Travis Homer Jersey

The Seahawks selected University of Miami running back Travis Homer in the sixth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.

The Seahawks’ finally chose a defensive tackle, with their 10th and final choice in the draft.

Seattle used its 209th-overall pick obtained in a trade from Minnesota and selected defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas from Florida State.

Christmas is 6 feet 3 1/2 inches tall and 302 pounds, according to the Seahawks. He was third-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference for the Seminoles last season.

Seattle allowed 4.9 yards per rush last season, the worst of the Pete Carroll coaching era. Stopping the run is the bedrock tenet to Carroll’s system, which is why a run-stopping defensive tackle appeared to be a higher priority in this draft and beyond.

“I’m a run-stuffer,” Christmas said on the telephone from his family’s home in Bradenton, Fla., Saturday afternoon.

And there’s why he’s now a Seahawk.

Christmas said he played mostly three-technique tackle on Florida State’s defensive line, between the offense’s guard and tackle (the so-called “B” gap) and less straight up at nose tackle. Seattle’s base defense is a 4-3 with three-technique tackles.

The Seahawks used their first pick of round six on a running back, Travis Homer from Miami. Homer is 5-10 and 202 pounds.

Perhaps the reason Carroll wanted him. Look how he ran at times for Miami:

Straight ahead. Running over guys. That’s how Chris Carson became Seattle’s seventh-round pick as a part-time rusher at Oklahoma State two years ago. Carson is now the Seahawks’ featured back after his 1,151-yard rushing season in 2018.

Homer said when Carroll called him in Miami to say the Seahawks had drafted him “I really was speechless. When the coach called on the phone all I could say is ‘Yessir. Yessir.’ I couldn’t think of anything else to say…”

As for being a running back coming to the NFL’s top-ranked rushing offense from 2018, Homer said: “That’s definitely an amazing thing. It’s definitely an opportunity…”

Then, a pause.

“Sorry,” he said. “I got a little choked up there.”

Homer and Christmas having their dreams comes true were the final two of 10 selections for Seattle in this weekend’s draft. The team began the week with an NFL-low four choices—then made seven trades to get up to 10 picks.

The Seahawks chose a defensive end, two safeties, two linebackers, two wide receivers, one guard, one running back and one defensive tackle.

Next up, an area in which the Seahawks have excelled under Carroll and general manager John Schneider: signing effective undrafted rookie free agents. Teams can sign those immediately after the seven-round draft ends Saturday afternoon.

Seattle has led the league in undrafted free agents on its active roster during recent seasons.

Ben Burr-Kirven Jersey

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The Seattle Seahawks picked up a local product in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL draft, selecting linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven out of the University of Washington.

“It’s cool because I had some familiarity, I’ve played here at the VMAC every year in camp, and I knew the coaches a little bit better than I probably would have at any other place,” Burr-Kirven told reporters Saturday after rookie practice. “So it has been a good transition. I’m just happy to stay in Seattle.”

But while Burr-Kirven might be familiar with the facilities and staff, his role on the defense is relatively new to him.

“It’s pretty different, honestly,” he explained. “I was playing Mike at UW, I was playing the true middle spot. I’m playing the Will here, which is a little bit different. So I’m doing a little bit more stuff outside of the box, getting out on receivers, that kind of stuff. So there’s definitely difference.”

Seattle selected Cody Barton out of Utah ahead of Burr-Kirven in the draft with the expectation the former Ute will be working into the middle linebacker position. Burr-Kirven is up to the challenge of moving to the outside.

“I think it’s just playing in space more,” Burr-Kirven said. “Mike you’re really in the box, you’re sifting through traffic more, and at the Will you’re more in space, playing out on running backs in the flat, covering receivers a little bit more. So it’s just a little more a space-driven game.”

Burr-Kirven and the rest of the Seahawks rookies and tryout players will have one more day to adjust to the NFL before wrapping up minicamp Sunday morning.

