Hawks add 2, activate Simon, experiment on OL

The Seahawks made several moves Monday, signing defensive backs Jeremy Crayton and Keelan Johnson and waiving defensive tackle Jimmy Staten and linebacker DaKorey Johnson, as well as activating cornerback Tharold Simon from the PUP List.

The 6-1, 190 pound Jeremy Crayton is an undrafted free agent cornerback out of Southern Arkansas. John Schneider and the Seahawks' scouting staff are well known for their willingness to look under every rock to find talent and that may be the case with Crayton, who was not invited to the 2015 Scouting Combine and wasn't even an all-conference player at Southern Arkansas. He may have flown under the radar because of injuries, including a shoulder surgery as a junior and a hand injury that forced him to wear a cast late last season.

The 6-0, 209 pound Keelan Johnson spent his collegiate days at Arizona State, where he starred at safety, leading the Sun Devils with five interceptions in 2013. He was invited to the Combine, clocking in at 4.54 seconds and posting a 36.5" vertical jump and 10-5" broad jump in Indianapolis. He was timed at 4.07 seconds in the short shuttle and 6.77 seconds in the 3-cone drill. Johnson shaved more than a full tenth of a second off his 40-yard dash time at ASU's April 8, 2013 Pro Day, clocking in at 4.41 seconds. Johnson's workout numbers come courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com

To make room for Crayton and Johnson, the Seahawks waived defensive tackle Jimmy Staten and linebacker Dakorey Johnson.

The speed and quickness Johnson demonstrated is intriguing and could perhaps allow Seattle to experiment with the former Sun Devil all over the secondary.

The duo was joined on the field Monday by Simon, who returned to the field after missing OTAs with a shoulder injury.

Fans will remember that Simon struggled in the Super Bowl but frankly, the Seahawks put him in a very tough position. The 6-3, 202 pound Simon has very long limbs and plays a physical brand of man to man corner. Those traits make him ideally suited to Seattle's press scheme on the outside against bigger receivers but vulnerable to smaller, shiftier receivers like the Patriots' Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. When "starting" nickel corner Jeremy Lane went down with injury in the Super Bowl, the Seahawks had little choice but to move Simon inside as a replacement.

Though Simon struggled against the Patriots, he remains very much in Seattle's plans, competing with Mohammed Seisay and Will Blackmon for first duty behind starters Richard Sherman and Cary Williams at the outside corner positions.

In other news Monday, the Seahawks experimented with a new lineup along the offensive line, shifting right tackle Justin Britt inside to left guard and plugging Garry Gilliam outside at right tackle.

Though Britt's physicality and relatively short arms make him a quality guard candidate should the Seahawks elect to move him there, I believe this is simply the latest effort by offensive line coaches Tom Cable and Pat Ruel experimenting with lineup changes so that the club is prepared should an injury occur.

Gilliam has steadily gained weight and strength since the former Penn State tight end made the team a year ago as an undrafted free agent and Cable's latest project. He's longer and more athletic than Britt, which could potentially make him better in pass protection. He does not possess Britt's power in the running game, however.

SeahawkFootball.com Top Stories