Why Seahawks’ pair of rookie tackles are big story of rookie minicamp
The biggest theme of the Seahawks’ NFL Draft was their focus on solidifying the run game, and that was made abundantly clear in the first three rounds.
Seattle used its No. 9 overall pick in the first round to take Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross, and two rounds later they looked across the state to pick WSU’s Abraham Lucas, another offensive tackle. Along the way, the Seahawks also picked up Kenneth Walker III, the top running back in college football last season, in the second round.
The Seahawks got their first look at those players and all their other rookies in their annual minicamp over the weekend, and head coach Pete Carroll continued to highlight that same theme from a week before – the offensive linemen in particular.
“The tackles jump out right off the bat. Both guys look well-equipped physically,” Carroll said to the media Sunday. “They look like they can move like we would hope they can move, they’re both bright kids and will pick up their stuff, so the process is underway. I was really fired up about that.”
On Monday, former Seahawks quarterback Jake Heaps broke down why the impressions Cross and Lucas left were the big story of the rookie minicamp during the daily Four-Down Territory segment of Seattle Sports Station’s Jake and Stacy.
“So why is that so important?” Heaps posed after listening to Carroll’s comments. “It’s because Abraham Lucas and Charles Cross really to me are going to be the deciding factors as to how good this draft can be. That doesn’t mean those are the only players that matter, but if you can get your two bookend tackles (to be) established, solid starters that can be tone-setters for your offense and what you want to do, it sets you up beautifully for many years to come.”
Heaps explained how important it would be for Cross and Lucas – who appear to be taking over at left tackle and right tackle, respectively, from current free agents Duane Brown and Brandon Shell – to make a mark from the very start of their NFL careers, as well as how vindicating it would be for Seattle considering both are coming from pass-heavy Air Raid offenses in college but will be joining a more run-centric Seahawks system.
“(The Seahawks) are really, really hoping and banking on that Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas can come in from Day 1 as rookies and not play like rookies, but play like seasoned vets. The transition that Pete Carroll talked about also, being Air Raid tackles and being pass-heavy guys to putting your hand in the dirt and having to really be established, good run blockers, there’s no fear that they’re going to be able to make that transition. That’s big.
“Now we’ll see when they get into OTAs and mandatory minicamp and training camp and preseason games how that really, truly looks and we’ll get a better evaluation of that, but right now, those two guys couldn’t have made any better – I would say solidifying impressions. That (the Seahawks) already felt this way about those two guys, this organization is already buzzing about the fact that they have these two guys, now they just come in and solidify their opinions on these two individuals.”
You can hear Four-Down Territory at 11:15 a.m. Monday through Friday during Jake and Stacy, which airs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Seattle Sports Station 710 AM, the Seattle Sports app, and streaming on SeattleSports.com.
Listen to podcasts from Jake and Stacy at this link. Find the full audio from Tuesday here.