Discover more from Seaside Joe
Seahawks sign 25 UDFA rookies: This is who they are
Reports on all 25 undrafted free agent signings: Seaside Joe 1532
The Seattle Seahawks officially signed 25 undrafted free agents to their roster, as well as WR Easop Winston and RB Bryant Koback, and rookie minicamp is about to get started this weekend. This weekend!
So I want to give you the chance to get to know these 25 names a little bit better before practices begin and then going into OTAs, then training camp, we’ll have a better idea of who they are, where they came from, and why they’re here now. If you think this post is awesome, please consider joining Seaside Joe, supporting the newsletter with $5, leaving a comment, and sharing us with other Seahawks fans. It’s simply…imperative.
Seaside Joe is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
I’ll go in the same order as the Seahawks did: Alphabetical first name
Quotes in bold that start “Overall,” are words of Dane Brugler in his The Beast draft guide for The Athletic.
CB Arquon Bush
Brugler’s 31st-ranked cornerback, one spot behind Alabama’s Eli Ricks, and Bush was given a 6th-7th round grade. His 4.42 40-yard dash and 1.50 10-yard split are at least Day 2 quality. Very short arms, diminuitive wingspan, almost 23-years-old. Former teammate of Coby Bryant.
Overall, Bush isn’t on the same level as a pro prospect as Gardner and Bryant, but speed and ball skills are critical at the cornerback position, and he checks those boxes. His experience in the nickel only helps his chances of securing a role on an NFL roster.
LB Cam Bright
Brugler’s 67th-ranked linebacker and not close to a draftable grade. 6’, 228 lbs out of Washington, good 40 and 10-yard split times at 4.58 and 1.57 but he’s a relatively light linebacker.
RB Chris Smith
Has relatively good odds to make the roster as a kick returner, as the Seahawks did not bring back Godwin Igwebuike. His $6,500 signing bonus is a sign of that. He’s fast.
LS Chris Stoll
At this point, Stoll has no competition to be Seattle’s 2023 longsnapper. Brugler’s third-ranked longsnapper in the class and no, I have no idea how Brugler comes up with longsnapper rankings.
S Christian Young
Brugler’s top-ranked safety…on his “best of the rest” list that didn’t merit a full write-up. Young is 6’1, 221, he ran a 4.59 and didn’t test very well.
WR CJ Johnson
Brugler’s 30th-ranked receiver and he had a sixth round grade. He’s one of the biggest receivers in the class: 6’1, 224 lbs, with big 10.25” hands. But also one of the slowest: 4.66 in the 40-yard dash. That’s probably why he went undrafted. Was high school teammates with another Seahawks undrafted free agent, QB Holton Ahlers, and they both went to East Carolina too. Had over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
Overall, Johnson owns an NFL body with high-quality play strength and ball skills, but his ordinary athleticism might limit the ways to get him the football. He projects best as a slot receiver who can make a living between the numbers.
TE Griffin Hebert
Brugler’s 21st-ranked tight end and a priority free agent grade. He’s 6’1, 239 lbs, ran a 4.56 with a decent 1.58 10-yard split for his size. Is already 24-years-old. His most productive season came in 2019 and he was never quite that productive again, but he had 18.7 yards per catch in 2022, most for any tight end in FBS.
Overall, Hebert’s remarkable testing numbers match his on-field athleticism before and after the catch. He can be a fun H-back for a creative NFL play caller.
QB Holton Ahlers
Brugler’s 19th-ranked QB, ahead of only Sean Clifford, Adrian Martinez, and Lindsey Scott. Ahlers is 6’3, 227 lbs. Essentially five years as a starter at East Carolina, won the Collegiate Bowl game MVP award. Number two in Carolina high school state history for total yards. A left-hander.
Overall, Ahlers efficiently works through his reads and plays with the aggressive confidence to push the ball downfield, but continued improvements with his footwork and ball placement are vital for him to stick in the NFL.
