By Danny O’Neil
RENTON – This was the player coach Pete Carroll pointed to when asked for the pick that best epitomized the cooperation between the Seahawks’ scouting department and their coaching staff.
Defensive tackle Jimmy Staten from Middle Tennessee State certainly does have some traits of a classic Seahawks pick. His team played in Conference USA, making him the eighth player from a non-BCS school to be drafted by the Seahawks in three seasons. In comparison, Seattle drafted one player from a non-BCS school in the five seasons of Tim Ruskell’s tenure as president.
Staten was limited by an injury his senior season, but more than anything, he’s built to the specs that Seattle wants for an interior defensive lineman.
The rationale: He’s got that basketball-build Seattle likes in interior lineman, someone who stands 6-feet-4 with the strength to line up at the three-technique tackle position currently occupied by Tony McDaniel.
“We’d like him to really try to solidify a spot inside,” Carroll said of Staten. “We’re looking for the big-bodied guys, so we’re happy to get him.”
The risk: He’s the first player to be drafted from Middle Tennessee State since 2011, and not only that, but he’s coming off a knee injury that kept him out for 2013 spring drills and limited him during his senior season. In terms of draft picks, this is a bet on potential as much as past production.
“(He) still has a good upside on him,” general manager John Schneider said.
Staten is the fourth defensive tackle the Seahawks have drafted under Schneider.