Searching for diamonds: Seattle’s late round targets

Pete Carroll and John Schneider see depth as an issue. It’s not really surprising, considering the number of injuries sustained in recent years and how the team has suffered as a consequence. The Seahawks got better value than usual out of their late round picks last year, finding contributors like Walter Thurmond and trading for Leon Washington. They also found a few guys for the future, including Kam Chancellor and Anthony McCoy.

Currently they own the second pick in round four, two picks in round five and some late round change in the 6th and 7th. Schneider has been part of a franchise in Green Bay that has the best draft pick retention in the league over the last few years. Seattle must emulate that and it means continuing to search for diamonds.

The list further down the board will be much larger than the possible options at #25 – that’s pretty obvious due to the talent pool and nature of the draft. I understand these four are among the players the team is considering – in some cases possibly as early as #57 and in others as low as priority undrafted free agents.

DeMarcus Van Dyke (CB, Miami)
Originally seen as a late round pick, now a fast riser after running a 4.28 at the combine. If the Seahawks want him badly enough, they may have to consider spending their #57 pick. A track star at Miami, he sometimes plays that way with a lack of natural instinct for the position, but he has raw potential as a cover corner.

Lee Ziemba (OL, Auburn)
Played right tackle for the Championship winning Tigers. Considered a fourth round prospect in some quarters and could be a depth solution on the offensive line at 6-5, 317lbs. Very superstitious apparently and a four year starter, but not considered an obvious fit in the zone blocking scheme.

Curtis Marsh (CB, Utah State)
Converted running back who is believed to be a hard working, team first kind of guy. Possible 5th or 6th round selection. Above average speed but struggled with a hamstring injury at the Senior Bowl. Reportedly strongest in press coverage.

Jeff Tarpinian (LB, Iowa)
Special teams prospect who carries a late round or UDFA grade. It’s not hard to see where his value is (see video below).


  1. Kip Earlywine

    Van Dyke impresses me the most of the group. His height seems fine but his build is a bit on the skinny side, even for a corner. However his backpedal, agility and speed looks like the real thing.

    Ziemba doesn’t seem like a bad prospect at all, but I like Joseph Barksdale much more, better athlete, better measurables, much much better technique. Ziemba doesn’t have the greatest knee bend, but otherwise his game looks very solid. Looks like a very nice pick if he’s there in the 5th round. He’s 6’5″, which in addition to being ideal height for a tackle, isn’t necessarily too tall to move to guard; not optimal, but it may not be a deal breaker.

    Marsh “looks the part” physically but as with any DB prospect you’d probably need more than a highlight reel and more than even broadcast tape, you’d need coaches tape and a PhD in Xs and Os to properly evaluate them. I’m fine with trusting the FO on these two corners.

    • Kip Earlywine

      Regarding Van Dyke, and I’m not just saying this because of the Miami connection, but a guy like that I’d worry a bit about being too similar to Kelly Jennings at the next level. Everyone knows that lack of ballskills really hurt Jennings, but I’d argue his lack of physical play and difficulty against bigger/stronger players hurt him just as much. Van Dyke has an extremely similar build to Jennings and Jennings didn’t lack for speed coming out of school. Hopefully that is where the similarities end.

  2. tom page

    A Kelly Jennings reference is not a good one.

  3. TLevy

    DeMarcus Van Dyke = Kelly Jennings REDUX..

    No thanks..

  4. Kip Earlywine

    The Walter Thurmond pick has worked out okay so far, but now that I think about it, how many quality corners in the league were NOT first round picks? Particularly the elite corners, they are almost always top 15 selections.

    Its enough to make me warm up to the thought of Jimmy Smith if he’s there at #25, despite all the troubling warning signs off the field.

    I’ll have a post up later today that deals with the riskiest/safest 1st round positions. Here’s a preview: corner is the riskiest and it isn’t even close. When additionally factoring in how difficult it is to find pro-bowl caliber corners after the first round, I now realize just how difficult it is to build a great secondary.

    The bottom line is, you can’t have too many corners. So even if Van Dyke carries the risk of becoming Kelly Jennings redux, its a low cost risk that bolsters depth at the position. As long as we don’t think of Van Dyke as “the answer”, he’s a rock solid pick later on.

  5. akki

    Rang has Van Dyke going in rounds 4-5 and Jennings II with some upside is fine for that range. But if we’re going with Miami CBs I’d rather get Ryan Hill, who actually started ahead of Van Dyke but gets no press since he doesn’t run a 4.3.

    • Rob

      Good shout.

  6. Derek

    What about Jaquizz Rodgers if he falls to round 4? Do you think that is good value there? I would like that pick. I am afraid to say if but I think Justin Forsett might not make the roster this year. I can see the Hawks looking to incorporate Leon Washington more to get their worth out of his contract now that he will be less of a weapon on kick-offs. If Washington can get to his NY Jets form, that would be a nice 1-2 punch with Lynch. Or do you see the Hawks holding four RB’s?

    Also, how do you see the DL prospects after round 1? It seems that there is a lot of talk of good OL in later rounds but not so much of DL. I also read that Dave Razzano is really high USC DT Jurrell Casey. He might be an option at #57 but where do you think he fits in our defense?

    • Rob

      Casey fits the three technique in Seattle and should be a big time consideration at #57. I think the Seahawks will consider a talent at RB, whether Rodgers is the guy I’m not sure. His stock is hard to project, a bit like McCluster last year. I prefer Todman at Uconn.

  7. Derek

    Also what about Michael Morgan, OLB out of USC. He looks like an intriguing prospect in round 6 or 7. 6-4 220 OLB and ran a 4.49 at his proday. I read that he is an effective blitzer. Could be a special team ace and come in on our Bandit package.

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