By Brady Henderson
Seahawks general manager John Schneider has likened the NFL Draft to Christmas, which makes this weekend’s rookie minicamp the first chance he’ll get to see all his new toys in action.
Seattle’s 11 draft picks and nine undrafted free agents will practice at the team’s Renton headquarters Friday through Sunday. The group will also include 38 players on a tryout basis, Schneider said, as well as quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who was signed last month.
Schneider joined “Brock and Danny” before Friday’s practice and shared a few notes about the weekend:
Rookies to watch. Defensive end Ty Powell was the first name Schneider mentioned when asked to name a player to keep an eye on this weekend. Seattle drafted Powell in the seventh round out of Division II Harding, where he played defensive end, linebacker and safety.
“His movement skills at the combine were good. His movement skills at his individual workout were excellent,” Schneider said. “It will be really interesting to see – his background, obviously Harding and the level of competition is one of the reasons he was drafted where he was drafted. So I’m very interested to see him.”
Schneider also mentioned Luke Willson, the tight end Seattle drafted in the fifth round. Willson was a backup at Rice who caught nine passes in 11 games last season, but Schneider likened him to Bruce Irvin and Russell Wilson from the year before as a player Seattle was determined to draft.
“Luke was actually a guy that was in that same mold,” Schneider said. “We really, really would have been disappointed if we wouldn’t have been able to acquire him, that down-the-field threat.”
Fells back in the fold. Darren Fells is among the tryouts at Seattle’s minicamp. Fells, the former professional basketball player who’s trying to make it in the NFL as a tight end, was waived by Seattle on Wednesday. Schneider said that move was about creating a spot on the roster, which is currently at the 90-man limit.
“He’s still gonna get a chance to compete this weekend and see how he does. This will be his second time through the install, so hopefully that helps him,” Schneider said. “He’s got great hands, he’s a big target. You just want to see how he develops this weekend.”
The 6-foot-7 Fells last played football in high school.