Seahawks notebook: That USC pipeline still waiting for some flow
Seattle hasn't drafted that many of Pete Carroll's college players
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — Familiarity doesn't equate to favoritism.
That has been demonstrated by Pete Carroll's first two years in Seattle as the massive influx of former USC players that some expected never materialized.
Seattle has selected two players Carroll recruited to USC, both in the final two rounds of the draft.
The Seahawks chose tight end Anthony McCoy in the sixth round in 2010 and then linebacker Malcolm Smith in the seventh round last year.
It's not a lack of top-shelf talent that explains the lack of interest in other USC prospects. Over the past two years, the Trojans had seven players taken in the first three rounds of the draft. It's just that none of them were chosen by the coach who recruited them to college.
"It doesn't always work to our advantage as you might think," Carroll said. "So often I'm tougher on those guys because I know them so well and I have their backgrounds."
Offensive tackle Matt Kalil is the highest-rated Trojan in the draft this year, a player many expect to be chosen No. 3 overall by Minnesota.
The second best draft prospect out of USC is defensive end Nick Perry, which is where things get interesting. Perry plays the very position Seattle has a need, and at the scouting combine he was timed running the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds, third-fastest among all defensive linemen.
Perry was recruited to college out of Michigan, choosing the Trojans after Lloyd Carr retired from Michigan. What was it like playing for Carroll at USC?
"I had a fun time," Perry said. "I d love to play for him again if it's possible."
That remains to be seen. So far, Seattle hasn't made a habit of picking Carroll's college recruits.
Line of fire
The Seahawks drafted two offensive linemen in the first three rounds of the draft from 2005 to 2009: centers Chris Spencer and Max Unger.
Seattle has selected three offensive linemen in the first three rounds of the past two drafts. Throw in the fact that Seattle brought back Paul McQuistan and Breno Giacomini this year as well as adding veterans Frank Omiyale and Deuce Lutui and the Seahawks are much more solid up front, even though James Carpenter, the first-round selection last year, is coming off a knee injury that likely will prevent him from being ready when training camp opens.
For the first time in several years, you can't call offensive line a need for Seattle heading into the draft.
"There's some guys in the draft we're still looking at," Carroll said. "But I like going in that we're so much more solid than we were in year one and even year two, and I liked year two."
QB or not QB
Since 1993, there have been 44 quarterbacks chosen in the first round of the NFL draft. None of those 44 quarterbacks were chosen by Seattle, however.
The Seahawks haven't picked a quarterback in the first round since taking Rick Mirer with the second choice of the 1993 draft.
Thursday, Washington is going to pick its fourth first-round quarterback in that time, adding Robert Griffin III to a list that already includes Heath Shuler (1994), Patrick Ramsey (2002) and Jason Campbell (2005).
Tennessee has chosen three quarterbacks in the first round in that time: Steve McNair (1995), Vince Young (2006) and Jake Locker (2011). Fourteen teams have picked multiple quarterbacks in the first round in that time.
Only six teams haven't picked a single quarterback in the first round in the past 18 years: Dallas, New Orleans, Miami, Kansas City, New England and your Seattle Seahawks.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com. On Twitter @dannyoneil.