Hey, can you believe all of this Seahawks content everyday is FREE??? And done by just one guy writing thousands of words per day about the team in his free time? Well, good news…It doesn’t have to be totally free! Contribute just $5 per month and you’ll not only be supporting a small Seahawks-based business, you’ll get millions of hours of bonus content and helping one of your own achieve Seattle and worldwide media dreams. If you haven’t done it yet, please consider just hitting the “Subscribe Now” button or clicking this link and going for one month or one year.
Give a Gift Subscription to a Seahawks fan friend and you can doubly-support and do something kind for two people at once!
Please…for my family. Now back to the Seahawks.
DE Jacob Sykes
Brugler’s 75th-ranked defensive end, which does sound really terrible but is not quite as bad when you consider that it’s out of 159 names. Sykes is 6’2, 292, ran a 4.93 and a 1.72 10-yard split. Everything seems moderately acceptable and unspectacular. Transfer from Harvard to UCLA.
CB James Campbell
Brugler’s 49th-ranked cornerback, is 5’11, 183 lbs, and my favorite number in the 40-yard dash: 4.44. It’s not the best 40-yard dash time, I just like the number ‘444’. If you see it out in the wild, let me know. Really good three-cone at 6.81 and overall nice testing numbers, especially for a guy at Montana State. One of two UDFAs signed from Montana State.
WR Jake Bobo
Brugler’s 42nd-ranked receiver. Bobo is a nice player to have on your college team, but his lack of speed and advanced age at 24 make him more of a nice player to consider for a practice squad than a gameday roster.
Overall, Bobo’s size advantage won’t be as profound vs. NFL-level athletes, and he won’t see as many clean catch windows, but he has strong ball skills and competes with a sense of urgency. He projects as a “big” slot or potential tight end convert if he commits to adding weight.
WR John Hall
Brugler’s 222nd-ranked receiver but probably getting his opportunity because he’s 6’3, 194, ran a 4.57 and almost an 82” wingspan. Played at Northwood, which is in Michigan. His 2022 stats are listed as 19 catches for 457 yards over six games, which is 24.1 yards per catch. Also had six touchdowns. Was injured last year. Probably one of those “highly intriguing” signings because of how unknown he is, but still a longshot.
NT Jonah Tavai
Brugler’s 50th-ranked defensive tackle and really just would be the shortest defensive tackle in the NFL if he made the roster. He’s even shorter than Poona Ford, weighs a lot less, and unlike Poona, wasn’t the team captain/leader at a school like Texas. Played at San Diego State. Which is all well and fine, but his diminuitive wingspan and such makes him very unlikely to make the final roster.
SS Jonathan Sutherland
Brugler’s 75th-ranked safety, played at Penn State and had a 4.57 40-yard dash and 1.64 10-yard split at 5’11, 202 lbs. Stood out in the three-cone a little bit at 6.96 and a 37.5” vertical. Plus 25 reps on the bench which is super impressive. Strength is there, and most notable of all, he’s Canadian. The next Luke Willson.
G Kendall Randolph
Brugler’s 56th-ranked guard, played at Alabama. No speed testing numbers. Is 6’4, 300 lbs. Not impressive size or length. Played some tight end. Known as “Grandpa” so he’ll fit in Seattle.
CB Lance Boykin
Brugler’s 38th-ranked cornerback. Kind of lanky and slow but maybe with Pete Carroll’s guidance could survive.
Overall, Boykin lacks desired speed and twitch for the position, but he is long, physical and mentally tough — essential ingredients for an NFL press-man corner.
WR Matt Landers
Brugler’s 40th-ranked receiver and I’m going to assume that the sole reason for that is his 4.37 40-yard dash at 6’4, 200 lbs. But “DK Metcalf”, he is not. My comparison would be more like Chris Matthews. Without any special teams value, I believe Landers is waived and then put on practice squad if nobody picks him up.
Overall, Landers has the vertical speed and catch radius that will draw the attention of NFL teams, but there are red flags that create doubt with his NFL projection. His limited special teams value will also be working against him.
