The Seahawks kicked off their three-day rookie minicamp this morning by signing seven of the 11 players they selected in last month’s NFL Draft to multi-year contracts.
DT Jordan Hill (third round)
WR Chris Harper (fourth round)
DT Jesse Williams (fifth round)
TE Luke Willson (fifth round)
G Ryan Seymour (seventh round)
LB Ty Powell (seventh round)
G Jared Smith (seventh round)
Still unsigned: running back Christine Michael, who was selected in the second round; cornerback Tharold Simon, one of the team’s three fifth-round picks; running back Spencer Ware, who was drafted in the sixth round; and tackle Michael Bowie, the last of the team’s four picks in the seventh round.
Also signed to multi-year deals were eight rookies who agreed to terms with the Seahawks after the draft:
WR Matt Austin
OT Alvin Bailey
DE Kenneth Boatright
LB Ramon Buchanan
LB John Lotulelei
S Ray Polk
G Jordon Roussos
LB Craig Wilkins
The 11 members of the Seahawks’ 2013 draft class and nine more that agreed to terms as undrafted rookie free agents have been assigned jersey numbers by the club.
Before rushing to the list below, here’s an important note for those of you who may be looking to purchase a customized jersey of your favorite rookie:
These numbers are subject to change prior to the start of the regular season.
For an up to date reference on player jersey numbers, keep an eye on our roster page.
At a glance, running back Christine Michael, tight end Luke Willson, offensive guard Ryan Seymour, and undrafted strong safety Ray Polk are the lucky four who will wear the same number at the pro level (for now) that they did in college. Undrafted linebacker Craig Wilkins, who wore No. 12 at Old Dominion, never even stood a chance at making that transition, as of course that number was retired for you – the 12th Man – back in 1984.
On to the rookies’ jersey numbers, with the number they donned in college displayed in parentheses.
#33 – RB Christine Michael, Texas A&M (College #33)
#97 – DT Jordan Hill, Penn State (College #47)
#17 – WR Chris Harper, Kansas State (College #3)
#90 – DT Jesse Williams, Alabama (College #54)
#34 – CB Tharold Simon, LSU (College #24)
#82 – TE Luke Willson, Rice (College #82)
#44 – FB Spencer Ware, LSU (College #11)
#62 – G Ryan Seymour, Vanderbilt (College #62)
#58 – LB Ty Powell, Harding (College #9)
#66 – G Jared Smith, New Hampshire (College #90)
#73 – T Michael Bowie, Northeastern State (College #61)
Undrafted rookie free agents:
#2 – WR Matt Austin, Utah State (College #4)
#78 – T Alvin Bailey, Arkansas (College #67)
#93 – DE Kenneth Boatright, Southern Illonois (College #54)
#47 – LB Ramon Buchanan, Miami (College #45)
#46 – LB John Lotulelei, UNLV (College #55)
#7 – SS Ray Polk, Colorado (College #7)
#65 – G Jordon Roussos, Bowling Green (College #73)
#38 – RB Dominique Whaley, Oklahoma (College #8)
#45 – LB Craig Wilkins, Old Dominion (College #12)
Meet Jesse “Tha Monstar” Williams.
He was the Seahawks’ first of three picks in the fifth round of the the 2013 NFL Draft last Saturday, when the club traded up with the Detroit Lions to make the defensive tackle Williams their own with the No. 137 overall selection. One day later, NFL.com’s Charley Casserly tagged Williams as one of the Top 10 steals of the draft.
He makes his home in Brisbane, Australia, and according to the American Football International Review, is the first indigenous Australian to break into the NFL.
As you can see, tattoos are a part of his persona. He has the sentence “I stopped checking for the monster under the bed when I realized the monster is me” inked along his right hand and the phrase “YOLO” – an acronym for “You Only Live Once” – running down his left side-burn.
“It’s something my mom always used to tell me, and I try to live that most of the time,” Williams said. “You Only Live Once, I have to make the most of the opportunities. My whole journey, coming from Australia, to Arizona, then Alabama, then continue my way to Seattle.”
Williams helped the Alabama Crimson Tide win back-to-back national championships (2011-12) in his only two years at the university. Before that, he played two seasons at Arizona Western Community College. He can bench press 600 pounds, and despite his massive bulk at 6-foot-3 and 325 pounds, he clocked in at under five seconds (4.9) in the 40-yard dash at Alabama’s Pro Day last month.
When the Seahawks selected Williams, an entire continent took notice. Several reactions from proud Australians poured in via Twitter, congratulating Williams now that his hard work and dedication to the game that he didn’t pick up until his early teens was coming to fruition.
One of the nation’s more notable reactions came from Australia’s head of government – Prime Minister Julia Gillard:
Within minutes “Tha Monstar” and “Seahawks” were trending all across the land Down Under. Australia natives who had closely followed Williams’ path to the NFL were quickly dubbing the Seahawks the nation’s favorite team. And Williams echoed Gillard’s remarks when asked about transitioning to life in the Emerald City.
“Seattle is on the west coast, and I’m pretty familiar with that culture and lifestyle out there,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting back there. It’s definitely a shorter flight back to Australia from there than it is from Alabama.
“It should be fun once I get out there and get into it.”
It should be fun not only for Williams, but for his entire homeland as they continue to track his journey.
