Seattle’s second pick in the fourth round arrived Saturday with Kevin Norwood having once again pulled away from the pack, as he had also done so often during his days at Alabama.
“He was by himself up there (on Seattle’s board),’’ said Seattle general manager John Schneider.
But once the pick was made, Norwood was part of what is suddenly a crowded group of receivers on the Seattle roster.
On Friday, the Seahawks took Colorado’s Paul Richardson with their first pick in the second round, No. 45 overall.
Saturday, after grabbing UCLA defensive tackle Cassius Marsh with their first pick in the fourth round, the Seahawks then picked up Norwood, though only after again trading down, making a deal with Cincinnati to get an extra selection in the sixth round.
That moved Seattle from pick 111 to 123, and Schneider and coach Pete Carroll figured Norwood was gone.
“At that point, we felt like we were losing Kevin,’’ Schneider said.
Later, Carroll called the fact that Norwood was still there maybe the highlight of the day.
“We were most fortunate to still have a shot (at him),’’ Carroll said.
Seattle also took linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis of Boston College in the fourth round with pick No. 132, defensive tackle Jimmy Staten of Middle Tennessee State in the fifth round (172), offensive tackle Garrett Scott of Marshall (199), defensive back Eric Pinkins of San Diego State (208) and fullback Kiero Small of Arkansas (227) in a draft in which the Seahawks picked up nine players overall. They entered the draft with just six picks, using three different trades to acquire three more.
That they used two of the first four on receivers, though, could be the ultimate legacy of this draft.
It was the first time Seattle had drafted two receivers in the first four rounds since 1991, when the Seahawks took Doug Thomas of Clemson in the second round and David Daniels of Penn State in the third. Seattle hopes this draft turns out better than that one — Daniels and Thomas were each out of football by 1994.
Receiver seemed an obvious spot to target with the Seahawks having lost Golden Tate in free agency, Sidney Rice — re-signed after being released — still coming off a knee injury, and Doug Baldwin still working out a long-term deal with the team, currently secured only for the 2014 season.
Schneider, though, insisted taking two receivers sort of just happened.
“We didn’t go into this thing saying we have to have a receiver,’’ he said.
Instead, he said, Norwood was just too good to pass up.
At 6-2 and 198 pounds, Norwood is a bigger target than the 6-foot, 183-pound Richardson.
Norwood, though, also caught two fewer passes in his career at Alabama (81) than Richardson caught last season (83).
But that came within the confines of a dominant Alabama offense, something the Seahawks think caused Norwood to be undervalued. What Seattle saw was that whenever the Tide needed a big play in the passing game, it more often than not went to Norwood.
“There’s nothing overly flashy about him,’’ Schneider said. “Except that he’s incredibly tough and reliable and smart and savvy. I think that’s probably why he lasted as long as he did.’’
And while Tate may be gone and Rice’s health potentially still a question, receiver looms as being as competitive as any position battle in training camp. Percy Harvin is healthy, Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse will be back with apparently settled roles, and the team also added two intriguing free agents in former CFL Most Outstanding Rookie Chris Matthews and Taylor Price.
“It’s pretty dang stiff,’’ Schneider said of the competition at receiver.
With a young roster coming off a Super Bowl title, the same could be said for the competition for each of the other draftees as well.
Maybe the most intriguing is Pinkins, who stands almost 6-3 and weighs 220 pounds. He played safety at San Diego State, but the Seahawks drafted him with the idea of turning him into another big-body corner.
Many of the other picks at the bottom were picked ahead of where many draftniks expected. But in each, Seattle saw some defining quality that stood out. And getting the added picks allowed Seattle to play the percentages game. They might not all turn out, but with more picks, the odds are better that some will.
“It’s harder for guys to make it,’’ Carroll said. “But boy, it’s the same thing we’ve been doing because they (the veterans) can feel the push from the new guys, and those new guys get a great shot with us. We throw them in there and they’ve got to deal with them. It’s kind of how the design is set up.’’
WR Paul Richardson
Height, weight: 6-0, 175
By the numbers: Richardson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds at the NFL combine, the third-fastest time among receivers. He said he posted an unofficial time of 4.28 seconds in January.
Role with Seahawks: Richardson won’t have to come in and be a difference-maker right away. He can factor in behind Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Sidney Rice and be able to provide a deep threat.
Scout’s take: “Most of the time when you look at speed guys you think they’re gonna be tight or straight-lined,” said Seahawks scout Matt Berry. “He’s got a knack for releasing. He’s got really good rhythm off the line of scrimmage so guys have a hard time getting their hands on him. And he can really accelerate. That’s the thing you really notice.”
