Skip to main content
Presented by

What The Seahawks Said After The 2023 NFL Draft

Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences featuring Seahawks draft picks, John Schneider and Pete Carroll from throughout the 2023 NFL Draft.


Featuring quotes from the following:

CB Devon Witherspoon

April 27, 2023

(On what it was like getting a call from John Schneider) "It was shocking. It kind of came a little late, but I feel a lot of emotions right now. I'm just very happy and excited. I'm ready to come to work and be a Seahawk baby."

(On why he is a good fit for Seattle) "Just because they told me about the culture they have there, the Legion of Boom, and the history they have there. I know what it takes to be great like that. There is so much going on right now, I can't even really describe it, but I am glad that they chose me. I'm just glad that I am going to be a Seattle Seahawk."

(On how he would describe himself as a player) "Me, I would say that I am energetic, physical, I'm a dog on the field, and I'm just very confident in what I do. I'm passionate and I love to show my emotions out there on the field, so that describes me."

(On what it was like meeting with the coaching staff and experiencing the Seahawks' culture) "It was dope. The view out there, the facility, the guys, and just everything about Washington, it was just really dope. They had me out to visit there, so I'm just very happy and I'm excited."

(On if Pete Carroll was playing basketball with him during his visit to Seattle) "I shot a couple of hoops."

(On who won in basketball between he and Pete Carroll) "I didn't get to shoot against Coach (Pete) Carroll like that. I didn't get a chance to shoot against him, but I had made a couple."

(On if he was surprised to be picked this high) "I was confident that I was going to go pretty high, but I didn't know that it was going to be to Seattle. But I'm glad that it is."

(On playing across from Tariq Woolen) "I'm excited to be across from that guy. He's a ball hawk, he's a very talented player. I actually got a chance to play against him in college, so I know what he brings to the table. I'm ready to go out there and compete with him and go out there and be a great duo out there down the field."

(On if he stayed on one side of the field or if he moved around) "I traveled to the best receiver."

(On what he thinks he still has to work on) "Just the transition to the league and knowing how physical I can be after the five yards. There's a lot of rule changes when you get to the league."

(On where his physical play comes from) "That's just always been me. You just have to want to tackle. This game is about tackling, defending the run. It's everything. That's always been me. I've always been confident. I've kind of been undersized my whole life so tackling is what I do."

(On if he's ever interacted with Doug Baldwin since they're from the same hometown) "I haven't had a chance to contact him, but one of my close friends, Rondale Weaden, Doug's his uncle so I kind of got a little gist of how he is."

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

April 27, 2023

(On what it was like getting a call from Pete Carroll and John Schneider) "It was awesome. I was in there sweating a little bit, but I knew that I talked to Seattle and really liked them, and they really liked me. It was really overwhelming, and I was just happy that my family was all here and got to witness it."

(On what he likes about being a slot receiver) "I mean I like everything. First, I just like catching the ball, making plays, being close to your quarterback, and having him know that you are reliable and are going to get open for him. I'm excited, I'm excited to go there with Geno (Smith) and put on a show."

(On joining DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in Seattle) "I'm super excited, super excited. I'm a big fan of those guys and for me to be in that room, I know how I am and that is just going to push me to compete harder and find my way amongst those guys. I am looking forward to lining up next to them."

(On his impressions of the Seahawks) "I know they are a hardworking, gritty team. The culture that Coach Pete Carroll was talking about when we met kind of fits who I am, my standards, and what I believe in. I think it is an awesome fit, awesome opportunity, and I am so excited that they called my name. I know they won't regret it."

(On when he met with Pete Carroll) "Pro day, the Ohio State pro day."

(On what Pete Carroll has told him about his fit with the team) "Yeah, we definitely watched a lot of stuff in the slot and it's just having those options and just making the right reads. They think I am a smart enough football player to read the defense, react, and make them pay. Just being a weapon for them in the short game, long game, or whatever they need me to be."

(On what he was able to work on last season while he was injured) "I got a different feel, a different view, literally, from the sidelines. Just trying to pick up the game. It looked pretty slow out there in college my last year and unfortunately, I wasn't able to play, but just being a leader and being in the rooms, being with guys and just trying to get back. I know I'll be better for it."

(On what he does best as a wide receiver) "I think I get open."

(On his philosophy with route running and how he runs routes) "I would say my creativity that I have. My mind is always working and me being able to pick apart a defense and making them pay for either finding a zone or beating your man. That's what I do and I'm excited to do that at the highest level now."

(On if he thought he would go earlier in the draft) "That's about where I thought I was going to go. Around 10 to 20, that's what I was projecting."

(On where he wants to improve the most coming into the NFL) "I can improve on my whole skillset. I know I'm not even close to where I want to be in the near future. I'm sure the coaches will have some points for me to work on. For me to be in that room and steal some stuff from DK (Metcalf) and all those guys, I'm looking forward to it."

(On who all is with him at the draft) "Mom, dad, grandma, brother made it in, a couple friends from home."

(On if his hamstring injury from last year is healed) "Yes sir, I'm 100% healthy, ready to go."

Head Coach Pete Carroll & GM John Schneider - Draft Day One Recap

April 27, 2023

(Opening statement)

John Schneider "Welcome to draft night. We got through the first round and we are really excited about Devon (Witherspoon) and Jaxon (Smith-Njigba) and what they are going to bring to this organization. Both are big-time competitors. Devon is arguably one of the most physical players in the draft, regardless of position. Jaxon had big time production and is arguably the best receiver in this draft class in our opinion. It was an odd first round with difference of opinions and the way the board came off. We had a lot of stuff going on, probably five or six teams that we got close to things with. You guys saw the clock go down with Jaxon there and there was some late stuff going on there, but we are really pleased and excited to have the guys here tomorrow. They get in tomorrow morning, I think we are going to do a press conference tomorrow with those guys. Yeah, we are really excited."

Pete Carroll "These are two legitimate producers, guys that we have seen play, do stuff, and will totally fit in. Devon Witherspoon, he is a rare player and we've been through this draft, since the years we've been here, we haven't seen a guy like this. We have not drafted corners high just because we haven't come across a guy with his makeup. It's really his athletic ability, it's his speed, it's his playmaking, and it's his mentality. I haven't come across a guy like this in a long time. The last time I recognized this kind of makeup was back USC when we had a guy that you may know, Troy Polamalu. He was a guy that had an extraordinary way about the way he played the game. I saw this connection between Devon and what Devon does, how he looks at the game, and how he approaches it. It just knocked me out, so I am just really excited about this. He's physical, he's tough, he has an attitude, he's going to bring it, and he's going to fit right in with the guys. That's a great matchup for us. To come up with Jaxon (Smith-Njigba) to get this done, we have two guys that we love the way they play, of course, in Tyler (Lockett) and DK (Metcalf), and we needed another guy to fit in with them. The competition with the guys that we have here will be wide open, but we see Jaxon fitting in as that third guy with those guys and will complement them and make them better. He can play right now, he will be able to do everything that we want him to do. He had a marvelous workout at the school when we were there. He showed us the kind of physical stuff that we needed to see for his stock because he has a unique way that he plays the game. He has great catching range, is a great catcher, has a terrific feel, is an excellent competitor, can make all kinds of clutch plays, and is a come through guy that I know Geno (Smith) is going to fall in love with. We are really excited about what just happened. John (Schneider) was working those phones, but it was right for us to stay right where we were to get these guys. These were guys that we were hoping we could put on our team, so I am really pumped about this."

(On if they came close to making a deal before selecting Devon Witherspoon)

Schneider "Characterize close. No, we discussed several things, but we had two players that we weren't going to leave for and Devon (Witherspoon) was one of them."

(On if they were surprised by how the first four picks unfolded)

Schneider "If we would have gone back a couple of weeks, I would have said no, but then there was all of the hyperbole, so no, not necessarily."

Carroll "I was excited the way it came out because those guys are great players and they deserved to be recognized. I love the way it went for those guys. They've been through a lot, there was a lot of tension going through these closing weeks. We just go close enough to these guys to care for them. The way it worked out, they were all rewarded well."

Schneider "We had a feel for where Houston and Arizona, something was going on there. We knew this afternoon and then we kind of sifted through that and got through that portion. Then there were a couple of other things going on."

(On if Devon Witherspoon could play inside)

Carroll "He definitely can. He was really excited about the thought that it could happen too, so it's in the future for him. There's no question he can play in the slot if we wanted him to. He's really good at the short area, aggressive coverage, and his hitting, tackling, and his ability to pressure is really exciting too, so he gives us really versatility."

(On Devon Witherspoon's physicality and ability to support the run defense)

Carroll "He's a really proud football player. He knows that the messaging doesn't surprise me a bit because that's how he plays the game and it's how he prepares. His expectations are exceedingly high for the plays that he thinks he can make and will go for. It's the go for it attitude that was really obvious. You can see it and then to hear him talk about it and how he sensed it and all of that, I was really excited about that."

Schneider "I'm not sure if Brock (Huard) played against him, you probably did, but he's very similar to Dale Carter. He's really aggressive, has great ball skills, and can run. That's who he is really similar too."

(On how Devon Witherspoon's basketball skills show up)

Schneider "They definitely do."

Carroll "His overall awareness. Hoops gives guys a chance to have the spatial awareness if they are good at it, which he was. It just adds to everything that you do. His sense, awareness, and his willingness to pull the trigger and go for stuff, I didn't see him play hoops, but I bet he was a slasher, took the ball to the hole, and it impacted him really well. I can't imagine anything but that."

(On what they learned about Devon Witherspoon during his visit in Seattle)

Schneider "He's a great guy. He had a great visit, loved the area, and loved the organization. We had a lot of people that spent time with him. He's fun, I think you guys are going to like him. He's going to be a great character, interview and he's going to bring a lot of juice and a lot of energy. He's a smart, energetic guy. Bret Bielema coached him last year and Pete (Carroll) and I had a great conversation with Bret yesterday too. You know exactly what you are getting with this guy."

(On if putting up big numbers playing alongside two other first round picks in college says anything about his makeup)

Schneider "Yeah, if we would have sat here last year at this time when we were looking at the 2023 draft, we would have said that guy is easily a top five, ten player, but then he unfortunately had the hamstring injury. We saw him work out, I don't know, about a month and a half ago and he had a great workout. We are going to take care of him and get him ready to go, but he is extremely talented. I mean, the guy scored 88 touchdowns in high school in 44 games in 6-A ball in Dallas, pretty good."

