Roster report as ‘hazy’ draft begins

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“We have an amazing number of draft choices: Three.” – John Schneider

“Our No. 1 pick is Jamal Adams, and that’s a heck of a pick.” – Pete Carroll

“We’re not going into the draft with great needs. … We’re in a really good place.” — Carroll

Those three quotes say everything you need to know about this draft for the Seahawks, who made a purposeful choice to bail on 2021 by using their picks on veteran players Jamal Adams, Carlos Dunlap and Gabe Jackson.

Schneider repeated what Trent Kirchner said the other day: The Seahawks saw the big hurdles they would need to overcome for this pandemic draft and decided they were better off going for sure things.

Schneider said, “We had to ask ourselves (in 2020): ‘What kind of questions are we going to have answered by the time we get to next spring? What’s that going to look like?’ And things just felt too hazy. So, yeah, we just made an organizational decision.”

Carroll added, “Right back when the conversation came up and the possibilities of all of this happening, John was already making reference to this draft and understanding what it was going to be like, and we made a major decision to go ahead and do that with all of that information in our back pocket.”

“There’s no question it’s been a unique year,” Schneider said. “It definitely came into the equation. It was part of the equation with Jamal last summer as we were reviewing and trying to project, reviewing the juniors that were going to be seniors and trying to project what the fall was going to be like.

“Working with the Jets’ Joe Douglas, it just became apparent if there was a chance to go for it, this was probably the year to go for it.”

Carroll said, “The No. 1 pick for us now played for us last year. That’s great. And he had a terrific football season, and he’s going to play as a legit starter. It’s an enormous pick that we gained value in. I’m just thrilled that Jamal is a part of our team. He’s going to get way better too. He’s going to improve a tremendous amount. That’s going to be really exciting to see how that goes down the road.”

Like Carroll said, they don’t have many pressing needs. The needs they do have — corner, center, receiver — match up with the strengths of this draft.

“We’re not going into the draft with great needs, big spaces we need to fill,” Carroll said, “because of the great work the personnel department put together to get ourselves in position to situate the roster. We’re in a really good place.”

Here’s a status report on each position, with some key Day 2-3 prospects and quotes from the bosses:

Quarterback

Key vets: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith.
Draft need: No. But would they consider it anyway?
Prospect to watch: Kellen Mond (Texas A&M).
Carroll on Wilson: “Russ is in a great place now. He’s been in a great place throughout the offseason. … Right now he’s as jacked up as he’s ever been. He’s in the process of turning over new offensive stuff that is different from the past, and things that we need to learn, he’s totally after it, doing a great job. His mentality is strong, and his conditioning is right. He’s doing a great job.”

Running back

Key vets: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Alex Collins, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas, Nick Bellore.
Draft need: No. But it would not be a surprise if they added one. They have drafted one for five straight years and in eight of nine.
Prospects to watch: Chuba Hubbard (OK State), Chris Evans (Michigan), Kene Nwangwu (Iowa State), Elijah Mitchell (Louisiana).
Carroll on Carson: “To get Chris back for us is such an important factor because we love his style of play. We all have seen what a great football player he is. This was a time where we might not be able to get it done, but tremendous faith in the program on Chris’ part and the ability of John and Matt to get that done, that’s a big deal.”

Wide receiver

Key vets: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Freddie Swain, Penny Hart, John Ursua.
Draft need: Yes. They need someone to challenge Swain for the third spot. If they don’t draft one, they surely will sign a veteran.
Prospects to watch: Dyami Brown (North Carolina), Tutu Atwell (Louisville), Simi Fehoko (Stanford), Shi Smith (South Carolina), Anthony Schwartz (Auburn).
Carroll on Lockett: “To get Tyler Lockett to sign into a big deal for the future, this has been a fantastic get. This guy has been such a great player for us. He’s such a great part of our program and all. He and Russ have a chemistry that’s just unmatched. That’s a beautiful thing that we got done.”

