The 2016 NFL Draft was held last weekend, April 29 – May 1, in Chicago and there will be some new faces around the VMAC when the rookie minicamp kicks off this Friday. Who are all these new faces?
Germain Ifedi – OT, Texas A&M (First Round, Pick No. 31)
Seattle hasn’t used their first round pick since drafting Bruce Irvin in 2012. That changed this year. Originally, Seattle had the No. 26 pick. When their time came, the Seahawks did what many experts predicted and traded back. This year however, Seattle stayed in the first round, trading the No. 26 pick to the Denver Broncos for the No. 31 and No. 94 pick. With the 31st pick, Seattle drafted offensive tackle Germain Ifedi out of Texas A&M.
Ifedi began his career at right guard as a redshirt freshman and started every game before transitioning to right tackle for his sophomore and senior seasons. While he is still somewhat raw, the Seahawks like his size. At 6 feet 6 inches tall and 324 pounds with 36” arms, Ifedi has the size and length that Seattle coaches covet. They made a priority to get bigger up front this year, and this move stayed consistent with that.
Jarran Reed – DT, Alabama (Second Round, pick No. 49)
Reed may be the best pick of the draft for the Seahawks. The No. 2 rated defensive tackle and No. 19 overall prospect according to Scout’s Inc., Reed has the ability to make an immediate impact on the defensive line. Standing 6 feet 3 inches and 307 pounds, Reed started 28 games in his career at Alabama. He finished fourth on the team in tackles with 57, 56 of which were rushing stops. Some criticized Seattle for trading up here, as Reed doesn’t bring any kind of interior pass rush, netting just two sacks in two seasons with Alabama. Regardless, Seattle will need a big body in the middle of the field to
absorb blocks and clog running lanes, and Reed fills that need.
C.J. Prosise – RB, Notre Dame (Third Round, Pick No. 90)
Another glaring hole on the Seahawks’ roster was the running back position. With Marshawn Lynch retiring and rookie Thomas Rawls recovering from a broken ankle, Seattle had a sudden need for running backs.
Prosise is a converted wide receiver, so he should have decent hands coming out of the backfield. At 6 feet tall and 220 lbs he has the build to be a third down and redzone back. In his lone season at running back, Prosise carried the ball 156 times for a total of 1,029 yards with 11 touchdowns. If nothing else, Prosise will create competition at the running back position, something that is desperately needed.
Nick Vanett – TE, Ohio State (Third Round, Pick No. 94)
This pick can be parlayed with Ifedi, Seattle’s first round pick, because it was acquired in the trade with Denver in the first round. Heading into the draft, the Seahawks already carried six tight ends on the roster, and Vanett makes seven. This move aims to add some depth to the position given that Jimmy Graham may start the season on the PUP list, though Pete Carroll recently told the media that Graham was rehabbing well.
As for Vanett himself, he stands at 6 feet 6 inches and tips the scales at 257 pounds. He is a solid all around tight end who can catch passes when lined up out wide or he can stay in and block in pass protection. Some analysts have compared him to former Seahawks tight end Zach Miller. Vanett very well could be Miller’s replacement, and may see extended playing time early if Graham’s rehab gets delayed.
Rees Odhiambo – OG, Boise State (Third Round, Pick No. 97)
The Odhiambo selection addressed another need for the Seahawks, adding depth to the offensive line. Odhiambo, coming in at 6 feet 4 inches tall and 314 pounds, played tackle in college. Seattle plans to have him compete for playing time at one of the guard positions, but injuries may derail that. Over the last three seasons, Odhiambo has missed 14 games, with his most recent injury ending his final collegiate season in October. If nothing else, he has one of the most remarkable stories out of all the draft picks. Odhiambo and his family moved to the U.S. in 2000, after his father had passed away. His mother then passed away when he was 17 years old. If that isn’t a story about overcoming the odds, then I don’t know what is.
Quinton Jefferson – DT, Maryland (Fifth Round, Pick No. 147)
Seattle has found gems in the fifth round before. Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor both came out of the fifth round in their respective draft classes. Carroll and general manager John Schneider pride themselves on evaluating talent in the later rounds of the draft, and it’s typically guys with a specific skill set that can be used in certain situations.
Jefferson fits that mold. The 6 foot 4 defensive tackle weighs in at 291 pounds and he can rush the passer from the interior of the defensive line—a glaring need now that Brandon Mebane has moved on to the San Diego Chargers in free agency.
Alex Collins – RB, Arkansas (Fifth Round, Pick No. 171)
Collins had a fantastic college career, rushing for over 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons. Last year, the 5-foot-10-inch, 217 pound back amassed 1,577 yards on 271 carries with 20 touchdowns. Those numbers alone indicate that he could have what it takes to be a workhouse type of back and carry the majority of the load. On the downside, he’s had issues protecting the football, with 17 fumbles over his career, nine of which he lost. Scouts have compared him to Chris Ivory, and his running style and size make him intriguing.
As mentioned earlier, the injury to Thomas Rawls left a need for running backs, and Collins will just add more competition to a thin position group.
Joey Hunt – C, TCU (Sixth Round, Pick No. 215)
Have you noticed a theme here? Heading into the season, Seattle had a few glaring holes to fill on the roster. The biggest—and often most criticized—was up front on the offensive line. Seattle saw a bit of a rotation at center last season, starting with Drew Nowak before quickly moving to Patrick Lewis. Lewis was solid, but the position could use an upgrade. A solid training camp could give Hunt the opportunity to snag the starting role.
Kenny Lawler – WR, Cal (Seventh Round, Pick No. 243)
Lawler is a 6-foot-2-inch, 203 pound wide receiver with 32 inch arms. Playing with No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, Lawler caught 52 passes for 658 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He has a big body and is the second tallest receiver on the current roster, but ultimately he will likely be relegated to the practice squad, at best.
Zac Brooks – RB, Clemson (Seventh Round, Pick No. 247)
With their final pick, the Seahawks went back to the running back well. Carroll has always enjoyed having options at running back, so it’s no surprise that the team is heading into training camp with six backs on the roster. Brook’s future largely depends on his training camp and Rawls’ injury. If Rawls is set to miss extended time, Brooks may find himself on the roster.
AJ may be reached at [email protected]