(On where they see Jaxon Smith-Njigba fitting in with the receivers)

Carroll "I really like him, he's a guy that can play on the inside and in the slot right now. He has those kinds of skills, and he has shown us everything that we need to see. We will still use the flexibility because we love Tyler (Lockett) in there as well and DK (Metcalf) gets in, so we do move our guys. He really has a chance to be a big factor right there."

(On what a consistent third receiver can do for the offense)

Carroll "That's what we were in the pursuit of in the draft and that's why we are so excited to have gotten him. We thought he was the best guy in this draft to fill this role. That's why we are so pleased about where we are right now going into tomorrow, we nailed it."

(On if it was hard at all passing over a defensive lineman in round one)

Schneider "No because we had an order set up and we were ready to rip. There are things that are pretty tempting, right? But you have to stay true to what you are doing and that's what we did."

(On if their draft so far has been the case of talent meeting a need)

Schneider "Absolutely. We recognize that we need help on the defensive line."

(On if drafting a cornerback as high as they did is an indication that they want to play like they did in the Legion of Boom era)

Carroll "Not really, this is not a statement like that at all. No, we are going to play our stuff. We love using our safeties, we like the safeties that we have on this team for their activity. We have to get Jamal (Adams) back out there, working with Julian (Love) and Q (Quandre Diggs). If you are asking me if we are making a big change, no. We are just going to be better, we are just going to play better."

(On when he first became aware of Devon Witherspoon's makeup)

Carroll "I sensed it watching him, the playmaker and the choices that he was making to go for it. There are guys along the way that you see that kind of have the knack and the willingness. Jamal (Adams) is one of those guys that really goes for it, so when we met him, it really got him here. In the combine interview, he was pretty quiet, pretty humble about it. I didn't really get that sense, but when we got him here, he was wide open and we had a tremendous visit talking about really specific stuff that has to do with the choices he was making because I was trying to figure it out, where is it coming from? After we were done, I was hitting the man, we were getting after him in the meeting room and doing some cool stuff to challenge him and get to where he was really seeing and feeling. I came out of here thinking, 'This is one of those guys, this is a special guy. That's why it was so clear to us what we were shooting for."

(On if Devon Witherspoon can play on either side of the defense)

Carroll: "He can play both sides, yeah. He's played all over. We like what [Tariq Woolen] has done on his side, but we're not going to close the door on any types of combinations of how we'll play guys. We'll just wait. Both guys have that flexibility. We want that flexibility, but we don't need it. It's not necessary. Guys can feel comfortable and we can move them around and we'll do that some when it applies."

Schneider: "It's a pretty cool addition because Mike [Jackson] is a pretty physical football player too. Mike's a physical corner."

Carroll: "Mike's done a really nice job for us."

(On Devon Witherspoon not playing football for that long and how that adds to his rare abilities)

Carroll: "That's a really good point and it's a point that I was concerned about. Where did all this awareness and sense come from with the limited amount of years playing? I think the question about him being a hooper. He's a natural athlete and he's got a great spatial sense of awareness. And he's got this other part of his makeup that allows him to go for it. I think football was just waiting for him. He just needed to show up and get out there. It comes to him very easily, he's a great learner. He was making a big deal about, 'I can pick it up, I can move around, I can do whatever you need me to do, I learn fast.' I believed him. I was impressed with all of that. I just think he was a natural player and it was just kind of waiting to happen."

Schneider: "He's worked at it. He stayed in school. He was coached by Ryan Walters. He took the coaching, wanted to be a great player, stayed and developed. He's obviously talented, obviously very instinctive, but it's really cool that the guy has dedicated himself to work it and being a pro at the college level. He helped himself a ton."

Carroll: "He had a very unique group that he played with. That's a very good group there. The coach did a great job pulling it out of them and putting it together. He was a big part of that whole makeup. Illinois had a really good team this year. They did some great stuff and that secondary was part of it and their defense was a really good part of it."

Schneider: "Their defensive coordinator got a head coaching job at Purdue. They're a well-coached defense."

(On if it helped on the assessment of Jaxon Smith-Njigba that the other receivers that were drafted out of Ohio State last year did so well in the NFL)

Schneider: "You primarily have to focus on last year's play anyways because he got hurt the second play of the Notre Dame game. You could tell he was just trying to get through it and then never really came back from it. So to your point, yes, it's a pretty clear evaluation when you can watch him play with the offensive rookie of the year. Debatable. Or [Chris] Olave as well.

Carroll: "Both guys are gym rats too. We're excited about the way they approach the game and they're going to jump right in with the way we do stuff. They got a chip on the shoulder, they got all the makeup things that will give them a chance to really help us early."

(On if Pete's meeting with Witherspoon was one-on-one or with other coaches)

Carroll: "It was just me."

(On having three more picks tomorrow, two in the second round and one in the third round)

Schneider: "Right now it's three. Two in the second and one in the third. 83 is the last pick right now. We'll see how it goes. We'd like to try to work our way through the board. We'll see if we can move around a little bit. If we can, great. If not, we're set to take good players."

Carroll: "It was really fun to have the two picks in this one and then to come back again tomorrow. I'm all pumped about it. We come back with two again in the second round. There's a good rhythm to that. It was fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again tomorrow."

(On if the team is looking at getting three wide receivers on the field more often)

Carroll: "Well, we really like our tight ends. We think this is as good of a group as there is in the league. The diversity that we have with all three of our guys was really a draw to us to utilize them. We hope to do more of that because they are good football players that have really good strengths about them. It's all part of that, really. It's not to try and get to three receivers. We want our three receiver plays to be better and we need to be better on third downs. We need to be more effective when we are there. We'll still mix. We're going to mix it."

(On CJ Stroud saying Jaxon Smith-Njigba has the best route running he's ever seen and what they saw on tape in regards to Smith-Njigba's route running)

Schneider: "CJ [Stroud] would say that, Quinn Ewers would say that. Quinn left Texas having those guys. He's got a lot of power in his lower body, a ton of body control. Elite hands. Really good eyes. He's going to be a fun guy. He's not just a slot guy. He's a guy that at his craft can be a crafty Z, he can do some stuff at X too. He can play outside. Really good blocker on the screens."

Carroll: You'll see that he really has a knack for change in direction. Like John was saying, he's really strong in the lower body. He can get in and out of breaks powerfully. That was really obvious in the workout. It was great that we got to see him in person."

Schneider: "He's heavier looking in person than when you see him on film or on TV. He's a sturdier lower body guy."

(On if Pete mentioned to Witherspoon that he reminds him of Troy Polamalu)

Carroll: "His makeup, yeah. The only guys that have played with Troy would know what I'm talking about. It's not what he says, it's just how he approaches the game and the way he sees his opportunities. I've always really held Troy in high regard in that sense. This is the closest that I've come to somebody talking and the acumen and forming it like that. I know I've said something that challenges a lot of stuff, but I'm just telling you what it feels like. It's going to be exciting first to incorporate it and find it and we'll have to come in here and play better than our guys are playing. He's still going to have to compete like everybody else, but if we can corral that and get that all focused in the right direction, he's going to be a real factor for us."

(On Jaxon Smith-Njigba's mental attributes)

Carroll: "He seems like a pro. He seems like an experienced guy. He's calm, he's confident. He believes in himself. That's conveyed when you hear him talk and how he reacts and how he plays. You feel like he's ready to go. He's going to be ready to fit in. I think Geno [Smith] will sense that. We were having trouble getting him on the phone tonight, but Geno wanted to coach him up right now. It'll be really clear. He'll fit in. It's not too big for him. He was a big deal in a huge program with great players. They all respected the heck out of him by the way he approached the game. I think it will carry over."

(On if Jaxon Smith-Njigba's limited playing time last year complicated the evaluation at all)

Schneider: "Absolutely. That's why he went where he went. If he plays another healthy season, then we're not acquiring him with the 20th pick in the draft. It definitely complicated it."

(On if they were able to get out and watch them both players in person)

Schneider: "In person? No. Game-wise, no. The pro days were really cool. With Jaxon, he wasn't going to run and then he ran. And then he had a great workout. He wasn't going to supposedly run his 40 in the morning, but then he was like, you know what, I'm going to go for it. Because he was concerned about his hamstring to a certain extent."

(On what separates Jaxon Smith-Njigba from the other receivers in this draft class)

Schneider: "Zay [Flowers], Quentin [Johnston], they're all different skill sets. They're right there. Those guys are all very different right there. I'm not going to talk about the other guys that other teams took. When you watch the Rose Bowl last year, it's a really, really impressive performance. To Bob's point earlier, when he's playing with guys like that, he stands out."

(On if moving up from pick five was ever in play)

Schneider: "No, not really. Nothing real serious. It's really expensive to do."

(On if they had more calls than normal when they're sitting in the 20's)

Schneider: "Yeah because we had the two picks. Not just because of the 20's."

(On Jaxon Smith-Njigba running the 40 yard dash at his pro day helped in his evaluation)

Schneider: "Yeah it helped that he went out there and performed and had a great day. And we hadn't seen him in awhile."

(On if they got a sense that there would be a run on receivers in the 20's)

Schneider: "It was supposed to, but this first round was pretty wild so we didn't know when it was going to start."

Devon Witherspoon & Jaxon Smith-Njigba Introductory Press Conference With John Schneider & Pete Carroll

Friday, April 28, 2023

JOHN SCHNEIDER: "Welcome. On behalf of Jody Allen and the whole building here and all the 12s all around the world, Pete and I want to congratulate Jaxon (Smith-Njigba) and Devon (Witherspoon) and welcome these two guys and their families to Seattle. Congratulations, guys."

PETE CARROLL: "We're thrilled to get to this moment right here. It's your guys' moment, so let's have some fun with it and see what they got for us."

Q. You seemed so excited yesterday when you saw Jaxon selected. How does it feel to have two Big Ten guys get to spend this time together out in Seattle, -- both of you guys can speak to this -- how did that conference prepare you for this opportunity?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "It feels good that two guys coming from the same conference, just the Big Ten, they prepare you for a lot of hard weather games, the cold. You just get to really experience it all in that conference. So, it feels really good knowing I've got somebody who played in the same conference as me and he knows what it takes to win."

Q. You prepare to get drafted, the moment you walk into the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (Seahawks headquarters), what was that moment like for you?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "It was dope. I was able to take a visit here, so I already knew what it was. But, yeah, it's just kind of indescribable, for real. It's just a great city. So, I'm glad to be here."

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "Yeah, first time being in the city here with the fam. Beautiful facility, beautiful weather, got the lake out there. So excited me and my family got to come out here."

Q. Jaxon, you mentioned being able to learn from guys like DK and from Tyler. Have you watched enough of them to know what things you would like to learn from them?

