Seahawks Interested in Small-School OT

According to Bill Huber of Packer Report, at least one member of the Seahawks' coaching staff worked very closely with Hillsdale offensive tackle Jared Veldheer during Hillsdale's Pro Day on Thursday.

Huber informed NorthwestFootball.net that offensive line coaches from the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks worked with Veldheer. It is not known whether the Seahawks coach in question was line coach Alex Gibbs. According to Scout.com's Chris Steuber, scouts and coaches from seven teams -- Indianapolis, Baltimore, Seattle, Detroit, Green Bay, Cleveland and Tennessee -- were in attendance. Cleveland general manager Tom Heckert is a Hillsdale alum, and talked at the Combine about Veldheer.

"I really do. He's going to be a drafted player," Heckert said, when asked if he had a soft spot for Veldheer "I don't know if there has been a drafted player coming out of Hillsdale, I don't think there has been. That's obviously exciting. I've talked to him. I tried to meet him here last night, but I never got around to it. I talked to his parents about the whole process. This is an exciting time for the school because he's a big-time player."

Veldheer was an underground story who the scouts knew about until the 2009 college postseason, when he showed out at the Texas vs. the Nation all-star game and at the Combine. In Indianapolis, Veldheer ran the 40 in 5.09 seconds, which was fourth among the linemen. He also tied for first in the three-cone drill (7.40 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.51 seconds); tied for third in the vertical jump (33 inches), was fifth in the broad jump (9-feet, 1-inch) and ninth in the bench press (32 reps of 225 pounds). Understandably, Veldheer chose to stand on his Combine numbers at his Pro Day.

So why, with all his talent, did Veldheer go to such a small college? He explained it to the media at the Combine. "Between junior and senior year of high school I went to some of those summer exposure camps. I was coming from a wing-T high school, where all we did was down-block; no pass sliding or anything. With all that footwork and concepts foreign to me, I just tried to rely on basketball footwork. I guess it didn't go the way those bigger schools wanted to and kind of fell down on their radar. My brother graduated from Hillsdale College and played basketball there. I was familiar with the school. It was a great fit. I liked the values and the coaching staff there. It was a great decision. Going there shows you can go to a Hillsdale College and still be in position to play pro football."

NFLDraftScout.com projects Veldheer as a second-to-third-round pick. We'll keep you posted if and when the Seahawks show any more specific interest in this talented, underrated player.


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