Ugochukwu Amadi Jersey

Oregon safety Ugochukwu Amadi (7), runs back a punt return for a touchdown against UCLA in the first quarter during an NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 (AP Photo/Thomas Boyd)

Ugochukwu Amadi is staying in the Pacific Northwest

The former Oregon safety was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the No. 132 overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft Saturday afternoon.

Amadi said the Seahawks want him to play Nickel, corner, safety and contribute on special teams.

“My versatility is my strength,” Amadi said. “I know how to get the ball back to our offense, that’s my strength. I get the ball back. I’m very instinctive, quick, fast, I know how to play the deep ball. I’m your all-around DB.”

Amadi is the first Oregon player chosen in this year’s draft and becomes the highest a Ducks defensive back has been drafted since John Boyett (No. 192 in sixth round of 2013).

The Lombardi award winner as college football’s most versatile player, Amadi had 55 tackles with five for loss including 1.5 sacks, three interceptions with two returned for touchdowns, eight pass breakups and a forced fumble last season. He also averaged 15.93 yards per punt return, which would’ve ranked third nationally if he qualified statistically, with a touchdown.

Amadi was the first FBS player with two interception return touchdowns and a punt return touchdown in the same season since Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick in 2015.

At the NFL Combine, Amadi ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, 12th of the 22 safeties and tied for 28th out of 54 players when including all defensive backs. His 20-yard shuttle time of 4.19 seconds was ninth among 16 safeties and he ran the 3-cone drill in 7.21 seconds, 13th among 14 safeties and 30th among 34 total defensive backs.

Amadi’s vertical jump of 32.5 inches was 21st among 24 safeties and 48th among 51 total defensive backs and his 9-feet-7-inch board jump tied for 21st among 25 safeties and tied for 48th out of 53 defensive backs.

Perhaps most impressive was his 18 reps at the bench press, which tied for seventh out of 21 safeties and tied for eighth out of 51 defensive backs considering his enormous 77-1/8-inch wingspan.

Phil Haynes Jersey

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The 11 players selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2019 NFL draft primarily represent depth additions for a team in need of some reinforcements on the bench and in the special teams.

However, in Pete Carroll’s competition-heavy culture, that means that each of these guys will be competing for starting jobs as well.

One player who has a good shot of winning a starting job is guard Phil Haynes, who was selected in the fourth round out of Wake Forest.

“Phil is a guy that we targeted early because of his makeup and his style of play,” Carroll commented after the draft. “We’re really excited about how our guards have been playing. You saw us go out and get Mike Iupati to go along with what D.J. [Fluker] has done. We thought early on that this is a guy that can fit in the mold of that. He’s going to be 340 pounds. He’s a really strong, really physical guy. He likes to finish blocks and knock guys down. He’s got an attitude about him. He just looked like he would fit the bill to compete with those guys.”

Seattle’s depth chart is pretty loaded at guard however, with Iupati and Fluker pencilled in as the starters and Jordan Simmons, Ethan Pocic, Joey Hunt and Jordan Roos all on the roster as well.

It’s clear that Seattle has been targeting big, physical players at the guard position, a change that coincided with Seattle’s decision to bring on Mike Solari as their new offensive line coach.

“We’ve been shifting gears the last couple of years here and this is an indication of that,” Carroll continued. “It was really a guy that we had sighted from early on and John figured out where he would go and we were able to nail it specifically because of his makeup that kind of matched up with the guys that we’ve had some success with and we’re excited about it.”

Haynes will have to beat out Iupati and Simmons to start at left guard, his natural position. Carroll did say that Haynes will be able to play both guard positions in time, so perhaps they are grooming him to take over at right guard if/when Fluker moves on.

Plus, there is a considerable injury history between Fluker, Iupati and Simmons, so it makes sense for Haynes to be ready to play either guard spot.

Whether he starts the season on the bench or in the starting five remains to be seen, but it is clear that Carroll and company like what they have in Haynes.