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "Oh, no, not enough, not enough at all. I'm excited to get in that room and learn and watch those guys. I know a little bit, for sure, what they do on the field and what they're about on the field, but excited to be in the present with them and get to work with them."

Q. Is there a wide receiver that you watched a lot of growing up that you were trying to emulate in any way?

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "No, ma'am. I watched a lot of ball. I'm a student of the game and I love a lot of receivers. So I wouldn't say one particular person."

Q. The success that Garrett and Chris had coming into the league last year, does that give you like an increased level of confidence that you can hit the ground running too and have a big first year?

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "Most definitely. It gives me confidence, but at the end of the day you've got to prove it and I'm excited to get to work and try to do that."

Q. Pete talked yesterday about how impressed he was with the time he spent with you. What do you remember about the conversations you guys had?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "Just the way he was able to just talk ball with me. We went over a couple press technique things, just the way he broke it down to me, it's a lot of little things that add up to the big things. So just the way he broke it down to me and the way I was able to learn, I kind of picked up on it kind of quick."

PETE CARROLL: So, you're saying you were really impressed with the meeting, huh? (Laughing.)

Q. Is it pretty cool to have a head coach who is a DB guy?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "Definitely. So I know I'm going to get coached very hard."

Q. How did you go from someone who didn't start playing football until your junior year, to a top-5 pick?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "Hard work, dedication and sacrifice."

Q. What was that decision? You were going to be a basketball point guard, was that your plan?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "I had hoop dreams. I still wanted to be on that court (laughing.) But my mom convinced me to come out. So ever since that I day I just never looked back."

Q. She convinced you? She said you should go play football or…?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "She wanted me to go play football again. She just wanted one more year."

PETE CARROLL: "Good for mom. Nice call." (Laughing.)

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "So without her I wouldn't be here."

Q. And then you were already enrolled in the junior college and how did that happen?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "Yeah, I was in summer classes, but I ended up passing my SAT scores, so I was eligible to go to a four-year school."

Q. And it was an assistant coach from the panhandle? Is that how you got to Illinois?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "Well, really it was my coach from high school, Coach Vandervort. He really helped me set everything up to be able to talk to the college coaches. So without him I kind of wouldn't be here."

Q. I'm sure you've been asked about your weight and size all your life. But how much did you weigh entering Illinois?


Q. How much is that a chip on your shoulder, the size and everyone saying 'your weight' and this and that?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "I mean, I never really cared for it. At the end of the day we got to go out there and play football. So no matter the biggest, the smallest, we all got to go do the same thing."

Q. At what point though did you realize you approached this game a little different maybe than other cornerbacks, regardless of size, just your decision making and aggressiveness?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "I mean, I don't know, I never really noticed that, but I just try to go out there and play football. Just play the game the way I like to play it."

Q. You wore No. 31 in college. Was there a reason for No. 31?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "No. (Laughing.) It was just that was the first number that they gave me. So, my coaches always tell me like in the league they don't call you by your name, they call you by your number. So 31, I kept hearing it over and over and over again, so I just went with it."

Q. Was there a comparison between you and Kam Chancellor or any thoughts of about that at all?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "No, I don't know about that at all."

Q. This franchise making the playoffs last year, appears poised to make another one this year. What does it mean to be a part of that next step with this franchise?

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "It's cool, it's cool. It's exciting. They had a great season last year so hopefully we can come in and push this thing forward a little bit more. So excited for the opportunity."

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "It's good. Knowing that they have a winning culture here, just come in and try to impact the team the best way we can. They know what it takes. The tradition here is just great. So, trying to come over here and just build on that to take it even further."

Q. Coach talked about your basketball background a little bit yesterday. How did that help you ease your transition into football being that you got started later than a lot of players did?

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "Basketball is just the competitiveness, for real. That and just being able to move lateral, lateral quickness on the court, that just kind of translates over into corner, because you try to have that lateral quickness at corner. So it kind of fit into it pretty easy."

Q. Pete and John talked yesterday about your Pro Day workout not being important to just see you. Given the injury in the season how important in your head was it to be able to put on a show there?

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "Always important. I mean, I was looking forward to that day for a long time. So, I was happy I was healthy and got to go out there and showcase my skill set. It was a good day. Always love being back at Ohio State and throwing the ball around with my boys. So glad it was a good day. Glad I looked good. Appreciate it."

Q. Did you talk with Tyreke Smith at all last night about this place and him being a draftee here last year to get a feel of what you're coming into?

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "Yeah, I haven't had a full in-depth conversation, but I love Tyreke Smith, man. He brought me in when I was a youngin' at Ohio State, and I loved him ever since. He texted me congrats, but I'm sure we'll catch up here pretty soon."

Q. How tough was last year just kind of having to go through all that not being able to play?

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "Yeah, toughest thing I had to go through as an athlete. But I leaned on my family. My family was here for me. Learned a lot about myself and my love for the game. So I'm appreciative, I appreciate that moment because it's only up from here."

Q. Have you talked with Geno yet and what do you think of the season he had last year as far as catching passes for him?

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "I talked to Geno a little bit. I'm sure I'll catch up with him later too. But excited to work with him. Great arm talent. Great skill set. Ready to get in the room and pick his brain, for sure."

Q. When it comes to the path that both of these guys took, Jaxon talking about last year the adversity being something he appreciated, and then you got Devon who didn't start playing football. How much does that play into the evaluation and what you are getting as a person as well as a player?

PETE CARROLL: "Well I think there's nothing like having that chip that you've got something to prove to bring out the best. Both of these guys have the makeup of the real competitive mentality, and you know how much we love that around here. That's kind of what I was fired up about with both these guys. I talked to them a little bit about it last night, about Devon, that you can sense that there's a special connection that they got something to prove. Our best guys we've always had here, whether they were draft picks or free agents or wherever they came from, there was a makeup to them that separated them from others. Everybody's competitive at this level, but some guys just feel it a little differently than others. I think both these young men are going to show you what it means to them and then how important it is for them to find their way to make their spot here and make the position that they fill and the role that they get to play really obvious. I'm really fired up about it. Because you all know how I always talk about it and these guys are really the real deal. So, it's a huge part of their makeup and their value and all of that and it's going to be part of their success story too."

Q. You get a short time with them in pre-draft visits, what are the tells that you know a guy might have a competitive edge?

PETE CARROLL: "Have you watched his highlight film? (Laughing.) That's where it starts. You get to see the play. Then he would note to you, I'm asking questions about why he did what he did on the plays that stood out. Where was his vision and his insights into those moments and stuff because I'm trying to figure out where it's coming from. Talking about Devon (Witherspoon) in particular right now, he had a real clear path to understanding of why he's taking the shots that he takes and why he's willing to go beyond where other players will go and that separated him in this draft as a player and performer and a big-play guy. I'm always looking for that. So, when it just hit right, he answered the questions just right and aced the test and it was obvious to me that we had a guy that was really special and we were just hoping we would be able to reconnect. So, we feel very fortunate that it worked out."

Q. Would you give us a rundown on who you have here?

JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA: "My mother, her boyfriend, my dad."

DEVON WITHERSPOON: "I have my mom and she's right there. My niece, my brother, my sister and my other niece is here as well."

LB Derick Hall

April 28, 2023

(On where he is calling in from) "Gulfport, Mississippi."

(On his reaction to being drafted by Seattle) "A lot, a lot of emotions. It was very, very special for me and my family. We kind of figured that Seattle was really interested, so once that number came across my phone, my face lit up and there were tears of joy. I really enjoy the time being here with my family, so once again, I'm just so thankful."

(On what it was like interacting with the Seahawks during the draft process) "It was great. I went down to the Senior Bowl and had a really good discussion, a great talk with those guys. Then I got the opportunity to go out to the combine and have a formal meeting with Coach Pete Carroll, the DC (defensive coordinator, Clint Hurtt), and everybody in that room. It was just really, really great overall. I'm really ecstatic and can't wait to get out there and get to work."

(On what kind of player the Seahawks are getting in him) "Just a great overall guy who is going to put his best foot forward every single day. I feel like I play with a high motor, great attitude, and this game really means a lot to me, so I just really show that love and appreciation, and will continue to do what got me there. I'm looking forward to it, but I am a great, humble guy who is going to come in and bust his butt every single day to help the team get better."

(On where in his game he has gotten better in the past year) "I feel like my game, overall, has evolved a lot in the last year. The biggest thing for me was counter, so I feel like my counters have really, really gotten better within the past year. Also, my run defense being a lot more stout setting the edge. I feel like my junior year was really good and my senior year was really, really stout as an edge defender."

(On if he dropped into coverage at all in college) "I did a lot. These last two years, I had to do a lot of different things, so I was on the line of scrimmage playing outside, I played defensive end, I played outside backer, I dropped, I rushed, and I was stacked back at the 'Mike' position doing a lot of different stuff, so I moved around a lot."

(On playing basketball and running track in high school) "I did. Basketball was huge for me because my uncle was a really, really big basketball guy, so once I had the opportunity to play basketball and get into it, I got into it at the age of 12, so once I got into the game of basketball, it was really good. Also, track was something I always wanted to do to stay in shape and I ended up being really, really good at that too, so it was overall great for me."

(On what track events he competed in) "I did the 4x100, 4x200, 200 (meter-sprint), and I did the long jump."

(On what his best mark in the long jump was) "Long jump, I don't want to lie to you, but I know my 200 (meter) time was 21.10. I'll say that until the day I die."

(On if he was a team captain at Auburn last season) "I was, that's correct."

(On what being a captain meant to him) "It was very, very special. So, at Auburn University, our peers are the ones who get the opportunity to elect their teammates as captains. That was a lot more significant to me to have that, knowing that my teammates picked me to help be a leader on that team. I feel like I am a guy who could be in that role and flourish. I feel like I'm the guy that could help that team get better, just continue to grow, and take that next step as a program, so it was very, very, special for me in that moment."

(On if his background in track helped him get his quick first step) "I feel like it correlates a lot. So, in track, you run out the blocks and you're not able to go back with a false step. You put all of your power into the ground, and you push those blocks backwards, so I really see a correlation there with football and just really trying to get off and have an explosive and aggressive first step."

(On who he models his game after) "Huge Von Miller guy. Von coming out of college into the league, he was a high-speed guy. Going into Auburn, I was looked at the same. Coming out of Auburn, I converted my game to a lot more power and I feel like Von used his time in the league, to convert his game into a lot more power. I feel like he's still very versatile and can do both. I kind of feel like I will retain those same assets."

