INDIANAPOLIS – Sometimes, you really don’t know just how much you’re going to get from a draft choice.
Take K.J. Wright, which the Seahawks did in the fourth round of last year’s NFL Draft. Wright started games at strongside linebacker (11) and middle linebacker (one). He displayed some pass-rush ability (two sacks), as well as coverage ability (two passes defensed). He finished fifth on the team in tackles (61).
“We expanded his position last year as the season went on because of what he could do,” coach Pete Carroll said the NFL Scouting Combine. “We’re going to continue to do that.”
Now, Wright provides some insurance with middle linebacker David Hawthorne scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month, and also the versatility to be featured in the nickel defense.
“K.J. is a very good coverage guy, and not just what you would typically think of him in man-to-man type of coverage,” Carroll said. “He’s a very good zone (coverage) player. He has great feel for it and sense. It didn’t matter whether we were playing at the (middle) linebacker spot or we played him outside. He just has a feel for things.
“So that all carries over to nickel. He’s also a good one-on-one guy. As long as he is (6 feet 4), most guys would think that that would be difficult for him. But he has a great sense of it, and we think that’s an area that we will certainly experiment. We really expect him to be a big part of the middle package this year.”
Carroll said he would prefer to leave Wright at outside linebacker in the base defense, but added, “He gives us some flexibility. We’ll just have to wait it out (in free agency).”