The Seattle Seahawks 2019 rookie class has been quiet apart from DK Metcalf. The second-round receiver is the only rookie to have a sizeable role on offense or defense.
But Pete Carroll reiterated his confidence in the entire class on Wednesday, starting with first-round pick L.J. Collier.
“I think it’s a really good class,” Carroll said. “I think it’s an excellent group. Every one of the guys are contributing in a way that they show us they belong. There’s no doubt in our mind. It’s really going to be good for the long haul here.”
Collier has played in just two games thus far and was a healthy scratch last Thursday against the Rams. He should be active in Week 6 against the Browns with Brandon Jackson likely to be out with a neck injury. Carroll shared his excitement to see Collier play and contribute.
“I think that L.J. is going to show you here now in the next few weeks that he’s going to be able to figure into what’s happening,” Carroll said. “It’s just taken him awhile. He missed so much football. I’m planning on him being a factor this week and continue to grow with that.”
Collier is kind of a tweener defensive lineman who provides some to the pass rush and in stopping the run, but doesn’t do either at an elite level. He’s got one tackle in 36 total snaps through two games.
A high-ankle sprain during training camp set Collier back a month, but Carroll believes the rookie looks to be more focused and in better shape than ever.
“He’s got great length,” Carroll said. “In that, he uses it in his pass rush. He’s a penetrating player – gets in the backfield because of his quickness. He’s going to make stuff happen. We don’t have any thought about that he’s not going to be a really good player. We just think it’s time and experience.”
LB Cody Barton (third round), LB Ben Burr-Kirven (fifth round) and RB Travis Homer (sixth round)
That trio of rookies is playing solely on special teams, but they’re playing significant roles in that regard. Barton and Burr-Kirven each played 20 special teams snaps against the Rams while Homer played 13.
“Cody and BBK are doing a really good job contributing," Carroll said. "Travis Homer is doing a really good job contributing on special teams. Those guys are playing the big factor for us in that they’re in on everything.”
WR Gary Jennings (fourth round) and WR John Ursua (seventh round)
Jennings is yet to be active this season and was nearly waived in order to promote Adrian Colbert from the practice squad. Instead, Seattle opted to waive Brian Mone. Ursua was only active in Week 2 against the Steelers and didn’t catch a pass. They’ll continue to be gameday inactives unless Seattle suffers an injury at the position.
“Both those guys can play,” Carroll said. “That’s why they’re on the team. They’re really good players for the near future and for the long-term future as well.”
S Marquise Blair (second round)
Blair has played in three games with one total tackle. He showed promise in the preseason before a back injury slowed his progress. Now he sits behind Lano Hill, Tedric Thompson, Bradley McDougald and Ugo Amadi on the depth chart.
“He’s got a knack for hitting football and being around the ball,” Carroll said. “We think he’s going to be good. He’s just playing behind some guys that know what they’re doing and it’s hard to unseat those guys. He is in the competition this week again. He’s practicing for play time this week. We’ve already conveyed that to him. We think he deserves that. He and Lano will be working really hard in practice this week for more play time.”
Carroll added that they’re keeping Blair at solely free safety in order to “expedite the learning and the responsibilities.” It’s clear that Seattle still doesn’t trust Blair enough within the scheme in order to give him game reps.
CB/S Ugo Amadi (fourth round)
Amadi started Week 1 at nickel corner before Jamar Taylor took over. He’s also the team’s top gunner in punt coverage. He impressively downed a Michael Dickson punt at the 1-yard line against the Rams last Thursday. Carroll continued to praise Amadi’s knack for making plays.
“We work on that stuff all the time, but you still have to demonstrate the poise and just chill that a terrific athlete does,” Carroll said. “I thought that was a really good demonstration of that. Wasn’t even a surprise because he just does stuff all the time. He’s working his way in too.”