John Schneider on the Seahawks’ draft picks, rookie free agents
May 2, 2016, 2:23 PM | Updated: 2:48 pm
General manager John Schneider joined “Brock and Salk” Monday to discuss the Seahawks’ 2016 draft, touching on each of the 10 players they chose and some of the undrafted free agents the team signed afterward. You can listen to the interview here. Below are some highlights:
• The Seahawks have yet to announce any of their UDFA signings, but Schneider said there were 13 in all and that the team had draftable grades on each one. He mentioned eight players specifically (and therefore confirmed their signings). Running back Tre Madden (USC), tight end George Fant (Western Kentucky), linebackers Christian French (Oregon) and Montese Overton (East Carolina), quarterback Trevone Boykin (Texas Christian), cornerback DeAndre Elliott (Colorado State), safety Tyvis Powell (Ohio State) and defensive tackle Brandin Bryant (Florida Atlantic). Schneider said Bryant will play fullback for Seattle and that Madden will get a look there as well. Bryant was Schneider’s choice when asked which of the UDFAs has the highest upside. They become the only fullbacks on Seattle’s roster with Will Tukuafu and Derrick Coleman both still unsigned. Schneider said Elliott “fits the mold” of a Seahawks cornerback and compared him to Jeremy Lane. Schneider said the Seahawks had a “very high” grade on Powell and described it as something of a priority to sign him after the draft, saying they were saving part of their pool of money for UDFAs specifically for him. Seattle isn’t sure if Fant, a former basketball player, will play tight end or tackle. Schneider said of Fant: “That’s a 285-pound man that ran like 4.82 at his workout and has really good hands.” Schneider said the only reason Boykin wasn’t drafted was his arrest in January following a bar fight.
• Schneider said third-round pick Rees Odhiambo will play left guard, which provides some clarification there as the team said he’ll move from tackle to guard but didn’t specify which side. Schneider said that according to Odhiamo’s agent, he broke down as soon as the Seahawks drafted him. As detailed in this story, Odhiambo has been through quite a bit both personally and as a football player. Schneider again referred to Odhiambo’s injuries in college as “bad luck”and said the team’s sports-science department projects him to be more durable in the NFL.
• When asked to identify the draft pick who has the highest upside, Schneider went with defensive tackle Jarran Reed, whom Seattle traded up in the second round to take. He called Reed a top-10 talent, referred to him again as the best run-stuffer in the draft and reiterated that Seattle considered taking him in the first round. “He’s very active,” Schneider said. “A lot of people say he’s not a great pass-rusher; well, that’s not necessarily what they asked him to do there a ton. But the guy can get up and down the line of scrimmage and he’s really quick for as big as he is.”
• Schneider said Seattle’s decision to draft a tight end and three running backs was not a reflection of any concerns about Jimmy Graham and/or Thomas Rawls as they recover from season-ending injuries. Schneider noted that third-round pick Nick Vannett is a completely different type of tight end than Graham and said that Seattle considered this a “damn good” class of running backs. He said Rawls is “doing great” with his rehab.
• Asked about not drafting a potential replacement for Bruce Irvin at strong-side linebacker, Schneider said said French and Overton are possibilities there and mentioned again that Seattle had draftable grades on them. Schneider reiterated that Mike Morgan and Cassius Marsh are the returning players who will compete for that job. He shared an interesting note about Morgan, saying he was getting ready to sign with Pittsburgh before Seattle brought him back on a one-year deal.