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Seahawks move up in fifth round to take versatile DT Quinton Jefferson

The Seahawks made a trade with New England to acquire the 147th pick and take DT Quinton Jefferson. (AP)

RENTON –The Seahawks had only traded up twice in the first six drafts under general manager John Schneider. That they did so twice this year speaks to how highly they regarded the two defensive tackles they moved up to take, first Jarran Reed in the second round and then Quinton Jefferson from Maryland in the fifth.

The Seahawks took Jefferson at No. 147, a pick they acquired from New England along with a seventh-rounder, No. 243. Seattle gave up one of its two seventh-round picks, No. 225, as well as a fourth-round pick in next year’s draft.

“He’s a man. He’s just a solid individual, very active, plays very hard. We didn’t see a ton of players like him after that,” Schneider said, adding that the compensatory picks the Seahawks expect to have in next year’s draft made it easier to make what for them has been a rare trade up.

“It’s great to know that they really wanted me,” Jefferson said.

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Jefferson is listed at 6 foot 3 and 289 pounds. This scouting report notes that he declared for the draft after a junior season in which he recorded 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He missed the previous season with a torn ACL and had to grey-shirt as a freshman due to a broken jaw that he suffered in a bar fight.

Jefferson played both end and tackle at Maryland and said his versatility is his best asset. Coach Pete Carroll mentioned Michael Bennett while discussing the different things Jefferson can do along the defensive line.

“I feel like I can play along the front, I feel like I’m very disruptive inside with the run and the pass, and I feel like I can really get after it on third down, kick inside in sub packages and rush the passer,” Jefferson said. “That’s a premium in this league right now.”

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Jefferson had a year of eligibility remaining but had already graduated from Maryland with a degree in family science. He’s married with three daughters: 5-year-old Zoey and 2-year-old twins Charleigh and Quinn. He was asked how much motivation he draws from them.

“I already was motivated from the jump but then having them, it’s just added,” he said. “Everything I do is for them, my wife. I want them to have a good life and I want to be a role model for them, show them they can do anything they want to, they can achieve their dreams because their father has.”