They first apparently tried to move up to the top of the fourth round — likely aiming for T.J. Clemmings, Tre Jackson or Daryl Williams. They didn’t have any ammunition though, unless they were offering a 2016 pick or a player, so it’s no wonder they were unable to make the move.
In the end, they stayed put and used their two fourth-rounders (130 and 134 overall) on “gritty” Terry Poole and Mark Glowinski. And they added conversion project Kristjan Sokoli in the sixth round. The Hawks had brought in all three for visits before the draft.
Line coach Tom Cable said he had his usual list of seven or eight line preferred prospects and three of them were on the board when the fourth round started.
“For us to get up this morning and have another guy sitting there as well that we really wanted, it was like, ‘Here we go; let’s see if we can make this work.” And they did it beautifully.”
“We needed to hit a couple guys,” Pete Carroll said. “We had a couple guys that we had put up on the board and had a pin in them and hoping they would happen, and to get Terry and Mark Glowinski, those guys were really prime guys.
“Tom went out and worked out Kristjan Sokoli a couple days ago to see if we could do this transition with him like we had this success with (J.R.) Sweezy a while back, and he just fell in love with the kid. And for us to nail it like that gives us three solid guys coming in to really compete and make this group a really competitive group.”
At least initially, Carroll said Poole (6-5, 307 pounds) is going to compete with Alvin Bailey for the starting spot left guard and Glowinski (6-4, 307) will work behind Sweezy at right guard.
“We’re going to reserve the right to do all of the moving we need to do here, but that’s where we’ll start with them on Day 1.”
Cabel said, “That’s the reason we took them, because we have a little mix and matching to do. 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.”
Sokoli (6-5, 300) will start out at center, Carroll said.
Sokoli is considered the best pound-for-pound athlete in the draft. He ran the 40 in under 4.9, recorded a 38-inch vertical, broad-jumped 9-11 and did the short shuttle in 4.36 seconds and bench-pressed 31 times.
“Just phenomenal stuff at 300 pounds,” Carroll said. “He’s a hard-nosed football player, and he’s real smart, too. 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.”
The Hawks are 1 for 2 on these conversions, with Sweezy making the switch as a rookie in 2012 and starting 34 games. The Hawks also tried it with 2013 seventh-round pick Jared Smith, but that one didn’t work.
“We’ll be very patient with (Sokoli), but we’ve been through it,” Carroll said. “It doesn’t always work, but we’re going for it again.”
Cable is expecting Bailey to start at left guard next to Russell Okung and Garry Gilliam to replace him as the swing tackle, backing up Okung and Justin Britt. But the Hawks really have no idea right now how it will all shake out.
As Cable said, “We have a lot of work to do yet.”