Rookie minicamp review

May, 19, 2014
May 19
8:00
AM ET
RENTON, Wash. -- Who says it rains every day in Seattle?

Despite a weather forecast for rain the final two days of the three-day rookie minicamp, the Seattle Seahawks enjoyed three beautiful, dry days to practice along the banks of Lake Washington.

Here are a few players who stood out for me, good and bad, along with some other interesting tidbits to summarize the three days of work:

Kevin Norwood -- Overall, in terms of how he plays and how he presents himself, the most impressive player in the camp. He just has the look of a polished pro. Norwood, a fourth-round pick from Alabama, is as fundamentally sound a rookie receiver as you’ll find. He’s also strong on the tough catches with defenders near him, especially short hitch routes and crossing pattern.

He worked his tail off all three days. Norwood strained his wrist leaping to make a catch during practice on Sunday and left the field, obviously in pain. Less the 10 minutes later, he was back out on the field making catches in the team scrimmage. If he gets his hands on the ball, 95 percent of the time he’s going to catch it.

Paul Richardson -- Yes, he can fly and he didn’t waste any time proving it. The second-round pick from Colorado caught a 63-yard TD bomb on the first day. But he is thin, especially in his upper body. A little bulking up is on the agenda. He missed the last two days of practice after a collision at the end of Friday’s workout caused a slight shoulder bruise, but it strictly was a precautionary move by the coaches.

Keith Price -- Watching him these three days, it’s hard to understand why the Washington quarterback wasn’t invited to the NFL combine and didn’t get drafted. He was on it all weekend, accurate throws, good decisions and quick with all his movements. Yes, he ran a similar offensive system with the Huskies, but nevertheless, Price did everything right. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said of Price: “He looks like he might be able to help us.”

Eric Pinkins -- The sixth-round pick from San Diego State had a rough couple of days, giving up two long touchdowns Friday and getting torched by Richardson. But give Pinkins a break. He is moving from safety to cornerback for the first time and trying to learn the intricacies of press coverage. The coaches moved him back to safety on Sunday to see how he looked there.

Justin Britt -- He has amazingly quick feet for a guy 6-6, 325 pounds. It’s easy to see why the Seahawks made the Missouri offensive tackle a surprise second-round pick. He doesn’t appear to have an ounce of fat on him. He'll get a chance to battle Michael Bowie for the starting spot at right tackle.

Cassius Marsh -- The clear standout on defense. The quickness of the 6-4, 255-pound defensive end jumps out at you immediately, along with his relentless approach on every play. The fourth-round draft pick from UCLA is similar style to Michael Bennett, one of his heroes. Marsh plans to put on 20 pounds this summer and play at around 275.

Jackson Jeffcoat -- He’s really fast off the edge, but not very big. As the son of former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jim Jeffcoat, it’s obvious he really understands the game. He was in the backfield a lot in the three practice sessions, but it’s hard to tell how strong he can be.

Korey Toomer -- He made sure the coaches don’t forget about him. Toomer spent his first two NFL seasons on injured reserve, but there’s a reason the Seahawks have kept the talented outside linebacker around. It showed in rookie camp, including a pick-six on Friday and a fumble receiver Sunday.

Jimmy Staten -- The defensive tackle from Middle Tennessee State, a fifth-round choice, came in a little out of shape, but he still manhandled a few guys inside. He got by his blockers several times and deflected a pass on Friday.

Garry Gilliam -- He’s a free-agent signee from Penn State who looked stronger than expected at offensive tackle. Gilliam (6-5, 305) is a former tight end and his athletic ability was obvious. Carroll and offensive line coach Tom Cable thought enough of him that they moved him over to left tackle on Sunday and he did a nice job.

Chris Matthews -- The former CFL rookie of the year didn’t practice because of a slight hamstring pull, but wow, is he big. You immediately notice that he’s the biggest guy out there among the receivers, not only in height (6-5), but also is bulk (220).

Markus Smith -- He was a tryout invitee that made a big impression. Smith (6-1, 195) was a free safety for Nevada, but he played both safety and cornerback at rookie camp and more than held his own. We’ll see whether he gets invited back or not, but he played well enough that some team will give him a chance.

Adham Talaat -- A tryout defensive end from Gallaudet University who impressed the coaches with his strength and work ethic. If the Seahawks keep him, they will have two players that are partially deaf, including starting fullback Derrick Coleman.

Zach Zulli -- He is a tryout quarterback for Shippensburg, a Division II school on Pennsylvania, and he won't be back with Seattle, especially considering how well Price played. But Carroll is happy to give him a strong recommendation.

"I thought Zach did a really nice job," Carroll said. "He’s a really active football player. He can help a football team. He didn’t know our system and never called a play from the huddle in the last five years. But he showed good play-making ability, ran well and has tremendous accuracy and has a strong arm. He was fun to have out here.”

Funniest quote -- Carroll when asked about the upcoming movie of the life of Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, who will play himself: “No one has asked me to play myself,” Carroll said. “But really, I want to play Richard [Sherman].’'

Best visitor -- Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin did a Lake Washington ride-by showing on his on his jet ski Friday during practice, just to say hello.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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