Here's an update on the Seahawks' 2015 draft class as the team prepares for mini-camp this week.
The Seahawks will reconvene this week for a mandatory mini-camp, which will feature one practice — Thursday — open to the media.
That comes after 10 OTAs (Organized Team Activities) which wrapped up last week.
That makes this a good time to catch up on Seattle’s eight 2015 draft picks and assess what we have seen so far.
DL FRANK CLARK: The defensive lineman, picked in the second round out of Michigan, has been used as both an end and a tackle. But we frankly didn’t see a lot of him during the three OTAs open to the media as he sat out much of the last two with an undisclosed ailment/injury (coach Pete Carroll did not speak to the media after the last two OTAs so updates on personnel were sparse). But Clark has apparently made an impression when he’s been out there, mentioned specifically last week by special teams coach Brian Schneider as one of the new players whose addition should improve the special teams this season (Schneider mentioned Clark’s length). Coaches say linemen are the hardest to judge in OTA-type settings, so exactly what the Seahawks have in Clark (or any of the other linemen taken) will still take a little while to sort out. Clark will be one of many intriguing youngish players (Cassius Marsh, Jesse Williams, to name a couple others) vying for depth roles up front in training camp.
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WR TYLER LOCKETT: It’s a little easier for skill players to stand out in OTA sessions, and Lockett — a third-rounder out of Kansas State — definitely did. Lockett worked primarily as a slot receiver in the offense. Where he really made his mark was where it’s expected he will make his biggest impact this season — in the return game. While there’s no contact or anything like that, there is plenty of work on the return games, and what the Seahawks saw out of Lockett is what they hoped they would. Asked for his impressions of Lockett, Schneider said: “Excellent – more than I expected in terms of him being able to track the ball and field the ball. His work ethic is unbelievable. So he’s everything you’re looking for and we’re just excited to see him go. Tremendous ball skills, in terms of tracking the ball and catching it. And then so quick. You could see him on a couple quick screens here – he looks like a punt returner. He has a lot of skill.”
OG TERRY POOLE: Poole was one of three OLs taken by the Seahawks along with Mark Glowinski and Kristjan Sokoli, and at this point they are almost best referred to as a group since each is in pretty similar situations, working in backup roles and adjusting to a somewhat new position. Poole has worked almost solely at left guard (which I say in part because there were seven OTAs we did not see and who knows what might have happened in some of those) where he is working behind Alvin Bailey. Bailey appears to have a good handle on the starting job for now. But as always with the Seahawks, the door will open if Poole forces it.
OG MARK GLOWINSKI: Glowinski, who like Poole was a fourth-round pick, has been working mostly at right guard, behind J.R. Sweezy. OL coach Tom Cable talked glowingly about the progress all of the young OLs have made so far. With no contact in the OTAs, what they largely look for are things like quickness and agility and picking up the playbook. Glowinski’s gotten a few snaps at tackle in the OTAs we’ve seen. But OL coach Tom Cable said last week guard is his primary spot: “Yeah. And you know he’s a guy that seems to get talked about more and more as we go through this thing. Really heavy-handed obviously a good athlete, but as he gets more and more reps he just seems to improve daily.’’
CB TYE SMITH: Smith, a fifth-round pick, is being used primarily on the outside, but also has gotten some snaps inside (I wrote earlier about a play where he quickly sniffed out a screen to Doug Baldwin, compelling Richard Sherman to run over from the opposite sideline and give him a pat on the helmet). Sherman spoke later of Smith having some expected rookie inconsistencies. “I think Tye Smith is going to be a good player,” Sherman said. “He’s a little raw. He just loses focus out there but overall he’s playing good ball.”
DE OBUM GWACHAM: The sixth-round pick from Oregon State is regarded as a pretty long-term project as he continues the transition from having been a receiver his first three seasons at OSU before moving to DE before his senior year. Gwacham has shown the expected good speed coming off the edge — he had a sack on the final play of a team session of one of the OTAs. But the real test for him will come when the pads go on and the Seahawks get a sense of how he handles things, physically.
C KRISTJAN SOKOLI: Sokoli, a sixth-round pick out of Buffalo, remains one of the team’s most intriguing draft picks as he makes the switch from college defensive tackle to center. Sokilo had some not-unexpected struggles with snaps during the rookie mini-camp. But the snaps were a lot more consistent during OTAs and Cable said Sokoli may be a little ahead of where they thought he might in making the switch. “I wouldn’t say he’s behind,” Cable said. “He might even be a little bit ahead. What a ferocious competitor. So I think that’s given him the opportunity to stand there and fight his way through this learning process. It’s a ton, it’s a big hill to climb but I think he is doing well.’’
S RYAN MURPHY: A seventh-round pick out of Oregon State, he was not able to take part in OTAs since his class had not graduated yet from OSU (Gwacham was able to participate since he got his degree last year). Murphy will be available for mini-camp.