OT Justin Britt
Height, weight: 6-5, 325
By the numbers: Britt played five positions on the offensive line in college.
Role with Seahawks: Britt will come in and compete right away with Michael Bowie for the starting right tackle position. Offensive line coach Tom Cable said he projects Britt as a right tackle in the NFL.
Scout’s take: “I got excited watching him play (Jadeveon) Clowney,” said Cable. “It wasn’t too big. He didn’t worry about it. He was very physical with him. And then the more I started studying this guy, all the way back to when he was younger, the traits of toughness and competitiveness just kept jumping out at me.”
DL Cassius Marsh
Height, weight: 6-4, 252
By the numbers: Marsh played three positions along the defensive line in college.
Role with Seahawks: Marsh projects as a versatile lineman who can play outside and inside. He should be similar to Michael Bennett in that regard, though he likely will need to add weight to do so.
Scout’s take: “It was really his versatility as a rusher, is what stood out about him,” said Tyler Ramsey, the Seahawks’ West Coast-area scout. “Plays with his hair on fire. He’s all over the field. Really good with his hands. Playing a multitude of spots, kind of like Mike Bennett. Same mold. A 6-4 guy that can play all over the place is what really stood out.”
WR Kevin Norwood
Height, weight: 6-2, 198
By the numbers: Alabama was 46-7 during Norwood’s four seasons with the Tide, including national titles in 2011 and 2012.
Role with Seahawks: Norwood will join what figures to be a fierce competition for a spot in Seattle’s receiving rotation in 2014. The Seahawks say he can play inside or outside. He’ll also need to show he can play special teams.
Scout’s take: “The thing that stood out the most is that he is very clutch,’’ said Seahawks Southeast-area scout Jim Nagy. “It’s hard to find a college receiver that has played in as many big games as Kevin has. On the big stage, this kid always shows up. That was really unique about him. He’s really dependable.”
LB Kevin Pierre-Louis
Height, weight: 6-0, 232
College: Boston College
By the numbers: Pierre-Louis made 360 tackles at BC, the eighth-most in school history.
Role with Seahawks: Pierre-Louis’ best trait is his speed, and he could be used in a similar role as Malcolm Smith (Smith becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season).
Scout’s take: “Regardless of the grade I gave the guy, he is my favorite player in the whole draft just to watch,” said Todd Brunner, the Seahawks’ Northwest-area scout. “He plays with energy. The guy is all over the field. Very instinctive football player. He’s just fun to watch play football.”
DT Jimmy Staten
Height, weight: 6-4, 301
College: Middle Tennessee State
By the numbers: Staten is the third player listed as a defensive tackle drafted by Seattle under John Schneider and Pete Carroll. Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams last year are the others.
Role with Seahawks: Staten will likely start out primarily playing a defensive tackle role, specifically the three-technique spot where Tony McDaniel is the current starter. But he could also be used as a five-technique end.
Scout’s take: “We’d like him to play inside and give us some good big-man play there,” said coach Pete Carroll. “We were looking for a big-body guy, so that’s why we’re happy to get him.”
OT Garrett Scott
Height, weight: 6-0, 310
By the numbers: Scott played four positions along the offensive line, which continues a trend of versatility in this draft.
Role with Seahawks: Scott is an incredibly athletic lineman. He said he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.04 seconds and had a 33½-inch vertical jump. He also weighs 310 pounds. He should add to the competition the Seahawks want at tackle.
Scout’s take: “We like the shot of him playing left tackle because he’s done it, and it’s a difficult spot to find,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He looks very comfortable there. He really has the quickness and light-on-his-feet ability that gives the thought that he could do that.”
DB Eric Pinkins
Height, weight: 6-3, 220
College: San Diego State
By the numbers: Pinkins’ vertical leap was 39.5 inches, evidence of what the team thinks is rare athleticism for someone his size.
Role with Seahawks: While he played safety for the Aztecs, the Seahawks are going to try him first at cornerback, envisioning him as potentially another Brandon Browner big-body type.
Scout’s take: “He’s a remarkable athlete, as long and tall as he is, and the speed that he has,’’ said coach Pete Carroll. “The fact that he has such great arm length and he’s almost 6-3, gives us a chance to see if we can find him a spot at corner, first.”
RB Kiero Small
Height, weight: 5-8, 250
By the numbers: Small said he broke 26 facemasks in college while blocking.
Role with Seahawks: He’ll compete with Derrick Coleman and potentially Spencer Ware for the fullback position.
Scout’s take: “I like him a lot,” said Seahawks general manager John Schneider. “He’s super tough. Plays really low. Digs guys out. He’s seriously tough.”
— Bob Condotta and Jayson Jenks
Source: by Bob Condotta