ESPN insider names two more UFL players Seahawks could target

Jun 21, 2024, 11:37 AM

Potential Seattle Seahawks UFL target Carlos Davis...

UFL defensive lineman Carlos Davis while playing in college at Nebraska. (Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

(Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks tapped a new well for talent earlier this week by signing running back Ricky Person Jr. from the UFL, and it’s entirely possible that’s a well general manager John Schneider wants to go back to.

Will Seattle Seahawks’ new RB from UFL factor into backfield?

Could that be as soon as the next few weeks before the team begins training camp? Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard and ESPN Seahawks insider Brady Henderson discussed if there are more free agents or UFL players the Seahawks could have their eyes on Thursday during Blue 88 when Henderson guest hosted Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk.

“I could definitely see it, yeah,” Henderson said, “and the timing is such that I think you are gonna see teams across the NFL start to sign some of these UFL players now that that season is over and that window to sign those guys is now open.”

Henderson went on to highlight two UFL players he sees as potential fits for Seattle.

A pass-rushing force for the interior DL

The Seahawks have already invested quite a bit into their defensive line between the contracts of several veterans and the recent first-round selection of Byron Murphy II, but you can never have enough pass-rushers in the NFL.

As Henderson pointed out, Carlos Davis showed the ability to get after the passer from the interior of the defensive line for the UFL champion Birmingham Stallions. Davis, a 6-foot-2, 312-pound nose tackle, piled up seven sacks in just nine games this season.

“That’s pretty good production from a big man,” Henderson said. “We talked about it earlier, there’s just not that many of those big-bodied human beings who can push the pocket like that. Those guys are at a premium, and we didn’t see a whole lot of Cameron Young, who of course was (the Seahawks’) fourth-round pick last year. He played a little bit as a rookie, didn’t see him a ton during OTAs. So maybe that’s a position where they say, ‘Hey, doesn’t hurt to have another body.’”

The 27-year-old Davis was a two-sport athlete in college at Nebraska and a second-team All-America discus thrower as a senior in 2019. His twin brother, Khalil, had two sacks in 15 games for the Houston Texans last season after playing for the Stallions in the USFL before the UFSL and XFL merged into the UFL.

A big-play threat with return skills

Seattle’s wide receiver room is stacked at the top with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but there’s a rather steep drop off after that formidable trio. That could open the door for a player like Marcus Simms from the UFL’s Michigan Panthers.

Simms, a 6-foot, 194-pound West Virginia product, averaged 18.5 yards per catch while hauling in 23 receptions for 426 yards and three TDs in nine games with the Michigan Panthers. He’s also been a regular in the return game since his college days with the Mountaineers, including amassing 816 kickoff return yards on 26.3-yard average as a sophomore.

“The overall production wasn’t overwhelming … but that yards-per-catch average is pretty good,” Henderson said. “He also has some kickoff return ability, which as we know with the new kickoff rules in the NFL you don’t just have one guy back there. You’re gonna have two guys back there, which means you have to have a whole lot more options going into it. You gotta try out a whole lot more of those guys in training camp.”

Listen to the full Blue 88 segment with ESPN Seahawks insider Brady Henderson and former Seahawks QB Brock Huard at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6-10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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