Pete Carroll, John Schneider recap a remarkable third day of Seahawks’ draft
Coach Pete Carroll's vow to get Seattle's offense back to a dominating running game showed up in three picks. First-round choice Rashaad Penny is instantly a candidate to challenge Chris Carson as the new lead running back. Then they got new blockers. Fourth-round choice Will Dissly, the converted defensive lineman from the University of Washington, was regarded as the best run-blocking tight end in this draft. Sixth-round pick Jamarco Jones was the starting left tackle on college power Ohio State the past two seasons.
The Seahawks' other area of massive change—and huge need—was at pass rusher. They traded Michael Bennett last month. Fellow Pro Bowl defensive end Cliff Avril may never play again because of a serious neck injury. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson signed as a free agent with Minnesota.
So Seattle drafted two pass rushers, including their second pick, Rasheem Green.
There is a question who will start at cornerback this year and beyond after the team waived Richard Sherman. They re-signed veteran Byron Maxwell, then drafted a college safety, Trey Flowers, they intend to convert to cornerback.
1. Rashaad Penny, RB
School: San Diego State
Role: Challenging Chris Carson for starting job; kick returner with Tyler Lockett’s contract ending after 2018.
Notable: Third time Seahawks have drafted a running back in the first round. Others: Curt Warner, Shaun Alexander.
3. Rasheem Green, DE
Role: Michael Bennett’s old one: 5-technique end on early downs, inside DT pass rusher on passing ones.
Notable: Mainly played inside on USC’s athletic D-line; overcame a speech disorder of stuttering.
4. Will Dissly, TE
Role: Run blocker in Seattle offense that vows to get back to the run.
Notable: Converted from DL by messing around catching passes at a UW bowl practice. Changed commitment, followed coach Chris Petersen from Boise State to UW.
5. Shaquem Griffin, LB
School: Central Florida
Role: Weakside LB, special-teams hitter with speed. And an inspiration.
Notable: National phenomenon. Best story of this entire draft. Reuniting with twin of Seahawks CB Shaquill. First one-handed person drafted into modern NFL. All-conference LB on 13-0 UCF team last season. "The only person that can stop you is yourself."
5. Tre Flowers, CB
School: Oklahoma State
Role: Will move from college safety to Seahawks cornerback, the team says.
Notable: Was in his kitchen feeding his 1-year-old daughter Bailee when Seahawks called to draft him. Practiced at cornerback before Oklahoma State's bowl game last year, but played safety again in the game as Cowboys didn't use that package.
5. Michael Dickson, P
Role: Take older, more expensive Jon Ryan's job as Seahawks' new punter, so Seattle saves $2 million against its salary cap.
Notable: Australian and Aussie Rules football player from age 8-18. Texas signed him off YouTube videos sent by a punting coach who knew a friend of a friend on Longhorns' staff. Seahawks traded up seven spots and gave up a seventh-round pick to get him.
6. Jamarco Jones, OT
School: Ohio State
Role: Depth at tackle on an offensive line that has LT Duane Brown entering final year of his deal, struggling Germain Ifedi at RT.
Notable: Seen by many as a steal in round five. Buckeyes' starting LT last two years. Dropped because of poor pre-draft workout numbers.
6. Jacob Martin, DE
Role: Be a smaller, pass-rush end, what Seattle calls its "Leo." Cliff Avril's role the last few seasons.
Notable: At 6 feet 2 and 236 pounds, size, speed fits the Leo end spot. Played 2016 conference-championship game with a broken foot. "It's a lot harder than you think," he said Saturday. "It was one of those 'Gladiator' games, the ones you hear about in movies."
7. Alex McGough, QB
School: Florida International
Role: Finally become a longer-term backup for Seattle to develop behind Russell Wilson.
Notable: 3-year starter in college. 6-3, 214. 2,798 yards, 17 TD, 8 INT, 13 games last season. College career: 9,091 career yards, 65 TDs, 37 INTs. GM John Schneider said last week he hasn't done well enough acquire backup QBs to develop.
And the Seahawks' reported undrafted free-agent signings as of Saturday evening: