RENTON C.J. Prosise is a former Notre Dame defensive back then wide receiver who coach Pete Carroll says will have a "special" role as Seattle’s new third-down running back.
Tight end Nick Vannett was, in the Seahawks’ minds, the only true blocking tight end in this draft. Vannett already knows the way from Ohio State into his new team’s hearts. He says the "12s are the best fans in the league."
And offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo is a native of Kenya who moved to Texas when he was 7 because his mother, a chemist, wanted him to get a better education in the U.S. That was a year after his father died. When the Boise State tackle the Seahawks see as a guard was 17, his mother passed away, too.
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The Seahawks just got insurance behind Thomas Rawls at running back when they used their first of three picks at the end of the third round Friday night on Prosise.
“Relieved,” Prosise said from his family’s home in Petersburg, Virginia.
The Seahawks have former All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch retiring and his heir, 2015 undrafted rookie wonder Thomas Rawls, recovering from a broken ankle and torn ligaments from December. The Seahawks expect Rawls to be back for the start of the 2106 regular season.
Prosise was a full-time running back for only one year at Notre Dame, when he was a 1,000-yard rusher last season after Irish running back Tarean Folston sustained a season-ending knee injury. He was a wide receiver before that, and before that was Notre Dame’s special-teams player of the year for leading his team in special-teams tackles. Some liken his eventual NFL game to that of Fred Jackson’s, Seattle one-year free-agent veteran and third-down back last season. With Jackson not re-signed, Prosise could take Jackson’s spot as Seattle’s third-down, pass-catching back behind Rawls’ running this season.
Prosise was elusive when he had the ball at Notre Dame. Pro Football Focus reported he forced one missed tackle for every 3.8 touches on offense. That was the fourth-best rate in this draft’s class of running backs, over a minimum of 100 touches.
Four picks after Prosise, the Seahawks used the choice it added Thursday night in a trade with Denver and drafted long-armed, big-hands Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett. He’s 6 feet 6, 257 pounds with long arms, big hands and renowned athleticism. Vannett caught 55 passes in four years for the Buckeyes, and Seahawks’ line coach Tom Cable has worked him out for blocking.
Seattle’s starting tight end Jimmy Graham is recovering from patellar-knee surgery. He may not be back for the start of the coming regular season.
Cable was the Seahawks decision-maker who called Vannett at his home to tell him Seattle had drafted him. First, though, the no-nonsense line coach asked the player: “Is this really you.”
“Words can’t describe how I feel right now,” Vannett said about a half hour later.
Someone already got to the new Seahawk before he talked to the Seattle-area media.
“I’m excited to get with the '12s' out there,” Vannett said. “They are the best fans in the league.”
Odhiambo moved from his native Kenya to Texas when he was 7 years old That was a year after his father passed away. He said his mother, a chemist, wanted her son to have better educational opportunities in the United States. Odhiambo began playing football when he was a sophomore in high school. Soon after, when he was 17, his mother died.
Odhiambo’s main football issue at Boise State has been his health. He was the Broncos’ left tackle and earned All-Mountain West Conference honors, but had a season-ending injury last October. He missed multiple games three straight seasons at Boise State because of knee and ankle issues.
The Seahawks see him as a guard.
“I love run blocking,” he said, words that is music to the Seahawks’ ears.
He was actually in the Seattle area, visiting the Clyde Hill area off Lake Washington of a Boise State teammate, when he got the call from, coincidentally, the Seahawks.
“The feeling is unbelievable, so surreal,” he said. “I was just in there making dinner (pot roast, with vegetables), not even paying attention to the draft anymore.”