JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Why Pete Carroll says the Seahawks have assembled the ‘most competitive team we’ve had’

May 6, 2017, 6:00 AM
seahawks...
Will John Schneider and Pete Carroll be able to replicate the success of the Seahawks' earlier draft classes? (AP)
(AP)

Pete Carroll jumped on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Moving The Chains Friday and made one bold statement.

“This is the most competitive team we’ve had,” Carroll said.

This goes to the volume of players brought in. The Seahawks went into free agency and signed 10 veterans to one-year deals, then made three trades that enabled them to end up with 11 draft choices.

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The beauty of Seattle’s draft is it completes a two-year restocking of the roster on offense and defense. Last year, the Seahawks drafted eight offensive players. This year, general manager John Schneider played to a defensive draft and came out with three intriguing defensive backs and two defensive linemen.

Let’s review some of Carroll’s thoughts.

Strong side linebacker: With Michael Morgan unsigned, Carroll has Michael Wilhoite and Terence Garvin competing for the strong side linebacker position. Carroll sounds very excited about Wilhoite, so he would be the favored starter, but Carroll also likes the athletic ability of Garvin.

Linebacking corps in general: The signing of former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Arthur Brown interested Carroll. He can compete for a backup role at both middle and weak side linebacker. Brown has four years of experience with the Ravens.

Four rookie defensive backs: Carroll said he always likes to look at a defensive back first as a cornerback, but he projects three of Seattle’s DB draft choices to be safeties with various roles. Third-round choice Delano Hill might get a chance to get a little coverage from the slot because he did some of that at Michigan, but because he has great hitting ability, Hill is going to be more of a strong safety. Tedric Thompson and Michael Tyson will get work on special teams and compete for time at safety. It sounds as though cornerback Shaquill Griffin might get a good chance for significant playing time early.

Right side of the offensive line: Pete confirmed Mark Glowinski will be at right guard and Germain Ifedi at right tackle. Those were their natural positions in college. Oday Aboushi will compete as a backup at right guard and right tackle. The wild card is second-round choice Ethan Pocic. Versatility was the key for the Seahawks in picking him, as for now and for the future, the Seahawks wanted a versatile offensive linemen. Pocic could play tackle, guard or center. Carroll also liked sixth-round pick Justin Senior, who could be a physical blocker at right tackle.

Left side of the offensive line: George Fant is a left tackle, but Luke Joeckel has to settle in and figure if he would be a starter at left guard or left tackle. Rees Odhiambo will be competing at left guard, but he could also switch out to tackle if needed.

Backfield: Carroll loves that Seattle is getting back to being a physical running team and Eddie Lacy excites him. He says Lacy can be a hammer. Along with Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins, the Seahawks have created a competitive backfield.

Let the competition begin.

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