By John Boyle
The NFL draft starts Thursday night, but general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll say they’re ready to get this thing going. “We’re ready,” Schneider said Monday. “We’re ready to get going.”
Of course, the Seahawks may be ready, but they’re not about to give hints on who they’re going to take. Despite the signing of Matt Flynn, Carroll says the Seahawks would absolutely consider a QB. Yes they have a pretty deep receiving corps, but, Carroll and Schneider agreed, when a guy who makes touchdowns is available, that’s hard to pass up. The Seahawks also have made it clear that they want to improve their pass rush, and they have a need at middle linebacker. In other words, like every team, the Seahawks aren’t going to to be giving much up over the next few days. And it’s worth pointing out that last year nobody had the Seahawks drafting John Carpenter—in fact Schneider made a point of commending his front office and scouting department for not letting that out—so don’t expect a ton of leaks from Seahawks camp between now and Thursday evening.
So what did we learn today from Carroll and Schneider’s 40-plus minute press conference? Well for starters, there were health updates of a few players. As Schneider said last week, tackle James Carpenter is not likely to be ready for training camp, while guard John Moffitt is doing better and working out hard, according to Carroll.
Newly acquired linebacker Barrett Ruud, who finished last season on injured reserve, is still recovering from groin, knee and shoulder injuries.
“It’s going to take him a little while before he’s right,” Carroll said.
Carroll also said that Deuce Lutiu, who was signed last month, projects as a right guard. That obviously could change between now and September, but for now that would indicate that Paul McQuistan is in line to start at left guard (at least unless they draft somebody).
“Right now he’d be penciled in at left guard,” Carroll said of McQuistain.
Carroll also noted how much more enjoyable preparing for the draft has been this year as opposed to last season, when the draft occurred in the midst of the NFL lockout.
“It’s more fun for the coaches, more fun for the players,” he said. “This is much more organized.”
Another interesting thing Carroll said Monday was that, when it comes to evaluating USC guys in the draft, he’s actually harder on them than other players and it may have hurt a few players in the past. He and Schneider have talked in the past about the unique advantage they have when it comes to draft prospects who Carroll either coached at USC or recruited out of high school. Each year that advantage goes away, however.
“We’re kind of running out of it now,” Carroll said.
We’ll have more from this press conference in tomorrow’s Herald, as well as daily draft coverage (including what will surely be wildly inaccurate mock draft on Thursday).
And if you missed it, we kicked off our draft coverage Sunday looking at whether or not the Seahawks would go after a quarterback even after signing Flynn.
Today we looked at linebacker, which is one of Seattle’s clear-cut needs.