JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: First impressions from Seahawks rookie minicamp

May 7, 2018, 10:38 AM
seahawks...
Seahawks DL Rasheem Green was the team's third-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. (AP)
(AP)

The three-day Seahawks minicamp had a few surprises and left me with some interesting impressions of the 2018 draft class.

O’Neil: Takeaways from Seahawks’ rookie minicamp

Changes in the coaching staff were noticeable. Brian Schottenheimer is the clear voice for the offense. He’s involved; constantly directing the quarterback and working with the offensive players. Ken Norton Jr. was vocal as the defensive coordinator.

Let’s look at 10 observations from minicamp.

1. Seventh-round pick QB Alex McGough was one of the stars of the camp. His strong arm and accuracy even caught Pete Carroll by surprise. For three days, McGough was completing just about everything. Where the initial thought was he could be cut and re-signed to the practice squad, McGough is a clear candidate to be the backup quarterback. Two years ago, Trevone Boykin won the backup job in training camp as an undrafted free agent. McGough looks better and has a great chance of making the roster. He will battle Austin Davis.

2. First-round pick RB Rashaad Penny put on a show in the passing game. He’s a natural pass-catcher out of the backfield. He caught a couple of back-shoulder throws. His running style is smooth and natural. It’s easy to see why general manager John Schneider favored him as a first-round pick.

3. Penny’s timing for value couldn’t be better. The proposed changes in the kickoff rules should get him on the field as a returner. Under the rules proposed by the Competition Committee, the return team can only have three players back near the goalline to block or return. One thought by special teams coaches is to put two or three players back as returners instead of having just one returner back. That means Tyler Lockett and Penny could be back fielding kicks.

4. Michael Dickson is the real deal as a punter. He can boom the ball 60 yards with great hangtime. He can drop kick 50 yards. His Australian style also puts in position to possibly create turnovers with his kicks. His kicks come down with a twist that creates problems for the returner.

5. Shaquem Griffin shows great mobility and range with his role as a weakside linebacker. As he learns, he could be good in coverage. Because of the limited contact in minicamp, he couldn’t show any of his tackling ability.

6. Tre Flowers looked encouraging lining up at cornerback. The former college safety has the perfect body to fit the Seahawks coverage scheme. He’s 6-3 and looks imposing at the line of scrimmage. He seems to be a quick learner in picking up the footwork and the kick-step.

7. One of the most interesting undrafted signings is defensive tackle Poona Ford. He has the potential to be a decent run-stopper. He’s 5-11, 312 pounds and looks like a shorter version of Brandon Mebane.

8. Tryout wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow showed decent play-making ability in the passing game. There is a decent chance the Seahawks could sign him. Running back De’Shawn Jones also could get a contract.

9. Defensive-end-linebacker Jacob Martin showed good movement and could get involved a little bit this season. He’s getting looks at the Leo position on the defensive line and as strong side linebacker.

10. Don’t count out the chances of tight end Tyrone Swoopes pushing for a roster spot. Even though the team is pretty well set at tight end with Ed Dickson, Nick Vannett and Will Dissly, Swoopes can catch the ball and get downfield. Though this won’t play into anything on the field, Swoopes, a former quarterback, has a strong arm. After a Dickson punt, Swoopes fired the ball back to him with a 50-yard toss.

More columns from 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton

The John Clayton Memorial Fund

Benefitting the Multiple Sclerosis Society

The Professor's Notes

John Clayton hosted a daily video breaking down the NFL

John Clayton

John Clayton Memorial Fund...
No Author

John Clayton Memorial Fund benefiting the Multiple Sclerosis Society

Seattle Sports and Bonneville International are honored to announce the “John Clayton Memorial Fund.” The John Clayton Memorial Fund will benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
11 months ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf...
John Clayton

Clayton: What’s next for Seahawks after kicking off ‘major’ rebuild

After some major moves, John Clayton breaks down what the next things to watch for with the Seahawks are heading into the new league year.
11 months ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
John Clayton

Clayton: Won’t be easy for Seahawks to replace Wilson after surprising trade

After a surprising trade he never thought would happen, John Clayton shares his immediate reaction to the Seahawks' trade of Russell Wilson.
11 months ago
Seahawks Action Green...
John Clayton

Clayton: Why you shouldn’t worry about salary cap with Seahawks this offseason

Seahawks fans and followers are worried about how they can re-sign players and stay under the salary cap. John Clayton says they shouldn't be.
11 months ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll...
John Clayton

Clayton: The big news from Seahawks, NFC West as combine begins

Wednesday was a big news day for the Seahawks and the NFC West. John Clayton breaks down what's going on in Seattle's division.
11 months ago
Seahawks Rashaad Penny Russell Wilson Chris Carson...
John Clayton

Clayton: How RBs in NFL Draft should help Seahawks this offseason

The Seahawks should be looking to bring Rashaad Penny back, but a loaded class of running backs is likely to help them in a few ways.
12 months ago
Clayton: First impressions from Seahawks rookie minicamp