A scouting goldmine

Seahawks area scout Matt Berry hit the jackpot on Thursday.

Both of the Seahawks’ first-round picks — Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung and Texas’ Earl Thomas — came from Berry’s scouting region of the southwest U.S., meaning he’s seen both players more than anyone else on the Seahawks staff. Berry admitted that “it has to fall right to get a guy in your area,” but it’s a point of pride nonetheless.

“It’s neat to spend so much time working on these guys and then to get them,” said Berry, who’s been an NFL scout for five years after a decorated college playing career at Davidson. “That’s awesome.”

Berry said both Okung and Thomas were standouts from the moment he started watching them at practices — “you could tell they were going to be great players,” he said.

“Guys who can play usually stick out on the tape, so my scouting skills didn’t have much to do with it,” Berry said with a laugh. “It is neat to have your work pay off though.”

As much as the responsibility for Okung and Thomas fell on Berry during the scouting process, he’s quick to give credit to his Seahawks colleagues.

“It was a collective effort and it’s a win for the team when it happens like this,” Berry said. “Everyone’s contributing to the process.

“It’s just a bonus when a guy comes from your area.”


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