May 10, 2013; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Chris Harper (17) turns up field after catching a pass in a rookie minicamp practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks Top 25 Under 25: Part One

It is common knowledge that the Seahawks are both a good team and a young team going into 2013. This is the best possible thing a team can be. Being old and good is feasible if you are a contender, being young and bad is OK if the future is bright, but being young and good is the stuff that the dynasties are built on. I’m not saying that the Seahawks are a dynasty or will be one but they are well situated to have continued success over the next few years.

In honor of all the young talent on this team I will be embarking on a five part series to spotlight this talent entitled “Top 25 Seahawks Under 25”. This kind of list is very uncommon when analyzing football teams because so few of them have enough meaningful contributors under the age of 25. Usually it is used to look at the youngest talent on hockey or baseball teams by looking at their youngest players as well as the stars of their farm system. Given the lack of farm teams in football, having 25 players under 25 would be essentially half your roster. The Seahawks might not reach this mark, but if they don’t they will be close. As a result I thought I would steal a formulaic structure from hockey and baseball writers in order to showcase the youth on this team. In order to build suspense I will be going from top to bottom in groups of five. Today we’ll start with #25-21.

For the players at the bottom of this list I tended to favor potential and ceiling because after a certain point you run out of guys with a proven track record. That point comes fairly early in fact. These guys are players that don’t have specific roles with this team lined up for them but have the potential to make something happen. Pete Carroll often talks about liking players with special skills and there are some special skills sprinkled among the players below. Without further ado we kick off the list with #25:

#25: Jaye Howard

Height: 6-3

Weight: 301

Age: 24

40 time: 4.82

Years Pro: 2

Career Stats

League

Games

Games Started

Tackles

Assists

Sacks

Forced Fumbles

Passes Defended

NCAA

45

25

80

51

11

0

2

NFL

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Summary: Jaye Howard has yet to demonstrate anything at the NFL level but he’s an easy guy to dream on. He’s got speed and size and length and you could see how he’d be an effective pass rusher, but he has to show it. This team likes to carry around a lot of defensive lineman and defensive tackle isn’t a spot where there is a lot of certainty right now so it’s hard to say where he winds up. The range of outcomes stretches from “comes out of the shadows to snatch the starting spot beside Mebane” to “doesn’t make the team” although the former is so very unlikely. I’m pulling for him if only because whiffing on a 4th round pick would show that John Schneider might be mortal and I don’t want to accept that yet.

#24: John Lotulelei

Height: 5-11

Weight: 233

Age: 21

40 time: 4.84

Years Pro: R

Career Stats

League

Games

Games Started

Tackles

Assists

Sacks

Forced Fumbles

Passes Defended

NCAA

25

17

83

97

0

1

4

NFL

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Summary: Lotulelei was Seattle’s highest paid undrafted free agent and has a shot to be a quality depth linebacker for this squad in 2013. His measurables above are unremarkable as he appears short, stout and lacking in long speed but he showed some interesting quickness and explosion at the Combine as he had one of the better verticals (35.5 inches) and three cone drill times (6.91 seconds). Lotulelei has gotten a fair amount of action in the preseason and this staff seems to be fond of him and this ranking may look foolishly low in the months to come. There is reason to believe that Lotulelei could be a useful contributor but lack of track record, draft pedigree or absolutely elite athleticism lands him here.

#23: Greg Scruggs DT

Height: 6-3

Weight: 284 (and rising)

Age: 23

40 time: 4.76

Years Pro: 2

Career Stats

League

Games

Games Started

Tackles

Assists

Sacks

Forced Fumbles

Passes Defended

NCAA

33

21

38

23

8

2

2

NFL

10

0

5

1

2

1

0

 

Summary: First things first, I am aware that Scruggs is injured and out for the season. However, I believe there is a good chance he will bounce back and contribute to this team in 2014, when he will still be under 25. Scruggs has some quickness and versatility and made his presence known at times rushing from the DT position last year. Word was that he was bulking up to focus on being a DT but I kind of liked him as a poor man’s Michael Bennett last year. He’s one of those players that everyone is going to forget about but could definitely play a role down the line somewhere. A good late round find by this front office.

#22: Benson Mayowa

Height: 6-3

Weight: 236

Age: 21

40 time: 4.73

Years Pro: R

Career Stats

League

Games

Games Started

Tackles

Assists

Sacks

Forced Fumbles

Passes Defended

NCAA

45

14

49

21

10

8

5

NFL

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Summary: Benson Mayowa was featured in my “Obscure Seahawks Bi-Weekly” series earlier in the off season and he has made quite an impression around camp so far. Mayowa is quick and has shown some aptitude for getting to the quarterback with 2.5 sacks already this preseason. This is high on the list for someone with no NFL experience and who only started 2 years in college and this ranking is reflective of all the positive reports. The addition of O’Brien Schofield might be problematic for Mayowa but he is the cheap option so if he can keep up he can stick on the team. When I first wrote about Mayowa I gave him a 25% chance of making the squad (something he took issue with on twitter) and that has definitely increased now. So you win Benson, and here you are on the list.

#21: Chris Harper

Height: 6-1

Weight: 233

Age: 23

40 time: 4.50

Years Pro: R

Career Stats

League

Games

Games Started

Receptions

Yards

Touchdowns

Yards per Reception

NCAA

39

21

122

1725

12

14.1

NFL

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Summary: Chris Harper really has not shown a great deal yet, much like fellow 4th round pick Jaye Howard, but his potential is so massive I had to place him on this list. There have been some rumblings that he might not even make the team but I find it hard to believe. Harper is fast and unbelievably strong for a WR and his rawness can largely be explained by him being a converted quarterback for many of his best development years. I am a fan of conversion projects because there is so much more potential development in them than their age indicates. Especially if they have the body and athleticism that Harper has. Boom or bust type, but there is room for that kind of player on the bottom of a roster/a list like this.

The next installment of this series comes Monday so I apologize for leaving you on the edge of your seats all weekend but the suspense only makes it sweeter when we get there. I will spend the weekend hoping that none of you think my opinion of myself is high enough for me to actually to believe that statement to be true. Whatever you believe, check in next Monday for numbers 15-20.

Next Seahawks Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 2121 Sep1:25Denver BroncosBuy Tickets

Tags: Seahawks

comments powered by Disqus