RENTON, Wash. - Seattle drafted former Utah safety Marquise Blair in the second round last week to be a big hitter. The Seahawks selected former Oregon safety Ugo Amadi in the fourth round to be a cerebral free safety.
So it was only fitting that shortly after Blair concluded his press conference following the first day of rookie minicamp with never uttering more than an eight-word sentence, Amadi took the podium looking studious in thick framed glasses and proceeded to flash the same smile and personality he displayed while being a four-year starter at Oregon.
“I loved it, especially being so far away," he said. "I actually saw them in the cafeteria and I turned into a little baby. You know how your parents used to pick you up from daycare? I was ‘Oh my god,’ that’s the feeling I had.”
Amadi elicited plenty of smiles and laughs during his seven-minute Q&A, and on the field certainly looked like he belonged at this level. He is almost assured of making the team as a rookie given that Seattle invested a fourth-round pick in his talents. After that, it will be up to his development. But the Seahawks like his intelligence and versatility as someone who played both cornerback and safety for the Ducks.
On Friday, he saw time at free safety and nickelback and said he wasn't surprised.
"I knew that with my versatility, that I just expected to do anything today," he said. "It went very well for me. I understood their scheme a lot, a lot quicker just from the system I came from so I just adapted a lot quicker.”
Given how more and more NFL teams are moving toward spread offenses, Amadi recognizes the importance of being a versatile defensive back.
“It’s very important nowadays to what the NFL game is turning into and especially with guys getting hurt," he said. "When guys go down, you have a guy to play that position and not have to worry.”
"We had an NFL system with coach Jim Leavitt so everything was just like A and B, all replicated each other, just different verbiage,” Amadi said.
Minicamp included 68 players all in shorts, jerseys and helmets. There was no hitting.
The last former Oregon defensive back to play for the Seahawks was cornerback Walter Thurmond (2010-2013). Amadi arrived at Oregon in 2015 so he never played with Thurmond but he certainly had heard of him.
“All the DB coaches (at Oregon), the first two years that’s all they preached about was about him… how he could hit," Amadi said
Amadi, listed at 5-foot-9 and 201-pounds, got his first taste of the size of NFL receivers, specifically second-round pick D.K. Metcalf out of Mississippi, who is listed at 6-foot-4, 229 pounds.
“He’s a monster," Amadi said. "He’s a Calvin Johnson size. He’s definitely a threat to all defenses. He knows how to attack the ball, he’s very physical. I used to go up against him in high school, we used to go to camps together, he was that big in high school and I was still my size. He’s going to be definitely a threat when the season comes as well… the guy is a freak.”