The Seahawks ended their rookie minicamp Sunday with a spirited almost two-hour workout that coach Pete Carroll said put a fitting capper on “a really fun weekend.’’
Specifically, he said the three days of practices allowed the 68 players who attended — and specifically the nine draft choices who participated — to “do their thing and show up and show where they fit in and where they have a chance to try to figure into this roster.’’
The obvious star was receiver D.K. Metcalf, who put all of his sizable physical gifts — 6-foot-2, 228-pound frame and 4.33 40 speed — on display throughout.
“A really exciting first introduction,’’ Carroll said of Metcalf’s three days.
But Metcalf wasn’t alone in giving Carroll reasons to be enthusiastic about what might come from the 2019 draft class.
With minicamp over, here is a brief review of the class and a Carroll comment on how the weekend went for each draft choice:
Defensive end L.J. Collier: The first-round selection, No. 29 overall, out of Texas Christian, worked throughout at the five-technique end spot. Judging linemen is particularly hard in no-pads, no-contact workouts such as these, so what coaches mostly look for are conditioning, instincts, athleticism, and maybe as important as anything, how quickly they are picking up their assignments. As with Metcalf, Carroll said Collier showed what the team hoped to see at first glance.
“He’s gonna fit in the way we want to plan and there’s a lot of work to be done because there’s no pads for these guys,’’ Carroll said. “But as far as the style of play, the way he fits into the scheme, we’ve made the right choice in that regard and I think we have a good plan for it now. There’s a lot to learn, we have a long ways to go, but very satisfied with what he did.’’
Safety Marquise Blair: The second-rounder out of Utah played consistently as a strong safety, batting down a pass when he sniffed out a pass near the line of scrimmage Saturday, among a few other plays. But what also caught Carroll’s eye was how well Blair and fourth-rounder Ugo Amadi worked when they played safety together.
“Those guys are both smart kids and they understood the system and we did a lot of stuff, we change coverages,’’ Carroll said. “We made them make adjustments. We pressured, we did all kinds of things to see how they would handle it. And there’s gonna be no problem at all with those guys.’’
Receiver D.K. Metcalf: Metcalf was a little quieter in terms of highlight plays Sunday than earlier in the camp, falling down at the line out of his break on one goal-line play that appeared designed to go to him that instead went for a touchdown to Jazz Ferguson. But by then he’d already made all the statements necessary.
“He had a great weekend, he really did,’’ Carroll said. “He had the opportunity to catch balls of all different kinds all over the field. Down the field, of course, he was really comfortable with all the long-ball stuff. Everything we did with him, he was very comfortable with. I know that everybody’s wondering about this route tree thing and all that now, and I don’t see that being a factor. He looks like he’s very well versed, been coached. He came in here ready to go and in good shape and he ran fast and he looked good, hung through all of it. So it’s really an exciting first introduction.’’
Linebacker Cody Barton: Barton, a third-rounder out of Utah, played throughout at middle linebacker, where he figures to start out camp backing up Bobby Wagner but also getting looks at the other spots, depending on how the roster plays out. Barton impressed throughout with his setting of the defense and vocal presence on the field. At one point Sunday, he raced downfield to congratulate Ben Burr-Kirven on good pass defense on a wheel route to a running back and then appeared to let the running back know about it, as well.
Barton’s command of the defense and work with Burr-Kirven getting everything set stood out clearly to Carroll.
“It really jumped out,’’ Carroll said. “We’ve been in these situations many times and you could tell their expertise and their willingness to really study it up and communicate with the coaches really well. They transferred the stuff in the classroom to the field exceptionally. And it stood out above any group we’ve ever had in here — those were the two best guys we’ve ever brought in.
Receiver Gary Jennings: The fourth-rounder out of West Virginia sat out with a hamstring issue, as did seventh-round receiver John Ursua from Hawaii.
“Unfortunately, the two receivers that have hamstrings that are just of concern, we just didn’t want to push it on the weekend,’’ Carroll said. “Wanted to give that some more time.’’ Carroll said earlier Jennings might need a few weeks while Ursua was close to returning.
Guard Phil Haynes: The fourth-rounder out of Wake Forest played left guard all weekend while also getting used to playing in a more conventional NFL offense than the spread attack he worked in during his college years.
“Well, this was interesting for Phil, because this is the first time that Phil’s really worked in his stance,’’ Carroll said. “I said to him as we were in really the competitive moment that we have when we’re kind of faking it out there, we’re huddling, and I said, ‘What do you think of the difference between the way you’ve playing?’ He says, this is amazing because a big guy like that gets to go back and get in the huddle and catch his breath instead of snapping the ball every 14 seconds, you know? So he noticed it. So there’s some new things for him. But he’s going to fit in fine. Again, he’s really strong, physical, got a good attitude. He’s smart, had no problem with any of the scheme. He’ll be competing.’’
Safety Ugo Amadi: The fifth-rounder out of Oregon played some free safety, as advertised. But he also spent quite a bit of time working in the slot, particularly during the 11-on-11 sessions that closed practice Sunday.
“He played nickel and safety,’’ Carroll said. “Played a lot of nickel in the camp, which was good. More than I thought he would. And he was very comfortable there.’’
That’s definitely something to watch going forward. The immediate thought when he was drafted given his 5-9, 201-pound frame and background was that he might be a more natural fit as a nickel corner, especially with Seattle having a need there with Justin Coleman having signed with Detroit.
Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven: The fifth-rounder out of Washington spent the weekend playing weakside linebacker and adjusting to having to handle a lot more pass coverage situations of running backs and tight ends, in particular.
“We did a lot of play-action stuff to check them (running backs) out,” Carroll said. “There’s a lot of nakeds and boots and things like that to see how these guys would react. He sees the game really, really well. I have no problem with what he did and what he showed out here, also breaking on the ball and the speed that both those guys have showed.’’
Running back Travis Homer: The sixth-rounder out of Miami worked in all situations, but the Seahawks wanted to particularly get a look at him in the third-down role, and so far so good, in Carroll’s eyes.
“Very good’’ Carroll said of Homer’s receiving. “He did really well. Matter of fact, we spent some extra time on that to make sure that we have a feel for that. He did a good job.’’
Defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas: The sixth-rounder out of Florida State spent the weekend working at the three-technique tackle spot (meaning, in between the nose tackle and the five-technique end spot typically handled by Collier).
Said Carroll: “Demarcus did fine. He looked good. Played three-technique the whole time. It’s really hard to tell with defensive linemen until we get them in pads. But he had no problem picking things up, so that’s a good sign.’’
Receiver John Ursua: As with Jennings, he sat out with a hamstring issue.