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Seahawks Address Offensive Line By Adding Three "Athletes" In 2015 NFL Draft

Seattle picked up Terry Poole, Mark Glowinski & Kristjan Sokoli to aid the offensive line.

Seattle worked through day three of the 2015 NFL Draft with what head coach Pete Carroll described as an "emphasis" up front.

It was an expected course of action for the Seahawks, who lost two-fifths of their starting offensive line this offseason. Center Max Unger was sent to the New Orleans Saints as part of the trade for three-time Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham and left guard James Carpenter signed in free agency with the New York Jets.

"We really wanted numbers," Carroll said in a post-draft press conference. "We wanted more young competition going on there to force everybody to push and see who could bust through and let the games begin and see what happens."

As a result, the club came away from this past weekend's selection process with a trio of players to add to the position group - San Diego State's Terry Poole, West Virginia's Mark Glowinski, and Buffalo's Kristjan Sokoli, a defensive lineman in college that Seattle will work to convert to the other side of the football.

After the Seahawks took Poole (No. 130) and Glowinski (No. 134) in round four, assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable said he sees the pair competing at all three spots - offensive tackle, guard, and center.

"That's the reason we took them," Cable said. "Because we have a little mixing and matching to do. We like who's here and this is going to give us even more flexibility. Both of them will have some learning to do at this level, but that's normal.

"I think the fact that they can play a number of spots is going to help us."

The Seahawks have said they would view Alvin Bailey as the starter at left guard should the team line up and play a game right now. Patrick Lewis and Lemuel Jeanpierre, who each started games in place of an injured Unger last season, are back to compete for first-team snaps at center.

Cable said he hopes Poole and Glowinski - along with second-year pro Garry Gilliam - will fill Bailey's 2014 role as a player who can come in and play at multiple spots.

"If Alvin can come through and do what you hope, you're going to need to replace him in that versatility," said Cable. "I think either one of these guys gives us a chance to do that."

Carroll later clarified the approach the team will take with its 2015 fourth-round picks, noting Poole will start by working at left guard, Glowinski at right guard, and Sokoli at center. Regardless, Cable sought out versatile players for the Seahawks' run-heavy offense, identifying individuals that demonstrate tough-minded traits important to Seattle's system.

"These guys have an orneriness, and a grittiness to them," Cable said of Poole and Glowinski. "Both of them are finishers. I think the thing that jumps out to me about Mark is that he did a bunch of pulling and his ability to instinctively adjust on the move and finish. Terry, I think about any film you turn on he's ripping somebody pretty good.

"They're good picks for us right there. They're going to fit right in the room, and the dymamic of it, and our style of play."

In Sokoli, who was selected in the sixth round (No. 214), Seattle hopes to find the same success it enjoyed with J.R. Sweezy, the team's starting right guard who converted from defensive tackle after the Seahawks picked him in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. The Seahawks also converted 2013 draftee Jared Smith, who now plays for the Atlanta Falcons, from defensive line to offensive line.

Executive VP/General Manager John Schneider said the conversion process starts with a player's measurables and continues with their makeup.

"Of all the guys we selected, they all have different reactions when you call them and let them know what's shaking, and his was so intense," Schneider said of Sokoli's draft-day attitude. "He was like, 'I'm not going to disappoint you.' He was just really excited about the opportunity."

Cable called assessing players for position switches part of the Seahawks' philosophy.

"I think if you become cookie cutter, you become normal, and we're obviously not normal in what we do and how we do things," Cable said. "I think that we've had some success being that, being who we are. Our whole objective is to find the best football player, and then develop him."

Poole, Glowinski, and Sokoli each measure from 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-5. It's a size Cable covets when evaluating players to work in his zone-blocking scheme.

"I think when you look at the history of good run players, they're the 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5 body," said Cable. "Once they start getting longer than that, their rear end gets a little further from the ground, and hard in terms of leverage."

But the universal trait you'll see in a Cable-coached Seahawks lineman is athleticism, a characteristic Cable said he's looked to acquire as NFL defenses start to bring more speed off the edge.

"I think if you look at our group, regardless of where they play, they're all athletes," Cable said. "I think that's really the best way to look at them."


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