Seattle turns focus to offensive line on final day
RENTON, Wash. (AP) After going two days without addressing their biggest need, the Seattle Seahawks wasted no time turning their attention to the offensive line on the final day of the NFL draft.
Needing to replace two starters up front, Seattle used three of its six draft picks on Saturday on offensive linemen.
Seattle selected San Diego State offensive tackle Terry Poole and West Virginia guard Mark Glowinski with its two fourth-round picks. The Seahawks later spent a sixth-round pick on Buffalo defensive lineman Kristjan Sokoli, with the intent on switching him to offensive guard, following a pattern that started when Seattle successfully moved starting right guard J.R. Sweezy from defensive tackle.
”Just today you could see the emphasis up front. We needed to hit a couple of guys,” coach Pete Carroll said. ”We had some guys that really we had put up on the board and put a pin on and were hoping it would happen and Terry and Mark, those were really prime guys.”
Poole is 6-foot-5 and 307 pounds and, despite starting every game at tackle during his two seasons with the Aztecs, will be moved to left guard by the Seahawks. Poole was a second-team all-Mountain West selection last season.
Poole said he can play anywhere along the line, including center.
”I’m an athletic, hard-nosed football player,” Poole said. ”I’m very physical and very hard-nosed. … I take pride in being the most physical player on the field.”
Glowinski already made the transition from tackle to guard during his college career with the Mountaineers and will begin his career with the Seahawks as a right guard. Glowinski started all 25 games the past two seasons at West Virginia and was a second-team all-Big 12 selection his senior season.
Offensive line was a need after the Seahawks traded center Max Unger to New Orleans as part of the deal that brought tight end Jimmy Graham to Seattle, and after seeing starting left guard James Carpenter sign with the New York Jets in free agency.
Seattle has options at both positions already on its roster. Lemuel Jeanpierre and Patrick Lewis both started games last season at center for the Seahawks and Alvin Bailey has been a versatile option at both guard and tackle.
But Seattle needed depth and the duo of Poole and Glowinski, and the transition of Sokoli provide that.
”That’s the reason we took them because we have a little mix and matching to do,” Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable said. ”We like who’s here and this is going to give us even more flexibility. Both of them will have some learning to do at this level, but that’s normal.”
With questions about the health in its secondary, Seattle nabbed Towson cornerback Tye Smith in the fifth round and safety Ryan Murphy from Oregon State in the seventh round.
Seattle is unsure when nickel cornerback Jeremy Lane will return after suffering wrist and knee injuries in the Super Bowl, and Smith has a similar build at 6 feet and 195 pounds with long arms. Murphy could be a backup at strong safety, a spot that’s needed after Jeron Johnson signed with Washington in free agency.
The Seahawks also selected Oregon State defensive end Obum Gwacham in the sixth round, a former wide receiver that transitioned to defensive end last season. Gwacham is still very raw in learning the position, but his speed and effort stood out to Schneider.
”It’s going to take some time for him to develop,” Carroll said. ”But to play that hard, that fast, so relentless as he switched sides of the ball, that lit us up and that’s what we’re looking for. He jumped off the film with his effort and his intensity.”
Seattle was supposed to have 11 picks on the final two days of the draft, but sent three of those picks to Washington to trade up in the third round and draft Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett on Friday. Seattle also selected Michigan defensive end Frank Clark in the second round.
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