BY Art Thiel 06:10PM 04/28/2018

Brief looks at the seven Seahawks draftees

Led by the extraordinary Shaquem Griffin, the Seahawks’ seven-player haul on the draft’s final day Saturday had plenty of unusual story lines.

It’s been 31 years since the Seahawks have drafted a punter as high as Michael Dickson of the University of Texas. / Pro Football Focus

The NFL draft’s final day had seven selections for the Seahawks, and several intrigues beyond joining together the Griffin brothers in the biggest national human-interest story of the draft.

They took a Husky with limited playing time at his college position, 6-foot-3 cornerback, a record-setting punter from Australia, a kid from from Chicago who finished school in less than four years, a self-described “tough-ass” kid from Temple and a quarterback who pronounces his last name as Magoo.

Look up the last one, kids.

A quick look at the draftees:

FOURTH ROUND

Will Dissly, TE, Washington

6-4, 267, senior, Bozeman, Mont.

Former defensive lineman who made the switch to offense at Washington after catching a pass in practice . . . Blocking tight end who didn’t allow a single pressure from 78 pass blocking snaps in 2017 . . . Started 11 of 13 games as a senior . . . Academic All‐Pac‐12 honorable mention . . .  career game against Montana —  five passes for 79 yards and two
touchdowns  . . . two receptions for 59 yards vs. Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl  . . . co‐winner of the Husky Excellence Award voted by players . . . Veteran free agent signee Ed Dickson will start, Dissly will compete with Nick Vannett as primary backup.

Quote (on the day at UW practice when the defensive lineman showed he could catch):  “The D-linemen were running to the east field and they were doing 7 on 7, but it was half side.  I said, ‘Hey, let me get a rep here,’ and coach says jump in.  I ran a little stop route. I made a kind of a tough catch, and opened some eyes there.  It was just all in fun.  At the moment, I didn’t think anything of it, but I guess I caught some attention.”

FIFTH ROUND 

Shaquem Griffin, LB, Central Florida

6-1, 213, senior, St. Petersburg, Fla.

His success despite a left hand amputated as a child is one of the greatest inspirational stories in sports . . . Twin brother of Seahawks starting CB Shaquill Griffin . . . Peach Bowl MVP and conference defensive player of the year on a team that went 13-0 and declared itself the unofficial national champion . . . 4.38-second 40 time at combine, where he also bench-pressed 225 pounds 21 times . . .third on the team in tackles with 74, including 13 for loss and seven sacks . . . one interception, three pass breakups and nine QB hurries . . . recovered two fumbles and forced two.

Quote (On where he was when the call came):  “I was using the restroom.  My brother kind of tackled me with my cellphone, saying, ‘Answer it, answer it!’ I looked (at the area code), and that’s when tears just started pouring down . . . I think I was more scared of him tackling me in the bathroom for not knowing what’s happening, than anything.  That’s how it happened.”

Tre Flowers, CB, Oklahoma State

6-3, 200, senior, Converse, Tex.

Second-team All-America selection by American Football Coaches Association . . . A first-team All-Big 12 honoree chosen by coaches and a second-team selection by Associated Press . . . teammates voted him team captain. Led team in tackles with 79 tackles.

Quote: “Words can’t describe it.  I grew up watching Kam Chancellor and Earl (Thomas).  Unfortunately, Richard (Sherman) isn’t there anymore, but I grew up watching them.  I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Michael Dixon, P, Texas

6-3, 2o5, junior, Sydney

Seahawks traded a seventh-round pick (No. 226) to Denver to move up seven spots to draft Dixon . . . Highest draft choice (149) used on a punter by the Seahawks since 1987 when Ruben Rodriguez was taken at 131 . . . UT’s all-time leader in average at 45.32 yards per punt . . . School record in punts (226) and yards (10,242) . . .  2017 national Ray Guy Award winner . . . Unanimous first-team All-America . . . Big 12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year and an Academic All-Big 12  . . . played Australian Rules Football as a prepster.

Quote (on directional punting): “In Aussie Rules football, you have a lot of different punts that you have to hit around the field.  You would be kicking to a moving target and you would have to fit it out in front, like how a quarterback leads a receiver on to a route. Sometimes you would have to do that, or sometimes you would have to do low, drill passes, or lofty ones.  So, you really develop an extra sort of touch between your foot and the ball.”

Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State

6-5, 310, senior, Chicago

Third-ranked tackle in this class by Pro Football Focus, but had a subpar combine performance . . . Two-year starter who played in 50 games and started 27 consecutive games at left tackle as a junior and senior. Twice an all-conference honoree, Jones helped Ohio State win six championships . . . graduated with degree in family resource management in December 2017, in less than four years . . . Helped the Buckeyes rank among the Top 20 rushing teams in the nation four consecutive years.

Quote (on his combine numbers): “I thought I would put up a little bit better numbers.  But, I went out there and they were what they were.  I’m just thankful for the opportunity and ready to go out there and play some football.”

SIXTH ROUND

Jacob Martin, DE, Temple

6-3, 250, senior, Aurora, Colo.

