What the Seahawks have gotten from their 2015 rookie class

Jan 7, 2016, 12:14 PM | Updated: 12:33 pm
Frank Clark, Michael Bennett, Seahawks...
With Michael Bennett likely to return soon to the Seahawks defensive line, will Frank Clark's snaps shrink? (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – Three seasons is generally considered the time it takes to assess an NFL team’s draft class, which means it’s far too early to draw very many conclusions about Seattle’s crop of first-year payers.

Consider this, then, not a final evaluation but a progress report on what the Seahawks have gotten so far from their 2015 draft picks and undrafted free agents.
Here’s a player-by-player look in order of draft position.

DE Frank Clark (second round): Clark has three sacks, 16 tackles and a forced fumble in 15 games, missing one with an injury. That’s decent production for a backup but not nearly as big of an impact as Clark had in the preseason, when he was a one-man wrecking crew and Seattle’s most impressive defensive player. A couple explanations are that Clark played fewer snaps during the regular season – roughly 22 per game compared to 33, according to FootballOutsiders.com – and he faced better competition. Clark’s most impactful game came in the first meeting with Minnesota, when he filled up the stat sheet with two sacks, three quarterback hits and two passes defensed. He did most of that damage as an interior pass-rusher.

WR/KR Tyler Lockett (third round): Lockett has been everything the Seahawks could have imagined when they made what for them is a rare move to trade up in the draft. Maybe even more when you consider the uncertainty about how quickly Lockett would be able to produce as a wide receiver, which he’s done with 51 receptions (second on the team) for 664 yards (third) and six touchdowns (second). Lockett’s catch rate of 73.9 percent is seventh among NFL receivers. And then there’s the impact he’s made on special teams, which earned Lockett a selection to the Pro Bowl. He’s scored a touchdown via both a punt return and a kickoff return and ranks among the top 10 in average yardage per return in both.

OL Terry Poole (fourth round): Poole didn’t make the team out of training camp after an offseason that wasn’t particularly impressive. He ended up on Seattle’s practice squad and was placed on practice-squad injured reserve after hurting his hand/wrist.

OG Mark Glowinski (fourth round): Glowinski had played sparingly until he made his first career start Sunday at right guard against Arizona. His performance drew strong reviews from coach Pete Carroll and offensive-line coach Tom Cable.

CB Tye Smith (fifth round): Smith has only appeared in four games and has yet to play a snap on defense. According to colleague Danny O’Neil, Seattle views Smith as best suited for the slot as opposed to the outside.

DE Obum Gwacham (sixth round): Gwacham didn’t make the team out of training camp and landed in New Orleans, where he has 2.5 sacks in nine games. He was considered a project, having converted from wide receiver before his final season in college.

OL Kristjan Sokoli (sixth round): Sokoli’s only appearance of the season came Sunday, when he played eight snaps on special teams. He wasn’t necessarily expected to have much of an impact as a rookie considering he’s transitioning from a college defensive tackle. “I think he’s doing well,” Cable said this week. “I reminded him today, he’s a lot like J.R. (Sweezy) was four years ago. J.R. was able to let himself go and so Mark is in the process of doing that. Once he lets himself go, he’ll have a breakthrough and we’ll have something.” Cable said it’s too early to determine which position along the offensive line Sokoli is best suited for.

S Ryan Murphy (seventh round): Murphy missed a significant amount of time in the offseason with an ankle injury and didn’t make the team out of training camp. He’s now on Denver’s practice squad.

RB Thomas Rawls (undrafted): Rawls was so productive while filling in for Marshawn Lynch that his 830 rushing yards still rank 16th in the NFL even though he only started seven games and went down in Week 14 with a season-ending ankle fracture. Rawls scored a combined five touchdowns in 13 games and his 5.6 yards-per-carry average leads the league. His ankle injury didn’t require surgery but it did involve some ligament damage. Assuming he’s healthy by the start of next season and Lynch isn’t back, Rawls will presumably take over as Seattle’s primary running back.

WR Kasen Williams (undrafted): Williams was promoted two weeks ago from the practice squad, where he ended up after not making the team out of training camp despite a strong offseason. He caught two passes for 13 yards against Arizona (one was officially a rush as it was thrown backwards).

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What the Seahawks have gotten from their 2015 rookie class