By John Boyle Herald Writer
Defensive end, UCLA
Marsh arrived at UCLA as a defensive tackle, weight in at what he called “a real sloppy 300” pounds. He eventually slimmed down, and as a senior move to defensive end. He had six sacks last season after recording eight in 2012 as a tackle.
The Seahawks see in him a versatile lineman who can play inside or out, much like Michael Bennett, who was one of their best linemen last season.
“I think the versatility is a great thing for me,” he said. “I’m just looking to go in and compete. I know the Seahawks are huge on competition. … I thrive with competition, so I’m just going to go up there and do that.”
In addition to a productive career, Marsh is also know for having something of a fiery side — he was ejected for a game for taking a swing at a Cal offensive lineman — but he says that’s something he’s learning to control.
“I play with a lot of fire, I play with a lot of passion, and sometimes that can spill over,” Marsh said. “I made some mistakes as a young guy, and it’s something that I’m very aware of, it’s something that when I go out on the field, I always keep in the back of my mind. I’ve been able to grow from my mistakes and learn, and I’ll continue to work on doing so.”
Wide receiver, Alabama
A day after going with a small, speedy receiver, the Seahawks added size at the position in Norwood, a fifth-year senior whose rwsumw includes a masters degree and three national championships.
Norwood didn’t put up gaudy numbers for the Crimson tide, who run a pro-style offense with a big emphasis on the running game —sound familiar? —catching just 81 passes for 1,275 yards in four seasons. But what Norwood does have is a combination of size and speed (he ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash), as well as the ability to be “very clutch” in big moments, according to area scout Jim Nagy.
“I think one of the things that separates the good from the great is being able to make plays, big plays in big moments,” Alabama coach Nick Saban told NFL.com. “Kevin’s always done that. He’s always been reliable for that.”
Already sounding like he’s spent some time with the Seahawks, Norwood said the key to that clutch play is the work he puts in leading up to those games.
“It’s all about preparation with me,” Norwood said, sounding a bit like the quarterback from whom he’ll now be catching passes. “I feel like if I prepare my best, then I should go out and play fast with no worries and play my best. Coach (Nick) Saban always says to practice how you want to play. That’s one thing I did; I prepared well.”
Outside linebacker, Boston College
Pierre-Louis is an undersized but incredibly athletic outside linebacker. How athletic? He ran a 4.51 second 40-yard dash at the combine, the fastest time for a linebacker. His 20-yard shuttle time of 4.02 seconds was the sixth best for a LB in the last 10 years. Seahawks area scout Todd Brunner called Pierre-Louis his favorite player that he scouted this year — not necessarily the highest graded, but his favorite to watch just because of the exceptional athleticism.
Brunner went on to say Pierre-Louis reminded him of “a guy” he scouted back when he worked in San Francisco. That guy? None other than Pro Bowl linebacker NaVorro Bowman. That’s not to say Pierre-Louis will be as good as Bowman, just that he is that type of elite athlete.
And Pierre-Louis is more than just raw athleticism, he was also very productive at BC, recording 108 tackles as a senior and 84 as a junior. He also had six sacks last season and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown. Pierre-Louis also has versatility, having played both strongside and weakside linebacker for the Eagles under two different coaching staffs.
Pierre-Louis said his first goal is to make a name for himself on special teams, something that would help him earn immediate playing time, but this pick is likely very much about the future as well. Two of Seattle’s top linebackers, K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith, are both heading into the final years of their contracts, and the Seahawks may not have the money to keep everyone (middle linebacker Bobby Wagner only has two years left on his deal as well), so Pierre-Louis could represent an affordable replacement down the road.
Defensive tackle, Middle Tennessee
The Seahawks’ call to Staten interrupted the defensive tackle’s college graduation, but he was more than happy for the distraction that turned a good day into a great one.
“Great day, huge day,” he said. “It couldn’t have happened any better.”
Like all most of the linemen Seattle drafted on both sides of the ball, Staten takes pride in his versatility, saying, “They’ll fit me in where they need me. Whether it’s end, D-tackle, nose, whatever.”
Staten has the size to perhaps play the five-technique end position formerly held by Red Bryant, and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that might be a consideration, but for now they see him more as an interior lineman. With Seattle losing DT Clinton McDonald to free agency, and with last year’s rookie defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams both failing to establish themselves because of injuries, there is room of Staten or any other DT to make a name for himself in the D-line rotation.
The Seahawks went for athletic upside with their first of two sixth-round picks, taking Scott, a player from a smaller program who has big-time athleticism.
Scott ran a 5.04 40-yard dash “in wet conditions,” he said, and has a 33½ vertical leap, crazy numbers for a 300-plus pounder. Scott played both tackle at guard at Marshall, and while he said he feels most comfortable at tackle, he’s happy to play anywhere the Seahawks ask him to play.
“Wherever they want me to come in and compete, I’ll move to it,” he said. “I did it here. It shouldn’t be that hard to adjust and just absorb things.”
Defensive back, San Diego State
Pinkins was a safety at San Diego State, but the Seahawks plan to take a look at him at cornerback. Carroll noted that Pinkins has some background playing receiver, which should help, and as you might expect, the Seahawks are intrigued by the idea of a big cornerback who can play press coverage.
The Seahawks also like Pinkins’ ability to play safety, but first they’ll see if he can develop into another physical cornerback. Already Pinkins talked about earning a place in the “Legion of Boom” and he said while he hasn’t played a lot of cornerback, he did guard slot receivers plenty as a safety.
“I’m used to guarding receivers a lot,” Pinkins said. “As far as speed, I have cornerback speed. I’m just going to learn from the best of the best; the Legion of Boom.
“They said that we like what we see on film, and ‘we know that you can play corner for us and we’re going to put you out on an island.’ And I just said ‘I can’t wait.’”
On his Twitter account, Small recently wrote, “IM BUILT DIFFERENT” and well, it’s hard to argue with the fullback’s assessment of himself. At just 5-foot-8 ½ inches —don’t short him that half inch, he demands—Small checks in at 247 pounds, and by all accounts he plays like a wrecking ball in addition to being built like one.
Smalls said throughout his career he has broken 26 facemasks on his own helmets, and repeatedly talked about being a physical, no-nonsense player, which should help him fit in in Seattle. Smalls said a cousin told him before the draft he would end up in Seattle, “because of the way I play football. I try to play a tough brand of football; the Seahawks play a tough brand of football.”
Even with Michael Robinson unsigned, the Seahawks still have fullback Derrick Coleman, as well as Spencer Ware, who played running back and fullback last preseason before suffering an injury, so Smalls will have his work cut out for him to win a roster spot. What should help Smalls is that he comes to Seattle with the reputation of being a strong special teams player, a must for a rookie trying to find a job in a crowded backfield.