Gary Jennings Jersey

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The Seattle Seahawks got their first look at the NFL draft class of 2019 on Friday during rookie minicamp. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to see all three new wide receivers, as hamstring injuries kept both Gary Jennings and John Ursa out of action.

While Ursua should be back on the field in short order, it sounds like Jennings’ injury will keep him out through the rookie camp and potentially longer.

“Gary Jennings just has, I think he strained it a little bit in his pro workout and Ursua has been working, but it just wasn’t measured balanced out in his hammies,” coach Pete Carroll commented on Friday after camp. “We just want to make sure we don’t screw it up. So John’s dying to be out here, he thinks he can go. Gary – it’s going to take another couple of weeks.”

Jennings has a lot of experience as a slot receiver, which could make him a prime candidate to fill in for Doug Baldwin should the veteran choose to hang up his spikes following three offseason surgeries.

If Jennings is going to fill that role, he’ll need to show a proficiency in route running and soft hands, trademarks of Baldwin’s game over the last eight seasons.

Before that, he’ll need to get out onto the field, which probably won’t happen for a least a number of weeks.

Cody Barton Jersey

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RENTON — On draft night, when the Seahawks took Cody Barton in the third round with the 88th overall pick out of Utah, coach Pete Carroll said the plan was to use him initially at weakside linebacker.

“I was like ‘OK, I’m cool with that,’’’ Barton said Saturday.

But truth be told, while he is willing to do whatever the Seahawks ask, the weakside spot is not where his heart is.

So as good as the last week has been, it became even better when he got on the field Friday for the beginning of the team’s rookie minicamp and the team told him to line up at middle linebacker, where he has played for almost every snap of the first two days of the three-day camp.

“I love it,’’ Barton said. “My last year at Utah that’s what I was. So I love (middle linebacker).’’

Putting Barton in the middle, though, has meant that for now, Washington’s Ben Burr-Kirven is a weakside linebacker.

Burr-Kirvin played mostly the middle for the Huskies, so not only is he making a big leap from college to the NFL but also now an adjustment in position.

“It’s pretty different, honestly,’’ Burr-Kirven said. “At UW I was playing the true middle spot. I’m playing the (weakside) here which is a little bit different, so I’m doing a little bit more stuff outside the box, getting out on receivers, that kind of stuff. So there is definitely differences.

“. … It’s just playing in space more. Mike (middle) you are really in the box sifting through traffic more. At the (weakside) you are more in space, playing running backs in the flat, covering receivers a little bit. So just a little bit more of a space-driven game.’’

The Seahawks have said that each will eventually learn every linebacker spot, and the pairing for now may be in part about simply finding the best way to get the two used to playing on the field together.

Burr-Kirven sees the value in that.

“When you play linebacker I think it is one of the most important positions to really build a relationship with the guy you are playing next to because so much of what you do is predicated by what he is doing,’’ said Burr-Kirven, listed by the Seahawks at 6-foot, 230.

The fierce UW-Utah Pac-12 rivalry meant that the two have known of each other for years.

But they never really talked until the NFL scouting combine, when they spent four days together with the rest of the linebackers going through drills, meetings and workouts.

Working with the 6-2, 237-pound Barton for a few days with the Seahawks has only enhanced Burr-Kirven’s admiration of his new teammate.

“He’s asking questions about stuff we haven’t even put in yet,’’ Burr-Kirven said. “So just the way his mind is working he is just ahead of the game, every day a little bit farther ahead than anybody else. He just wants to be that guy that runs that show.’’

Barton got an iPad from the Seahawks with the playbook shortly after the draft. His initial thought, he said, was “kind of just like ‘the hell?’’’

A phone call with linebackers coach Ken Norton helped clarify what the team wanted him to study, and Barton said he then just started taking “tons of notes. Just notes and notes and notes for hours.’’

The studying has appeared to pay off as Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Friday said he was amazed at the command Barton and Burr-Kirven had of the defense and their ability to get everyone lined up correctly.

