Day two of the 2015 NFL Draft saw the Seahawks select Michigan defensive end Frank Clark (No. 63 overall) in the second round and Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett (No. 69 overall) in the third following a trade up the draft board with the Washington Redskins.
Below, find four things we learned from Seahawks Executive VP/General Manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll about the team's first two draft picks:
1. Frank Clark Has A Ton Of Upside
He eventually packed on the pounds, but retained his athleticism and moved to defensive end, where he made 19.5 tackles for loss over his last 16 games for the Wolverines. His disruptive presence as a pass rusher is what attracted the Seahawks to Clark.
"Holy cow, this is a 272-pound man who is extremely explosive," said Schneider. "He still has an upside. He's an interior rusher, edge rusher, can play SAM [strong-side linebacker], set the edge—they did a lot with him at the school."
Schneider praised Clark's versatility, but Carroll specified the Seahawks will utilize the No. 63 overall pick at the defensive end spot to start.
"We know he has unique qualities about him," said Carroll, who raved about Clark's competitive mindset, toughness, and physicality. "We know that he can be a quality outside rusher, but he also does a lot of stuff - they moved to the inside rush, as well. We are just thrilled to have the chance to figure that out and to find where he fits to complement the rest of the guys."
Clark was the sixth defensive end to be selected in this year's draft class. Schneider hinted that after Clark, there was a significant slide in players who are effective at getting after the quarterback, making the decision to pull the trigger on Clark that much easier.
"Without getting too deep into it, because we have to go through tomorrow, too, there are a handful of pass rushers in this draft," said Schneider. "He was one of the most-effective per rush and there weren't a lot of them. A little bit like [Seahawks right tackle] Justin [Britt] last year, there was a drop-off there [on offensive lineman]."
Seattle welcomes the newest members of the 2015 Seahawks Draft class.
2. Tyler Lockett Fills "Strong Need" As Return Specialist
Lockett, Kansas State's all-time leader in kickoff return yards (2,196) who averaged 19.1 yards per punt return in 2014, is expected to come in and immediately contribute as the team's return specialist.
"We just felt like he is the premier returner in this draft," said Schneider.
"It's just so obvious, we think that's an area of our football team we needed improvement at and we could hit it with one guy," added Carroll.
Last year, wide receiver Bryan Walters was the Seahawks' primary punt returner, but he departed this offseason in free agency. Wideout Paul Richardson, the team's second-round pick from 2014, was Seattle's primary kick returner following the trade of Percy Harvin to the New York Jets. But Richardson suffered an ACL injury in the 2014 postseason, putting his regular-season status in question.
Now, the Seahawks are counting on Lockett to fill both spots.
"I would imagine he catches the first kickoff of the season," said Carroll. "He will be back there doing it—he will compete to prove that—but it is hard to imagine anyone can outdo him back there."
Go inside the Seahawks draft room at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (Seahawks Headquarters) and watch how Pete Carroll and John Schneider work their magic on the most hopeful days of the offseason.
3. Tyler Lockett Will Back Up Doug Baldwin At Wide Receiver
As you can imagine, Seattle is hoping Lockett will find ways to contribute in the passing game as well.
If his production at Kansas State is any indication - Lockett set school records in receptions (249), receiving yards (3,710), receiving touchdowns (29), and 100-yard receiving games (17) - his future at the pro level looks bright.
"He is just a real savvy route runner," said Schneider. "He's got a great feel for the zone and sitting down. He just made plays all of the time."
Carroll said Lockett will back up 2014 leading receiver Doug Baldwin in the slot.
"That's a real plus, too," said Carroll. "He's not just a returner. He can do other things, too, and we will bring him along. But it's really the return-specialist opportunity we thought was really unique, and there was nobody else like him in the draft."
4. Clark & Lockett Were Two Of Three Top Targets For Seattle
Schneider revealed that after day two of the 2015 draft the Seahawks had come away with two prospects they held in high regard.
"There were three players we felt like we wanted to come out of the draft with, and we got two of them," Schneider said in reference to Clark and Lockett. "I can't tell you who the other one was."