The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is this weekend, and with players like quarterback Johnny Manziel and defensive end Michael Sam will grabbing a lot of the attention, neither one of them seems to fit into the off-season blueprint for the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks.
On the other hand, numerous under-the-radar players with a chance to join the champions will be participating in the combine over the next several days. They will be competing in everything from bench presses to positional drills. Although Seattle already has a talented roster down to the third string, there are positions that they need to fill to give more depth and there are players who offer stimulating possibilities for the Seahawks front office.
Here are some people you should be on the lookout for during the combine:
Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech
One of the biggest cornerbacks in the 2014 draft is 6-foot-1, 220 pound Antone Exum of Virginia Tech. He had a terrific junior season in 2012, racking up 48 tackles to go along with a team-leading 5 interceptions, but an ACL injury in the offseason allowed him just three games in 2013. Seattle already has Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell, but the team could use more depth as both near the end of their rookie contracts. Exum could be a mid-round pick, like the majority of Seattle’s defense that pays off down the road. His draft stock will definitely go up, seeing that he gives a spectacular performance.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt’s very own wide receiver Jordan Matthews had 206 catches over the last two seasons. He is leaving Vandy as the SEC’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. His 40-yard dash will determine if he goes on Day 2 or 3 — and timing could possibly get him into the first round, where the Seahawks could pick him up. The only thing he lacks is top end speed.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi
Another big SEC receiver is Donte Moncrief from Mississippi. He stands at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. Moncrief has a tendency to get a little bit sloppy in his routes and may drop the ball here and there, but that should be fixed with much coaching. More importantly, he gives great effort while run blocking. His draft stock could rise with a great combine week, but right now he could be waiting for a while.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a local tight end from the University of Washington. Unfortunately, Seferian-Jenkins had a DUI arrest in the offseason and experienced a dip in production in 2013 which may cause teams some concern. Now, Austin needs to improve his blocking. Other than that, he still has a priority position that the Seahawks need to fill.
The NFL combine began Wednesday, Feb. 19 and will end on Tuesday, Feb. 25.