The Seahawks announced the addition of eight undrafted rookie free agents ahead of this weekend's rookie minicamp: BYU fullback Algernon Brown, West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard, Mississippi defensive tackle Jeremy Liggins, Louisiana-Lafayette linebacker Otha Peters, USC receiver Darreus Rogers, Purdue guard Jordan Roos, Texas tight end Tyrone Swoopes and Texas-El Paso linebacker Nick Usher.
They join an 11-player draft class that the Seahawks hope will improve the team's level of talent and competition heading into the 2017 season.
The Seahawks also signed four of the 11 players they selected in last month's draft, safety Tedric Thompson, tackle Justin Senior, receiver David Moore and running back Chris Carson.
"It's great to have 11 guys coming on this draft class, and we're really excited about what happened in free agency as well," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the draft. "And to blend this all together as well. We're always trying to make this roster more and more competitive in every way we can, and these guys are coming in to battle."
For draft picks and undrafted free agents, as well as some unsigned tryout players, the work begins this weekend with a three-day rookie minicamp. One undrafted rookie the Seahawks will no-doubt be watching closely is Howard, who joins a quarterback group that also includes starter Russell Wilson, last year's backup Trevone Boykin and recently re-signed local product Jake Heaps.
Following the draft, Carroll confirmed the Seahawks had agreed to a deal with Howard, calling him "a mad bomber, man. He threw a ton of deep balls. He goes downtown. A real resourceful kid, active on the field. Moves around well, but man he can bomb it. He hooked up a bunch this past season, it's all over the highlights."
Another highlight of the undrafted class is Roos, an interior lineman the Seahawks considered drafting in the late rounds.
"Roos, from Purdue, he's a guard/center, I think he benched like 42 times," general manager John Schneider said. "We're really excited to get him. He was a guy who was a draftable player… We were trying to decide if we should take him or not take him. We're pretty excited."
Added Carroll: "That was a really exciting get. That might have been one of the bright spots we nailed him in free agency."
The list of undrafted free agents also includes a couple of players making position switches. Swoopes, who will compete at tight end, played quarterback at Texas, while Liggins, a quarterback in high school turned tight end and offensive lineman at Ole Miss, will play defensive tackle.
And by now it should come as no surprise to hear Carroll and Schneider speak so excitedly about players added after the draft had ended. Undrafted players have been a big part of Seattle's success since Carroll and Schneider took over, developing not just into players capable of making the roster over drafted players, but into starters and core members of the team. Last year, the Seahawks opened the season with a league-high 24 undrafted free agents on their 53-man roster, a number that reached 27—more than half the roster—late in the season. Among Seattle's 2016 starters who came into the league undrafted were receiver Doug Baldwin and defensive end Michael Bennett, a pair of Pro Bowlers, as well as receiver Jermaine Kearse, cornerback DeShawn Shead, running back Thomas Rawls, left tackle George Fant, right tackle Garry Gilliam and linebacker Mike Morgan.
"These guys that come in after the seventh round is over are just as valuable to us as anybody that we take in the draft, and we treat them with that thought," Carroll said last year. "The care that John goes through with all of his guys to figure out the eighth-round pick, the ninth-round pick, the tenth, all those guys."
Seahawks Undrafted Free Agent Signings
FB Algernon Brown, BYU, 6-foot-0, 235 pounds
QB Skyler Howard, West Virginia, 5-11, 208
DT Jeremy Liggins, Mississippi, 6-3, 315
LB Otha Peters, Louisiana-Lafayette, 6-0, 238
WR Darreus Rogers, USC, 6-1, 218
G Jordan Roos, Purdue, 6-3, 302
TE Tyrone Swoopes, Texas, 6-4, 250
LB Nick Usher, Texas-El Paso, 6-3, 235
Take a look at the eight players the Seahawks signed as undrafted rookie free agents following the 2017 NFL Draft.