RENTON — Oftentimes, when they sit in the Seattle Seahawks board room, general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll just let the “draft board” dictate the actions.
Even if that means leading them back to an old, testy NFC West coaching foe from San Francisco — Jim Harbaugh.
With six picks, Seattle had a busy Friday on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft.
And half of their third-round selections hailed from Harbaugh’s current employer — the University of Michigan, where he also starred at quarterback.
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The Seahawks grabbed safety Delano Hill with the No. 95 pick overall. He eventually could be seen as Kam Chancellor’s replacement at strong safety.
Eleven picks later, Seattle made its final selection of the day — wide receiver Amara Darboh — at No. 106.
It was the first time since the Oregon State defensive duo of Obum Gwacham and Ryan Murphy were selected in 2015 that the Seahawks took two players from the same university in the same draft.
In this case, Seattle grabbed two physical playmakers around the line of scrimmage. Hill is regarded as a stout run defender. And Darboh has been known to stick his nose into a defensive back to block.
“Their style of play really helps us,” Carroll said. “(At wide receiver), we don’t see guys come off the line (in the way) that we like, so we have to project how it’s going to be.
“But they are a downhill running team. We see all the style we needed to see.”
Hill, who really improved his draft stock with a 4.47-second, 40-yard time at the NFL Combine, is an intriguing, versatile defensive back who can cover a lot of different areas of the field.
He said he had just gotten into the car with his best friend, and hit the freeway in Detroit when he got the phone call from the Seahawks.
“I told him to pull over,” Hill said with a laugh. “I knew that was it.”
Hill said when he came to Michigan, one of the veteran players who guided him was Frank Clark, Seattle’s second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
“Frank … is like a big brother,” Hill said. “At Michigan, (the older guys) took me under their wings. I was over at Frank’s house all the time. I am used to him.”
Darboh has a heart-wrenching back story: He came to the United States from war-ravaged Sierra Leone as a youth after his parents were killed.
He was then adopted, and grew up in Iowa. In 2015, he became a U.S. citizen.
And now he is in the NFL.
“I’ve gone through some difficult times in my life,” Darboh said. “I think God has also blessed me, and I’ve had some great people that have helped me throughout my life.”
Including Harbaugh, his college coach.
“He’s the same all the time,” Darboh said. “He’s very honest. For a player, I think that’s key to have a coach who’s honest with you and tells you what you need to work on. That helps you compete.”
If it’s difficult for Carroll to pay his old coaching nemesis a compliment now, he doesn’t show that anymore.
And in this NFL Draft, Harbaugh has certainly aided Seattle’s cause.
“He knows how to get the most out of people,” Carroll said. “Look what he’s done with the (Michigan) program. Look how he’s turned it around. He’s done a fantastic job, which is no surprise. He’s done a great job everywhere he’s been.”