RENTON — The minute the NFL draft ends another race begins for general managers to begin signing undrafted free agents.
After its selection of nine players in the draft, Seattle had 13 spots remaining on its 90-man roster to fill out with UDFAs.
Almost immediately the Seahawks used one of those to reportedly sign a quarterback, Levi Lewis of Louisiana. He will join the existing trio of Drew Lock, Geno Smith and Jacob Eason in the battle to succeed Russell Wilson.
Seattle general manager John Schneider didn’t mention Lewis by name when he talked to the media after the draft but said “we just agreed to terms with somebody here that we’re really excited about.”
Lewis, listed at 5-9, 188 pounds, is left-handed and used that arm to throw for a school record 74 touchdowns in his college career and 9,203 yards, just 25 shy of the school record held by Jake Delhomme, who led Carolina to the Super Bowl after the 2004 season.
Lewis led Louisiana to a 35-7 record in his 42 college starts and capped his career with a 36-21 win over Marshall in the New Orleans Bowl in which he threw for 270 yards and a touchdown and ran for 74 more.
“Pint-sized passer who is built more like a small slot receiver than a quarterback,” wrote Lindy’s in its scouting report of Lewis. “… Good athlete who can make plays on the move and win as a scrambler. Effective at changing his throwing angle and adjusting to pressure. Smart decision-maker who works through his progressions efficiently.”
Seattle was also reported to have agreed to bring in quarterback Kaleb Eleby of Western Michigan as a tryout player for next weekend’s rookie minicamp. The signing of Lewis and Eleby were both reported by the NFL Network.
Eleby, who was teammates with Seattle’s second-round pick Dee Eskridge at Western Michigan, was regarded by some as worthy of being picked in the middle rounds after amassing a 41-to-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio the past two seasons.
Eleby is listed at 6-1, 210, and raised some eyebrows last September when he led Western Michigan to a win over Pitt and quarterback Kenny Pickett, who ended up being the only quarterback taken in the first two rounds at 20th by the Steelers. Eleby completed 23 of 34 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns in the game.
Here’s a look at other players known to have signed with the Seahawks as UDFAs (this list will be updated):
Safety Deontai Williams, Nebraska
A starter his past two years at Nebraska, Williams has signed with Seattle, according to Pro Football Focus. According to his official bio: “Williams started the first eight games at safety in 2021 before missing the final four games of the season due to injury. He totaled 46 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, four interceptions and three pass breakups. After the conclusion of the regular season, Williams ranked 11th nationally with four interceptions despite his four missed games. He was named an honorable-mention All-Big Ten defender by the conference coaches and media.”
Defensive end Josh Onujiogu
Onujiogu’s signing was reported by The Draft Network. Listed at 6-3, 250, he had 36 sacks in 47 career games for Framington State, an NCAA Division III school in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Guard Shamarious Gilmore, Georgia State
Gilmore’s signing was also reported by The Draft Network. A 6-3, 295-pounder, Gilmore won All-Sun Belt first-team honors his past two seasons and according to his bio on the school’s website was a five-year starter at left guard who set school records with 60 games played and 59 starts, 51 in a row.
Safety Scott Nelson, Wisconsin
Nelson’s signing was reported by Pro Football Focus. The 6-2, 203-pounder ran a 4.38 40 at Wisconsin’s pro day. He made 58 tackles and one interception last year for the Badgers, returning the pick 25 yards for a touchdown starting for a defense that led the nation in fewest yards allowed at 239.1 per game.
Safety Bubba Bolden, Miami
Bolden confirmed his signing with Seattle via social media. Bolden, listed at 6-2, 206, was considered as a possible fifth- to seventh-round pick before going unselected. One reason he may have gone undrafted is a mercurial college career that began at USC before he transferred to Miami and in which he also battled a slew of injuries, including an Achilles tear that cost him all of the 2018 season and playing just seven games last year due to a shoulder injury.
Receiver John Mitchell, Florida Atlantic
Mitchell was reported as signing by FAU coach Willie Taggart via Twitter. The 6-4, 228-pounder began his career as a tight end before moving to receiver last season, after missing the 2020 season due to injury. Mitchell had 69 receptions for 874 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career.
Safety Joey Blount, Virginia
Among those reporting that Blount signed with the Seahawks was the Pro Football Network. The 6-2, 205-pounder had 87 tackles last season, seventh in the ACC and first among all defensive backs.
Receiver Rodney Coates, University of West Florida
Coates’ signing was reported by his school via Twitter. The 6-2, 195-pounder had 38 receptions for 656 yards and six touchdowns last year for UWF, which plays in NCAA Division II.
Defensive tackle Matthew Gotel, University of West Florida
Gotel was also reported as signing by UWF’s Twitter page (it’s as yet unconfirmed if Gotel and Coates are officially signed as UDFAs or tryout players). The 6-4, 325-pound Gotel, who is a native of Tacoma and a Lakes High grad, started 14 games at defensive end last year with 31 tackles and three sacks.
Receiver Demetris Robertson, Auburn
Robertson’s signing was reported by The Montgomery Advertiser, citing his agent. Robertson played last year at Auburn after previously playing at Georgia and had 37 receptions for 489 yards in 2021. The 6-foot, 180-pounder had 42 catches for 442 yards and three TDs in 27 games at Georgia. He also began his career in the Pac-12 at Cal, where he had 57 receptions for 837 yards and seven TDs in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Linebacker Vi Jones, North Carolina State
Jones was reported as signing by Rivals.com. The 6-3, 227-pounder began his career at USC in 2017 and 2018 before transferring to N.C. State. He had 45 tackles and six sacks last season. He is the son of former NFL linebacker Robert Jones, a starter on Dallas’ three Super Bowl champion teams in the 1990s.
Defensive back Joshua Valentine-Turner, Florida International
Draft Diamonds reported that Valentine-Turner and Valentine-Turner appeared to confirm it by re-tweeting it and then tweeting about “the beginning of a new journey.” The 6-foot, 188-pounder began his career at Iowa with two years before finishing at FIU. Listed as a cornerback, he has said he can play anywhere in the secondary. A scouting report from the Pro Football Network earlier this year stated: “Valentine-Turner had an up-and-down career at FIU after transferring from Iowa. Still, he has a ton of upside — he was hardly used correctly under a failed regime at FIU.”
Receiver Jake Herslow, Houston
Herslow’s signing was reported by The Pro Football Network. A 6-foot, 185-pounder, he played from 2017-19 at Old Dominion before walking on at Houston and catching 36 passes for 480 yards and five touchdowns last season. Herslow had reported interest from the Seahawks before the draft, with Seattle having attended his Pro Day at Houston. He has run a 40 reported as low as 4.46.