Seahawks Insider Blog

Former S, WR, RB, QB Tanner McEvoy gets shot to make Seahawks at TE as undrafted rookie

This catch to beat Kansas City in the preseason opener Aug. 13 earned Tanner McEvoy more chances for the Seahawks. Now he has a prime one to make the team as an undrafted free agent at tight end.
This catch to beat Kansas City in the preseason opener Aug. 13 earned Tanner McEvoy more chances for the Seahawks. Now he has a prime one to make the team as an undrafted free agent at tight end. AP

RENTON Jimmy Graham is still slowly working his way back from knee surgery. Though coach Pete Carroll said his star will increase his participation with the offense the next two practice weeks, Graham may not be ready to play in the first couple regular-season games.

Rookie third-round draft choice Nick Vannett is out indefinitely with a high-ankle sprain. Those don’t heal overnight.

Incumbent Cooper Helfet was waived injured early in training camp.

The tight-end position has been a sinkhole of Seahawks leg injuries this month.

And Tanner McEvoy is stepping into that huge void.

Luke Willson and Brandon Williams are the first two tight ends for Thursday night’s third preseason game against Dallas at CenturyLink Field. The third could become McEvoy, the undrafted rookie from Wisconsin.

Watch for No. 6 in blue tonight against Dallas. He was a safety in Seattle’s spring minicamps, and a wide receiver until this week. He was a running back and even quarterback in college.

He is yet another example of Carroll rewarding guys who make plays in any games -- including exhibitions -- with more opportunities.

With Carroll, you perform, you play. McEvoy did that from game one of his pro career.

He caught the desperation touchdown pass on the final play of regulation from Trevone Boykin in Kansas City Aug. 13 to send Seattle to a win in its preseason opener. The week after, he was getting some time with the first-team offense at wide receiver. Than, after all the injuries at tight end, Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell decided to see how viable an option McEvoy might be to make the team at that position.

It’s not like he’s too small to be on the end of the Seahawks’ interior line.

"He has brought size,” Bevell, himself a former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback, said this week. “We’ve talked about it before but he’s about 6’5" and a half, and 235 (pounds), so he brings size. He has the flexibility to be outside. We’re working on putting him inside as well. With Nick going down, we just need a little bit more depth in the positon.

“He’s a quick learner, a quick study. Obviously, he’s played safety for us, he’s played receiver for us, he’s played tight end, next thing you know he might be back there at quarterback. We’re moving him all over the place. He’s just doing a great job. Flexible, great mind and we can use him in a lot of situations and he is going to do the right thing.”

As the old NFL saying goes in trying to make a team as an undrafted rookie: The more you can do...

SEAHAWKS GAMEDAY

DALLAS COWBOYS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Thursday 7 p.m., CenturyLink Field

TV: Ch. 13  Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM.

The series: Seahawks lead the preseason series 3-2. The last exhibition game between these teams was Aug. 12, 2006, a 13-3 win for Dallas in Seattle.

SEATTLE’S KEYS

Give ‘em a break: That’s what coach Pete Carroll wants quarterback Russell Wilson to do for his in-flux offensive line, which could use some help. Carroll blamed at least two of the four sacks of Wilson in last week’s exhibition on his quarterback not getting the ball out quickly enough. Wilson owned up to that. This is no time for Wilson to do his signature, sandlot scrambles for extended, improvisational plays. His linemen need a scheduled release so they don’t have to pass block as long. Look not necessarily for whether Wilson’s passes get caught, but if they get out in less than 4 seconds after snaps.

Settle on a line: Carroll says of the decision of five starters for the O-line: "We’re pretty settled right now. However, we’re just allowing the competition to play itself out and we don’t want to cut off anybody’s opportunities. It’s more likely not to change a lot." That means Bradley Sowell will get a chance to cement the starting left-tackle job, Garry Gilliam will get the same chance at right tackle, and it’s past time for J’Marcus Webb (back from a sprained knee) to show he should play at either right or left tackle.

What Prosise-ly does he play like?: The offense has been waiting since he strained his hamstring in the first 10 minutes of training camp July 30 to see why Seattle drafted C.J. Prosise in the third round in May. The running back has looked smooth catching passes and running the ball, every bit the former Notre Dame wide receiver and expected third-down back this season was advertised to be. This preseason debut will show whether what Prosise has been doing in practice this week translates to a "game" against Dallas’ starting defense.

PRIME NUMBERS

SEATTLE

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year

22 C.J. Prosise RB 6-1 220 rookie

Needs to show he’s not as brittle as first months as a pro have indicated

97 Jordan Hill DT 6-1 290 fourth

Lost starting job to groin injury this month. Chance to get it back with rookie Reed out (toe, ankle)

6 Tanner McEvoy TE/WR 6-6 230 rookie

Switched to TE this week with Vannett out (high-ankle sprain). Chance to win unlikely roster spot

DALLAS

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year

21 Ezekiel Elliott RB 6-0 225 rookie

NFL "game" debut for fourth-overall pick out of Ohio State, after early hamstring injury

77 Tyron Smith LT 6-5 308 sixth

Watch three-time Pro Bowl selection, 2014 All-Pro to see what Seattle’s OTs should aspire to

4 Dak Prescott QB 6-2 226 rookie

Fourth-round pick from Mississippi St. has been a preseason-game star. Will play after Romo late

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