2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Harper, Willson look to find roles with Seahawks

By CURTIS CRABTREE - Associated Press
    2013-05-12 19:09

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - The Seattle Seahawks already had a deep roster even before the NFL draft.

For the 11 draft picks selected by Seattle, just finding a way onto the roster by the end of training camp will be tough.

However, two of the Seahawks selections have already made an impression with coach Pete Carroll during the team's three-day rookie minicamp.

Fourth-round receiver Chris Harper and fifth-round tight end Luke Willson each caught the ball well during the minicamp and Carroll is already envisioning roles for the pair for the start of training camp in July.

``Those guys will get tossed right in with the first group,'' Carroll said. ``First dozen plays they'll be out there.''

Being able to fill specific roles will benefit both Harper and Willson in their pursuit of making the Seahawks roster.

The Seahawks drafted Willson with the hope his speed would give them a downfield receiving threat they don't have at the tight end position.

Willson made an immediate impression on the first day of minicamp. Willson hauled in a pass from recently signed quarterback Jerrod Johnson along the left sideline and managed to turn up field and run away from a pair of defensive backs for a long touchdown.

``We really did give him a chance in this camp to show stuff,'' Carroll said. ``We gave him a lot of balls and we wanted to see if his speed would show up downfield and it certainly does. He's very fast. He'll be our fastest tight end in camp.''

Willson dealt with a high ankle sprain and back issues through the duration of his senior season at Rice University. He caught just nine passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns last season before Seattle selected him in the fifth round. He began to feel better soon after the season ended and ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash at his pro day catching the eye of NFL scouts.

``I feel great out here now,'' Willson said. ``I feel like I'm moving around pretty good. A lot easier and a lot more free than I did it last season.''

In Harper, the Seahawks wanted a bigger body at the receiver position. At 234 pounds, Harper has a body-type unlike any other receiver on Seattle's roster.

``He's a big, solid dude like we thought,'' Carroll said. ``He really has great hands. He has really classy hands. I don't think that there's any ball that he's out of. If he can get his hands on it, he has a chance to catch it.''

Percy Harvin, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are all smaller players. Sidney Rice is tall and lanky. Harper brings a solid, strong frame to the position the coaching staff was seeking in the draft.

``We kind of already knew who Chris was and he hasn't disappointed,'' receivers coach Kippy Brown said. ``As a matter of fact, he's probably more athletic than I thought.''

After a slow first day of minicamp, Harper started to show his skills the final two days of camp.

``I pride myself on making all the tough catches,'' Harper said. ``... I just want to bring my physical style of play to the team and that's something that we definitely have a receiver already, but I just want to add to that.''

Both still face an uphill climb to find playing time if they can make the roster. Seattle has invested significant money at both positions in recent seasons. Zach Miller will be the highest-paid tight end in the league next season. Rice signed a big free agent deal two years ago and Seattle gave Harvin a lucrative extension after trading for him in the offseason.

But through their first taste of the NFL, both Harper and Willson appear to be up for the challenge.

``Everybody looked like they fit into the role that we had hoped for with a million miles to go,'' Carroll said.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group