What kind of advantage does Seahawks’ 2019 draft class have?
It’ll be hard for the Seahawks to find a better overall draft class than they had in 2012 — a group that included linebackers Bobby Wagner and Bruce Irvin, and quarterback Russell Wilson — but Seattle’s newest class has at least one advantage in their corner.
“This is something I’ve not heard Pete Carroll say before,” Former Seahawks linebacker and current 710 ESPN Seattle host Dave Wyman said. “(Carroll) said that this group is the most ready to go, as far as practicing.”
Part of that could be the systems from which a trio of players hail.
“I asked (linebacker) Ben Burr-Kirven this: ‘Are you just out there learning how to practice in the rookie camp?” Wyman said. “And he said, ‘No, it’s exactly like we’ve done at Washington.’ I think Utah also has a professional-type practice, the way they run their program. So guys like (linebacker) Cody Barton, (safety) Marquise Blair, and Ben Burr-Kirven just fit right in. And that’s the first time I’ve heard Pete talk about how up to speed the rookies are. Usually they come in and they’re pretty lost… so that was something I thought was new.
“I think these last two drafts are really going to be key going forward… the problem with rookies is you’re thinking too much that you often don’t go turn it loose and make plays. So that was really encouraging to hear, and that’s kind of what I saw out there on the field.”
With just three veterans remaining from its Super Bowl XLVIII-winning roster (Wilson, Wagner, and linebacker K.J. Wright), Seattle will need its youngest players to contribute in 2019. That includes this year’s rookie class — which will see three receivers battle for time in place of former starter Doug Baldwin — and also second-year players. This will be especially needed on defense, where Seattle’s pass rush finds itself without sack leader Frank Clark, and where 2018 picks Rasheem Green and Jacob Martin have a chance at more regular roles.
An uphill battle for injured players
Several Seahawks missed the team’s Tuesday OTA session open to the media due to injury. Safety Bradley McDougald (knee) and running back Chris Carson (knee) were among those players who sat out, but both players also face little threat to their starting roles. Others, however, will face the challenge of getting healthy and competing for time.
“Some of the guys that were out, I think it’s important for them to practice,” Wyman said. “(Strong safety) Delano Hill and (defensive tackle) Naz Jones are two guys that you don’t want to see out, and they don’t want to be on the sidelines. They’ve got a lot to prove. Especially, I think, Delano Hill, who will be in a battle here coming up in camp. So it’s always disappointing. I understand, because I was always hurt. But if you’re trying to make the team and you’re trying to establish yourself, it’s important for you to be out there.”
Hill is a former third-round draft pick who is entering his third year with the Seahawks. He saw his most extensive playing time late in 2018 when usual starting strong safety McDougald was filling in for an injured Tedric Thompson at the free safety spot. However, Hill ultimately landed on the injured reserve list with a hip fracture. His recovery from that injury has left him sidelined at OTAs, but Carroll told reporters he expects Hill to be one of many injured players who return to the field during training camp.
Wyman joined 710Sports.com’s Stacy Rost and 710 ESPN Seattle producer Maura Dooley to discuss those takeaways in a new Seahawks Roundtable. Watch that discussion in the video above.