The Seahawks draft defensive end Frank Clark, who was kicked off Michigan’s team and Tyler Lockett, an undersized receiver and returner.
RENTON —Two picks, two vastly different gambles for the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL draft on Friday night.
After waiting until every other team had made at least one pick, the Seahawks selected one of the more controversial players in the draft, Michigan defensive end Frank Clark, at No. 63 overall, the second-to-last selection of the second round.
Some draft analysts thought Clark might go unselected after he was kicked off the team by then-Michigan coach Brady Hoke in November following an arrest on suspicion of domestic violence (the case was settled last month when he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct). The school regarded that as a last straw after he had pleaded guilty to second-degree home invasion in 2012 for stealing a laptop.
NFL draft, rounds 4-7, 9 a.m., ESPN
With the shock of that news still reverberating, the Seahawks then traded with Washington, swapping third-round picks as well as giving fourth, fifth and sixth-round selections to move up from 95 to 69 to take Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett. Lockett, who the Seahawks listed at 5 feet 10, 182 pounds, was regarded as one of the fastest receivers available in the draft as well as maybe the best returner.
But dealing three picks — including those acquired in the trades for Jimmy Graham and Percy Harvin — represents a heavy investment in another receiver who comes with questions about his size a year after the team took similarly diminutive Paul Richardson with its first pick.
The trade marked only the second time in six drafts under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll that the Seahawks traded picks to move up.
But while Lockett represents a potential football second-guess, the team knows the selection of Clark will come with an even harsher and broader-arching spotlight.
Before taking questions from the media Friday night, Schneider read a brief statement explaining the team’s selection of Clark.
“We have done a ton of research on this young man,’’ Schneider said. “There hasn’t been one player in this draft that we have spent more time researching and scrutinizing than Frank. That’s why we have provided Frank with this opportunity and are looking forward to him succeeding in our culture in Seattle.’’
Asked about a statement he once made that putting hands on a woman would be a deal breaker in deciding not to draft a player, Schneider said “yeah, it still is.’’
Saying he couldn’t go into specifics, Schneider said he was confident that Clark had not hit a woman, noting he by chance was at Michigan the week the incident happened.
In a conference call with Seattle reporters, Clark expressed remorse for his legal issues at Michigan and said he knew Seahawks fans may be reluctant to accept him initially.
Saturday’s Seahawks picks
Fourth round: No. 130
Fourth round: No. 134 (can’t be traded)
Fifth round: No. 170
Sixth round: No. 209 can’t be traded)
Sixth round: No. 214 (can’t be traded)
Seventh round: No. 248
“I do,’’ he said. “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.”
The team said Clark have to follow a program with specific guidelines for behavior, though details of that were not revealed.
“He really wants to demonstrate that he’s on the right track and wants to do the right thing,’’ Carroll said. “I think we will see him exercise that throughout.’’
Carroll said he knows there will be some criticism but that “we would not have done this and not have gone to this point knowing and realizing that there is going to be the questions and the scrutiny if we didn’t know that we were doing the right thing.’’
Clark can play several spots on the defensive front, but the team is most intrigued by his pass-rush ability. Clark could also give the team some options as it decides on the long-term fate of Bruce Irvin, its first-round pick in 2012. The team is not expected to pick up an option on Irvin’s contract for the 2016 season, meaning he could become an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2015.
Lockett could fill a significant need as both a punt and kickoff returner, spots where Seattle struggled last season.
Seattle, which entered the draft with 11 picks — most of any NFL team — now has eight.