(On what kind of a leader he was last year as a captain) "I feel like I was a great leader. I feel like I was the guy through the draft process. I got that from a lot of teams and that my coaches and whoever they communicate with told them that ultimately, I was the guy. I kind of feel like I shared that trait with a couple other guys, but I feel like I was the one, just the guy who really motivates his team. The guy that really can't have a bad day because you know if you have a bad day, the team that practices is going to be great. I just try to do what I can to help my team get better in every aspect of my life. A lot of that is realizing to not really focus on you, but putting the team first and doing whatever you can to put the team before yourself. Whatever that requires, I'm willing to do to be successful."

(On what he likes to hunt and fish) "I hunt, I fish, I golf, I bowl, I build trucks. I do a lot of different stuff. As far as fishing, I catch a lot of trout, redfish, sheepshead, tripletail, red drum. Hunting, I deer hunt. I've never done anything else. I do want to start rabbit hunting. But I've never done anything else. Besides that, I golf, I bowl, and I build trucks."

(On building trucks) "Not from the frame, but I take everything off. There's nothing under the truck. You can crank it up, the motors good, but wheels, brakes, tires, every single thing is completely gone and off the truck. And then I take it off, get a bigger lift and then put it all back together myself."

(On the best truck he's made) "Probably my first one. It was a 2014 RAM 1500. The first time somebody put that together for me, the second time I bought the lift and I said I wanted to start trying this thing myself. It came out really good, probably because I was using orange. I'm in love with that truck. That's my first one, that's one that I will never sell. That is most definitely my pride and joy."

(On how old he was when he got the truck) "I got it my second year at Auburn, so I've had it for four years now."

(On what this moment represents for him and his family) "I think it represents all the hard work and dedication. I've been telling everybody, this night is not for me, this night is for everyone who helped me get here. I'm blessed to have my name called, but it's really, really special for me and my family. Like I said, this isn't about me. It was really just trying to enjoy the moment and take it for what it's worth. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Less than one percent of football athletes in the world get the opportunity to play in the National Football League. I'm fortunate to get the opportunity. We're really just trying to enjoy the party."

(On how his golf game is) "Good. I went today. Me and my agent went today, this morning and played and I shot a 97. I'm playing a bit of bogey golf there, but it's not bad."

(On his best score when playing golf) "92 or 91, something like that. I hit them long and straight and if I can hit it long and straight on every single hole, I'd definitely be in the mid-80s."

RB Zach Charbonnet

April 28, 2023

(On how familiar he is with the Seahawks after playing in the Pac-12) "Yeah, especially being on the west coast, knowing I was up in Seattle, I am pretty familiar. Yeah, I am pretty much familiar with them."

(On his reaction when the Seahawks selected him) "Honestly, I was just excited to be with my family, it's just a great moment for us. In the draft, you never really know where you are going, so I didn't know if I was going to Seattle or somewhere else, but I am just excited for this opportunity."

(On how he would describe himself as a player) "Definitely as a runner, just a physical running style. Downhill, one-cut is the type of game I play, but also have the ability to make someone miss and catch out of the backfield. Just another type of player I am, I can plug in wherever I am. Special teams, anything the team needs me to, so that's the type of player Seattle is getting and that's the type of player I am going to be when I get up there."

(On if he is familiar with what the Seahawks did last season) "I paid attention a little bit last season. Usually, I am pretty locked in on my own film, watching opponents that I played at UCLA, but I saw the season that they were having, and I know they are looking for improvement too, so I am just excited to be a part of it."

(On what he can bring to the Seahawks) "Yeah, at running back, it's all about competition, but I know the type of person that I am going to bring to the team. I'm going to work hard every single day. My main focus all of the time is to be the hardest worker in the building. That's something they are going to get. They are going to get someone that is physical as well and like you said, being able to run the ball and catch the ball out of the backfield. That's another type of person they are going to get too, but definitely my mentality is what they are going to get."

(On where he's improved the most as a player in college and where he could still improve in the NFL) "Definitely catching the ball out of the backfield. I massively improved going from my junior to my senior year. That's something that I want to keep improving as well going into the next level. Also, something at the next level that I think I can improve on is my pass protection. I feel like I did a great job identifying my guys, but sometimes I would get beat in those one-on-one situations. Especially being able to protect the quarterback at the next level, that's something that I need to work on to get better at."

(On why he transferred from Michigan to UCLA) "Especially during that time, just battling COVID during those years, it was apparent that we weren't going to play much the next season so I thought I would come home. I ended up choosing UCLA just in case we did play. Just going through that process, looking at Coach Foster and Chip Kelly, those were the two main people who got me to UCLA. That's kind of the main thing. It just seemed like the perfect time to come home."

(On if he'll be able to play for a former USC coach in Pete Carroll) "Whatever it takes."

(On if he had much communication with Ken Norton Jr. when he joined the UCLA staff) "We talk every single day, especially going into pass-pro drills. The running backs and linebackers, we talk all the time so I'm really familiar with Ken Norton."

(On where he's talking from right now) "I'm at home right now in Thousand Oaks."

Head Coach Pete Carroll & GM John Schneider - Draft Day Two Recap

April 28, 2023

(Opening statement)

John Schneider "Great day, we drafted two grown men today. They are huge competitors, excellent human beings, alpha dog guys, and leaders. Derick (Hall) and (Zach) Charbonnet are really impressive people. You guys are going to find them both really impressive. Pass rush and attitude with Derick, and motor and hustle. Charbonnet, the toughness, effort, and the maturity with both of these guys. It's really exciting to add the toughness to this group. So, with that, we will open it up."

(On trading out of the 3rd round)

Schneider "Yeah, we had a goal going into this thing of trying to get into next year a little bit, next year's draft. Throughout the process, we had a couple of upsets there, meaning that we had some guys go that we were interested in. It happens, especially early in the draft. We felt really blessed to be able to get into a deal with Denver and acquire that 3rd round pick."

(On if trading out of the 3rd round for a 3rd round pick next year is because of the quality of next year's draft class)

Schneider "Yeah, next year's class is supposed to be really good. I'm not slighting this year's class, but there's a common theme. Everybody knows it."

(On what they like about Zach Charbonnet as a runner)

Schneider "Contact balance, toughness, hands, vision, and versatility. For a guy that runs a little bit upright, he has some serious contact balance and can extend his burst and get down field. He's a tough, rugged dude. He wears people out."

(On what a one-two punch at running back can do for the team)

Pete Carroll "Yeah, really Zach (Charbonnet) is legitimately that. He's going to be right in there with Ken (Walker III). It's going to take both guys to get the workload with some help from DeeJay (Dallas). I really like the versatility like we are talking about because he can block, can catch the ball out of the backfield, he's good in the screen game, he makes big plays, and he's been the workhorse, so I think he will be a great complement to Ken. I got Ken on the phone just to talk to him about that, how much we see them fitting together. I'm pretty excited about this one."

(On what they have seen from Derick Hall as a run defender) "

Schneider "He's stout."

Carroll "He's stout, he's a penetrator, he really gets off, and he's really fast. Again, we add another fast guy to play on the edge that will show up in particular, if you have seen the highlight of his pass rush and how he digs into guys. Speed and power are really his strength, and he pursues the ball really well, he chases it. Probably why that happens and why you get those numbers is because of the motor that he brings. He's really a constant. He plays with great energy, and he played a ton of plays. I think he played 80-something percent of the time last year, so he's a tough-minded kid as well. He has to really be a help for us on (special) teams because he fits right into all of the core areas. He will be a big guy for us in all of that stuff."

Schneider "He had a really impressive Pro Day. Some of his deficiencies in his game during the fall, he really showed well to compensate for some of those things at his Pro Day that you can really say, 'Wow, this guy, it's really impressive what he did.'

(On what they like about Derick Hall as a person)

Schneider "Overcoming obstacles and he's a leader. He's the alpha dog of that team."

Carroll "People love him, the coaches love him for what he brings and what he stands for. Leadership, toughness, and all of the things that we love adding to our team."

(On if the Malik McDowell situation affected how they viewed their draft board)

Schneider "Not mentioning names in particular, but every single draft, you learn lessons about what works and what doesn't work. I say draft, but that's any acquisition and anybody we bring into this building. Look, there's no secret. When we finished the season last year, we said that we wanted to add some toughness and some juice to this football team. We feel like we have really done that."

Carroll "I would just say about that, that we learn stuff all of the time. There isn't one lesson, or we are trying to make up for something that happened before. It's not that. We really have, and I think you have seen this over the years, continue to dig to find the right people, the right guys that really stand for what we want them to stand for. So, when we ask them to do this crazy stuff, we ask them to play so hard and consistently come back year after year. You have guys that it really means something to them. Our locker room right now, you guys have heard me talk about this team in particular last year, the togetherness and the willingness to go the extra step and make the sacrifice for the guy next to them and all of that. That's a big deal. There is a very subjective, loose area in there that you can close in on as a team that can be a positive factor, that is the connectiveness, the togetherness that they feel, and the bond. When you have great people that really care and it means something to them, and they have a chip on their shoulder that they are going to prove who they are, you are going to get everything they have more so. They are going to help a guy that might not be of that makeup as much. That's how you build the team. I think last year's class was a great indication of great, great people and these guys were really on it. They are going to tap out in the next couple of years as really big-time contributors. I think you can see that these four guys that we just picked, you've already seen it. You know, you can tell that they are the real deal. We are so happy to bring them to our locker room, to our guys because our guys that are here will feel that. They will understand it, they will know why they are on our team, and why we chose them. It's another way to add to all that it takes to put together a championship club, so we are really fired up about it."

(On if they are surprised that they haven't taken a quarterback in recent drafts)

Schneider "Our goal every year is to draft a quarterback, it really has been, honestly. It hasn't happened, you can't just force it, especially at that position. It's the most unique position in the game, so we feel like with Geno (Smith) and Drew (Lock), we have two really good quarterbacks. We have six picks tomorrow, there are still several good quarterbacks available. If we are able to line somebody up and it works, great, but we are not going to panic and push to do it. That's when you can make huge mistakes."

(On if they haven't taken any interior defensive lineman so far because they don't want to force it)

Schneider "Yes, exactly. Like I said, we had some upsets today. It happens, so it's like, 'Alright, now we compensate."

Carroll "It's not like we aren't aware of it. We are watching, we would like to hit it. We made an effort in free agency, we were right off of the chutes to go get a couple of guys that we can really count on. We're not done, none of it is done, and we have a lot of work to do. We have six big shots tomorrow too, so we are still at it."

