After not making a pick during Thursday’s first round, the Seahawks had a very busy Friday, first making yet another move back, then selecting six players in the second and third rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft.
“What a great day,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “This was really fun. It was great to have a chance to just take this kind of day, (general manager John Schneider) had all the options that he had because of the dealings, and it just made for a really unique day, and I thought he did great. It was awesome.”
By the time the evening was over, the Seahawks had added six players, two defensive linemen, two defensive backs, one offensive lineman and a receiver. Here is what Carroll and Schneider had to say about all six picks.
Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State, Pick No. 35
The Seahawks moved back from the 26th pick to the 31st pick, then to the 34th pick, then back one more time to Pick No. 35 before making their first selection of this year’s draft because they had a cluster of players remaining on their board that they liked late in the first round, making them comfortable they would get somebody they really liked regardless of how things played out. One of those players was McDowell, a versatile defensive lineman with a lot of upside.
“He was really the guy we were hoping to get and it worked out,” Carroll said. “He’s got a lot of flexibility, he has played all across the board. He has been a defensive end, he has been a nose tackle, he has been a 3-technique, which bodes well for us. We see a lot of flexibility in him. He’s a unique player, he’s a very young man, 20 years old, that’s got a lot of growing, and we think he’s got a great upside. He had a sophomore season that we weighted heavily, and we think we got a really special player. We’re really happy to get him.
“He’s really an instinctive players, feels the run really well. He’s a really young kid too, so we think we can really build with him. He was dominant as a sophomore. He went in with a high ankle sprain the first game (last year), and just never got right. I think it was a great job of evaluating his whole career and we really think there’s a great upside. He’s a very unique player.”
Added Schneider: “He’s too unique. We’ve been looking for a pass-rushing 3-technique since we’ve been here together… Just long, gets off the ball, can get skinny, use his hand, covers a lot of ground.”
If there’s a knock on McDowell, it was his consistency in college, something the Seahawks saw, but feel is correctable, especially in such a young player.
“I think he would tell you there’s a couple of games he would want back,” Schneider said. “From a motor standpoint, he knows he needs to keep going. Those are part of the discussions we had with him when he visited.”
Added Carroll: “He’s so young that we think we can develop the things that aren’t quite right yet and we think we can mold him into a really good player for us.
“It’s always starting with, get to know the guys and figure them out. It’s the term, ‘learn the learner.’ We have to figure out who the kid is, dig into him, and then make the connections that will really hit home. There’s a number of different ways, it just depends on the individual, but we will not stop. We compete like crazy to figure the kid out, and that’s, you have to communicate, you have to be straight up and once you do that, then we kind of develop the strategy of how we’re going to work with them. We’ve already started that. That’s why John visited him and we’ve talked to him at the combine, just to get to know him as much as we could. The coaches have done a great job to get to the point where we think we can really make sense and reach this kid. We think we know him well enough to know that. We invested a lot to figure that out and that’s why we were so committed to getting this done. Really the movement in this draft to make that pick, I don’t know, we picked up four other picks and still go the guy that we wanted to get. It was a phenomenal opportunity.”
Ethan Pocic, OL, LSU, Pick No. 58
In Pocic, the Seahawks feel like they got, as Carroll put it, “the most flexible guy in the draft.” In terms of linemen.
“He started a lot at center but he’s played at guard and he’s played tackle. He’s bene a primary center for them in a great conference and just been steady as a rock. Really smart, intelligent, tough guy. Long, tall, he has all the right elements and the background was so versatile that we just thought that was a great opportunity. We really were hoping, there weren’t many offensive linemen in the draft as you’ve noticed that already, and we just thought he could fit into a number of spots and really help us out. We’ll see him at guard and tackle, knowing he can play center.”
Schneider noted that they really valued Pocic because of his versatility, and were worried about him last until their pick late in the second round: “He was the one guy that, quite frankly, we were really sweating out. We felt like we were drafting maybe two and a half players with one guy, so we debated whether to go up and get him or just sit and wait and sweat it out.”
