Clayton: What to watch for during the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp
Rookie minicamp starts Friday for the Seahawks, giving everyone the first look at their 11-member draft class along with eight undrafted players and those who are participating on a tryout basis.
Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider feel good about this year’s group, particularly with the three draft-day trades that netted Seattle three defensive backs and a seventh-round running back.
Here are the dozen things I’m looking to see in the minicamp:
1. How freakish does defensive tackle Malik McDowell look and how hard will he work? Many scouts and draft analysts thought McDowell had top-10 skills, but he fell to Seattle in the second round. For skills, he is supposed to resemble Calais Campbell, the former Cardinals defensive end who went to Jacksonville in free agency. It will also be interesting seeing how he fits in with the new coaching along the Seahawks’ defensive line.
2. Can Shaquill Griffin pick up the footwork necessary to be an instant factor at cornerback? The Seahawks waited until the third round to draft Griffin, who has all the physical dimensions to be an outside cornerback in Seattle’s system. This will be the first chance to see if he can make the conversion and be a consideration for a starting role at the beginning of the season.
3. Delano Hill is a must-see prospect. It will be interesting to see if he is a good fit at strong safety. Veteran players have been talking about his athletic ability. Getting Hill in the third round was one of the keys to the draft for the Seahawks.
4. Ethan Pocic is expected to start off at right tackle but he has the versatility to play guard or center. Watching offensive-line coach Tom Cable work with him this weekend will be interesting.
5. Tedric Thompson was a playmaker at Colorado and considered to be a steal in the fourth round. The Seahawks had a second-round grade on him. We’ll get a chance to see if he’s a better fit at strong safety or free safety.
6. Third-round pick Amara Darboh has an incredible story about his upbringing. Relatives moved him to the United States after his parents were killed in a civil war in Sierra Leone. He’s a decent-sized receiver at 6-1, 216. This will be the first look to see which receiver spot he’s playing.
7. Another one of Seattle’s four third-round picks, defensive tackle Nazair Jones, is 6-5 and 304 pounds. Checking out his pass-rushing skills inside will be high on the watch list.
8. What’s interesting to see about sixth-round pick Mike Tyson is if the Seahawks give him a chance to do some work at cornerback. He played safety in college and projects at that position in the NFL, but the Seahawks may give him a look at cornerback.
9. Sixth-round offensive tackle Justin Senior needs to be studied. He’s 6-5, 331 pounds and has a reputation of being a mauler.
10. Wide receiver David Moore, a seventh-round pick, has impressed his new teammates with how well he’s built. He’s 6-2, 225 pounds.
11. Seventh-round pick Christopher Carson is a 6-foot, 218-pound running back who hits the hole with power. It might be a long-shot for him to make the team given how crowded the Seahawks’ backfield is, but he’s an interesting player to follow.
12. The sleeper in the mix might be undrafted guard Jordan Roos from Purdue. He received a $20,000 signing bonus, which is pretty significant investment. The Seahawks’ front office saw something in him. We’ll get a look this weekend at what they might have seen.