(On draft upsets and if it's been more than usual during this draft)

Schneider: "This one is probably the most random that we've had so far in our 13 or 14 drafts since we've been here. We've had guys come off a medical board already, we've had guys come off a free agent board already and we're only in the third round. This is very random."

(On what they've been able to acquire from all the picks with the trade from Denver two years ago)

Schneider: "Every player, every aspect of that trade has specific value. Being able to get Drew [Lock] back was great. We had a cap casualty cut with Shelby [Harris], you guys saw what Noah [Fant] could do last year. I think these guys will perform real well. I think everybody will be pleased with their performance as well."

Carroll: "It's had an impact on our program, there's no doubt. It was a big change for us. But it's really felt positive. We're getting stronger. The way we're looking to the future with this draft, last draft and elevating. We've got a good feeling about what's going on and we're excited about it. To come back, here goes this draft and what do we do with it? Bang. Four guys that are going to play for us and they're going to be big factors on this team and help us win a bunch of games. It feels good, now. It feels like we're making progress. We'll see how far we can stretch the impact of it all."

(On where they're at with their fifth year option with Jordyn Brooks)

Schneider: "We have until May 2 to make that decision and we haven't made a decision yet."

(On if they have a set idea of where Derick Hall will play)

Carroll: "He's an outside backer, really. He's an outside backer that in the nickel stuff would be an outside rusher. There's no question for us. He and [Boye] Mafe are really similar. They both run 4.5s, they're both 250s, 260s. Right in there. They're both really aggressive, attacking guys. I think you see us fitting the mold. And Uchenna [Nwosu] is 260s and right there too. That's kind of the guys we're looking for."

Schneider: "He's got some really cool inside rushes too. He's got some length and heaviness about him."

(On how excited they are about their outside linebacker and edge rusher group with the guys they mentioned plus Darrell Taylor)

Carroll: "You guys haven't seen Darrell. Darrell's come back so strong and solid. It's really exciting as we've seen him in just phase one here working out with the training staff. We're expecting big things from this group. It's a good group. They were very productive last year. But I think we're just scratching the surface. I think Darrell can have a huge year. And Uchenna is really excited about adding to what he did. He had his best season ever and we don't see any reason why that should fall off. And having the chance to put Derick in that rotation, because we want to rotate these guys. We want these guys to play fresh and fast. It looks like it's taking really good shape."

(On if there was a plan for Darrell Taylor to bulk up)

Carroll: "Just keep growing and maturing. He's the most focused he's been in this offseason. He's always been a really good worker. He looks like he's the most pumped that he's been and he's been in great spirits going through the program so far. I know he's really got his sights set on having a big year"

(On how Tyreke Smith fits into their plans)

Carroll: "We'll see. We don't know yet. We have to wait and see. He has not had a chance to do much of anything for us at this point. Although he's back now, he's back in the program and going. This will be like his rookie season."

Schneider: "When he practiced, he was impressive."

(On Alton Robinson)

Carroll: "He's mending. He's still working at it. Slimmer right now and building back up. But he's working with us and getting it going."

(On if Zach Charbonnet's versatility enhances their flexibility on third down)

Carroll: "Yes. Yeah it does. He can be a third down back for us. [Kenneth Walker] can do it too. There will be a rotation there as well. We'll have to see how it plays its way out. Like is there a strength that we should stay with Zach and he should get more of that time or Kenny should? We'll wait and see. The versatility is awesome. We know we're not restricted at all with these guys. And we know that DeeJay [Dallas] does a nice job helping us. DeeJay had a very productive season last year. That group is shaping up really nicely."

(On if they knew they wanted to take running back in the second round the past couple years or if the felt like Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet were too good to pass up)

Schneider: "The importance of running the ball. No, we didn't know going in we would do this at this point. You build your board a specific way and it just so happened. I was very surprised he lasted that long with Zach because of how quickly the two guys ahead of him went yesterday. We started this morning, we knew we wanted to take Derick and then Zach, but then we kind of blew Zach off a little bit because we figured he'd be gone."

(On how they feel about the inside linebacker room)

Carroll: "I think it's an exciting room when Jordyn [Brooks] gets back out there with the fellas. Devin [Bush] is an exciting football player. Runs really well, versatile, all over the place. Sideline to sideline guy. We got Bobby [Wagner] in the building so that feels good stature wise and leadership wise and production. He had a terrific season last year. And our younger guys, getting Jon Rhattigan back. Jon is really back to full speed and bigger than he's ever been. We're anxious to see him. And Vi Jones is 10 pounds heavier and he's ready to go. And he's much more connected to the position because it was a little bit of a transition for him. It's a very good group. We'll get a lot of play out of that and we'll get a lot of special teams out of that group too."

(On how Myles Adams improvement last year plays in to their draft process for interior defensive linemen)

Carroll: "He's been really important to us. He's one of the guys that's been around and has played with us and played in games and made plays happen. He'll be in the mix for sure. And you can see with our numbers right now, it's going to be a little different than what it looks like right now. It's going to continue to grow. But Myles is in there and he's shown versatility."

(On if Bryan Mone is back with the team)

Carroll: He's here. He's here working out. He's working on his weight. His weight is in pretty good shape right now for this time of year. We're pleased. His mom was here most of the offseason and when she went back home, that's going to help him a little bit because mom cooks really well for him. That's going to help us. But he's on the mend and he's very diligent about his work."

(On if Vi Jones will still play multiple positions)

Carroll: "He'll still have that flexibility."

G Anthony Bradford

April 29, 2023

(On where he is right now) "In Michigan. From Muskegon, Michigan."

(On whether that is his family home) "Yes, sir."

(On whether he had an inkling the Seahawks would select him) "Yes. I took a 30 visit. The visit went well, so it wasn't a surprise at all."

(On what was great about his visit) "It was the people. The people, the coaches, the players there. Just the whole comradery around the building."

(On how excited he is to play with Damien Lewis again) "When I was taking my visit I was talking to him. I'm geeked up to get down there with him. We were saying that if it did happen (get drafted by the Seahawks), we would have to go to work. It happened, so it's time to go to work."

(On how he would describe his game) "I feel like I'm an aggressive player, but I'm an aggressive smart player. There are times when I may look passive, but I'm coming aggressive. I really take pride in my feet and my technique. So, I feel like I'm an aggressive player, with good technique."

(On taking pride in the run game) "Yeah, I take pride in that yeah. Just coming off the ball and putting my face on somebody."

(On whether this is where he thought he would be selected) "It was one of the places. I couldn't be more proud of myself, and I'm happy for where I landed."

(On what he did yesterday, which was his birthday) "It was my birthday. I just had a couple family members over. Just celebrated the day. It was a good day yesterday, and today."

(On whether Seattle gave him any indication on how they wanted to utilize him) "They pride versatility a lot, for me being able to move from the right side to the left side, either inside or outside. They liked me at guard right now, because they like their tackle situation right now, and I understand that. So, it looks like inside for me."

(On going up against Derek Hall from Auburn, who was drafted by the Seahawks yesterday) "Derek Hall, he's a fantastic player. He's speed, power, everything that you need in an edge rusher. It was pretty fun playing against him, he's a good player. I'm happy that he's on my team."

DT Cameron Young

April 29, 2023

(On what it was like to get the call that he was being drafted) "Nerve wracking, to say the least. I'm blessed. It was a gracious moment, for sure."

(On how much he talked with the Seahawks during the pre-draft process) "I think the Seahawks were one of my favorites. They've been talking to me throughout this whole process. I knew that was a place where I wanted to go. With them already having Mississippi State players already there, I think I'll fit in."

(On how he would describe his game) "I like to describe myself as a dog. A guy that's very physical who loves to establish the line of scrimmage and stop the run. But I also got a little twist in there and can rush the passer."

(On if he moved around the defensive line at Mississippi State) "We were a 3-2-5 so I played anywhere from a 4i to a 0. I got a lot of experience with different techniques."

(On if the Seahawks have mentioned where they envision him playing) "The plan, when I talked to the [defensive] line coach, he was saying that my position versatility gives me the opportunity to get some reps at the nose spot and also bump up to the [defensive] end spot and get some reps."

(On playing in their bowl game after Mike Leach died) "At Mississippi State, we pride ourselves on being a family. At times, adversity can be a gift. It kind of tests your character. We came together as a brotherhood, and I had planned on playing in the game anyways. It just kind of solidified that moment to try and keep Coach Leach's legacy alive."

(On if he ever played against Anthony Bradford from LSU) "I'm not sure. I've played against a lot of great guys so I'm pretty sure we've had our battles and I look forward to a couple more of them."

(On playing basketball in high school and what he liked most about it) "Being able to show that a lot of teams don't expect you to be that athletic. Just being able to move around a lot."

(On if he ever ran into K.J. Wright at Mississippi State) "Yes sir. I know K.J. Wright. I'm familiar with the Legion of Boom defense so I've known K.J. Wright for a long time now. He came to one of our spring games about a week ago, so I know him."

(On where he's talking from) "I'm in New Orleans, Louisiana. I've got an Airbnb out here and brought my family out. We're out here celebrating."

(On how many people are there with him) "About 30 to 40 people I'd say."

(On what the reaction was like when the Seahawks called) "Everybody was really going crazy, but I had to keep them settled until they called my name. It was nerve wracking, honestly."

(On if he's talked to K.J. Wright or if he knows of him) "I never got a chance to actually meet him and talk to him. But I see him around the building so I just know of him."

DE Mike Morris

April 29, 2023

(On what it was like getting that draft day phone call) "It was amazing. It was so amazing. I'm just thankful for this opportunity. They're not wasting this pick on anybody. I'm going to give everything I have, all I got. They're getting a monster."

(On what kind of monster Seattle is getting) "I feel like I didn't really get to showcase who I really was in the last, back half of the season. I have a big chip on my shoulder and I'm just ready to unleash everything that I have in a big Seahawks uniform. I'm so excited to be a Seahawk. I'm ready to get after it and be great."

(On why he felt like he didn't get a chance to showcase last year) "Because of injuries. I had a high ankle sprain at the end of the season and I didn't get to finish my season strong. I went to the combine injured. Now, we're back healthy, we're great, we're feeling great and I'm getting ready to be a great Seahawk."

(On what positions he has played across the line of scrimmage, and what is his best fit) "Wherever they put me at. I think right now I'm going to be a D-lineman. Probably 3-tech, 4i, anything they want me to play, I'm looking forward to it. I'm not really concerned too much about where I'm going to play at, all I know is that when I put on the uniform and they coach me up, I'm going to get after it."

