Seahawks trade up in fifth round, take Jesse Williams and Tharold Simon with back-to-back picks

As Seahawks GM John Schneider has pointed out in the past, there are no sure things at this portion of the draft. If somebody has a ton of upside, they’re probably still around on the third day because of either injury or character concerns. And to an extent, that explains both of Seattle’s picks early in the fifth round.

Seattle had pick No. 158 coming into the day, then traded up with Detroit to also get No. 157, sending the Lions picks 165 and 199 (the two picks Seattle got from Baltimore for moving back in the second round Friday). With those picks, Seattle took Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams and LSU corner Tharold Simon.

If not for concerns about a knee injury, Williams might have been a first or second-round pick (at least a couple of mock drafts had him going late in the first-round). Williams, who is from Australia, said the knee is not an issue.

“I’ve been fine for a couple of months,” he said, noting that he wanted to run at the combine but his doctors advised against it. “I’ve been 100 percent running and lifting. Not limited.”

For more on Williams’ rather amazing journey from Australia to the NFL, be sure to check out this NY Times profile.

Simon, meanwhile, had a very unfortunately-timed arrest on Thursday night in his home town of Eunice, La. and charged with public intimidation, resisting arrest and unnecessary noise.

Simon’s called the incident embarrassing, but his version of what happened Thursday night differs quite a bit from the story we’ve been seeing (you can read about it in the above link).

“It’s my fault, I shouldn’t have been parked on the side of the road,” he said. “I was just chillin’ at my grandmother’s house and my car was parked on the side of the road. I saw a cop pull up, so I went out there and when I went out there he told me to move the car. And when I turned the car on, the music was up, so when I pulled up in the driveway he told me to give me license and I gave him my license. He was running my license through and he had called another cop to bring him a ticket book—I guess he was going to write me a ticket—and one of my friends had come to congratulate me on the draft that was going on, and he told my friend to move away, then I had gotten out of the car and I was like, ‘Man, you’re trippin’ for nothing, there’s nothing serious going on here.’ He said my pants were low. He was like, ‘pick your pants up before I take you to jail,’ so I picked my pants up, then he just grabbed me and said, ‘you know what, as a matter of fact, put your hands behind your back.’ So I put my hands behind my back. I had my girl’s car keys, and I was trying to throw my girl’s car keys to my cousin, so I kind of jerked my arm and he said I was resisting arrest. I never ran, I never flinched or moved or nothing. He said I was resisting arrest. He took me to jail and said I threatened his life, but I had 30 witnesses that I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m embarrassed about what happened, because it shouldn’t have happened. Right now my focus is just to get up to Seattle and compete and play some football… I’m excited that I got drafted. I’m just excited to go play football and do what I do best.”

We’ll have to wait a while to hear what John Schneider and Pete Carroll have to say about it, but obviously they did their due diligence before picking Simon.

UPDATE

Here’s what area scout Ed Dodds said regarding Simon’s arrest: “I’ve spent a lot of time with Therold. He’s a really good kid, he wants to please. He called me as soon as that happened. As far as specific, we’ll just wait to see what shakes out, but we were comfortable. Me and him talked, and I talked to other people down there, so I don’t see it an issue.

As for Simon’s ability, Dodds said, “He’s big, he’s long, he runs well, he’s very tough. He fits exactly that mold of the guys we have with Richard and Brandon and Maxwell and Jeremy Lane. He fits right in.”

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