Seahawks stay true to form on final day of draft
By Danny O’Neil
RENTON – The Seahawks used one of their fourth-round picks on Kevin Pierre-Louis, a linebacker who’s smaller than the safety they picked two rounds later.
Then they informed that safety – Eric Pinkins – he’s going to play cornerback, and then capped off their draft by picking Kiero Small, an absolute misnomer of a running back at 5-feet-8 and a half, 250 pounds and with a resume that includes 26 broken facemasks.
In other words, the final four rounds of this year’s NFL Draft amounted to just another day at the office for a team that is as unorthodox as it is effective when it comes to its selections.
Saturday started with the Seahawks choosing Cassius Marsh, a UCLA defensive lineman named after the man who became Muhammad Ali, and it continued through the seventh round with the selection of Small.
They took two guys who graduated on Saturday – defensive tackle Jimmy Staten of Middle Tennessee State and offensive tackle Garrett Scott from Marshall – and when it was over, Seattle had a draft class of nine players added to its roster.
Here’s a summary:
By the numbers
83. Catches by second-round pick Paul Richardson during his final season at Colorado.
Kevin Norwood’s collegiate resume included a total of 81 receptions in four seasons at Alabama, but the Seahawks liked the way he rose to the occasion in big games. (AP)
81. Catches by fourth-round pick Kevin Norwood in his entire college career at Alabama. It wasn’t the total but the timing of those receptions that the Seahawks saw as a reason to draft him.
39. Inches on fourth-round pick Kevin Pierre-Louis’ vertical jump, the third-best mark among all linebackers at the NFL’s scouting combine. Pierre-Louis was also the fastest linebacker at the combine.
12. Receivers currently on Seattle’s roster, including seven who caught a pass for the Seahawks last season and the two they drafted this weekend.
11. Players the Seahawks drafted last year. Five were on their 53-man roster for Week 1.
9. Times Seattle has traded back in the draft under general manager John Schneider, including three times this year. The Seahawks have traded up just once in those five drafts.
6. The most receivers Seattle has ever kept on its 53-man roster heading into Week 1.
Cassius Marsh: Michael Bennett 2.0?
Yes, the Seahawks like players with unique traits. They also like guys who play multiple positions, which was one of Marsh’s top selling points for the Seahawks as he began college as a 300-pound defensive tackle and ended it as a 260-pound defensive end.
“You always want guys that can do more than one thing,” said Tyler Ramsey, Seattle’s West Coast scout.
That was one of Michael Bennett’s assets last season with the Seahawks, as he was able to play multiple positions. In fact, Bennett was the reference point Ramsey cited.
“The versatility stood out, definitely,” Ramsey said.
The Seahawks’ 2014 draft class:
|• Round 2: WR Paul Richardson||• Round 2: OT Justin Britt||• Round 4: DE Cassius Marsh||• Round 4: WR Kevin Norwood||• Round 4: OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis
||• Round 5: DT Jimmy Staten
||• Round 6: OT Garrett Scott||• Round 6: DB Eric Pinkins||• Round 7: FB Kiero Small|
Kevin Pierre-Louis: NaVorro Bowman 2.0?
The Seahawks are known for size on their defense whether it was three members of their secondary who stand 6-feet-3 or taller or three starting defensive linemen who weighed more than 320 pounds. Well, Pierre-Louis is undersized for a linebacker at 6 feet. He played at 220 pounds last season, which is lighter than Chancellor.
“There was a guy when I was down in San Francisco that he reminds of that we took,” said Todd Brunner, Seattle’s northeast area scout.
And who might that be?
“NaVorro,” Brunner said.
That would be NaVorro Bowman, a third-round pick out of Penn State in 2010 who is only one of the very best inside linebackers in the league.
Schneider laughed when he was told of Brunner’s comparison of Pierre-Louis to Bowman.
“Whoa. Slow down, Todd,” he joked. “Guys get excited when you pick players in their area.”
Cassius Marsh owns a pitbull named “Boss,” a dog he described as the cutest in the world. Informed that Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will love his dog, Marsh responded, “Why? Does he like pitbulls?” Nope. He likes calling people “Boss.”
Defensive tackle Jimmy Staten was taking part in Middle Tennessee State’s graduation ceremony when he found out he had been drafted in the fifth round by Seattle. In fact, he took part in a brief conference call with Seattle-area reporters via his cell phone, the ceremony audible in the background.
Was he worried that he’d miss his name?
“We’ve got a ways to go, I’m pretty sure,” he said.
Staten was walking with a liberal arts degree, and said he had six hours left to complete a degree in criminal justice.