RENTON His name is Ethan Pocic. He’s the son of a 29-year firefighter in the Chicago suburbs, and he says his dad Gary is his idol for his work ethic.
For the Seahawks, it’s his game: versatility on the offensive line.
Seattle used its second selection of Friday’s second round of the NFL draft, 58th overall, to take Pocic out of LSU. He was a center for 27 of 37 starts for the Tigers, but he is 6 feet, 6 inches tall. That’s tackle height.
(Video from nola.com):
Never miss a local story.
Some scouts believe he can be a right tackle in the NFL -- the position to which Seattle has been planning to switch 2016 starting right guard Germain Ifedi. Pocic says he’s played left tackle “in an emergency” at LSU, and also started at right tackle while there.
Pocic also played some guard at LSU. My News Tribune colleague Dave Boling notes with 33-inch arms, relatively short for a 6-6 man, Pocic projects more as a guard for Seattle. He played there, too, at LSU.
One thing I do well is, I’m versatile. That is my best trait,” Pocic said over the telephone Friday night from his family’s home in the Chicago suburb of Lemont, Illinois.
He said he’s never been to Seattle -- continuing the Seahawks’ almost annual tradition of drafting guys they barely met with or talked to. He said he didn’t meet with veteran Seahawks line coach Tom Cable, just with some of the team’s scouts.
But he knows enough about the Seahawks to say: “I knew that they value versatility.”
The Seahawks already have a center listed at 6-6, fourth-year man Justin Britt. He found a home there last season, after failing at right tackle as a rookie second-round pick in 2014 and as a left guard in 2015. Britt is entering the final year of his rookie contract at a base pay of $831,000 for 2017, and Seattle drafted center Joey Hunt out of TCU last year in the sixth round. Hunt, whom the team generously lists at 6-2, made one start last season when Britt was injured.
Mark Glowinski was Seattle’s starting left guard as a second-year man in 2016. The Seahawks signed free agent Oday Aboushi last month to play right guard -- but his contract is only for one year. Left tackle appears to be Luke Joeckel’s job, because Seattle gave him a one-year contract worth $7.5 million guaranteed for 2017. Ifedi was moving to right tackle in the wake of the starter there the last two seasons, Garry Gilliam, signing with San Francisco this offseason.
Pocic has spent the last couple weeks working on offensive-line drills with Kevin Mawae, a 1994 second-round pick of the Seahawks who played four seasons with Seattle before becoming an All-Pro center with the New York Jets.
Mawae played guard, tackle and center at LSU in the early 1990s, then spent the first two years in the NFL as a Seahawks right guard.
History of mentor could repeat itself with protege.
“Man, I’m so happy,” Pocic said minutes after Seattle picked him 23 spots behind its other second-round pick, Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell.
“I kind of went into shock right there when they took me,” Pocic said. “I’m fired up. I’m ready to go.”