Most Intriguing Seahawks: No. 17, S Tyvis Powell
Each day until the start of training camp, “Brock and Salk” is talking with an NFL analyst and counting down the 25 most intriguing players on the Seahawks’ roster. “Two-a-days” continued with ESPN’s Mark Schlereth as the guest and Tyvis Powell as the 17th-most intriguing Seahawk. The segment on Powell is embedded above. My thoughts are below.
• Position: SS
• Height/Weight: 6-3, 211
• Experience: Rookie
• Acquired: Signed as undrafted free agent, 2016
Overview: It wasn’t for any holes in his resume that Powell went undrafted. His three-year career at Ohio State included 33 starts and 42 games played, eight interceptions and 119 tackles. He was the defensive MVP of the national championship game against Oregon as a sophomore in 2014 and a team captain as a junior last year. He even graduated in under four years with a degree in sports industry. General manager John Schneider said the Seahawks had a “very high” grade on Powell. So once he went undrafted, Seattle pounced. Schneider described it as a priority to sign Powell, saying that as the Seahawks were trying to convince him to choose Seattle in the frantic moments after the draft, they had set aside a chunk of their UDFA money specifically for him. You can bet that part of Seattle’s sales pitch to Powell was a history on all the undrafted free agents who have not only made the Seahawks’ roster in recent seasons but have also earned starting jobs and, in some cases, second contracts. Wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, running back Thomas Rawls, defensive back DeShawn Shead and tackle Garry Gilliam are some of the notable UDFA success stories under Schneider and coach Pete Carroll. Powell will try to join that list.
The intrigue: It’s Powell’s combination of size and athleticism. Listed at 6 feet 3 and 211 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds at the scouting combine, which was the second-fastest time among safeties. One common knock on Powell, though, is that for as big and fast as he is, he’s not particularly physical. Brock Huard, who also works as a college football analyst for ESPN, echoed that critique. He said Powell’s “weakness on tape is that size and that force never showed up. I said that in the draft recap about him, and I did the Ohio State pro day and got to see him with his eight other buddies that got drafted in the first couple rounds. Athletically, they take their shirt off and they run their 40s, he looks just like them. The problem is on tape you don’t see the explosion and the power and the force that you did with a bunch of his buddies like Joey Bosa, Darron Lee and the rest of them that went in the early rounds.”
2016 outlook: As is the case with any player vying for a roster spot, Powell’s chances of making the team will partly depend on how many backups Seattle decides to keep at his position group. Kelcie McCray is a safe bet for one of the spots after filling in capably at strong safety late last season when Kam Chancellor was hurt (Seattle lists Powell as a strong safety, which is where he would seem to project at his size). The Seahawks plan to use Brandon Browner in a situational role at safety, but he’ll have to make the team – and his recent off-the-field incident could factor into whether or not he does. Browner will be one of Powell’s competitors for a roster spot as will Steven Terrell, who’s been a backup at free safety. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Powell was one the Buckeyes’ best special-teams players during his three seasons with the team. If Powell can show the same ability with Seattle, it will go a long way toward earning a roster spot.
Most Intriguing Seahawks: 25, DL Quinton Jefferson; 24, WR Kasen Williams; 23, WR Paul Richardson; 22, G Mark Glowinski; 21, TE Nick Vannett; 20, CB Jeremy Lane; 19, DT Jordan Hill; 18, RB Alex Collins.