(On the positions he played at Michigan) "I played everything on D-line. I played outside linebacker, I played defensive end, I rushed from the 3-tech in third downs, so I did pretty much anything and everything."

(On how his meeting with the Seahawks went at the combine) "It went really well. It was a great interview. It was great talking about football. Them trying to understand who I am as a person. I feel like everything went really well. I feel like that's why I'm a Seahawk today. So, I'm excited, I'm happy."

(On how he portrayed himself as a 'chip on the shoulder' guy) "I don't think I did, but I did tell them about my previous injuries and all that. I've always had a chip on my shoulder growing up, because in high school I had a lot of surgeries. Everyone was trying to say I'm injury prone, and this and that. Then I got into college, went to the University of Michigan, an undervalued team that had potential, but no one really saw it, and then we did what we did. Now I'm going to the NFL, people having concerns about all types of injuries, my high ankle, 'Am I going to be a good football player?' I'm looking to prove everybody wrong, prove to everybody that I am the guy that I think I am and the guy that had the season he had. I'm looking forward to just tearing everybody up. I'm looking forward to being a Seahawk."

(On his current weight) "I weighed in this morning, and I weighed about 295 pounds."

(On gaining 20 pounds since the combine) "The Seahawks said they wanted me to get a little bigger, and my agent talked to me about it, said after the combine it didn't go well. They see the numbers, they see D-tackle or D-end, so just gain a little weight, and if you get drafted as an outside linebacker you can lose it and you've done that before, so it won't be hard. So, I did it."

(On how he gained 20 pounds in six weeks) "By getting right, man. Eat more calories, higher intake. Just get my body the right way. I've done it before."

(On having his sister as a grad assistant at Michigan last year) "It was amazing. Being able to have someone I can rely on when I was there, having someone to talk to daily, having someone know what I'm going through. And having someone on the coaching side just talking to me about what's going on, stuff like that. I was happy and thankful that she got to experience everything that I experienced at the University of Michigan last year."

(On the Seahawks drafting his teammate Olu Oluwatimi) "Olu Oluwatimi! Oh my God. I was so happy. I totally disregarded everything that was going on with me and I was strictly about Olu. I said, 'Bro, we're lit.' We're lit. And then you got Zach (Charbonnet), who was a former Michigan man, but he's still a Michigan man in my eyes. So, we got Zach, too. I'm looking to just get after it with my guys and let's make a run."

(On his scouting report on Olu Oluwatimi) "I really felt like Olu was going to go higher than he was, but he talked about his hand size, how his arms are tight and stuff like that, he's another guy with a chip on his shoulder. Olu is one of the best offensive lineman that I've ever gone against at the college level besides Olu Fashanu and I feel like he is going to be an amazing guy in the NFL. He might not pass some people's eye test, but eye tests don't matter when you're on the field. I feel like he's going to handle his business."

(On growing up with a dad who played college football) "We start football really young in Florida. Growing up I would always go to Florida State because my dad was there, and I would always talk to the coaches. My dad used to always talk about how good he was, but you know how you really don't know. But then we would get around his former teammates, some coaches that would watch him and coaches that he played with in college, and everybody said that 'Bro, your dad was the truth, like your dad was a monster, your dad was this your dad was that.' Growing up I always wanted to be just like dad and I've had people say the same thing about me. My dad didn't get the same opportunity I did because of injuries, but I hope he's living vicariously through my eyes."

(On what it is like playing for Jim Harbaugh) "It's intense. It's football, football, football. But, that's the reason why I'm here today, that's the reason why Mazi Smith's here, Olu, Jake Moody, Luke, and everybody else who's about to get drafted also. That's the reason why we're here because he cares so much about football, and that's why we're such good football players now. That's the reason why Michigan is doing as good as we are doing right now. He's doing an amazing job at the University of Michigan and I'm looking forward to looking at the games from a fan's perspective."

(On where he is right now) "South Florida. West Palm Beach, Florida."

(On whether he has ever been to Seattle) "I've never been to Seattle in my life. I've heard it rains. But that doesn't matter. You need a little rain for something to grow."

(On what he knows about the Seahawks) "I watched the Legion of Boom. That was my favorite team growing up, just watching them. Watching them just do what they did from a destructive standpoint. They were a dominating defense. And, Geno Smith. He's from Florida, so I was watching him a lot, too. Bobby Wagner. Kam Chancellor. Richard Sherman. All those guys just dominate, man. I always watched two defenses growing up. I watched the Ravens and the Seahawks and they had really great defenses which is why I'm so happy to be a part of the organization."

(On whether he has crossed paths with Frank Clark) "No, I haven't."

C Olusegun Oluwatimi

April 29, 2023

(On what it's like getting picked right after Michigan teammate Mike Morris) "It's awesome. Knowing that I've got a brother already up there and a great player. I'm really excited to get up to Seattle and roll."

(On where his game grew the most at Michigan) "I felt like my leadership and my knowledge of the game. Being able to play for Coach (Sherrone) Moore (Michigan Offensive Line coach) and play for Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and be in his scheme. I feel like my knowledge of the game grew a lot."

(On how Harbaugh's program at Michigan prepares players for the NFL) "We run a pro style scheme on both sides of the ball. Even some of our special teams have pro schemes. What we're taught during the week, how we prepare and how we go about our business, I feel like it translates very well to the NFL."

(On the impact of a coach like Jim Harbaugh knowing that he's coached in the NFL previously) "I feel like any coaching staff I have, I'm going to have trust in them and I'm going to listen to them. But it means a lot when it comes from a guy that's been able to do it in college as a player and as a coach in the NFL, as a player and as a coach. He's seen the game, he's seen the guys that are at the next level. So it means a lot."

(On if he's talked with Joey Blount about what it's like up here since they both attended Virginia) "He FaceTimed me after I got picked but the family was going crazy so I just said what's up. We're going to talk to him for sure later. I'm excited."

(On the impact of the shooting at Virginia) "It was a lot. Those are my brothers. Those are guys that I battled with in the offseason, during the season. We went through some hard things at Virginia. Just seeing a life taken so soon, it was hard. I was far away from the team because I was playing at Michigan. It was rough being away from my brothers and also having to prepare and continue trying to make a stretch run at Michigan."

(On initially attending Air Force) "It was my best opportunity coming out of high school."

(On if he was able to walk away from the military commitment at Air Force) "Yeah I was able to just walk away."

(On if he left Air Force after his freshman year) "Yep."

(On if he had a full academic and football year at Air Force) "Yep."

(On if he's played other positions besides center) "No I have not the last couple years."

(On the benefit of playing in three different programs) "Just being able to learn new schemes. Being able to mesh with new locker rooms and new players. That's kind of what I got out of it. Being able to be coached by a lot of different voices. I think it benefitted me."

(On how he would describe himself as a player) "I believe I'm a knowledgeable player. I'm very deliberate and intentional about my work. I feel like I'm a hard worker and a grinder."

(On what he knows about the Seahawks) "I know their fan base is second to none in the NFL. I know they have a great tradition of winning and I know it's going to be fun playing up there. I know I'm going to have to compete and get it the hard way."

(On the communication skills he has as a center) "I had to do it all at Michigan. I was in charge of everything when it came to the run game and the pass game."

S Jerrick Reed II

April 29, 2023

(On what it means to join the Seahawks) "It means a lot. It means the world, honestly, because the Seattle Seahawks were one of the only teams out of the NFL that gave me a chance, that took me on a visit. Then, the whole organization of competing and the 12s, that's what I live on, competing to prove people wrong and winning games. I'm glad that I can bring my talents and do that for the Seattle Seahawks."

(On how he thinks he needs to prove people wrong) "That short DBs are at a disadvantage. I'm putting on for the short guys, showing that we're players too, and we can compete with any size guys. And also, that a kid from Mississippi that people looked down on, they called you 'from the mud' and just putting on for my city, putting on for the smaller guys. Showing them that it doesn't matter if you go first round or sixth round, you just go out there and compete, do your job and be great at the end of the day."

(On whether he knows K.J. Wright) "Yes. Me and K.J. (Wright) and his family are close friends. In Olive Branch, he has an alumni game in June that I plan on coming back to if I don't have practice or anything like that. Me and K.J. Wright all have close connections."

(On whether the Seahawks had told him where they thought he would play in the NFL) "They said the safety/nickel position, slot corner position and also everywhere on the special teams."

(On how much experience he has on special teams) "I have a lot of experience on special teams. I have been playing special teams since I set foot on a college campus. I've been doing that since freshman year until my senior year. I've been on special teams since day one."

(On whether he plays punt returns, kick returns, etc.) "Literally all of the above. Wherever they put me at, I played every single position in college football."

(On how he went from Mississippi to New Mexico) "To keep it a short story for you guys, basically I was unrecruited out of high school. My stats were the very best out of any DB coming out, but because of my size, like I said earlier, I was looked down upon. I had to go JuCo (Junior College). I played one season at JuCo, New Mexico took a chance on me, I rolled with them, I committed and I spent my four years out there getting First-Team All-Conference and winning games for them and just putting on for the state."

(On what K.J. Wright has told him about the Seahawks) "He just told me how much he loved it. He told me it was a great organization, a great city, a great environment and he said the fans are crazy. So, I can't wait to get out there an experience it so I can share my stories about it as well."

(On what kind of defense they played at New Mexico) "Our base defense was a 3-3-5, so we always had three safeties and two corners at all times. Depending upon the formation and the call, you would either be the down nickel, slot corner guy, you would be the back safety, you would be the middle of the field safety. So, all three safeties had to be skilled to play every position. We weren't just a strong safety/free safety/nickel defense. All three of us were interchangeable, and we could play all three positions."

(On where he is right now) "I'm in Mississippi. Olive Branch, Mississippi right now."

RB Kenny McIntosh

April 29, 2023

(On how it feels to get drafted) "I've been waiting all day. I've been waiting all day, I'm lit."

(On if he knew the Seahawks were interested in him before he was drafted) "There's always going to be a team that you never really talk to that much, but we suspected. I talked to them before, but I wasn't expecting it."

(On who's with him today) "My family, my whole family. We've all been sitting and waiting."

(On what it was like when he received the call that he was being drafted) "I was upstairs. I was going through it waiting for my name to be called. When they called me, I was on the phone with my agent talking about free agency. They called me in the middle of my call with my agent. I said, 'Hold on, I got a call.' They called me and told me they were going to take me at 237. And that's what they did."

(On what his expectations were coming into the weekend) "I think I did everything I needed to do. I didn't think I was going to go this low. I know they dropped me down a lot, but this low? That's crazy. But that just gives me that chip on my shoulder. Just go out there and work harder."

