Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider said they were pleased with how the draft turned out today.
In all, the Seahawks drafted two offensive linemen, two outside linebackers, two cornerbacks, a free safety, a defensive end and wide receiver.
“Overall, I think we really improved the athleticism and the speed of our team,” Schneider said. “And then we were able to do some things up front to help us from a strength and toughness standpoint.”
Added Carroll: “We think we have found guys that we’re looking for. And we really don’t care what anybody else thinks, or anybody else’s opinion. We know what we thought about them, and it worked out very well.”
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Both Carroll and Schneider addressed the fact that they did not draft a quarterback and currently only have Charlie Whitehurst on the roster.
“We’re happy with Charlie, and hoping he’s going to flourish and blossom and all of that,” Carroll said. “He’s a guy in my mind I’m not feeling like we missed out on a quarterback opportunity because Charlie’s growing with us.
“He’s just getting started to me. I don’t care how long he’s been around, he’s only been able to start a couple times. So he’s just a young guy proving himself, and he’s going to show us in time where he fits.”
Carroll once again said he considers Whitehurst part of this year’s draft class because they used a third-round pick to get him. Schneider said that the team is prepared to move forward and fill the need for more depth at quarterback through free agency or trade, which includes the possibility of bringing back Matt Hasselbeck.
“We had a plan going in, and we still have our plan,” Schneider said. “We just can’t execute that plan right now.”
Schneider also admitted the fact that they only drafted one defensive lineman creates a bit more urgency to bring Brandon Mebane back, or finding more depth through trade of free agency.
The team placed a third-round tender on Mebane, and he could be a restricted or unrestricted free agent depending on what happens in the league’s labor dispute.
“We’d like to have Brandon back anyway,” Schneider said. “So, it probably does to a certain extent. I’d be lying if I told you any different. But again, we’re not a team that’s going to panic. We’re going to kind of plod through it, and see what we can accomplish.”
Schneider said that Kansas City actually called after Seattle selected receiver Kris Durham. The Chiefs had a private workout with Durham and liked him.
“It’s pretty cool after you pick a guy to have a team like that call and be like, ‘Dang, that was a great pick.’”
Schneider said they had to adjust him to a spot to make sure they got him.
Added Carroll: “We liked Kris because he’s 6-5, and we wanted another big guy to give us the affect that Mike gives us out there, and to not lose that in case Mike’s not available.”
Carroll said that they liked safety Mike LeGree because he’s a playmaker, and they see him playing free safety during nickel situations, allowing Earl Thomas to move up and play man on inside receivers, like he did in the St. Louis game against Danny Amendola.
The Seahawks basically took value and stocked up on a couple areas where they wanted to get more physical athletic, on the edge of the defense at linebacker and at cornerback.
Carroll called USC linebacker Malcolm Smith, the younger brother of Carolina linebacker Steve Smith, one of the most athletic linebackers in the draft, and a guy that gives his team some scheme diversity because of his ability to cover running backs in space.
Schneider provided a quick evaluation of each player drafted today, which you can also check out in the video above.
OLB K.J. Wright: “We loved his versatility. He’s a real smart guy. He’s a captain of the team. He’s got some pass rush to him, but he’s very good in coverage. Long guy, very good athlete.”
WR Kris Durham: “Kris Durham was kind of an underrated guy in my opinion. He’s a guy that’s 6-foot-5, can take the ball out of the air for you. He’s runs a 4.51.He does a real nice job of running routes, he can kind of drop his hips, and he’s got some real nice wiggle to him. He’s really good at adjusting to the ball down field, and we feel like he has a chance to be an interesting red zone guy.”
CB Richard Sherman: “Big corner. A real athletic guy. Good length.”
FS: Mark LeGree: “He’s a guy with 22 career interceptions. He has great ball skills and is a tough guy. A great guy. You could hear him getting choked up on the phone when we called him. And he’s got great range, and he’s a good hitter.”
CB: Byron Maxwell: “Another big, physical corner that’s a very good special teams player. Real strong, last guy out of the weight room, last guy out on the field, that sort of thing. The strength coach at Clemson really likes this guy, and we were excited to add him.”
DE Lazarius “Pep” Livingston: “Playing in the SEC, he’s a real strong guy, a point-of-attack guy with good length. He was a guy we felt could come in and compete at the 5-technique spot and be a stout guy.”
LB Malcolm Smith: “He’s a real fast guy, and a Will linebacker and a run-and-hit guy. So we were looking to get faster there.”