Cassius Marsh excites Seahawks with versatility, intensity
The Seahawks hope Cassius Marsh can be as versatile as Michael Bennett, the Swiss army knife defensive lineman who was so valuable for the Seahawks last season.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — The first thing Seahawks scout Tyler Ramsey brought up when analyzing UCLA defensive lineman Cassius Marsh is his versatility.
The second was his intensity. And the third was a comparison: Michael Bennett, the Swiss army knife defensive lineman who was so valuable for the Seahawks last season.
The Seahawks hope Marsh, a fourth-round pick, will one day play outside and inside as effectively as Bennett.
“Michael has so much flexibility, and Cassius likewise does — we think,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He would, in essence, follow Michael around for a while and learn about the different spots that we play.”
Marsh played three different positions along the UCLA defensive line. Carroll said the Seahawks will try him as a defensive end on first and second down, then shift him inside on third down or in passing situations.
Marsh also played some tight end in college, catching two passes. When asked if he could see a scenario in which Marsh played tight end in the red zone, Carroll said: “Honestly, we’ve already talked about that.”
Marsh has a reputation as a high-intensity player, and that motor is one of the reasons the Seahawks liked him. But that passion has sometimes gotten him into trouble. He was involved in a couple on-field altercations with teammates in college and was ejected from a game last year for throwing a punch.
“I play with a lot of fire, and I play with a lot of passion, and sometimes that can spill over,” Marsh said. “I made some mistakes as a young guy. ... I’ve been able to grow from my mistakes and learn.”
Shades of Bowman?
Todd Brunner, the Seahawks’ northeast area scout, said linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, Seattle’s fourth-round pick, reminds him of a linebacker he scouted while in San Francisco.
“That would be NaVorro,” Brunner said.
As in NaVorro Bowman, the 49ers’ All-Pro linebacker considered one of the best in the game in part because of his speed.
Pierre-Louis is small for a linebacker at 6 feet, 232 pounds, but he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, a good time for a linebacker. The rest of his drills at the combine compared favorably to how Bowman tested. (When told of Brunner’s comparison, Schneider laughed and said: “Slow down, Todd. Guys get excited when you pick players in their area.”) Pierre-Louis is a weakside linebacker, Schneider said. That’s the position played by K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith, both of whom become unrestricted free agents after this season.
• The Seahawks agreed to terms with nine undrafted free agents: Washington QB Keith Price, Texas DE Jackson Jeffcoat, USC SS Dion Bailey, Montana LB Brock Coyle, Eastern Washington DT Andru Pulu, Penn State OT Garry Gilliam, Central Arkansas TE Chase Dixon and South Carolina CB Jimmy LeGree.
• Sixth-round pick Garrett Scott, an offensive tackle from Marshall, will be a left tackle, Carroll said. Justin Britt, Seattle’s second-round pick, will compete for the starting right-tackle job.
• Carroll said he expects safety Kam Chancellor to be back and ready to go by the start of training camp. Chancellor had surgery this offseason to deal with a nagging hip injury.