The Seahawks drafted 10 players in the 2016 NFL Draft, resulting in what general manager John Schneider described as a "phenomenal weekend" for the team. Two days after a busy and important draft came to an end, Schneider was on 710 ESPN Seattle Monday to discuss Seattle's draft class.
While the Seahawks drafted different types of players who play different positions, one of the common themes they were looking for was players who could help bring toughness to the team. Schneider said he believes the Seahawks found that in their draft class.
"I think we definitely accomplished that," Schneider said on the Brock and Salk Show. "That's been on our mind. These are guys who have to come in and compete with grown men. We wanted to bring in class that's a tough-minded, finishing group, and I think we accomplished that, not only with the drafted guys, but the rookie free agents as well."
Before we get into what Schneider said about this year's rookies, there were a couple of non-rookie items that stood out in the interview.
Doug Baldwin posted a Tweet over the weekend suggesting that nobody should wear No. 24 with Marshawn Lynch retiring. Asked about that Tweet, Schneider said, "One of my last conversations with Marshawn is that nobody would wear 24 this season."
Also of note from Schneider was that, even amongst the excitement about new players being drafted and signed over the weekend, the Seahawks are also eager to get another look at players who were with the team last year but did not contribute either because of injuries or because they just couldn't beat out veterans ahead of them on the depth chart.
"We're really excited to see these guys, but some of the younger guys too who were on this team last year who haven't had their opportunity yet," Schneider said.
One player Schneider noted was defensive end Ryan Robinson, who was one of the surprise standouts of OTAs last spring, even earning some first-team reps, before suffering an Achilles injury.
As for this year's draft picks, here are some highlights from Schneider's interview.
On trading up to take Alabama DT Jarran Reed in the second round after picking Texas A&M OT Germain Ifediin the first: "When we were picking Ifedi, (Reed) was definitely a consideration for us… we went with Germain first, but when Jarran kept coming to us, that was a situation for us that was really a big blessing, because it wasn't like we weren't out hunting. We fielded a couple of phone calls, and (co-director of player personnel) Scott Fitterer got a call from Chicago, they wanted to know if we wanted the pick for a 4, so it was pretty easy for us at that point. We felt like he's the best run-stuffer in the league, and he's really active."
On third-round pick C.J. Prosise, Schneider said they hope the running back from Notre Dame can step into the third-down role held by Fred Jackson last year. He also noted Prosise's "upside is tremendous" pointing to his 143-yard, two-touchdown performance against USC: "He went off, he was ridiculous in that game."
Schneider reiterated that third-round pick Nick Vannettwill come in to play the "Y" tight end role, meaning an in-line blocker: "Zach (Miller) is the closest thing we've had to it, a guy who can play at the line of scrimmage with strong hands."
Rees Odhiambo, Seattle's third third-round pick, would have been a top 45 pick if not for his injury history, Schneider said, but he noted that Seattle's sports science staff has good durability grades on him based off flexibility and other measurements they study.
Schneider added that offensive line coach Tom Cable "will tell you Ifedi and Rees were the two strongest guys he put his hands on."
Odhiambo played tackle at Boise State, but Schneider said, "We're going to put him at left guard and let him compete over there."
On trading up in the fifth round for Maryland DT Quinton Jefferson, Schneider said the Seahawks had a third-round grade on Jefferson, and with the expectation of multiple compensatory picks coming in 2017, they were willing to give up a future pick to move up: "We had him sitting in the middle of the third round… We've got to go get this guy and put him in the rotation."
On Arkansas RBAlex Collins, Schneider said, "The guy hits it. He's tough, he runs with an aggressiveness. He's got his own style to him, he's very unique. He's a little bit of a short-stepper who has really good vision and can get up field. He finishes his runs. The reason he fell is because of the number of fumbles he had. That's something our staff is clearly going to want to work on. I've seen it happen before, I saw it happen with Ahman Green, but this guy is really talented."
Schneider noted that taking three running backs was not about Thomas Rawls or Christine Michael, but rather that, "There were a number of very talented runners this year… I knew going into it that we'd probably come away with two."
Schneider said seventh-round pick Zac Brooks, the third running back drafted by Seattle, was a "personal favorite" of some people in the draft room, himself included.
On C Joey Hunt: "This is a Robbie Tobeck, Todd McClure, that type of player. If he was 6-3, a little bit longer, he'd have been taken a lot higher, but he's not… This is a guy who can run (the offense), make all the calls, is extremely smart, tough minded."
On WR Kenny Lawler: "Kenny Lawler, if he runs under 4.5 (40-yard dash), he's getting taken in the fourth round or higher, he just didn't. But his catching range is just stupid. He's second all-time at Cal in touchdowns, I think he scored 27 touchdowns, and any time they got close, you just throw it up there and he'd take it out of the air."
The final day of the 2016 NFL Draft began at 9am PT, with John Schnieder, Pete Carroll and staff making early moves to trade up in the fourth round.