Rookies will hit the field for the first time for the Seahawks on Friday. While the Seahawks haven't officially announced any signings, most have been leaked. Keep an eye on these guys.
The Seahawks will conduct their rookie mini-camp Friday-Sunday, with players arriving Thursday for meetings.
There will likely be up to 70 or so players in attendance, many on a tryout basis (remember the brief excitement last year over Speedy Noil?)
Also on hand will be the team’s nine draft picks, likely a few younger veterans (players who were on the practice squad the previous year can participate) as well as the 14 or so undrafted free agents signed to contracts.
As of early Thursday, the Seahawks had not announced their official UDFA signings, and they may not until Friday.
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But names of those expected to sign have mostly leaked.
Here’s a look at five UDFAs who may have the best chance to make Seattle’s roster next season, in no particular order.
Marcell Frazier, defensive end, Missouri: Frazier was considered by some as potentially going as high as the fifth round before falling out of the draft entirely. Listed at 6-5, 255, he had 16.5 sacks during his three years at Missouri, including 14.5 the last two seasons. Seattle has obvious needs for more edge rushers, as the pick of Rasheem Green in the third round illustrates. It will also be intriguing to see if the Seahawks think Frazier could play strongside linebacker, a spot where there is no real depth behind projected starter Barkevious Mingo. If so, it hardly needs stating that would increase his odds of making the roster.
Poona Ford, defensive tackle, Texas: Ford is another who was considered a borderline draftee, slipping through largely due to concerns over his height — he’s listed just under 6-foot tall and 306 pounds. “Due to his lack of height, Ford isn’t want teams are looking for,’’ wrote Pro Football Weekly. But Ford was productive at Texas, named the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year as a senior in 2017, specifically as a run-stopper — he had just four sacks. He was also a team captain and regarded as a strong leader for the Longhorns — and it’s obvious how much the Seahawks are looking to remake the lockerroom this offseason. If you throw out Malik McDowell, Seattle has just four listed defensive tackles on its roster in Jarran Reed, Tom Johnson, Nazair Jones and Shamar Stephen and didn’t draft any, which makes you wonder if maybe they had an early in that Ford would sign as a UDFA.
Snapper Tanner Carew, Oregon: Okay, so maybe a long-snapping battle isn’t quite what you were hoping for in assessing the team’s UDFA class. But Seattle has also made it evident it is exploring all options for improving its special teams, which were more often a negative than a positive in 2017. Returning snapper Tyler Ott seemed good enough in 2017, quieting down the issues the team had in 2016. But Carew comes with a pretty strong pedigree, serving as Oregon’s primary snapper the last four seasons (the team’s media guide states he “accurately’’ delivered all 280 snaps he had in the 2015 and 2016 seasons) and was rated the top snapper in the country out of high school. He also participated in the Senior Bowl and was the only snapper to attend both the Senior Bowl and the Combine and gained some renown when he played in the national title game against Ohio State on a torn ACL. He’d also likely save the Seahawks a couple hundred thousand or so against the salary cap.
Guard Viane Talamaivao, USC: Talamaivao was USC’s starting right guard most of the last four seasons before suffering a pectoral injury against Washington State that ended his senior year. He made 37 starts overall before seeing his career end early, described at the time in glowing terms by USC coach Clay Helton: “Viane has been a rock for us for four years, very much a leader near and dear to our hearts. He’s been a true Trojan and love him to death.” The Seahawks always seem to have a UDFA offensive linemen who emerges to make the team – Jordan Roos last year, George Fant in 2016, Garry Gilliam in 2014, to name a few — though the change in OL coaches from Tom Cable to Mike Solari means historical precedents may not matter a whole lot looking forward. Seattle, though, appears to have more uncertainty at its backup guard spots than it does at tackle — tackle Jamarco Jones was the only offensive lineman the team drafted and Fant is also expected to return from knee injury, making those two the likely backups behind Duane Brown and Germain Ifedi.
Center Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State: The Seahawks have taken a pretty avid interest in Oklahoma State the last few years, drafting running back Chris Carson in 2017 and cornerback Tre Flowers in 2018. So they undoubtedly know a lot about Lundblade, who was the first team All-Big 12 pick by the coaches last season and was a three-year starter at center for the Cowboys. Seattle lists only three OL who play center — starter Justin Britt, Ethan Pocic, who is expected to be the starting left guard, and Joey Hunt, a sixth-round pick in 2016. If there’s a downside to Lundblade’s chances it’s that he is regarded as only a center, making it worth watching if the Seahawks think he could play guard. Hunt is also strictly a center which played a role in him spending most of last season on the practice squad. Lundblade would first have to move ahead of Hunt and then show enough to make Seattle want to keep a center-only as a backup, which can be tricky on a 53-man roster. But if Pocic solidifies a starting role at guard Seattle may want another center around so that maybe it’s something Pocic doesn’t have to worry about.