Shaquill Griffin, CB, Central Florida, Pick No. 90
On Griffin, Schneider said, “You guys are going to love him, he is a fun kid. Really confident, really tough, really fast, 4.37 (40-yard dash). He had a couple rough situations, but he responded the right way and he’s just our kind of DB in my opinion.”
Carroll added: “I think he’s going to be a special teams guy for us too. You’ll see him on the perimeter, holding up guys and chasing, being a gunner and all that kind of stuff. Really good motor, and the speed, you just can’t deny, it it’s really there. He’s a terrific athlete.”
On where Griffin might play between outside corner and nickel Carroll said, “I see him as an outside guy. We’ll start there and try to transition to our style of stuff. His ability to play the ball, he has really good ball sense too, we think he’ll be a really good fit.”
Delano Hill, S, Michigan, Pick No. 95
Carroll on where Hill will play: “That’s a good question. We know he can play safety. He’s played a lot and he’s very physical. He’s just right in the right framework of our style that we love to see. Tough and also, he’s played on the slot a lot, so he’s played kind of the nickel position quite a bit, which has shown the ability to cover receivers, which is good. As always, we’ll check our guys out see what the expanse of his play will bring us. We won’t be hesitant to see how he matches up with wide receivers. That’s a good thing for him, but there’s no question he can play safety. We would say strong and free, he looks more like a hitter, he’s really physical. Might be a little more like Kam (Chancellor)’s style, so we’ll see. He has done everything their scheme showed, all of that, so it really was a good evaluation for us, we have a lot of hopes for this.”
Nazair Jones, DT, North Carolina Pick No. 102
Carroll on Jones: “Really fired up about that pick. John did a great job to nail him. He’s a big, if you look back at the guys we’ve had, we’ve had a lot of big 3-techniques. That‘s because we load up and play that running game, in our division in particular. We’re hoping he’s going to fit that mold. You go back, you got some names that you can dig out that are big guys. He’s right there. Line of scrimmage guy, early-down player, good technique guy, plays hard. Another young guy just coming into it, has an amazing story, as I’m sure you guys are already picking up on. We’re really excited about him. He really fits that role to kind of fit in the division, play that 3-technique, big and heavy. He’ll be able to play 5-technique as well, he’s really long and tall. We’re upping our depth and making it challenging and competitive. I think it was a great pick. I love it.”
Schneider on Jones overcoming Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: “He had a ton to overcome, he really did… It’s really scary, but he got it back and he worked hard, and he was supposed to be a really highly recruited guy but then he wasn’t. He’s one of those guys that we talk about, adding guys who overcome obstacles in their life, and it’s pretty admirable how he did that.”
Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan, Pick No. 106
Schneider on Darboh: “He’s young in football and looks like a professional wide receiver. That’s probably the most amazing thing about his story. We see him as a grit kid who has overcome a ton in his life… He’s really a good route runner, he’s got really good ball skills, he’ll block, he’ll play on (special) teams. He’s one of those kids that just checks off all those boxes and there’s still a lot out there in front of him. He’s a very respectful, very articulate kid who has been through a ton.”
Schneider on Darboh playing in a pro-style offense at Michigan: “He’s a really good route runner, you can see it. It’s so refreshing when you sit down and you watch them run routes. You’re like, ‘Thank God, he’s really running a slant.’”
Carroll on taking multiple players Jim Harbaugh coached at Michigan: “He’s a great coach. He knows how to get the most out of people. Look what he did at that program, look at how he has turned it around. He did a fantastic job, which is no surprise. He’s done a great job everywhere he has been, and the style of play really helps us, and we appreciate the opportunity to evaluate guys.”
The Seahawks are back at it again Saturday with five picks scheduled in rounds four through seven:
- Round 4 | 111 Overall
- Round 6 | 187 Overall
- Round 6 | 210 Overall
- Round 7 | 226 Overall
- Round 7 | 249 Overall
Inside The Seahawks 2017 NFL Draft Room: Day 2
Photos from inside Seahawks headquarters on Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft.