and a half he’s been here as far as being ready to apply himself. He had a great experience at LSU. He’s played a ton of football, and it shows.”
Carroll added that they know what Pocic can do at center so there’s no reason to keep working him there. (Plus, Justin Britt exists and the Seahawks need help on the offensive line right now.)
Carroll said both Luke Joeckel and Ethan Pocic showing ability at guard and tackle. #Seahawks— Liz Mathews (@Liz_Mathews) June 15, 2017
You can also go back and re-visit Sam Gold’s film room breakdown of Pocic.
Shaquill Griffin, 90th overall, CB, UCF
The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell recently wrote that Griffin is very much in the mix for a starting job and defensive coordinator Kris Richard is excited about Griffin’s future:
“He’s got probably one of the best corner minds that we’ve had for a young guy around here,” Richard, the team’s previous defensive backs coach, said. “That’s just in regards to leverage, positioning, the understanding of our coverages and where we need him to be.”
“We’re going to be really excited to see him strap it up and get out there and actually be able to compete for the football while it’s in the air. That’s going to be the next phase,” Richard said. “But his technique has been improving day after day, and he has real strength. He has strength in his hands, you can tell he’s a powerful guy, and obviously his speed is there.”
Carroll chimed in too:
“He’s really diligent. He’s real fast. Technique-wise, it’s not hard for him to make it look right. Camp will be huge for him. None of the DBs were able to compete at the ball throughout this whole offseason, so we don’t see any of that. We have no evaluation of those guys. They can’t make a play on the ball unless it’s thrown right to them. So they have a lot to show still when they come back. The one-on-one work when they get back. The seven on seven against our best guys and all of that will show us a lot more. So it’s hard to make a full evaluation.”
Delano Hill, 95th overall, S, Michigan
Hill’s safety teammate Jabrill Peppers was a Heisman candidate and a first round pick, but Erik Turner of cover1.net had plenty of praise for the former.
But if you want a true safety, then you don’t have to look far. When you turn on the Michigan film, you will see his teammate, safety Delano Hill, consistently making plays. He may not have the ceiling or elite athleticism that Peppers does, but he is a safer pick. He is an NFL safety, a guy whose film is very good, a leader on and off the field. You know what you are getting with him, and that is consistency.
Hill may specialize against tight ends.
This play also exemplifies what Hill was asked to do at Michigan. Much like this play, in the NFL Hill will be matched up with tight ends frequently. Brown was so confident in Hill’s abilities that he often matched Hill up versus opposing tight ends and receivers in the box and in the slot. Hill is really good at pressing, disrupting and getting into the hip pocket of offensive players.
Carroll likes players who know how to tackle, and that is a strength of Hill’s.
Hill worked from a lot of single high and two high sets, often rotating down late, post-snap. When he recognizes run, he gets downhill and makes form tackles on play after play. Hill finished the 2016 season with 27 tackles versus the run and 11 stops. Overall, tackling ability definitely goes to Hill. He finished as the 5th highest (14.5) in combined tackling efficiency. When he gets ahold of the offensive player, he doesn’t let go. That is a trait that you want your safety to possess, as he is the team’s last line of defense.
Now it is SS Delano Hill showing off quick footwork backpedaling in pass coverage at Seahawks rookie mini camp Sunday. pic.twitter.com/WZkwnDPNC7— Todd Milles (@ManyHatsMilles) May 14, 2017
Nazair Jones, 102nd overall, DT, UNC
Carroll noted recently that Jones “hasn’t missed a beat” in camp, but didn’t go in much detail beyond that.
Amara Darboh, 106th overall, WR, Michigan
Doug Baldwin is known for being boastful, but not just about himself, also his teammates often. In this case, he was like a proud papa talking about Seattle’s rookie receivers Darboh, David Moore, and Cyril Grayson.
“What (Darboh) has shown us out here on the practice field , also in the meeting rooms, is that he is going to compete at the highest level,” Baldwin said. “That’s all we ask for is a guy to come in and be willing to work as hard as everybody else in the room.”
Baldwin added that Moore has great hands and that Grayson isn’t showing the rust of a guy who didn’t play football in college at LSU.