Finding roles for the Seattle Seahawks 2013 draft class

Making Room to Move Forward

With the Seattle Seahawks‘ rookie camp commencing earlier this month, the players’ abilities are being put on display, and future roles for the team are developing. When you have one of the youngest rosters – and still are expected to win the NFC – the competition between positions becomes very tight.

It is no question that some of these rookies may not make the team. However, Softy on KJR brought up an interesting point.

He doesn’t see Pete Carroll settling.

So many coaches nowadays settle with the rosters they have. They may bring new players in, but when the going gets tough, they go back to what or who they are comfortable with. This slows development, and eventually leads to a lack of depth.

Carroll isn’t that kind of coach. He takes risks. He encourages competition. He will not refrain from putting a rook in a starting spot – i.e. Russell Wilson.

With that in mind, we take a look at the possible roles for the incoming rookies in 2013.

Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks

Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M .

Christine Michael: RB Texas A&M

In my previous article, I pointed out the genius in taking Christine Michael with the team’s second pick. The team’s focal point is halfback. It is what sets the tone and puts the gears in motion. Michael was one of the most athletic players in the draft, and will likely take over the starting role in years to come.

For now, I see him spelling Marshawn Lynch as a No. 2 – if he can beat out Robert Turbin.

Jordan Hill: DT Penn State

The Seattle defensive line has gone through quite the transition these last couple years. The pass rush and run defense were major points of emphasis for Carroll and co., hence the rotation of new faces.

Alan Branch and Jason Jones were brought in last season, but due to injuries and lack of production, they were rotated out. Now Seattle has brought in Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to fill these voids, but also drafted Jordan Hill.

Chris Avril and Michael Bennett will likely play more defensive end, but Jordan Hill is a nose tackle. He plays similarly to former Seahawk Jason Jones. He squares up with the opposing center and guards, but has the ability to get to the quarterback.

Look for him to substitute in on third downs and pass-rushing situations in his first season.

Chris Harper: WR Kansas State

Chris Harper was my favorite pick in the draft. His skill set is incredible, and I love the possibilities he brings to the wide receiver position.

Out of high school, Harper was recruited as a running back, quarterback, wide receiver, safety and linebacker. Are you kidding me? He eventually chose Oregon to play quarterback, where he was teammates with Seahawks All Pro center Max Unger.

“We ran a pure spread offense. He was a real mobile quarterback and was basically another running back with the ball once they got it in his hands.” Unger praised. “That’s what they really liked about him.”

Harper brings the open-field ability that the Seahawks obviously were looking for when trading for Percy Harvin – just with a little more physicality. He stands at 6’1″, 234 lbs, making him by far the biggest receiver on the roster.

Williams come to Seattle from down under. (Marvin Gentry/USA Today Sports)

Williams come to Seattle from down under. (Marvin Gentry/USA Today Sports)

He will likely play a limited role in 2013 considering the current depth at receiver. However, it isn’t crazy to assume Sidney Rice could be moved in these next few years. I love Sid the Kid, but his production doesn’t amount to the contract we gave him.

Unless he has an incredible 2013 season, I see him being dealt or cut, and creating space for Harper.

Jesse Williams: DT Alabama

Before the draft I had the Seahawks taking Jesse Williams in the first round. I loved his size and ability at the nose tackle position, and felt like it was a need for the team.

Carroll and John Schneider obviously knew something I didn’t – for once – and picked him up four rounds later at 138. So ,of course, I tell everyone I predicted the pick.

Among the defensive line makeover, Williams finds himself between the three-technique and the nose tackle positions. With Alan Branch leaving, there was a gap at the position. Somebody who can create push and fill holes in run defense.

Enter The Monstar.

Williams is one of the players I see making an immediate impact. He can play on early downs, late downs, goal line, short yardage; basically the works. And it is always fun to bring somebody on board who has a unique sense of style (Here is a shot of Williams’ attire on the Alabama white house visit:

Tharold Simon: CB LSU

Less than 48 hours after being arrested, Seattle drafted Tharold Simon. Pete sure has a type, eh?

This may be the first player to begin his career under Richard Sherman‘s wing. How will Sherm be as a mentor? Only time will tell, but I assure you, there will never be a dull moment.


Simon fits the Legion of Boom mantra: You must be big, you must have attitude and you must hit.

His time will likely be limited at first. Probably a role similar to that of Jeremy Lane last season. But in spread packages or injuries at the position, look for Simon to make his mark.

Luke Willson: TE Rice

Entering his final college season, Luke Willson was on the John Mackey Award watch, which is given to the best tight end in the nation. However, due to some nagging injuries, Willson never hit his stride.

He had an impressive close to the season against Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl, but besides that his season was sub par. Fellow teammate and tight end Vance McDonald was drafted four rounds earlier. McDonald’s stats were more impressive, but whose ceiling is higher?

Thus far, Willson’s production has garnered some attention in training camp. He may be the help needed across the line from Zach Miller.

Spencer Ware: RB LSU

Spencer Ware is an interesting case. After drafting Christine Michael, nobody thought running back would be a position for concern. And it wasn’t.

Carroll has praised Ware’s physicality and says that he was the hardest runner in the draft. This could mean two things. They will either look to beef him up and train him in the ways of the force at fullback, or simply utilize him as a short-yardage back when Beast Mode needs a breather.

Personally, I think Michael Robinson deserves every penny he is being paid and is a huge contributor for the team, both on and off the field. I would hate to see him go, so I hope that they find other areas for Ware to produce in. But as previously stated, Carroll loves his competition.

Welcome to Seahawks Nation, Jared Smith. (Photo:

Welcome to Seahawks Nation, Jared Smith. (Photo:

Ryan Seymour, Ty Powell, Jared Smith, and Michael Bowie

It is hard to tell what this group of seventh round picks is capable of. Seymour was likely brought in to compete at the guard position with John Moffitt and J.R. Sweezy. Sweezy is currently starting at the position, but Moffitt was a higher pick and a fan favorite, which means zilch to the coaching staff, but would still be awesome to see him play.

Ty Powell looked impressive on tape – granted the tape looked like high school footage from the 1960’s; but still impressive. He could be a possible LEO replacement for Bruce Irvin in the early weeks that he is suspended.

But other than that, it may be difficult to get playing time on this bulked-up roster.

Then there is Jared Smith and Michael Bowie. Depth on the lines is always something you address in drafts. That is all this was.

Neither will start, and nether will play much. But it never hurts to have more depth.

Go Hawks!!!


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About Jordin Ereth

Reigning from the Palouse, an avid Cougar and Seahawks fan who still sheds a tear at the name drop of our lost Sonics. A recent graduate from Washington State University with a degree in Broadcasting Productions and Sports Media. Go Cougs! Connect w/ Jordin today!
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