Seahawks Insider Blog

Hoping Seahawks' Saturday to end NFL draft is better than their Friday that began it

Back here at Seahawks headquarters for the team's final six picks during rounds four through seven of the NFL draft.

Seattle has picks 130th and 134 in the fourth round, 170th in the fifth round, 209th and 214th in the sixth round, and 248th in the seventh round. Four of those six points are compensatory picks awarded by the league the Seahawks cannot by rule trade.

This Saturday has to be better than Friday here.

At least that's how many outside the Seahawks are viewing rounds two and three yesterday because of Seattle's initial pick, defensive end Frank Clark from Michigan with the 63rd overall choice at the bottom of the second round.

Clark, a fast pass rusher, got kicked out of Michigan's program in late November days before his Senior Day game after being briefly jailed on domestic-violence charges stemming from an incident in a hotel room Nov. 16 in Erie County Ohio, about an hour south of the UofM campus during a Michigan bye weekend.

Our complete News Tribune story is here.

TNT columnist Dave Boling calls this the riskiest pick in team history, which is saying something.

"At the least, this young man will have a very low threshold for further calamity," Boling wrote. "Clark could turn into another of Carroll and Schneider’s success stories. But if it goes bad, they’re going to have a lot to answer for."

And kudos to Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone for this in his paper this morning.

The thing is, the Seahawks didn't have to introduce one of our society's -- let alone NFL's -- saddest and most volatile issues willingly into their locker room. They didn't have to pick Clark. They aren't a 2-14 with glaring holes galore, needing to take risks on potential starters many other teams won't touch. They have perhaps the most competitive roster in the NFL. They have more pressing needs of a big wide receiver -- still do as of this morning: third-round pick Tyler Lockett, whom Seattle traded up 26 spots costing three picks today, is 5 feet 9 -- along the offensive and defensive lines and in the secondary. Nineteen offensive linemen had been drafted through three rounds Friday night, none by the needy Seahawks.

Let someone else inherit Clark's domestic-violence history. At the absolute very least, draft him in the sixth or seventh round to minimize the stature and financial investment. The Seahawks are committing at least a $3,474,908 contract to a man a 20-year-old Ohio woman told police in November, according to the resulting report from the incident in a hotel room with broken lamp shades, "pushed her head down into the bed and then they both got off the bed. She advised Frank then punched her in the face and she fell back breaking the lamp. She stated she then threw an alarm clock at him and he was trying to gather his belongings to leave."

The $3,474,908 is the contract wide receiver Jarvis Landry got last season from Miami as the 63rd overall pick.

Here is audio of John Schneider and Pete Carroll talking about drafting Clark and Lockett late last night. The opening statement was a rare reading off a hand-written statement from the GM. The rest was unscripted:

1st half:

2nd half:

Here is a transcript the team provided of

John Schneider and Pete Carroll

5-1-15

(Opening Statement…)

JS: “Our organization has an in-depth understanding of Frank Clark’s situation and background—we have done a ton of research on this young man. There’s hasn’t been one player in this draft that we have spent more time researching and scrutinizing more than Frank. That is why we have provided Frank with this opportunity, and we look forward to him succeeding in our culture here in Seattle.”

(On the team’s policy of not bringing in a player who has hit a woman…)

JS: “Yeah, it still is. I can’t get into the specifics of Frank’s case, but that is still a deal-breaker for us, and it will continue to be as we move forward.”

(On looking harder in to this case after the Ray Rice situation…)

PC: “Absolutely. It was crucial we did all of the work that we did—all of the meetings, all of the interviews, questions asked to get to the point where we knew what was going on—that we understood the situation and could go ahead to give him a chance to do this. With all of the elevated awareness that made us more tuned in with what we needed to do to take care of business. John made his trips, we visited with the kid numerous times, we flew him in here—we have taken every opportunity and every chance to figure out what we needed to figure out. We did it, and we are going to hold him to a very standard of expectation like we do, and we think he is going to be very successful.”

(On, based on the information received, Clark never hit a woman…)

JS: “Yup.”

(On the expectation of a backlash…)

JS” “I think with anyone that has any sort of issues going on, there is always going to be some sort of backlash, but we were comfortable with his situation. We can’t tell you how much time we spent researching Frank. I was actually there the Monday after all of this went down at the school, and the people at the school were just completely shocked this happened. You just go through this whole process and you look for reasons to not have people on your board that you’re going to bring in to your building. This is a guy that, over the course of time, did so much research on, we were comfortable in doing that.”

(On the general reaction to the brutal nature of the police report…)

JS: “I would understand that, I have four older sisters. I would say that there’s always two sides to a story, and you have to go through the whole thing, you can’t just go with one police report—you have to talk to everybody involved, everybody.”

