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Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll held their annual pre-draft press conference on Tuesday afternoon at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Below are several bits of news and notes to come from the pair's session with the media.
Last week, the Seahawks announced they would not pick up the fifth-year contract option for offensive guard James Carpenter, who the team selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Schneider shed some light on the decision today, indicating the move was not telling of Carpenter's performance, but rather was made with an eye on securing contracts with "higher-priced players" - cornerback Richard Sherman, quarterback Russell Wilson, and left tackle Russell Okung come to mind - in the near future.
"It's just been part of our model over the last two years based on where we want to go in the future and what we know that we have to get accomplished here over the next two years in terms of signing some players that are higher-priced players at their position," Schneider said. "It's not a reflection on James at all. James has had a great offseason so far and he looks great and he's doing a nice job."
Drafting The Defensive Line
The Seahawks have drafted eight defensive linemen under Schneider and Carroll since 2010 - DE E.J. Wilson (4th round, 2010), DE Dexter Davis (7th round, 2010), DE Pep Levingston (7th round, 2011), DE Bruce Irvin (1st round, 2012), DT Jaye Howard (4th round, 2012), DE Greg Scruggs (7th round, 2012), DT Jordan Hill (3rd round, 2013), and DT Jesse Williams (5th round, 2013). Four of those eight remain on the current Seahawks roster - Irvin, Scruggs, Hill, and Williams.
Carroll and Schneider agreed the position group is one of the hardest to find quality talent in through the draft.
"What you end up doing is pushing guys up and maybe drafting them a little bit higher than you may want to," Schneider said when asked about the team's success - or lack thereof - when drafting at the position.
"It's always the bigger, faster guys are harder to find, so there's fewer of them," Carroll added. "So you just have to take shots. That's historically how it's been for all teams. That's where some of the bigger mistakes are because you're over-trying because there's so few. They're so rare."
"What's Next" For The 2013 Draft Class?
The top contributor from the Seahawks' 2013 draft class turned out to be tight end Luke Willson, who made 20 catches for 272 yards and a touchdown backing up veteran Zach Miller this past season.
Several members of the class "red-shirted" their rookie year, so to speak. Despite being what Schneider today said was the "best player available" when the Seahawks drafted him at pick No. 62 overall last year, running back Christine Michael didn't see much of the field behind the talented pairing of Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. Defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, cornerback Tharold Simon, and fullback Spencer Ware faced injuries that forced them to the sidelines. But Carroll said he's looking forward to what those players will bring in their second season.
"We're excited about those guys," Carroll said. "To have a year to get some of the guys prepared due to injury and whatever the case was, they're indoctrinated into the system, they're ready to go. They've had great offseasons with real good direction, and so now we see them as almost new additions again coming in.
"They're more fit, they're bigger and stronger than they've been and they know what they're doing more so," Carroll added. "So they bring a real exciting element. It looks pretty good."