West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard is among the undrafted free agents the Seahawks began to acquire once the NFL draft ended.
The Seahawks didn’t draft a quarterback, but they did agree to terms with an undrafted one: West Virginia’s Skyler Howard.
Howard completed 61 percent of his passes as a senior and threw 26 touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions. When asked about Howard, though, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll immediately started talking about Howard’s ability to throw the deep ball.
“He’s a mad bomber, man,” Carroll said. “He threw a ton of deep balls.”
The Seahawks have only two quarterbacks on the roster: Russell Wilson and his backup last season, Trevone Boykin, who is entering his second season. But Boykin was arrested in March for marijuana possession and public intoxication and violated his probation (he had previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest in December 2015).
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Boykin attempted only 18 passes as a rookie last season, and it was always assumed the Seahawks would add at least another quarterback or two to the backup competition.
Howard, meanwhile, was a two-year starter at West Virginia, although not one immune from criticism.
Bruce Irvin, the former Seahawks linebacker now with the Raiders, tweeted after West Virginia’s bowl game loss, “We playing wit a NAIA qb.” Howard started his career as a walk on at Stephen F. Austin.
The Seahawks won’t officially announce their undrafted free agent signings until later, but word started trickling out on Twitter immediately after the draft (in addition to undrafted free agent signees, some undrafted players are brought in as rookie mini-camp invites).
Other players who have reportedly signed with the Seahawks after the draft include Purdue offensive lineman Jordan Roos; Texas tight end Tyrone Swoopes; BYU fullback Algernon Brown; Louisiana-Lafayette linebacker Otha Peters; and USC wide receiver Darreus Rogers.
Former Skyline High safety Jordan Simone announced on Twitter that the Seahawks had invited him to rookie mini camp.
Jordan to get shot as interior rusher
Turns out Malik McDowell — Seattle’s first pick in the 2017 NFL draft — isn’t the only big offseason move the team has made to try to improve its interior pass rush.
After the draft, Carroll revealed how the Seahawks plan to use recently signed free agent Dion Jordan and he will likely be used in more of an interior rush mode than he was with Miami.
Jordan was the No. 3 overall pick by the Dolphins in 2013 out of Oregon and was primarily an edge rusher in the two seasons he played for Miami. He hasn’t seen action since 2014 due to a suspension for drug use and then a knee injury.
But the Seahawks plan to use Jordan more as a five-technique end, the spot where Michael Bennett often lines up.
One reason, Carroll said, is that Jordan weighs about 30 pounds more now than he did then, making him a better fit inside.
“He’s got a lot potential, a lot of talent,” Carroll said. “He’s still coming off some injury stuff, he’s got to get well. It might take us a while to figure that out, but (he’s) a very dynamic player.”
The rotation at the five-technique spot suddenly shapes up as intriguing with Bennett and Jordan joining 2017 draftees McDowell and Nazair Jones and 2016 draftee Quinton Jefferson.