(On the detail of looking into the incident…)

JS: “Holy smokes, I can’t even get into it—several, several months of talking to people, and making sure in talking to other clubs and making sure everybody’s stories hold up, and talking to the school and all of those stories hold up. When you do something like this in selecting a player like this—he was kicked off the team—there’s going to be issues that come up, and you guys have heard me say this before, once he was selected he was one of those players that people reached out to us, too. This was going to happen soon. Like all of the other players that we evaluate, we had to figure out where we were going to [him]. There’s three teams in particular that I spoke to right away that were going to do it.”

(On Michigan dismissing Clark…)

JS: “I think the situation was so hot at the time, I think Pete would know how to handle something like that as a head coach.”

PC: “They responded to the allegations. They have been very supportive, they have come to his aid in telling us that we are making the right decision—the kid is a good kid—he’s been very serious about his posture in what happened and how to move forward. They are very supportive, and we’ve got nothing but supportive information from them. We went way back to where Frank comes from. He grew up in Baldwin Village down in Southern California, a very difficult, difficult setting. He had family issues turned him to out of town, and he moved to Cleveland. He moved into a school district in an area and wound up in a high school setting in Glenville, with a coaching staff and coach that I know personally for years from recruiting—a very well-structured system in helping a young man grow and to prepare himself for later life.”

(On why Clark is worth the effort for investigating the incident…)

JS: “Holy cow, this is a 272-pound man who is extremely explosive. He still has an upside, he’s an interior rusher, edge rusher, can play Sam, set the edge—they did a lot with him at the school.”

PC: “His mentality in the way he plays the game—he is such a competitive kid and it’s so important to him to play his best. He plays so tough and chases the football—he is physical in the way the players play. He just has the kind of nature that really fits in with those players. He has a ton of upside—as John said—and he is going to improve a lot. We think he is going to be a really exciting addition to the club.”

(On talking to the victim individually…)

JS: “No, I did not. No, nobody in our organization did specifically, but you can get to those things.”

(On if there was concern of Clark stealing a laptop from a dorm room…)

JS: “Yes there was, big-time. When he was a freshman in college, he stole a laptop out of a dorm room… It was just so interesting from a timing perspective. My scouting trip was set to go in there that weekend, so when I got there these people were completely in shock, so they have to go through a system that took a long time. They couldn’t believe this happened. They take you through that situation. When you talk about the laptop situation, all of these guys—not to minimize the allegations of what may have happened—but when you get into all of these guys’ backgrounds, it’s amazing because there have been a lot of guys that we have selected in the past that you would never think would happen because it’s never been public.”

(On if Clark will have a more scrutinized expectation to succeed…)

JS: “I would think so, sure.”

PC” “Our expectation for him, is that he has to do a great job in this program. Our expectations are elevated; our understandings are elevated. The fact that he is very committed to doing things in the way he want structured for him adds to the reasons we feel confident he will be successful.”

JS: “Based on the people who have been with him at the school, especially since the incident took place, we have a plan in place for him. He is completely committed to it and we are completely committed to it, and we are going to help him all along the way.”

PC: “I think that being through the years with kids who have been through issues, it allows us to help him think that we can ensure him that he’s going to be successful. By the way we approached it—the scrutinizing and researching we’ve done—by the expectations of the structure of the program and the people he will be with and around, we feel very confident he is going to do a great job. We wouldn’t have done this otherwise. We never would have made the choice if we didn’t have the background of the information and also the understanding of the environment we are bringing him into. We are going to help him, and he really wants to do a great job. He wants to demonstrate that he is on the right track and he is going to do the right thing, and he is very respectful for the issues in the situation and I think we will see him exercise that throughout.”

(On allowing Clark to publicly defend himself…)

JS: “I feel like there’s always two sides to the story, and I think that Frank needs to be the one to explain that to everybody.”

(On the contact between the organization and the victim…)

JS: “She was interviewed by specific people… We interviewed the counselors who were involved with the two of them.”

PC: “She collaborated to the way the case was handled at the end in a supportive fashion, that was clear.”

(On the type of counseling program Frank was in…)

JS: “It is my understanding that it was school counseling.”

PC: “He did say he wants to continue that and we absolutely support that once he gets here. We think that is very helpful and we will continue to expect that.”

(On the possibility that the NFL needed to approve Frank…)

JS: “There were a number of teams [interested in Clark]. Quite frankly, it was very hairy in whether or not he was going to get to us. Everybody knew it was going to be this area where everybody is going to be comfortable selecting Frank, but no, there was no specific approval by the NFL for Frank. There are a number of players in this draft, starting pretty high, that have been scrutinized.”

