Seahawks Training Camp: Youth Movement in Full Force – Sports Illustrated

RENTON, Wash. — There’s no NFL summer setting like this one, and on the day I was here the Blue Angels were flying around (that’s not a metaphor, they were here for an event called Seafair), the sky was crystal clear, and it was 80 degrees with no humidity on the banks of Lake Washington. There was some football out there, too …
1) Seattle’s corner situation is really interesting. Reclamation projects Artie Burns and Sidney Jones are getting the first crack as starters. But a couple of rookies are pushing them. Fourth-rounder Coby Bryant, the Thorpe Award winner out of Cincinnati, is already getting snaps with the first team and looks like a potential plug-and-play starter with a shot at being out there during Week 1. And fifth-rounder Tariq Woolen from UTSA has impressed his teammates on both sides of the ball with his combination of size and athleticism. Who’ll play where still needs figuring out. But the Seahawks look to have some options at the position.
Rookie cornerback Coby Bryant could end up being a Week 1 starter for the Seahawks.
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
2) Bobby Wagner is gone, and there’s undoubtedly a void left by his departure—but with Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton at his old position, Seattle should have a faster look on defense than it has the last couple of years (and I’m not saying either guy is as good as Wagner, to be clear). Brooks, in particular, has a chance to play near a Pro Bowl level this year based on how he’s moved around in camp.
3) The movement skills of rookie tackles Charles Cross and Abe Lucas have been apparent since May. Cross is a really good bet to start on the left side. Lucas could wind up being his bookend. But the preseason will be a good chance to see where they are as run blockers. Both are products of the Mike Leach offense, so there’s a projection that comes with each. The Seahawks bet on the mentality and edge that both have in their personality—Lucas has a certain nastiness to how he plays—but it’ll be important for Seattle to see that manifest itself on run plays on the (preseason) game field.
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4) We’ve already named four rookies. There are more. Second-rounder Kenneth Walker III, who won the Walter Camp Award last year while at Michigan State, could start at tailback—and has shown the vision and second gear he did in college. Fellow second-rounder Boye Mafe is bringing juice off the edge. And there’s even a seventh-rounder worth paying attention to. That’d be Dareke Young, who was a wingback in Lenoir-Rhyne’s wing-T offense just two years ago, and now is bringing a pretty noticeable combination of size, toughness and speed to the receiver position in the NFL (even if he’s still pretty raw). Add it up, and it looks like Pete Carroll and John Schneider could have a foundational class here.
5) Oh, you want to know about the quarterbacks? Geno Smith is taking almost all of the first team reps (and is ahead), but both he and Drew Lock have more to show the coaches between now and the Monday night opener. Smith has to show that he can play faster than he has during his previous two years in Seattle. Lock has to show that he’s got the mental aspect of the offense down, after going through a lot of coaching tumult in Denver, and improve his footwork. The good news is Carroll doesn’t have to make a call yet.
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