Minicamp round-up: Day one

Good morning, and welcome to day one of the Seahawks’ three-day mandatory minicamp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Today’s team workout is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., but before we get there, here’s a look at what’s “out there” as the club heads into the final week of their Offseason Program.

Sean McGrathBob Condotta of the Seattle Times identifies four key issues the Seahawks face as they gather for camp this week, including the battle for the backup tight end spot between 2013 fifth-round draft pick Luke Willson and second-year player Sean McGrath.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com details five players to watch during the team’s three-day workout – offensive guard John Moffitt, wide receiver Chris Harper, cornerback Tharold Simon, defensive tackle Jesse Williams, and the competition for the backup offensive tackle spot between 2013 seventh-round draft pick Michael Bowie and third-year pro Michael Person.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has his observations from the team’s nine sessions of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) that finished up last week and has a look at what to expect from this week of camp.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune previewed this week’s minicamp in his Monday Morning QB chat. You can find the transcript of yesterday’s chat here.

DLMike Sando of ESPN.com has a look around the rest of the NFC West, as the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers also hold their mandatory minicamps this week, while the St. Louis Rams continue with OTAs.

Our Clare Farnsworth offers a recap of the club’s offseason to this point and highlights questions and concerns heading into the practice week.

Outside of minicamp news, former Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was released from the Buffalo Bills yesterday and John Boyle of the Everett Herald makes the case for bringing Jackson back to Seattle to backup entrenched starter Russell Wilson.

Lindsay Jones of USA Today has a feature on wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks of NFL.com breaks down who is the better cornerback – the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman or the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson – and Brooks offers the edge to Sherman, calling him “currently far superior.”

Check back later this afternoon for our coverage from day one of Seahawks minicamp.


Tharold Simon, Michael Bowie signed

Tharold Simon

Cornerback Tharold Simon (No. 34)

Cornerback Tharold Simon and tackle Michael Bowie have signed their rookie contracts, it was announced this afternoon.

The Seahawks have signed each of the 11 players that were selected in last month’s NFL Draft.Michael Bowie

Simon, a cornerback from LSU, was drafted in the fifth round. Bowie was the last of the team’s four picks in the seventh round.

While Simon has been sidelined for the team’s OTA sessions, the 6-foot-4, 332-pound Bowie has been working at right tackle with the No. 2 line.

Simon started 15 games in three seasons at LSU, and last season he led the Tigers in interceptions (four) and passes defended (nine). Bowie began his college career at Oklahoma State and finished it at Northeastern State in Oklahoma.


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Rookie minicamp round-up: Camp Wrap

Rookie Minicamp

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for Monday, May 13, one day after the completion of their three-day rookie minicamp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times profiles quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who took snaps with the No. 1-offense throughout the weekend’s camp.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has his notes from the camp’s conclusion and takes a closer look at the impression Johnson made at camp.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has five early takeaways as camp wrapped up yesterday, including the roles that drafted defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams are expected to fill.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com highlights the two defensive tackles Hill and Williams, noting how the pairs conditioning level kept them a step ahead of the rest throughout the three-day weekend.Defensive Line

O’Neil also has a list of three things we learned and three things we’re still trying to figure out after the weekend’s camp.

Curtis Crabtree of SportsRadioKJR.com has his camp wrap story.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a short report and links on the rest of the teams in the NFC West, each of which closed out their minicamps yesterday afternoon.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has his camp-wrap story on the roles the drafted rookies will fill and his “Hawkville” blog focuses on the 6-foot-2, 202-pound cornerback Tharold Simon, drafted in the fifth-round out of LSU.

Team photographer Rod Mar has 57 photos from minicamp.

And finally, in honor of Mother’s Day yesterday, we compiled the Twitter well-wishes from Seahawks players to all of the hard-working, dedicated mothers out there, and Farnsworth caught up with mothers watching their sons out at the team’s minicamp, as the parents of each drafted rookie were invited out by coach Carroll and general manager John Schneider to spectate the team’s three-day workout.


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Sunday in Hawkville: Tharold Simon ‘fitting’ right in

Tharold Simon

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 12 during the final day of the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp:

FOCUS ON

Tharold Simon. In case you haven’t noticed, Pete Carroll likes his cornerbacks tall, long and physical. And the Seahawks’ coach thinks he has found another one in Simon, a 6-foot-2, 202-pounder who was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.

“He did a good job,” Carroll said during his minicamp wrap-up Q&A with the media. “He fits the profile of the big guys that we like. He’s long. He’s an aggressive kid. He has good savvy, can anticipate routes and things.

“By the time we get him to (training) camp, I would think he can compete with our guys. He looked kind of in the fashion of guys that we like.”

Today, Simon was working on the right side with the No. 1 defense – the spot where 6-4, 221-pound Brandon Browner has been the starter the past two seasons. Saturday, Simon got some snaps on the left side – where 6-3, 195-pound Richard Sherman developed into an All-Pro corner last season after moving into the starting lineup midway through his rookie season in 2011.

