One player the Seattle Seahawks likely have their eyes on as a middle-round prospect is Lehigh offensive lineman Will Rackley.
At 6-2, 260 pounds coming out of Riverdale High School in Georgia playing for a football team that ran the triple option, Rackley was not highly recruited. He did however have solid grades, earning a 3.4 GPA, so Patriot League schools like Lehigh, Lafayette and Colgate showed interest, and he ended up at Lehigh.
Rackley played left tackle for the Mountain Hawks, where he finished his career as a three-time, first team All-Patriot League selection, and anchored a line that allowed only 14 sacks last year. Rackley also was named to Associated Press All-America team.
Rackley finished his career with 40 consecutive starts, so he’s durable.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
However, he measured in at 6-3 and 309 pounds at the NFL scouting combine, with a 33 ½ arm length and a 79-inch wing span, so he’ll likely be considered a guard at the next level.
Rackley benched 225 pounds 29 times and did not run the 40-yard dash because of a tweaked quad at the combine, but he’ll run at his school’s pro day tomorrow.
Because of his intelligence, athleticism and familiarity with the zone blocking scheme from his days at Lehigh, Rackley could be a good fit for Seattle, filling the team’s need for more depth and talent at interior offensive line
Rackley said that that the Seahawks were one of 13 teams he had formal interviews with at the scouting combine in Indianapolis last month.
“I’m open to anything,” he said. “I’m just here to prove myself as a player, and just to prove that D-I AA guys can definitely play on the D-I level. Playing football is playing football. It doesn’t really matter where you’re from, it’s how you play.”
Rackley talked about his strengths and weaknesses in Indianapolis, stating he needed to do a better job with hand placement in pass blocking.
“I think I understand defenses pretty well,” Rackley said. “I think I have pretty good feet. But I think what I need to work on most is my timing and strike and hand placement in the pass game. And in the run game just making sure I’m getting to the second and third level and making sure my hands are in the right place, and finishing those guys off.
Because the Philadelphia Eagles regular hold their training camp at Lehigh’s facility, Rackley got an up-close look at Philadelphia offensive linemen Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan, learning first-hand what it takes to make it in the NFL.
“Those are big guys, they towered over me,” Rackley said. “But they gave me the same advice, work hard and stick to the program, things like that.”
“I would definitely go out there and see what type of things they were doing and see if I could fit in those drills,” Rackley went on. “Sizing myself up against those guys I think it’s something I definitely will be able to do.”
Rackley isn’t all about football. A project design major, Rackley won Lehigh’s photography contest for his photo of a former steel mill in town.
“I’ve always been an art-type of guy. … So I’ve always been able to draw, and I’ve been into creative- based things,” he said. “I took a photography class, and that was part of one of our assignments, to find things to take pictures of. It’s a steel mill, and it’s pretty important in Bethlehem, so I wanted to capture it in a way that no one has really ever seen it before.”