LB Michael Ayers
Having played at Ashland, Ayers is Brugler’s 30th-ranked linebacker and just made his list of players to get a write-up. He’s 6’1, 221 lbs, and played six years in college. His testing is bad, 4.63, 1.75 in the 10-yard split. He’s over 24. That can only mean one thing: He’s smart and makes the most with what he has.
Overall, Ayers can be engulfed by blockers when he gets too close to the sun, but he is a stingy run-and-chase linebacker who can earn his way on special teams.
All of this is free!
DE M.J. Anderson
I wrote about Anderson because he got the biggest reported signing bonus of any undrafted player signed by the Seahawks, and more than what Joey Blount (the only UDFA to make the 53-man roster last year) got in 2022. Anderson may not have as good of odds as say, Chris Stoll to make the roster, but his odds are better than average. Made the mistake of not being named “Will Anderson”.
Overall, Anderson has the size, length and upside to warrant attention from NFL coaches, but he is currently undeveloped as both a pass rusher and run defender and needs time to become more skilled. He is a potential practice-squad player and rotational backup.
S Morrell Osling III
Brugler’s 45th-ranked safety and another player from Chip Kelly’s program at UCLA. I had no idea Pete admired Chip so greatly. Has a ton of length with a 79” wingspan for a safety. Is 6’1, 195 lbs, moderate speed, just enough of everything to get by.
TE Noah Gindorff
Brugler’s 17th-ranked tight end, so the Seahawks didn’t draft one but they signed two guys who were right around the back end of Brugler’s top-20. Gindorff is a much differently built tight end though at 6’6, 263 lbs. He and Hebert wouldn’t have the same role. He’s also over 24. Missed 12 games with an ankle injury. Only had 522 yards despite being in college for six years. .
Overall, the medical feedback after back-to-back season-ending ankle surgeries will determine if Gindorff is drafted or not, but when healthy, he catches the ball well and relishes the dirty work as an inline blocker. He projects as a throwback Y tight end capable of winning a No. 2 blocking role.
LB Patrick O’Connell
Brugler’s 43rd-ranked linebacker. He had a 38.5” vertical, which is pretty high up there. I hear Montana is beautiful. Here’s a write-up on him before the draft:
“I played a lot more in the box and in coverage my senior year because they were trying to get me different looks,” said O’Connell. “There were a lot of times where it’d be more predictable that I was coming off of the edge and stuff, so they put me in the box and in coverage a lot more my senior year.” Even with different assignments, O’Connell still managed to put up another 8 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in ’22 while also grabbing his first 2 career interceptions. This came on the heels of a 14-sack effort in ’21 where he also forced 4 fumbles.
NT Robert Cooper
Brugler’s 65th-ranked defensive tackle. Certainly has an opportunity at a shallow position on Seattle’s roster, but still needs to play well in order to make the roster. You can’t make the NFL by default, usually, the Seahawks could just go sign somebody especially given the value of the position. It wouldn’t cost a ton. He’s 309 lbs, not 339 lbs, so big but not huge by nose tackle standards. Had no testing numbers.
S Ty Okada
Brugler’s 26th-ranked safety and the second player out of Montana State here. He’s 5’10, 193 lbs, ran a…4.44. Woo! With a 1.58 10-yard split. Small wingspan, is almost 24. Had a blocked punt last year…special teams value?
Overall, Okada masks his average size with athletic versatility and football IQ plus the makeup for special teams. After his pro day performance, he has a decent chance to be drafted.
WR Tyjon Lindsey
Brugler’s 71st-ranked wide receiver and one of the smallest in the class at 5’8, 171 lbs. Ran a 4.46 but a nice 1.51 in the 10-yard split. A super impressive 6.69 in the three-cone and a 4.10 in the short shuttle. Also a 39” vertical and almost 11’ in the broad. Impressive even for his size. But one of the most competitive positions on the team and he would have to be an electric returner, maybe beat out Chris Smith or somebody for a special teams role.
If you think this UDFA post was worth your time, please consider joining the Regular Joes club and/or sending it to another Seahawks fan and I’ll keep creating more like it!