“Both he (Burr-Kirven) and Cody were really impressive just throughout the first day to have so much command of what we were doing,” Carroll said. “I kind of tie those guys together, that they’re impressive just going to be able to learn the whole thing.”

There’s a long ways to go, of course, for each to prove themselves as NFL players.

But should the team think that Barton and Burr-Kirven can be a viable inside linebacker tandem it could have some pretty interesting implications going forward.

D.K. Metcalf Jersey

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Many a mock draft projected Mississippi wide receiver D.K. Metcalf to go in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft.

Thursday’s first round came and went with only two wide receivers going in the first round. Metcalf wasn’t one of them.

Instead, Metcalf was selected with the final pick in the second round on Friday by the Seattle Seahawks. This selection came after six more wide receivers were drafted.

So, when the long, excruciating wait was finally over at pick No. 64, Metcalf was quite emotional.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider made the call to Metcalf.

After a brief exchange of pleasantries, Schneider broke the news to Metcalf.

“Hey, man, get fired up, we’re going to make you a Seattle Seahawk right here, OK?”

(Emotional Metcalf)

“Alright, man, congratulations.”

(More emotional Metcalf)

Schneider turns the phone over to head coach Pete Carroll, who got the whole staff in the team’s war room to cheer Metcalf.

Watch the entire incredible sequence here:
Is it just us or is it getting dusty in here? @dkmetcalf14, we’re so excited to have you.

SHIRTLESS? Carroll tells story of Metcalf’s combine meeting with Seahawks

DRAFT TRACKER: Pick-by-pick analysis of every selection in Rounds 2 and 3

DOUG BALDWIN: Seahawks’ Pro Bowl WR mulling retirement amid injuries

Later, Metcalf composed himself and sent a message out to the Seahawks and their fans:

Let's get to work. 😈#SeahawksDraft x
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) April 27, 2019

Impressive physique — “body beautiful” as former NFL Network analyst and current Oakland Raiders GM Mike Mayock would say — and impressive numbers at the NFL scouting combine (4.33 40-yard dash, 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, 40 1/2-inch vertical jump) had Metcalf climbing up draft boards.

Or, so we thought.

Instead, concerns about his route-running skills and limited experience playing in college — he played in 21 games over three seasons at Mississippi, catching 67 passes for 1,228 yards and 14 TDs — likely contributed to his drop in the draft.

However, Metcalf lands in an ideal place in Seattle, where Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson should be able to utilize Metcalf’s abilities to their fullest.

Marquise Blair Jersey

The Seahawks added another pick on defense Friday with Utah S Marquise Blair. (Getty)

The Seahawks’ first pick in the second round came a bit later than expected, but the team still managed to address a need on defense by selecting Utah safety Marquise Blair at No. 47 overall.

Clayton: Seahawks’ options on Day 2 of NFL Draft

The Seahawks had been expected to pick around 4:30 p.m. (PT) at No. 37, but ultimately moved back to No. 47 in a trade with the Carolina Panthers.

Regardless of the order, Seattle still managed to fill holes on defense with its first two picks of the draft.

In two seasons with the Utes, the 6-feet-2, 195-pound Blair recorded 106 tackles, four passes defended and two interceptions.

April 27, 2019 at 3:26 pm
The Seahawks added another pick on defense Friday with Utah S Marquise Blair. (Getty)

The Seahawks’ first pick in the second round came a bit later than expected, but the team still managed to address a need on defense by selecting Utah safety Marquise Blair at No. 47 overall.

Clayton: Seahawks’ options on Day 2 of NFL Draft

The Seahawks had been expected to pick around 4:30 p.m. (PT) at No. 37, but ultimately moved back to No. 47 in a trade with the Carolina Panthers.

Regardless of the order, Seattle still managed to fill holes on defense with its first two picks of the draft.

In two seasons with the Utes, the 6-feet-2, 195-pound Blair recorded 106 tackles, four passes defended and two interceptions.