Here’s a cyber-sampling of what some national pundits are saying about the Seahawks’ efforts in the NFL Draft that concluded Saturday and included the selection of 11 players:
Mel Kiper Jr. at ESPN.com. Grade: B
“We can’t forget one very important point: The first-round pick of the Seahawks is named Percy Harvin, and he’s going to have a major impact on this offense in 2013. I (perhaps unfairly) remain concerned about Harvin’s ability to stay healthy, but the stats show he’s been durable. The selection of Christine Michael was a little bit of a luxury pick for me, but they lack that type of explosive back on the roster, so he offers a different look. They needed to add some rotation depth at defensive tackle and accomplished that with Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, though I know a number of teams are concerned that Williams will have durability problems. Michael Bowie could stick as depth at tackle, as could Ty Powell at linebacker. I don’t know that Seattle added a starter among their picks, but they certainly added one in Harvin.”
Chris Burke at SI.com. Grade: B-minus
“Seattle used its Round 1 pick to acquire Percy Harvin, so it had to wait until pick 62 to get working. Actually, the Seahawks’ best decisions came at 137 (DT Jesse Williams) and 138 (CB Tharold Simon). The Seahawks had a roster built to roll the dice a bit in the draft, and that’s just what they did with their first three picks.”
Evan Silva at NBC Sports. Grade: A-minus
“Overview: Per GM John Schneider, the Seahawks spent Thursday night watching Percy Harvin’s YouTube highlight reel after sacrificing the Nos. 25 and 214 picks, and next year’s third-rounder in exchange for the NFL’s premier slot receiver. Understandable. The Harvin acquisition is factored into Seattle’s grade. Schneider finally went on the clock Friday night and simply made picks straight off his board. Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin? Who cares. Michael is the best player. He’s ours. Harvin, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin? We’ll take Harper and his Boldinian skill set. Williams is an immovable beast who makes us better in the trenches. Pick him. Simon is a press-man corner. Perfect scheme fit. Draft him. Late picks were primarily reserved for small schoolers and test freaks. Upside players who don’t hurt you if they bust. The Seahawks have drafted just like this every year under Schneider and Pete Carroll. Seems like it’s working.”
Elliott Harrison at NFL.com, who lists the Seahawks among his “winners.”
“Like the Bengals, the Seahawks picked up a complementary back, nabbing Christine Michael in the second round. Defensive tackles Jordan Hill (third round) and Jesse Williams (fifth round), who was originally projected as a second-round pick but slipped for medical reasons, should help this club immensely up the middle. Oh yeah; don’t forget the club’s “first-round pick”: receiver Percy Harvin.
Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com, who offers grades on each pick.
Round 2, RB Christine Michael. Grade: B-plus. “I love this pick. Yes, he has some off-field issues, but he is a heck of a runner. Does it fill a need? No. But I like it.”
Round 3, DT Jordan Hill. Grade: B-plus. “This is a vintage Seahawks pick. They get it. This is a productive inside player on a team that faced a lot of adversity.”
Round 4, WR Chris Harper. Grade: B-plus. “Physical receiver who can bat aside press coverage and compete well for the ball while flashing solid RAC ability. He profiles as a possession guy for Seattle who could possibly succeed Golden Tate.”
Round 5, DT Jesse Williams. Grade: A. “After the loss of man-mountain Alan Branch from the interior of their DL, the Seahawks could use some additional depth. They get a run-stuffing terror in Aussie/Alabama product Jesse Williams. His knees are iffy for the long term, but he can start giving Seattle productive snaps from Day One.”
Round 5, CB Tharold Simon. Grade: C. “Simon has great height, frame and shows the kind of hip turn to stay with receivers as they get downfield, but with questions on his feet and overall quickness.”
Round 5, TE Luke Willson. Grade: D-plus. “A steady presence in both Old School and the underappreciated Idiocracy, Willson … whoops. Wait a minute. He’s a TE from Rice who must be smart, but who hasn’t shown up on anyone’s draft lists except for, apparently, Seattle’s.”
Round 6, RB Spencer Ware. Grade: C-minus. “A tough, physical runner who also flashes the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, Ware faces an uphill climb to make the roster behind Lynch, Robert Turbin and 2nd-rounder Christine Michael.”
Round 7, OG Ryan Seymour. Grade: B-minus. “A competitive blocker who had to face the SEC’s best week in and week out, Seymour could push for a spot given Seattle’s underwhelming guard duo.”
Round 7, OLB/DE Ty Powell. Grade: B. “Powell is somewhat undersized, but has an intriguing mix of speed and explosion. A creative guy like Pete Carroll can probably find a way to maximize Powell’s skills in a sub-package pass rush role.”
Round 7, OG Jared Smith. Grade: B-minus. “A quick, high-motor DT who can be a part of the rotation as Seattle fills the hole left by Alan Branch’s departure.” Note: Someone wasn’t listening. Smith is being moved to guard – a la J.R. Sweezy last year.
Round 7, OT Michael Bowie. Grade: B-minus. “A long and strong tackle who will need a ton of polish; Bowie may be ticketed for the practice squad but could potentially bookend Russell Okung after a few seasons.”
With the first of three picks in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Seahawks selected Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams today.
The 6-foot-3, 325-pound Williams was the fourth pick in the round, and 137th overall. The Seahawks traded into the spot, sending the Lions the 165th and 199th picks overall.
While third-round pick Jordan Hill, a D-tackle from Penn State, provides some pass-rush ability from the interior, Williams brings some bulk.
The Australian-born Williams joins a list of previous fifth-round draft choices by the Seahawks that includes All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman (2011), Pro Bowl-caliber strong safety Kam Chancellor (2010), special-teams standout Don Dufek (1976), guard Edwin Bailey (1981), Pro Bowl kick returner Bobby Joe Edmonds (1986), kick returner Charlie Rogers (1999), Pro Bowl special-teams player Alex Bannister (2001) and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (2002).
Williams’ selection even came with a congratulations from the Prime Minister of Australia: