Meet the Seahawks 2017 draft class
SEATTLE - The Seahawks weren't content with having their fewest number of draft picks in the John Schneider and Pete Carroll era, so before the first round of the NFL draft concluded Thursday night, Seattle had maneuvered its way out of opening round -- and snagged a nice hauls on day two and three in the process.
In all, Seattle made 11 picks in the 2017 draft.
"I think it's great to have 11 guys coming in this draft class,"coach Carroll said. "We're really excited about what happened in free agency. Blending this all together, we're always trying to make this roster more and more competitive in every way we can. These guys are coming to battle."
On day two alone, Seattle selected: Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell; LSU offensive lineman Ethan Pocic; Central Florida cornerback Shaquill Griffin; Michigan safety Delano Hill; North Carolina defensive tackle Nazair Jones; and Michigan wide receiver Amara Darboh.
Their day three crop included: Colorado safety Tedric Thompson; Cincinnati safety Mike Tyons; Mississippi State OT Justin Senior; East Central (Oklahoma) wide receiver David Moore; and Oklahoma State running back Chris Carson.
Asked his greatest accomplishment from a draft with nearly a dozen picks, Schneider referred to the trio of trades that allowed Seattle to add four picks before selecting McDowell, who was the guy they wanted all along.
The Seahawks began with the 26th overall pick, then swapped first-rounders with the Atlanta Falcons, moving to 31st overall and acquiring a seventh-round selection (249th overall). Not long after, Seattle traded out of the first round, sending the 31st overall pick to San Francisco for the No. 34 pick and a fourth-rounder (111th).
At the start of the second round, Seattle traded down again, dealing the No. 34 pick with Jacksonville for pick No. 35 and a sixth-round selection (187th).
Six of Seattle's first eight picks were on the defensive side of the ball, four in the secondary.
"It was really a defensive-back heavy draft, and it was just the way the board came off," Schneider said. "We didn't want to start just jumping players. That's when you get in trouble. We just really stuck to our board."
Griffin and Tyson will both compete as outside corners in press coverage; Thompson will play free safety; and Hill a strong safety. Ideally, these four would provide depth for, then succeed the current Legion of Boom as they near the end of their second contracts.
Seattle also stayed true to its routine of acquiring prospects with adversity in their backstories. Griffin declined scholarships because schools wouldn't also offer his disabled twin brother; Jones was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome at age 16, a condition that temporarily stripped him of his ability to walk; and Darboh and his 13 brothers and sisters moved to Iowa when he was 7-years-old to escape civil war in Sierra Leone that killed both of his parents.
Most draft prognosticators weren't very high on this year's offensive line class, which is why Seattle added just two such players, adding to their duo of free-agent acquisitions, tackle Luke Joeckel (Jacksonville) and guard Oday Aboushi (Houston).
"Those were the first things we did in the offseason was address that, so that gave us some freedom to do what we had to do (on defense)," Carroll said Friday, "and really that was not a big year for offensive linemen."
The addition of Carson means Seattle now has 11 running backs on its offseason roster, a product of playing with an injury-depleted backfield for much of 2016.
"The guys that we had during the course of the season, we kind of hung with them," Carroll said. "It's a good number right now."
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