Seahawks' coaches attend QB/RB workouts

It is common procedure for scouts to attend Pro Day workouts following the Scouting Combine. Some clubs send coaches to these workouts, as well and the working relationship between Pete Carroll and his coaching staff and John Schneider and his scouts has played a critical role in building Seattle's talented roster.

However, the presence of Seahawks' quarterback coach Carl Smith at the Baylor Pro Day and running backs coach Sherman Smith (unrelated) at the Boise State workout is a definite signal of at least two players the club might have some interest in drafting - Bears's signal-caller Bryce Petty and Broncos' running back Jay Ajayi.

Smith is entering his fifth season as the Seahawks' quarterback coach. Under his tutelage, Russell Wilson has emerged as one of the league's brightest young stars and Tarvaris Jackson has proven to be a capable starter and certainly ranks among the NFL's best backups. Jackson is currently a free agent, however, and while Carroll has publicly stated his hopes of re-signing the nine-year veteran, there will be competition. The Dolphins are reportedly hosting Jackson this week.

A scout on hand for Petty's workout on Wednesday told me that the Baylor quarterback "had a good day. He threw the ball with velocity and accuracy and showed off his athleticism with some rollouts."

Petty's numbers in Art Brile's spread offense were impressive. Since taking over for Robert Griffin III, Petty threw for 8,195 yards and 62 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions. His acclimation from the spread to a more traditional pro-style offense will take time but he has the talent worthy of grooming. He could be seen as an ideal developmental prospect because Petty has legitimate ability but is also far enough away from seeing real time on an NFL field to offer no real pressure on a well-established starter, like Wilson. As such, it isn't surprising that the two other clubs who sent QB coaches to Baylor's workout were the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys, clubs which, of course, boast stars in Andrew Luck and Tony Romo. There were 26 teams represented at the Baylor Pro Day, overall.

Longtime Seahawks fans might remember Sherman Smith from his playing days in Seattle. In his nine seasons in the NFL, Smith accumulated 5,913 combined rushing and receiving yards and scored 38 touchdowns. He'll be entering his sixth season as Seattle's running back coach and his work with Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael and others deserve acknowledgement.

In the six-foot, 221 pound Ajayi, Smith might see a talent similar to Lynch. Like Seattle's All-Pro, Ajayi runs with an uncommon combination of balance, burst and power. Ajayi was clocked at 4.57 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Combine and perhaps surprisingly elected not to re-run this event at his Pro Day. A scout who attended Boise State's Pro Day, however, told me that Ajayi put forth an "excellent positional workout."

Petty and Ajayi are among the top candidates to be drafted after the "elite" talents at their respective positions, earning consideration as early as the second round. Though the smart money would seem to be on Seattle investing early and often on offensive linemen in the draft, it is certainly possible that the Seahawks would consider either of these two players with their first selection, No. 63 overall.

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