Tight end

Key vets: Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson.
Draft need: No. But Brevin Jordan would be a nice addition, perhaps over a receiver.
Prospect to watch: Brevin Jordan (Miami).
Shane Waldron on Everett: “Gerald brings versatility to any offense, so we’re excited to be able to get him here and really utilize him as a weapon that can move around and do a lot of different things within an offensive structure.”

Offensive line

Key vets: Duane Brown, Gabe Jackson, Ethan Pocic, Damien Lewis, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jamarco Jones, Jordan Simmons, Phil Haynes, Kyle Fuller.
Draft need: Yes. Center and tackle are long-term needs, with none of the veterans at those spots signed beyond 2021.
Prospects to watch: C Kendrick Green (Illinois), C Drew Dalman (Stanford), LT Walker Little (Stanford), LT Brady Christensen (BYU), LT D’Ante Smith (East Carolina).
Carroll on line moves: “We went out and acquired Gabe Jackson. It was a really great acquisition for us to bring his experience and his toughness and his leadership into the offensive line. … Cedric Ogbuehi (coming) back too was a big deal. I need to give him the premier opportunity to compete to start this year. I’m anxious to give him a great chance because he’s got great upside to his play. … You’re going to see Ethan Pocic battling with Kyle (Fuller).”

Defensive line

Key vets: Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder, Poona Ford, L.J. Collier, Benson Mayowa, Rasheem Green, Al Woods, Alton Robinson, Bryan Mone, Darrell Taylor, Aldon Smith.
Draft need: Yes. They could use a 3-tech tackle to replace Jarran Reed.
Prospects to watch: Bobby Brown (Texas A&M), Darius Stills (West Virginia), Ta’Quon Graham (Texas).
Carroll on pass rushers: “Getting Carlos Dunlap back, that was a big deal. … He was just getting started with us. He loves being here. He loves being part of the program. He’s got a big spirit, big somersault after his sacks that we all look forward to. Can’t wait for the 12s to see that in person. … Kerry Hyder had a good year in our division last year — eight sacks and was a big factor. We love that we add him, too. … Those are really positive factors for us, and we’re not done yet.”
Carroll on Taylor: “It looks like, if everything just continues to progress, he’ll be full go in any of the work that we go at. … We’re excited he’s here in the building every day. So that really helps us know that he’s being taken care of really well, and all of the best should lie ahead for him.”
Schneider on Reed: “We wish that Jarran would have worked with us a little bit, but it wasn’t in the cards. He made a decision.”
Schneider on Smith’s arrest: “We have to let the legal process take its course.”

Linebacker

Key vets: Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven.
Draft need: Yes. With K.J. Wright unsigned, they need more bodies, so this would not be a surprise position for them to address.
Prospects to watch: Pete Werner (Ohio State), Baron Browning (Ohio State), Derrick Barnes (Purdue), Buddy Johnson (Texas A&M), Isaiah McDuffie (Boston College).
Carroll on Wright: “I had a really good sitdown with him just the other day to bring it all together where we’re coming from. We needed to hear where he’s coming from and talk about the future and what’s possible moving forward. We’re right on the nose with this deal. Like John said, K.J. is one of the classiest players you could ever expect to have in your program and has been a fantastic player. The door is not closed to us for what we’re doing moving forward. We’ve been really clear about that, and we feel good about where we are with K.J.”

Secondary

Key vets: Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Marquise Blair, D.J. Reed, Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Flowers, Ryan Neal, Ugo Amadi, Damarious Randall, Pierre Desir.
Draft need: Yes. They have no long-term corners, so that is really their No. 1 need.
Prospects to watch: Paulson Adebo (Stanford), Ambry Thomas (Michigan), Benjamin St-Juste (Minnesota), Robert Rochell (Central Arkansas), Israel Mukuamu (South Carolina), DJ Daniel (Georgia), Jason Pinnock (Pitt), Nahshon Wright (Oregon State).
Carroll on Reed: “D.J. really emerged as a good ballplayer for us. … He started out playing nickelback the first couple times out, and then he got a chance to play. As he got comfortable with the position, he really finished strong, and that really helped us a lot, and that was a real pleasant surprise. … We’ve made a couple moves here also to help make it a really competitive situation, and that’s always what we want to get done here.”

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