The Seahawks will get their first look at the class of 2015 with a rookie minicamp this weekend and for obvious reasons, all eyes will be on the club's first two selections of the draft, defensive end Frank Clark and wide receiver and returner Tyler Lockett.
The storylines extend much deeper than that, though, including the battle for the third string quarterback position, the best of the three offensive linemen drafted this year and who might be this year's undrafted free agent to "shock" the experts and make the final roster.
Each year a few rookies create some buzz for themselves during the initial minicamp. Who will be this year's standouts? SeahawkFootball.com's Rob Rang will attend the rookie practices over Mother's Day Weekend and offers off five predictions.
5. Tyler Lockett will dazzle
Receivers with Lockett's agility and straight-line speed have an almost unfair advantage in minicamps, which don't allow defenders to take ball-carriers to the ground. Frankly, Lockett doesn't need the help. He's a dynamic athlete with a knack of making big plays in big moments and due to his NFL legacy, he knows better than most rookies what to expect. The Seahawks think he can be a star out of the slot, whose quickness is complemented by the size and athleticism of "first round pick" Jimmy Graham.
4. Glowinski will stand out among offensive linemen
By selecting him first, the Seahawks obviously were highest on former San Diego State offensive tackle Terry Poole and given his raw athleticism and fascinating back story, Kristjan Sokoli will likely earn a feature story (or three) throughout the mini camp. At this time, however, the most pro-ready of the linemen Seattle drafted is Glowinski, who showed impressive grit, strength and football intelligence switching from tackle to guard at West Virginia and standing out at the East-West Shrine Game. I like his combination of athleticism, power and tenacity and feel that he is the one prospect along the offensive line Seattle drafted this spring who has a chance to earn playing time as a rookie.
3. Tyler Sykora shows off his big arm at quarterback
This weekend's minicamp excludes veterans so Russell Wilson won't be the quarterback under center. That means that two small school standouts in R.J. Archer and camp invitee Tyler Sykora will have the full attention of Pete Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and the rest of the Seahawks. Archer, 27, played his collegiate ball at William & Mary and spent the 2010 season with the Minnesota Vikings, Bevell's last year there as offensive coordinator. At roughly 6-5, 230 pounds, Sykora looks the part and packs a lot of heat in his left arm. He has a slow wind-up and heavy feet, however, which is why Sykora was not drafted a year ago after a record-setting career at Southern Arkansas. Archer and Sykora are each significant longshots to make Seattle's final roster but with Tarvaris Jackson still unsigned and B.J. Daniels the only other quarterback currently on the roster, opportunity is knocking for these two relative unknowns.
2. The UDFAs to watch
Despite fielding arguably the league's most talented roster the past couple of years, the Seahawks have enjoyed remarkable success with undrafted free agents, with Bailey, middle linebacker Brock Coyle and NFC Championship hero Garry Gilliam among the recent surprises. Among the names to watch this year are Arizona wide receiver Austin Hill, Central Michigan running back Thomas Rawls, West Georgia defensive end Tory Slater and Norfolk State safety Keenan Lambert, who is Kam Chancellor's half-brother.
1. Attention shifts back to Frank Clark on the field
For good reason, much of the talk following the Seahawks' selection of Clark has focused on his character. That's understandable, especially given spotlight the NFL put on itself with some of its stars' reprehensible behavior over the past year. When he was initially arrested on domestic violence charges, scouts I spoke to thought he was unlikely to get drafted at all. I spoke to members of several clubs who came away feeling better about Clark after interviewing him at the Combine, during private workouts or team visits, however, and that he could jump into the top 100 picks. Clark will log most of his snaps at defensive end but he's neither the classic LEO or a five-technique run-stuffer. At a shade under 6-3 and roughly 275 pounds, he's compact and powerful, unlike the longer, lankier (and faster) Cliff Avril (6-3, 260) and Bruce Irvin (6-3, 248). Clark doesn't have the great closing speed to ever rack up 10+ sacks, but you'll be impressed when you focus in on him. He's a disruptor, who plays with instincts, physicality and effort. I expect him to stand out during this weekend's drills.
Rookie Minicamp - Five Bold Predictions
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