(On if it feels like he has something to prove) "I definitely have something to prove. I feel like this is [similar to] my path to college. Going to Georgia, I had something to prove. This isn't anything new. I just thank God that I got drafted so I don't have to go the free agent route. Thank God I got drafted. I'm just going to prove a point like I did at Georgia. It might take time, but I'm going to prove my point. They're going to know who Kenny McIntosh is."

(On how he would describe his running style) "Versatile. I can do it all. Make you miss, run through you, catch the ball, line up. Whatever you want in a running back. Whatever you want in a running back, I got it. Outside zone, we can run it to the outside, we can run it up the gut, whatever you want to do. 'You tell me, offensive coordinator'. I'm used to this. At Georgia, I'm used to this. We're a pro-style offense. Whatever you want to do. Line me up outside, let's do it."

(On what's made him so good as a pass catcher) "Linebackers don't want to cover me. They're scared to go out there on that island. That's what it is, they don't want to cover me. They don't want to cover a running back out there like that. That's why as soon as they get their feet started, it's over with. That's why. They're scared to go out there on that island by themselves. And even if I catch them in running the choice route, they're scared."

(On if he's a passionate person) "Yes, I'm confident. What do you think I went to Georgia for? I'm from South Florida, I'm spicy. You have to have confidence down here. I'm a Florida baby. That's all we got down here. But I'm ready to get it."

(On how many people are with him) "We have the whole family over here."

(On what he was doing in Washington) "I was at Washington State University."

Head Coach Pete Carroll & GM John Schneider - Draft Day Three/Draft Recap

April 29, 2023

JOHN SCHNEIDER: 'I just want to thank everybody. All the hard work, all the months that go into this process, and all of a sudden just bam, it comes to an end right there. We're really excited about everybody we've added, especially today. Last night we had a couple upsets and we were able to kind of flip it and kind of get our minds right for today and add some awesome, awesome guys, competitors, the type of people and competitors that we've been looking for to continue to build this thing. Yeah, just really proud of all the personnel guys, coaches, all the medical people, everybody in the video department, player development, Mo (Kelly) and Soup, George (Englebright) in security. I mean, there's just so many people that worked their tails off with this thing. Yeah, so we'll take a couple weeks off here and then we'll start the process again. So, yeah, with that, we'll open it up.'

PETE CARROLL: Can I just say, it's just an observation from how we walk out of this thing, it feels like we've continued from where we left off last year in the draft effort, just the kinds of people, the opportunities that the guys are going to be faced with when they come here and they see their chances. It's going to feel like last year in some regards. So it's our job to do a good job to knit that together and make sure that that happens so we maintain the momentum and the movement. But we loved last year's class and we're fired up about this year's class and it just feels like we've added onto it, and I'm really proud of the work that all the guys did and where we are right now. And you have met a lot of these players and you can tell that they're the kind of guys that we love and it feels like an extension of some really good stuff. So we've got to prove that, but it's there for us to do. So it's really exciting.

Q. Is it a coincidence that every guy that we talked to mentioned either having a chip on their shoulder or something to prove or is there something more to this class? I know it's a characteristic here, but is there something more to this class or was that just a coincidence?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: That's what our board looks like. You're on our board for a reason. Some people are not. We have a grade that is 'A good football player, but he's not necessarily our type of person or our type of competitor,' and that's a specific category. So that's not on our front board. We have a medical board where, unfortunately, we can't have some guys. And then we have our free agent board. So I think it's a reflection of what our front board looks like and all the effort that goes into understanding that a person is, all a scout's hard work, the coaches' hard work with all the Zooms, and I think you got to earn your way onto that board.

Q. The chip on the shoulder aspect, was that part of the decision to get the fifth pick overall?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Fifth pick overall? Well, if it was two weeks ago, yes. Yes. Absolutely. Yeah. No, I mean, yeah, chip on the shoulder, for sure. Like I said the other night, he stayed in school and worked to improve his craft.

PETE CARROLL: It's more than that.

Q. You said you were looking for players with more juice, you were looking for more juice always. How do you define that?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: On the field, whatever the film says, and then when you're in these interviews and we study hours and hours of these interviews that we do at the combine, at the All-Star Games, with all the Zooms that the coaches do.

So you're constantly studying probably just as much film. I mean, we all study the film and would be like, 'Okay, that's the kind of player he is' and all that, but who the person is at their core is really what's important.

Q. You talked yesterday about not forcing picks, was it good to have some of those big guys come to you toda?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: We had an opportunity to go back a couple times and we hung in there and just stayed with the board and we had guys come to us.

Q. Cameron Young and Mike Morris, what do you like about those guys?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Oh, man. Cam first. He's, like we talked about last night, a grown man. This guy is -- his back's almost as wide as Coach Hurtt's, and he's super strong at the point of attack. He just plays with just natural God-given strength, and he competes and was really excited we got him.

He said, Why did y'all wait for me for so long? Or something like that.

And then Mike had an interesting spring because he tried losing weight to test better and he had a high ankle sprain and he's just kind of figuring out, like, 'You know what? I'm a big person.' I'm a defensive end. So as of today, he was 295 and, yeah. So we got a cool video this morning and he's sitting on the scale because we're like, come on. He's a big guy. He's long and he plays hard.

PETE CARROLL: The four guys we hit -- I can see it now, you're looking at the guys coming back-to-back-to-back, the big guys. They all have a similar makeup about 'em in the mentality. This is a very strong, very physical, aggressive bunch of guys, and it fits on both sides of the football, and it complements what happened on the top end of the draft too.

So it's -- there's a commonality. It should be obvious and it's really what we're looking for.

Q. Position-wise where do you see the two defensive linemen fitting in?

PETE CARROLL: Well Cam's a nose tackle. He's a real nose tackle. He plays under center. He plays inside. He's an inside guy all the way.

Mike is going to be a defensive end for us. He'll play on the guard and play on the tackle, but he's going to have his hand on the ground for the most part. And a little bit of transition for that. He played there quite a bit, but we're going to play him there a lot. So that's a -- that's a little bit of an adjustment for him.

Q. Young's a little bit smaller than some of the other nose tackles that you guys have had. Is that maybe a suggestion that there could be a little different emphasis on technique with being a little bit smaller?

PETE CARROLL: That's because those other guys were enormous. With Al Woods and Bryan Mone, those guys were 340 and all that, and up. But he's -- this is as stout a player as there is in the college football this year. He's physical and tough. He's over 300 pounds and he plays like it and he plays really tough football for us. So we'll get the same kind of play. It's not any reflection of anything. It's just this is the guy this year that fits the bill.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah. He puts his hands on people and they don't move. He has heavy hands.

Q. You've been talking about the defensive front for awhile now and seeing the importance of having a lot of guys up there. Obviously spent some money in free agency, drafted some guys right now, but you've been open also to maybe bringing back some veterans. What do you feel like the room is right now and if there's anything that you might see?

PETE CARROLL: Today was really important for us and of course the free agency moves that we made to get J Reed back and to get Dre in, those were hugely pointed and directed at trying to adjust our room and make it a little more competitive and hopefully more productive. We're just always adding.

Today to hit the nose tackle with Cam is a really big deal. We really needed a spot right there. We're not done. We got work to do and we'll continue to work at it. We never stop. We got our eyes on some guys. We're talking to some people to continue to make it as competitive as possible.

Q. What stood out about Anthony?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Oh, wow. Square, power, again, heavy hands. You can see him finishing people. He's from Michigan, Baton Rouge. He had a rough go where he grew up in Michigan and has overcome a lot, would go back and see his mom. His mom was struggling for a little while back home. So he's overcome a lot of things in his life.

We had him in on a visit. He had a great visit here with our coaching staff and our player development people and Stu (McNabb) and everybody in the kitchen. He had a great time.

I'm doing that for Stu because he likes it when we say that.

But, yeah, the game I saw him play live he had to go to tackle. He found out that morning a player was suspended, so he moves out there and goes and plays tackle and he played well. So he's a big man, he can compete to start, and he can get you out of a game at tackle.

Q. He projects as a guard for you guys?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: First, tackle second.

PETE CARROLL: We'll start there.

Q. On Olu at center…

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah, great background. Virginia to Michigan. Comes in there. He's named captain the first year. Again, another grown man, incredibly smart, knows the game, natural-born leader, awesome week at the Senior Bowl. You can't move him. He's just super stout, really good person, and top-level competitor.

Q. On Jerrick Reed II

JOHN SCHNEIDER: He's one of our favorites.

PETE CARROLL: He's fun to watch. He's all over the place. He's got a real knack about going for it and playing fast and aggressive and willing to make the plays. So there's a common theme again. This is a guy that we thought was really, really active and a lot of versatility and will be a special teams guy as well. It's going to be a very competitive position for us now.

But he's going to bring the kind of juice that we're talking about, the energy that we love. So it should be a really good add. There's no style to him, the way he plays. We'll fit his style into our stuff so that he can be at his best.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: When he came in for his visit, we couldn't wait to talk to him because he plays the game like -- what movie is it? Elf. He goes, He's an angry little elf, you know?

No, he plays mean. I'm like, Are you okay, man? Are you all right? And he's super serious. He's looking at me like -- and I'm like, Seriously, are you okay? Because you play the game like you're mad at somebody, you know. And he does. But he had a great time here, a great visit. Ton of energy.

Ryan Florence did a great, great job. This guy was very, very much under the radar up until, what, maybe like a month ago we started taking some trips. But yeah, Ryan did a great job with the background and a favorite of his for a long time. We were hoping to keep it like real, real low, but then he started taking trips, so we drafted him.

Q. When we talked to Kenny, he seemed surprised he fell kind of where he did. Were you guys surprised he was still there in the seventh round?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah, very much. SEC running back, yeah. Catches the ball out of the back field. Obviously a very talented guy who's been highly productive in the SEC. So, yeah.

Q. On McIntosh's 40 time…

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah, 40 time I think he would tell you like he didn't have an amazing spring in terms of, yeah, you know, his combine workout or -- well, I'll let him talk on that.

Q. He said he already was talking to his agent about free agent stuff when you guys called him. Was he very emotional?

PETE CARROLL: He was very emotional with us. Was he with you too?

Q. Oh, yeah.

PETE CARROLL: Yeah. Yeah, it was obvious that it hit him.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: He came in there and played right away, so think about it. The people he was playing with, you know, big-time program, highly talented guy. He comes in and plays right away.

PETE CARROLL: You have that chip showing and be ready to prove it.