Brother of Josh Martin, five-year NFL veteran who started nine games at linebacker for the Jets in 2017 . . . Second-team All-American Athletic Conference selection with 39 tackles, 11 for loss, and eight sacks in 12 games. Was a reserve all but one game the previous three years, recording 18 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2016.

Quote:  “I’m going to be honest, I don’t think anyone in this draft class plays this game the way I do. I bring a lot of energy to the team and to my play. Very urgent in everything I do, whether that’s special teams, whether that’s on defense, or that’s rushing the quarterback.  I am a relentless dude.  I’m from Temple, so you know you’re going to get the hardest-working, the most physical, the most dedicated, the smartest players — some tough-ass dudes that get after the quarterback.”

SEVENTH ROUND

Alex McGough, QB, Florida International

6-3, 214, senior, Tampa

First QB drafted by the Seahawks since Russell Wilson in 2012 . .  threw for 2,791 yards and 17 touchdowns last season . . . Finished his four-year college career with 9,091 yards and 65 touchdowns, 37 interceptions . . . also had 535 career rushing yards and 16 touchdowns . . . Broke his collarbone in a bowl game, but says it has healed . . . Fourth quarterback on the roster, joining Russell Wilson, Austin Davis and Stephen Morris.

Quote (on meeting Wilson on his pre-draft Seattle visit): “I actually shook his hand when I was up there. I know he’s a great competitor.  He loves to win.  He hasn’t let anything stop him in his career, being undersized and being doubted. I feel like that’s me.”


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YourThoughts

  • Alan Harrison

    Nice roundup, nice draft. This completely backs up John and Pete’s statements about what they prefer to do with their football team. Not a whole lot of finesse here, even from the punter (on drafting a punter: saving a few million is saving a few million and as good a punter and person Jon Ryan is, that’s the hard truth about the NFL). And with Frazier, Phillips, and Ford having chips on their shoulders about not being drafted, this could be a special group of kids. Tough season ahead, but this is a nice start.

    • Tman

      Thrift is good. Example: the birds saved a mil on a field goal kicker last year.

    • art thiel

      Some holes filled, but who knows? The stars may be Janikowski and Dickson.

      • Alan Harrison

        If that’s the case, that’s good for at least 1, maybe 2 additional wins a year, which would be great.

  • Ron

    The media are eviscerating John and Pete for this draft, primarily the lack of attention to the offensive line again, and reaching. Sporting News gave C- which was better than only one other team (Bills, D). Thescore graded Seattle D- ouch. Maybe they are punishing John for last year’s draft.

    • Husky73

      Internet consensus seems to be the two worst drafts were by Oakland and Seattle.

      • Ron

        USA Today has the Seahawks and Saints tied for worst with D grades. On the other hand, these same ‘experts’ were giving the Hawks good grades for the past three to four years, which we now know were not good drafts.

        • art thiel

          Day-after grades on drafts are as pointless as oyster racing.

      • art thiel

        The same people loved the Seahawks drafts in 13, 14 and 15. They sucked.

      • WestCoastBias79

        There’s an article on SI about how much Todd McShay hates mock drafts and draft prognostication, but he’s contractually obligated to do them because they’re his most clicked on articles of the year. I get the feeling he’s not the only one who feels that way. Look at us, we’re talking about it.

        I don’t think anyone is more routinely wrong and still considered an expert more than Mel Kiper. He said Aaron Curry was the best player in the draft and would be an HOFer, and hated the Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson picks.

    • John M

      I’ll grade the Hawks draft at B+, best in years. And though I know it’s hard to move back, I think Shaquem has a great skill set to play SS and in the nickle, and the emotional aspects he brings couldn’t be much better. So even if I’m off, I’ll probably still look better than the guys you mentioned that get paid to be “right”. . .

      • art thiel

        Remember the experts who said the Seahawks deserved a D for the 2012 draft?

    • art thiel

      Play no attention to grades for players who haven’t had a pro snap yet.

      • Ron

        Yahoo gave the Seahawks “F” but that’s expected because Yahoo is located in the same city as the 49ers.

  • wabubba67

    Two things:

    1.) How did Jones help Ohio State win SIX championships?
    2.) Hopefully, Dickson has a better career than Ruben Rodriguez (he of the negative punt in a preseason game v. San Francisco).

    • Theyfinallyfiredcable

      I remember that punt . I remember saying to my friend “I’ve never seen that before” . Thankfully I’ve never seen it since either .

      • wabubba67

        Chuck Knox’s reaction on the sideline would have been pure internet gold today.

        • art thiel

          What did he do?

          • wabubba67

            If I remember correctly, as Rodriguez jogged back to the sideline, Knox gave him a stunned 1000 yard stare with those steely blue eyes, muttered an expletive while throwing his gum. Ruben was put on notice.

    • art thiel

      Buckeyes count division titles too,

      Can’t believe you remembered the negative punt.

  • Kirkland

    Aussie Rules and rugby players are natural fits for punting. The quick kicking under duress and tackling knowledge only help.

    • art thiel

      Dickson’s skill at placement is phenomenal.

  • Ron