First impressions of the rookies

Pete Carroll and his staff got to see the 11 draft picks and almost 60 other players Friday as Seattle’s rookie minicamp got under way.

We wrote separately about Carroll’s take on the four draft picks in the secondary. Here are his first impressions of other rookies:

Malik McDowell is everything the coaches thought he was — so far.

“Well instantly, almost, you could see how comfortable he is with his movements, his body control and stuff,” Carroll said. “He’s got an awareness already on how to use his hands that I’m surprised to see that much background, technically. They did a real nice job with him at Michigan State.

“So he got off to a really nice start. He looks great. He’s taller (6 feet 6) than a lot of guys we’ve had at this position. I’m excited to see how we can move forward with that.”

Carroll reiterated that McDowell will play 5-technique (end) and 3-tech (pass-rushing tackle).

“Really would like to see how he works as an inside rusher in nickel and see if he can add something special for us there,” Carroll said. “But we’ll see. He’s really built like a 5-technique and I think he looks like a pass-rushing 3-technique.”

McDowell said he played nose tackle at Michigan State, so his move outside in Seattle is “going from taking double teams to taking single blocks, mostly. I like it.”

Carroll loves the addition of two defensive linemen with Day 2 picks. “Naz (Jones) did a nice job inside, too, and showed some good movement,” Carroll said of the third-rounder. “The fact that we get two big guys for the defensive line in this draft could be a real accent for us. We’ll see how that works out, but good first day.”

Jones (6-5, 304) figures to rotate inside with Ahtyba Rubin and Jarran Reed on run defense.

Ethan Pocic is working at right tackle because the Hawks haven’t seen him there enough to know whether he can play it, but it sounds like he might be too good to keep out of the starting lineup — somewhere.

“He’s already studied his tail off to get here. You can tell,” Carroll said. “He’s a bright football player. Really tuned in. Just all of the right signals in the first day and a half that 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 said Pocic will work at tackle this weekend, “and we’ll see what happens after that.”

Jordan Roos, Seattle’s top undrafted signing, could battle for a spot on the O-line. Of course, it could be tough because Roos plays only guard and the Hawks have seven other players who can play guard. The Hawks will keep nine guys though, so perhaps Roos can push Joey Hunt — who plays only center — for the ninth spot.

“A guy like Jordan Roos comes out of nowhere,” Carroll said. “For us, he’s a legit player. We saw that on film, and you could see it just mixing in with the guys today.”

Cyril Grayson could be the second coming of Ricardo Lockette, meaning he’s probably a two-year practice-squadder.

“We’ve seen enough in (offseason) Phase 2 stuff here to give us hopes that he really has an upside,” Carroll said of the All-American sprinter from LSU. “The speed is obvious (4.33 40). He’s got a really good catching range; he’s really natural catching the deep ball. We’ve already seen that. … (But) can we get him lined up right? Can he get his footwork right? Can he get off the line of scrimmage? Can he time it up?

“We’re going to be patient with him because he has such good natural talents,” Carroll added. “We’ll wait him out and see how long it takes. Remember, we took a long time with Ricardo Lockette, and Lock figured it out and became a real constant around here. But it took him a while coming out of the track background and all of that. So we’ll see what happens, but we’re very encouraged by what we’ve seen.”

No surprise: Nolan Frese’s position as deep snapper is far from secure. Carroll mentioned both Pocic and tryout TE Stevie Donatell as guys who can snap. Donatell is the brother of Seattle’s new defensive quality control coach, Tom Donatell. Their dad, Ed Donatell, is a longtime NFL and college defensive coach who worked with Carroll at Pacific (1983) and with the New York Jets (1990-93). Ed has been with the Chicago Bears the past two years.


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