Q. He had the chip, but he also kind of talked to us about he valued the opportunity he had. Can you talk more about that?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: At Georgia or here?

Q. Both.

PETE CARROLL: Yeah, I would say that it's emotional because of the expectations and they don't always get met and then after awhile, it's just is it ever going to happen, and then once it does, he broke up, I mean, immediately when John talked to him and then when I talked to him. It's just part of how important this is to our guys and how much it means to them, and then to have to suffer through -- in the sense to suffer through the long rounds and the picks and all that. By the time it gets there, it's kind of hard to contain sometimes.

We have seen some pretty famous picks we've had over the years, it's been emotional for them. But that shows you who they are and what they're all about and it's why we like these guys and why we're so attracted to them.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: He's already getting calls at that point in the draft for probably a good, I don't know, hour, hour and a half. He's getting calls from people like, Hey, if you're not drafted, you know, like you would fit. And there were people that were recruiting him, I guess. So, yeah, I could see where he was like, okay, still that fact of still being drafted is a big deal, I could see that.

Q. Pete, you alluded to this class fitting in with last year's and all that. How do you feel like the entire roster is right now when you look at this?

PETE CARROLL: This is going to be a really, really competitive camp, this camp this year now. There's enough athleticism in the young end of the roster with a ton of speed, a ton of aggressive mentality, a physical group that's going to make it really, really competitive and it's going to be a great way for us to start this season.

You get off here, the rooks will get here in a couple weeks before they can show. But we'll kick it off, really set it up and then the kickoff time to come into camp and I would expect that this is the kind of atmosphere that is conducive to really going for it. We ain't going to hold nothing back. Everybody tried to make us into a rebuild a year ago or whatever that was all about and that isn't the way we think and we're thinking as we start this thing off and pull these guys with us, that we're really going for it. From Geno and Diggsy and Jamal and Bobby and the guys on both sides of the football, Will Dissly and even the young guys, Kenny (Walker) and DK and of course Tyler, those guys are -- they have their expectations set and they're going to embrace these guys as they come in as they did last year.

We've already talked to the guys that were rookies this past season about getting ready. They're coming in, they're going to fight for your job, they're going to give you their best shot, and we're going to give them an opportunity to show where they fit. As you get ready to compete and not give up your job, you also have to embrace these guys because they're going to be part of it. So all of that is already in flow, and so it's going to be a really exciting year coming up.

Q. Can you pick a trait or two to describe this class as a whole?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: I would a say tough. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to speak over you.

PETE CARROLL: No, I think it's toughness and physicality. I think this is a really -- from top to bottom it's a group that's going to really demonstrate that. We're fired up about that.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: On our tags, we have different insignia on there to represent different things, and I would say just about every one of these guys has a hammer on there, which means a scout has to say, this guy's a legitimate tough guy. So when you look at their tag, all these guys have a hammer on it.

Q. Nine of the 10 are from power conferences. Is there anything to that aspect of it and maybe playing better competition?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Well probably, yeah. Probably.

PETE CARROLL: Yeah, probably.

Q. You kind of implied that just like last year, you'll have some guys with more direct paths of contributing right away. Is that like -- I won't say by design, but is that like part of the kind of reset from last year is giving these guys a chance to compete?

PETE CARROLL: It just kind of falls that way, and I think that we were able to hit the picks in the areas where we really needed help as well. We did not draft by need. We drafted for the guys that we wanted. But they're going to have really good opportunities.

I mean, it's my job to make this a competitive opportunity for each one of these guys so they can show where they fit and show who they are. So that's why we play young guys, that's why we've always done that, and we want to see if they can fit in and develop them early in their opportunities to see if they can become regulars and really solidify our roster.

So that's going to happen again. We're going to see Devon and Jaxon and Derick. Those guys are going to be out there and showing and fighting for their spots. That only makes everybody else fight too. So that's all the competitive mentality we're bringing.

Q. For Jerrick, would that be a nickel?

PETE CARROLL: He can play nickel. He can play safety and nickel. We're excited to see how he fits into that.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Just don't tell him where to play. Let him decide. He might tear your head off.

Q. You only have two quarterbacks on the roster at the moment. Is it important to have another guy or two there at some point?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah, we'll continue to keep working that. We're trying to sign guys in rookie free agency right now and also, we'll have some guys coming in for rookie mini camp. But we'll continue to watch other teams' rosters and waivers and all that kind of stuff and we'll continue to work that process.

Q. As high as you had picked and as many as you had in the first two rounds, what did not taking a quarterback say about that position for you?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Well, I mean, like we said last night, when you were not right there, you can't -- I mean, there's three quarterbacks that went right ahead of us and you can't just push it because of like a narrative. It has to feel right for everybody, the whole team, the locker room, coaches.

PETE CARROLL: I think too it's -- we do like our guys. We do like where we are and we need to add another one, for sure, and that will likely happen. But we're fired up about Geno coming back for us and we're fired up about Drew being back. I think the opportunity for Drew is a really good one, again, to grow with our program and become part of it. We think that's a real strength of ours, and so we need to prove that, but we think we're going to be in good shape there.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Looking back on it, I think it's a really good example of clear communication in any industry. We got done with the end of the season, we were extremely honest with Geno, Drew. Geno had a phenomenal season and we all get that. Drew had a great season as well the way he handled everything. Things didn't go his way during training camp. Everybody knows that.

So to be able to work the free agency process the way we did with that clear communication, to go into the draft where we let them know, hey, look, we have never drafted this high. There's a chance we could take a quarterback and we got to be ready if that player comes to us. They knew that, they still signed back with us, and we embraced them, they embraced us.

So I think it's a great example of like the impeccable communication and honesty and, yeah, I'm proud of everybody, the way everybody handled it, their agents, the coaches, everybody in personnel, everybody. It's been great.

Q. With Lock, you said after the season that he and Dave Canales worked every day on every game plans in practice. Have you ever had a backup quarterback do that?

PETE CARROLL: I don't know. They were diligent about it. David was really working to develop Drew all the way throughout, figuring that it may be any day now and all that kind of stuff. That's just something that Greg will do as well. We're not going to miss that now. But that's -- I don't know how special that is because we've always thought that that's what's necessary because they don't always get the turns and they don't get all the game plan reps and stuff like that. That's where he tries to make that up. So we'll continue to do that.

Q. Were you fearing you were going to lose him to Tampa?

PETE CARROLL: Sure, yeah. They would love him. Its just a statement about him coming back to us and staying with us that we're very happy about that.

Q. With Jerrick, I know different players, but Quandre is also undersized, versatile, kind of feisty guy --

PETE CARROLL: Don't tell him that.

Q. Seeing Quandre do what he's done for so long, does that maybe give you more confidence in a guy like Jerrick that doesn't check all the boxes but --

PETE CARROLL: Absolutely. Yeah. There's no -- he's very, very similar in this stage of his career and all that. Kind of drafted in similar spot, close to it, and I think it might have been a sixth round, right?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: That and from KJ's hometown.

PETE CARROLL: There you go.

Q. With Jackson, I know it was awhile ago now that you drafted him, but how did you feel --

PETE CARROLL: Last week.

Q. How did you feel his skill set as a guy who can really move the chains complement what else you had in your receiver corps?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: No, it's perfect. Yeah, you just said it. Tyler is so talented creating separation and still getting down the field, setting people up down the field, and we have a huge power player in DK, and Jackson's he's a excellent change of direction, phenomenal hands. They had a couple receivers that transferred that were darn good players when he was a freshman. So that's pretty telling at a university like that, that puts out a great program.

Q. What stands out about Kenny's pass catching, his ability there, and what's made him successful in that area?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Just real easy hands, just a quick plucker, gets his head around real quick and it's easy for him, doesn't have to break stride, great body control, really cool feet. What was the guy with the long neck I was telling you about? The running back.

PETE CARROLL: Harold something.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Kansas City. McNair? No.

PETE CARROLL: Harold something.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah, he was a running back from LSU.

Just like this really sleek, kind of like great feet, and get skinny and just inside and, yeah, he's -- and he plays on teams and he's -- he's a football player. Had a great program obviously.

Q. Is there something about the way they teach it at Michigan or the schemes that they run up front that help Michigan guys translate directly to the pros?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Absolutely. Yeah, no question. And they're playing, you know? They're still playing big-time. Aaron Hineline refers to it as big-boy football. You know, they're playing big-boy football.

PETE CARROLL: Coach Harbaugh has always been that way with his style and they're separating from other teams in that regard.

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Harvey Williams. Sorry.

PETE CARROLL: Harvey Williams. Harvey Williams.

Q. Does playing there, does that scheme --

PETE CARROLL: Do you want to talk about Harvey now?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: Yeah, that's, that's -- sorry.

Q. Does playing there in that scheme and the big boy football make Olu equipped to push Evan Brown right away?

PETE CARROLL: I don't think there's any doubt that he's going to come in and battle now. He's legit. He's played all the schemes that we have seen that we do. The blocking principles and the expectations of the styles of play. Not all the schools in college football are like that. Michigan separates themself in that regard. It gives us a really good preparation spot for us and so we can see guys as we like to see them. So we have kind of finding our way to their program, so it's I think, it's a good compliment.

Q. Do you want Al Woods back?

PETE CARROLL: I love Al Woods.

Q. Is that a viable option right now?

PETE CARROLL: We'll see what happens.

Q. Poona Ford

PETE CARROLL: Same thing.


PETE CARROLL: He's one of our guys, so we would love to see those guys come back.

Q. This was regarded as a really good tight end group. Was that tough to pass on all the guys in this class?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: To a certain extent, yeah, we had a couple guys identified that Pat really liked and our whole staff liked that were real good fits, good special teams players. Kind of like the quarterbacks. Just didn't fit at the correct time. It could be by design to a certain extent the way we build our board. We build it, we grade for our team not the National Football League. And what our team looks like, we have a really strong group and we believe in all those guys. If a player were to come to that position it wouldn't have been a reflection on any one of the guys that we have in that room right now.

Q. Same thing kind of for the inside backer class as well?


Q. With your cap situation do you have to make some moves or some contract tweaks to fit your class under contract?

JOHN SCHNEIDER: No, we're okay right now. Yeah.

Q. Long snapper? You guys been in contact --

JOHN SCHNEIDER: We don't need one. (Laughing.) Pete's going to do it this year.

PETE CARROLL: We don't plan to kick much. We're going for it. (Laughing.)

JOHN SCHNEIDER: We'll figure it out.

All 10 of Seattle's 2023 draftees, from first-round cornerback Devon Witherspoon to seventh-round running back Kenny McIntosh.

Related Content