The Seahawks signed 16 undrafted players. Here’s a closer look at the two offensive linemen and two fullbacks they picked up.
Our look at the newest Seahawks will take us across the country, from Idaho to Pennsylvania. As we said in our first look at some of the undrafted kids Seattle signed, there are reasons these players weren’t drafted. Obviously, there are reasons Pete Carroll and John Schneider believed they still have a chance to play in the NFL. So let’s take a closer look at these gentlemen.
First up, Skyler Philips, offensive lineman from Idaho State. Phillips started in 42 games for the Football Championship division Bengals. He played all five positions on the line, and played guard in the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl. 6’2″ and 315 pounds, so he certainly isn’t undersized. Phillips was a third team All-American.
And don’t discount that Senior Bowl experience. He more than held his own against players like Tyquan Lewis (drafted 64th), Justin Jones (drafted 84th), and Harrison Phillips (drafted 96th). He may have played in the Football Championship Division (or as sensible people still think of it, Division I-AA), but he can hang with the big boys. Plus, it’s pretty cool Skyler was All-Conference in the Big Sky Conference, right?
An academic athlete is good to have on the O line
Our next offensive lineman is center Brad Lundblade of Oklahoma State. Fellow Cowboy Tre Flowers can show him around, as he’s been with the Seahawks for hours longer. Lundblade started every game as a junior, and would have done the same as a senior if he hadn’t missed two games due to injury. He was named First Team Big 12 by coaches, Second Team Big 12 by the Associated Press.
Lundblade also won about a jillion academic awards, for those of you who like your offensive linemen to be smart. Quarterbacks certainly do. Only four other players in the Big 12 won All-Academic honors to match their athletic awards. Lundblade made the Big 12 All-Academic team as a junior as well.
He can play some football, too. He anchored the line that gave the Cowboys a 4,000 yard passer, a 1,00 yard rusher, and two 1,00 yard receivers, a first in conference history. Oklahoma State led the nation in passing offense, yet still scored 34 touchdowns on the ground. The Seahawks probably figured he has the secret recipe and drafted him just for that. Best of all, he started at Stillwater as a walk-on, so he’s used to working for his chances.
This young man can find the end zone
Let’s get to some guys who can handle the rock, shall we? First up is fullback Khalid Hill of Michigan. For an in-depth look at Hill, we’ll turn to FanSided’s site for all things Wolverine, gbmwolverine.com. Site expert Chris Peterson sees a lot to like about Hill. Do yourself a favor and read their excellent article on Hill. Back? Good. The Seahawks and 12s will like that Hill scored 16 touchdowns at Michigan, 13 of those rushing. Did I mention those 13 touchdowns were in 42 attempts? And did I mention he’s an excellent blocker? He played his first two years at tight end, so the man can catch, too. Yes, Chris, he fits the Seahawks.
I think the lack of an effective fullback really hurt the Seahawks running game last season. Tre Madden just wasn’t the answer. I’m sure Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer will give Mr. Hill every chance to take that role. Unless it’s the next guy, of course.
Yes, Seattle signed two fullbacks Wait, he wasn’t a fullback in college? But he’s from Slippery Rock? YES! For those of you who didn’t watch Sportscenter in the early days, well, you missed out. Okay, so from the great Slippery Rock University of Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania comes future fullback Marcus Martin. Slippery Rock plays Division II football, so you’ll be excused if you’re not familiar with Martin. Get familiar with him here. Martin played defensive end at Slippery Rock. Yes, defensive end, not fullback.
So our second fullback was a defensive end – got it
And when I say he played defensive end, he played it like no one before him. He’s the all-time NCAA leader in career sacks -that’s all divisions- with 56. He’s the Division II all-time leader in tackles for a loss with 92.5. He was the Division II Defensive Player of the Year, and was the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year since birth. Okay, not quite; only as a sophomore, junior and senior. He only managed Rookie of the Year as a freshman, so he isn’t *that* great.
So… this kid is one of the most dynamic defensive ends ever, but the Seahawks drafted him as a fullback. At 6’2″ and 255, he isn’t terribly undersized, and you’d think he’d be a great fit at linebacker. But Martin himself likes the fit. As he is quoted in John Holtz’s article for rockathletics.com,
"I really feel like the Seahawks wanted me from the beginning,” said Martin. “They watched a lot of my film, saw me at the pro days and I really got a good feeling from my conversations with the coaching staff."
Holtz wrote that Martin was contacted by other NFL teams, one which saw him on the edge and another at linebacker. Ultimately it was the Seahawks who sealed the deal, though. It will be a very interesting camp for Mr. Martin, I think, along with all the newest Hawks.