Observations From Seahawks Fifth OTA Practice – Sports Illustrated

Drawing closer to their annual mandatory minicamp and the conclusion of their offseason program, the Seahawks held the fifth of nine organized team activities at the VMAC on Tuesday.
Who stood out in Tuesday's session? Here are five observations from Seattle's third open OTA to the media:
This time of year, quarterbacks don't have to worry about pass rushers bearing down on them and cornerbacks can't play press coverage against receivers, so it shouldn't be difficult to complete a high percentage of passes in OTA sessions. With that said, both Lock and Geno Smith slung the ball around the field effectively on Thursday, with Lock completing 12 out of 16 passes and Smith connecting on 10 out of 14 passes during 7-on-7.
While the Week 1 starting job won't be won during the "Underwear Olympics," as defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt eloquently called OTAs on Tuesday, Lock enjoyed the better day of the two passers. Aside from an interception in the red zone, he was throwing dimes all afternoon, including threading a bullet over the outstretched arms of rookie Coby Bryant to hit Freddie Swain for a score on a dig route. Moments later, he connected with Cody Thompson on a fade for touchdown and then found Marquise Goodwin on a tight corner route for six. On the day, he finished with five touchdowns in 7-on-7, while Smith didn't throw any.
For the most part, Lock diced up Seattle's linebackers, corners, and safeties, but his aggressiveness in the red zone did work against him early in 7-on-7 drills from inside the 10-yard line. After taking a quick drop, he tried to lob a goal line fade to Thompson but didn't get enough air underneath the ball, allowing Burns to step in front and intercept the pass in the end zone.
It's only June and Burns will have to prove he can get the job done when real football kicks off in August at a highly competitive position group, which could include Tre Brown if he makes it back from a patellar tendon injury in time for camp. But the long, athletic corner has been a bright spot thus far playing first-team reps across from Sidney Jones on the right side and drawn praise from multiple coaches. Given his familiarity with associate head coach Sean Desai from their time together in Chicago, he looks to be an early front-runner to start for Seattle against Denver in Week 1.
Despite having the odds stacked against him at times, Hart has found a way onto Seattle's 53-man roster each of the past two seasons, dressing for 30 regular games during that span. While coach Pete Carroll and his staff rightfully have reiterated starting jobs won't be won during OTAs in non-contact practices, the former Georgia State standout has proven players can help their chances of making a team with stellar play this time of year and looks to be at it again this spring.
Taking advantage of rookies Bo Melton and Dareke Young being sidelined by injuries, Hart shined in Tuesday's session, receiving praise from offensive coordinator Shane Waldron after snagging a long reception on a post route from both Smith and Lock in 7-on-7. While he didn't score a touchdown, he finished with four receptions on five targets on the afternoon and based on how he's played over the past few weeks coupled with his special teams value, he's not going to be easy to wrestle a roster spot away from in August.
Like most positions this time of year, evaluating cornerbacks can be near-impossible due to the NFL's strict non-contact rules in OTAs. They aren't allowed to play press coverage and to avoid getting tangled up with receivers, they are discouraged from making plays on the football. Still, rookies can learn some tough lessons this time of year going against established veteran receivers and that was certainly the case for both Bryant and Woolen on Tuesday.
Back in action after missing the first OTA due to a personal matter, Bryant found himself in good position to make a play on Lock's first touchdown pass to Swain. Unfortunately, he only nicked the football with a fingertip and didn't change the trajectory enough to force an incompletion. On the final play of 7-on-7, Lock picked on him again, this time hooking up with Thompson on a fade for a long touchdown in the back right corner of the end zone.
As for Woolen, the fifth-round pick out of UTSA also had an up-and-down practice. During the goal line portion of 7-on-7, the speedy Goodwin caught him flat footed with a step inside before breaking back towards the corner, creating enough separation for Lock to hit him near the back pylon for six. But the 6-foot-4 rookie made up for his mistake mere moments later when he shot out of his backpedal like a cannonball and jumped an out route to intercept Jacob Eason at the goal line. He would later surrender a deep ball completion from Smith to Thompson to cap off an uneven day.
5. Veterans continue to stay away for voluntary workouts, while a pair of draft picks remain sidelined.
As far as news goes, the Seahawks only had one returning player who has missed the first four OTA sessions back on Thursday, as third-year linebacker Alton Robinson participated for the first time this spring. Other notable veterans such as Al Woods, Gabe Jackson, Quinton Jefferson remained MIA, though they are expected to be back for mandatory minicamp next week. 
In the injury department, Melton and Young remained out with undisclosed injuries, while linebackers Ben Burr-Kirven and John Rhattigan were once again observers as they work their way back from torn ACLs. DK Metcalf, Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Brown, and Marquise Blair, who are all coming back from surgeries, also weren't in attendance as expected, but may be back to watch minicamp next week. Most likely, none of those players will be doing any on-field work until reporting for camp in July at the earliest.


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