(On if there was worry that Tampa Bay traded up for Clark…)

JS: “There were several of them—not Tampa Bay in particular, no. I thought that for Tyler [Lockett], though.”

(On Tyler Lockett…)

JS: “Just a need, a strong need at the punt return position. I was actually with his father in Kansas City, which is amazing and makes me feel very old, but Tyler is a phenomenal kid: academically, driven, captain, leader of his team—both of these guys are actually big-time leaders of their team. Those are some of the things that stood out with both of these guys—highly driven, just instincts and catching the ball. He is a great fielder. He’s incredible as a slot receiver inside. The week he had at the Senior Bowl was phenomenal. We just felt like he is the premier returner in this draft—there were three players we felt like we wanted to come out of the draft with, and we got two of them. I can’t tell you who the other one was, it’s kind of a bummer.”

PC: “As a return specialist, he really adds that to our team, knowing that he can be our punt returner. He can be our kickoff returner. It’s just so obvious, we think that’s an area of our football team we needed improvement at and we could hit it with one guy. He is also a very accomplished receiver, you see his numbers and everything that he has accomplished, but the fact that we can put a guy back there with that kind of confidence and style and tremendous speed and explosiveness, and great history—he’s got all kinds of documentation. That’s why were so happy John made the move to get that done. I think it’s a really exciting thing to add to our football team.”

(On if he will doth both punt and kick returns…)

PC: “Both, we are counting on him to do both.”

(On Lockett, continued…)

JS: “Yes, he is just savvy. He is a lot like his father—he wouldn’t say that, he would say he is much better than his father—he is just a real savvy route runner, he’s got a great feel for zone and sitting down. He just made plays all of the time. One of the teams was disappointed in not being able to acquire him and they called me and were like, ‘The guy just continues to make play after play after play.’ He is a smaller guy—I can’t say I am a smaller guy, but I am shorter guy—and they want to be you up all of the time as a football player, but you want to critique these guys for being a smaller player, but he made a lot of big plays.”

PC: “The part that we’re really looking forward to in the return game is great attitude and a willingness to wanting to be back there, and he has demonstrated that for years. He’s got the knack, he’s got the big play nature to him, but his attitude is perfect for wanting to jump in there. I would imagine he catches the first kickoff of the season. He will be back there doing it—he will compete to prove that—but it is hard to imagine anyone can outdo him back there.”

PC: “There’s a big difference in the production we had. Really, going back to Leon [Washington] too, when Leon was our kick returner, we went back and researched it very carefully to see that we could improve. We are just trying to get better as a team and I think this makes us a better team. The fact that we know that Tyler can jump in there and fill a spot in the receivers spot, too, and back us up—he will play Doug [Baldwin]’s spot and back him up, that’s a real plus, too. He’s not just a returner, he can do other things, too, and we will bring him along, but it’s really the return specialist opportunity we thought was really unique, and there was nobody else like him in the draft.”

(On conversations with Bruce Irvin…)

JS: “No, we are going to talk about that after the draft. [We will] sit down with Bruce and have a discussion.”

(If Frank’s selection signals a replacement for Irvin…)

JS: “Not necessarily, no.”

PC: “We plan on having Frank in the defensive end spot and we are going to find out what that means. We are going to find out and spot him like we always have. We know he has unique qualities about him—we know that he can be a quality outside rusher, but he also does a lot of stuff, they moved to the inside rush, as well. We are just thrilled to have the chance to figure that out, and to find where he fits to complement the rest of the guys.”

JS: “Without getting too deep into it, because we have to go through tomorrow, too, there are a handful of pass rushers in this draft. He was one of the most effective per rush, and there weren’t a lot of them. A little bit like Justin [Britt] last year, there is a drop-off there.”

(On how the organization felt about selecting Clark…)

JS: “No, I think it was a process. The most interesting thing is that I was there two days after it happened, so our area guy went through there twice, Ed Dodds, our regional scout, went through their twice and went back and spent several days there. Like I said, the easiest thing to do is completely dismiss this. I think over time things became clearer and clearer as things built up through the evaluation process. We brought him out here, too, and met with our sports psychologist, and like I said, it was very extensive and built over time.”

(On the sensitivity and concern of selecting Clark…)

PC: “We are concerned, of course we are. We are very sensitive to that. That’s why we had to do such a thorough job and understand what was at hand so we could clearly come to the right decision. Every guy is an individual case and that’s why our guys did such a thorough job and that our guys came to the conclusion and give this man the opportunity that he will come through and that it was a good decision. We would not have done this—we would not have gotten to this point, realizing there is going to be the questions and the scrutiny, if we didn’t know we were doing the right thing.”

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