By Eric Ronnebeck
With the 2015 NFL Draft in the books, we turn our attention to the undrafted rookie free agents the Seahawks signed after the Draft. Past undrafted free agents for the Hawks include Cooper Helfet, Alvin Bailey, and Jermaine Kearse. These players don’t come with the fanfare or hype that players drafted in rounds one through seven do but there’s still considerable talent to be found.
Nate Boyer – Long Snapper
The feel good story after the draft was the Seahawks signing of Nate Boyer. Boyer, a former Green Beret who was in combat a year ago at this time, was a walk on at age 28 at Texas. Now 34, he seems to be a long shot to make the Seahawks but Pete Carroll and John Schneider love the tenacity and driven attitude Boyer brings with him. It’s unknown if Boyer has the versatility to play other positions but for now he’s set to compete against Clint Gresham for the long snapper job.
Rod Smith – Running Back
Rod Smith is a force at running back. Described on scouting pages as “bruising”, Smith’s style may look similar to that of Marshawn Lynch. However, he looks to transition as more of a short yardage running back, picking up the tough yards. Smith rushed for less than 500 yards in 4 seasons at Ohio State but was mostly used as a change of pace back. He can catch the ball out of the backfield or out on the sideline and he’s played well on special teams. Something of note, Smith was dismissed from the Buckeyes in October of 2014.
Thomas Rawls – Running Back
Thomas Rawls is a compact runner with good strength, superb balance, plus field vision, and the type of stamina reserved for NFL running backs in their prime. Why did he go undrafted? Rawls character was called into question in college over an accusation of stolen credit cards, though he plead down and was convicted for petty larceny. Although he has the stamina, speed, and power to be a future starter in the NFL, he fell off some team’s draft boards late in the draft. Regardless of what teams think of him, Rawls has a lot of talent and could carve out a spot for himself on the Hawk’s practice squad or on another NFL roster.
Jesse Davis – Tackle
Jesse Davis began his college career playing defensive tackle but by his senior year he had been moved to strong side tackle. He played well through 5 games before he was injured. Davis shows the type of versatility in a player that the Seahawks like and he plays a position on the offensive line where the Hawks could use help.
Austin Hill – Wide Receiver
Although he was assigned the number of former Seahawk Percy Harvin, Austin Hill will not draw comparisons to the former number 11 of the Seattle Seahawks. Hill suffered an ACL injury in 2013 and despite his recovery, has yet to regain his vertical speed. He shows quickness coming out of his routes and has plus hands though he’s not going to beat anyone down the field. The reason for Hill’s signing by the Seahawks is in his size. At 6-3, Hill can bully cornerbacks on the outside, or the slot, and he’s an over achiever at run blocking, a strength the Seahawks covet.