Blair offers Seattle a versatile option in the secondary, having played at both free and strong safety. Blair, who said he had about a 50-50 split between both positions, told reporters the Seahawks haven’t yet told him whether they have a preference.

“He’s a hitter — he is a Kam Chancellor replacement,” Mike Salk said of the pick during 710 ESPN Seattle’s Draft Lounge. “He is a straight-up hitter as a safety coming out of Utah.”

“Which is fascinating, because he’s not your 225-pound, typical Kam Chancellor body type,” Jake Heaps added. “It’s more of the aggressive nature with which he plays… he is fearless coming downhill.”

L.J. Collier Jersey

New Seahawks draft pick L.J. Collier wasn’t a full-time starter until his senior year at TCU. (Getty)

The Seattle Seahawks’ pass rush vaulted to the top of their needs after Tuesday’s trade of star defensive end Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs, and they wasted no time rebuilding at that position when the NFL Draft started Thursday.

OK, they wasted a little bit of time.

Draft tracker: The latest Seahawks updates and most pressing needs

The Seahawks picked TCU’s L.J. Collier with the 29th overall selection, waiting until late in their allotted time to make the selection. That was presumably because Seahawks general manager John Schneider was still working out a deal with the New York Giants, who took the No. 30 pick off Seattle’s hands in what was actually the second trade back in the first round by Seattle (full story on that here).

No matter how long it took, the Seahawks got their guy in Collier, a 6-foot-2, 283-pound defensive end. Collier was a bit of a late bloomer with the Horned Frogs, not finding his way into a starting role until his senior season in 2018. He shined when given the opportunity, however, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors with six sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, 42 total tackles and five QB hits.

Full prospect profile on L.J. Collier

Here’s what 710 ESPN Seattle’s college football insider Brock Huard has to say about Collier:

Bobby Wagner Jersey

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To Seahawks fans, it might feel like just yesterday when Bobby Wagner came into his own as the middle linebacker of Seattle’s vaunted defense.

His first Pro Bowl selection followed Seattle’s ascension to the top of the football world, making the postseason showcase in the 2014 season. The Seahawks, of course, came a yard away from winning Super Bowl XLIX that year, and while they never returned, Wagner maintained his excellence, making four more Pro Bowls and landing on the All-Pro team three times.

That run has his coach, Pete Carroll, convinced he’s headed toward a gold jacket and bronze bust in Canton.

“It just seems like he’s a little bit better,” Carroll said, per USA Today. “He’s made more big plays, more significant plays that have affected the game than ever.

“The thing I love about looking at great players is do they show that ability to do it year after year after year. I think that’s what greatness is all about. People say ‘hey this guy is going to be the next Jerry Rice’ well let’s look ten or 12 years from now and see what it looks like. And Bobby’s put together a resume of really Hall of Fame stuff. This is the kind of guy that gets there someday.”

Wagner is among the league’s top two middle linebackers at this moment, logging 69 tackles, 1.0 sack, 11 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one interception, which he returned 98 yards for a touchdown. He didn’t have a registered miss tackle in his first 12 games of this season. If you ask any random NFL player, they’ll likely agree that he’s on a trajectory to make the Hall of Fame. But there’s still the point of capping off such a career with sustained success.

Coincidentally, a linebacker with similar accolades (same amount of Pro Bowls, counting his inclusion as an alternate in 1986, but less All-Pro selections) was being propped up by his former team’s social media channels on Wednesday:

Wagner has eclipsed Clay Matthews Jr.’s accomplishments in terms of postseason accolades, and still has many years left to play. He also has the Super Bowl ring that always seemed to elude Matthews. Now, it’s just up to time to determine whether Wagner someday finds himself in Canton.

“The leadership that he’s brought and the direction and the focus that he’s brought on a regular basis, I mean he’s been a perfect Seahawk throughout the time he’s been here,” Carroll said. “We’re just very lucky to have him.”