The incumbent backups are Walter Thurmond, Jeremy Lane, and Byron Maxwell – each a draft choice since Carroll arrived in 2010, as well as second-year pro DeShawn Shead.

MAKE THAT OH’HARA FLUELLEN

O’Hara Fluellen, a cornerback from Lincoln, was one of the 37 players at this camp on the tryout basis. Today, he made several nice plays – tipping away a pass intended for draft-choice wide receiver Chris Harper along the sideline; jumping in front of the receiver to intercept a pass thrown by tryout QB Jake Mullin; and deflecting another pass to draft-choice tight end Luke Willson.

Asked if there were any surprises among the tryout contingent, Carroll singled out Justin Veltung, a wide receiver from the University of Idaho and Puyallup High School; and Benson Mayowa, a defensive end from Idaho.

“(Veltung) did a nice job,” Carroll said. “And No. 70 (Mayowa) jumped out; he was pretty fast on the edge.

“There were a number of guys that showed some stuff. We’ve got some big decisions to make to try and figure out how we’re going to round out the roster here with five or six guys.”

Which of the tryout players is signed remains to be seen.

“It’s unfortunate, because this is a very difficult team to make and fewer of these guys will get the opportunity to do that,” Carroll said. “But those who do will have earned it and if they can make it through the rigors of camp and early preseason, it will be really exciting.

“Some of these guys won’t play football again. This might have been their last day on a football field. So we tried to show them that we really did appreciate and respect the heck out of what they did for us.”

UP NEXT

The veterans return on Monday to begin the final week in Phase 2 of their offseason program, and the lines during drills will be longer because the team’s 11 draft choices and seven of the eight rookie free agents signed after the draft also will be on hand.

“We’re already picturing how (the rookies) are going to fit in,” Carroll said. “The way to do it really is that we’re going to try and champion the strengths that they have – put them in situations where they can be successful early; not ask them to do a lot of things that are unfamiliar to them. With the thought of trying to build their confidence and a sense that they belong and can fit it. Then we’ll expand.”

YOU DON’T SAY

“The grade-school kids are harder than any defense I’ve ever seen.” – quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who was an elementary school teacher between his training-camp stints with the Eagles and Steelers


Rookie minicamp round-up: Day three

Good morning, and welcome to the final day of the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp. Today’s practice gets started at 11:30 a.m., but before we get there, here’s a look at what’s “out there” following Saturday”s session at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times has a closer look at fifth-round draft pick Luke Willson, the Rice tight end that made some impressive plays on day one of camp.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his notes from day two of camp and profiles fourth-round draft pick wide receiver Chris Harper.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has his report from the first two days of camp.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com offers a closer look at fifth-round draft pick Tharold Simon, the 6-foot-2, 202-pound cornerback out of LSU.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has a look at the connection between the pair of defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, and his “Hawkville” blog focuses on the wide receiver Harper.

Lastly, team photographer Rod Mar has several photos from day two of camp here.

We’ll be back with more from Sunday’s practice and media availabilities later this afternoon.


Marcus Trufant visiting Jaguars today

Marcus Trufant

Marcus Trufant played the past four seasons under Gus Bradley when Bradley was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator. Today, Trufant, an unrestricted free agent, is visiting Bradley in his new role and location – head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Trufant’s visit was reported by the Jaguars’ website.

The Jaguars rebuilt their secondary during the NFL Draft by selecting strong safety Jonathan Cyprien with the first pick in the second round and then adding cornerbacks Dwayne Gratz (third round) and Demetrius McCray (seventh) and safety Josh Evans (sixth). But Trufant, the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2003, could mentor the young secondary – just as he did for the Seahawks the past few seasons with the All-Pro tandem of free safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman as well as Pro Bowl-caliber strong safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Brandon Browner.

The Seahawks released Trufant last offseason, only to re-sign him for a 10th season. But this year, a similar move is unlikely because the team signed nickel back Antoine Winfield in free agency, drafted cornerback Tharold Simon and also has incumbent backups Walter Thurmond, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell.

UPDATE – At 11:54 a.m. the Jaguars officially announced they had signed Trufant:


Seahawks rookies assigned jersey numbers

Christine Michael

Seahawks second-round draft pick RB Christine Michael out of Texas A&M will wear the same number (33) at the pro level that he did in college (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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.

Draft Picks:

#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)


What they’re saying about the Seahawks’ draft

Seahawks 2013 Draft Class

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.”


Seahawks also add cornerback Tharold Simon in fifth round

Tharold Simon

The Seahawks made back-to-back picks in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft today, taking LSU cornerback Tharold Simon one pick after selecting Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams.

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Simon was the fifth pick in the round, and 138th overall. The pick was acquired from the Raiders in the Matt Flynn trade last month.

Simon has the size the Seahawks like in their corners.

He 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).


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