Yesterday saw the Seahawks close their mandatory minicamp, on the heels of voluntary organized team activities and rookie training camp, which stretched over the prior month. Now the players return to their off-season homes until late July.
In this brief window of practices, here is the list of players whose stock has fallen or risen, which may affect their playing time come fall.
Korey Toomer, Linebacker
Since the 2012 draft, Seahawks fans heard little about this athletic linebacker selected in the fifth round. Toomer spent the two seasons since then sidelined by injury, earning him the label “red-shirt junior” from some coaches this off-season. So what’s Toomer shown on the field over the past month?
“Korey Toomer has looked fantastic,” Coach Pete Carroll said. “He probably has been the brightest guy of the whole camp.”
Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn also joined the Toomer bandwagon: “The biggest thing for him, he’s got just really good quickness. It shows up at [strongside] linebacker when he steps into the flat. It shows up when he’s blitzing, where you can see his initial quickness getting right off the ball.”
At the Combine over two years ago, Toomer ran a 4.53 40-yard-dash and weighed in at 234 pounds. Bigger, faster, stronger, [louder]. Now that he’s approaching the preseason healthy, does this sound like a good fit for the Seahawks, or what? Expect Toomer to compete with linebackers Malcom Smith and Bruce Irvin for snaps.
Terrelle Pryor, Quarterback
When the Seahawks traded a seventh-round draft pick to the Oakland Raiders for Terrelle Pryor, the big question was how the blazing fast, 6’4″ Pryor would be put to use. Imagine his size and 4.38 40-yard dash speed as a red zone target, the rumor mill gurgled.
At least publicly, the only role the Seahawks have offered Pryor through OTAs and minicamp is as a quarterback. And just this week, he had apparently beat at least one competitor for a spot on the roster. Tuesday, the Hawks waived Keith Price, an undrafted free agent who set career and season records for the University of Washington.
Despite early struggles by Pryor this offseason, Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell offered only the highest praise for his work last week. And an anonymous source tells Danny O’Neil that Pryor is not just making a personal breakthrough, but he is among the most improved Seahawks players over the past month.
With Russell Wilson clearly entrenched as the starting quarterback, will the Seahawks cut one-time starter Tarvaris Jackson at the age of 31, who is due 1.1 million this year on a recently extended salary? Or will the Hawks find another way to keep Pryor, who makes just $705,000 this year and turns 25 today?