After a long wait to get involved in the NFL Draft, the Seahawks made quick work of their Friday, drafting Michigan defensive end Frank Clark — one of the more controversial players in the draft — in the second round and then making a trade with Washington to move up to select Kansas State receiver/rturner Tyler Lockett in the third.
Clark was the 63rd pick of the second round and Lockett the 69th overall in the third. Seattle traded pick No. 95 of the third round to Washington as well as three later picks — No. 112 in the fourth, No. 167 in the fifth and No. 181 in the sixth.
The fourth round pick was acquired in the Jimmy Graham trade and the sixth round pick was the one the Seahawks got from the Jets for Percy Harvin.
Seattle will now have six picks remaining on Saturday.
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Draft analysts were all over the board on Clark, who was kicked off the team at Michigan late in the season after being arrested on suspicion of domestic assault.
In a conference call with Seattle reporters after being picked Clark said he took full responsibility for the arrest and that “I am sorry” and asked fans to have faith in him.
Asked if he expects Seattle fans to be skeptical, he said: “I do. It’s just reality, though. I don’t’ believe in judging a book by its cover. Like I tell everybody: You get to know me, like everybody says, Frank’s not an angry guy. The only time Frank is angry is on the field. That’s what I believe where the Seahawks want me to be angry. I want all the fans, I just want everybody to have faith in me. Give me a couple years and believe in me and I promise you, I’m saying it right now, I promise they won’t be upset.”
Clark met with Seahawks officials in Seattle prior to the draft and said the team asked him repeatedly about the arrest and that”I’m sure they felt confident in the answers I was giving them.”
Clark expanded to say of the Seahawks that: “They questioned me about the incident just like everyone else did. And that was just for the simple fact that when you’re taking a player as high as they took me, you want to know every single detail from the moment the person walked until the point I am now. I respect that. If I was the guy in their position as their GM or owner, I want to take the guy who I believe best suits me and if they had done something wrong was going to be the most honest and up front.”
Asked what he told the Seahawks about the incident, he said: “I just simply kept it real with them, for better or worse. One thing I don’t do is I don’t pride myself in lying cause once you lie that one time it’s followed by a lie and followed by another lie. I told the coaching staff, I told the owner, I told the GM, everyone who questioned me about it in that department in Seattle. I gave them honest and up front answers from the beginning.”
Clark, in fact, said he met with the Seahawks so much that his agent joked that the team had “a man crush” on him.
“It’s just always been an attraction between us,” Clark said. “My agent told me, ‘I think the Seahawks have a man crush on you.’ But I’m the one with the man crush on the Seahawks, especially since Shaun Alexander played. Just one of my favorite teams. Just the environment fun. It looked fun to play in.”
What did you tell them about that? “I just simply kept it real with them, for better or worse. One thing I don’t do is I don’t pride myself in lying cause once you lie that one time it’s followed by a lie and followed by another lie. I told the coaching staff, I told the owner, I told the GM, everyone who questioned me about it in that department in Seattle. I gave them honest and up front answers from the beginning.”
Clark is 6 foot 2 and 271 pounds. He has a rare combination of size, quickness and strength and was a force, at times, when he played for Michigan. He gives the Seahawks immediate depth along the defensive line and could give the team some options with the long-term status of Bruce Irvin uncertain. The team will apparently not exercise an option on Irvin for the 2016 season.
Shortly after the pick, Irvin Tweeted “I ain’t got no worries.”
As for Lockett, he is a versatile receiver who, despite being undersized at 5-11 and 175 pounds, was capable of playing both inside and outside at receiver. He was also a lethal return man and twice was named the Big 12’s special teams player of the year. Last year he returned two punts for a touchdown.
The Seahawks lost Bryan Walters, their punt returner last season, this offseason. They also had a carousel of players who returned kickoffs last year. Lockett should get every opportunity to lock down both those jobs in his rookie season.
Lockett did not lift at the Combine after hurting his left shoulder at the Senior Bowl. Lockett said in a conference call with Seattle reporters that he simply fell on the shoulder and is now fine.
Lockett said he can play inside or outside and simply wants to come in and compete for time at receiver with the Seahawks.
Seattle has now used three draft picks in the last two years on receivers after selecting Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood last year. But Richardson is rehabbing from an ACL injury suffered in the playoff win over Carolina last January and his status for the beginning of the 2015 season is uncertain.
8 P.M. UPDATE: Here is some reaction to Seattle’s picks from Pro Football Focus:
Where He Fits: Seattle are not short on defensive line talent but they’re the kind of team that will find a way to rotate and ensure productivity. Clark promises to be another one of their number.