Minutes after the NFL Draft completes (or, probably even before), teams begin to work the phones with agents and players, trying to convince the best of the rest to come to their team. These undrafted rookie free agents must make a big decision if faced with multiple teams' interest - which franchise gives them the best chance to catch on? Which team has the best scheme fit? Which team's roster is weak at their specific position?
Last season, the Seahawks signed 20 of these rookie free agents, and throughout the year, several of them stuck with the team. Doug Baldwin, an under the radar receiver out of Stanford led the Seahawks in receiving. The lesson? Don't look past the oft-forgotten 'UDFA's'.
One player that I've been intrigued with - frantically looking for game footage and scouting reports to learn more on - is former Oregon WR Lavasier Tuinei. At 6'5, 220, he's long, fast, and possesses soft hands and a large catching radius. He was a 'touchdown maker' at Oregon, finding the endzone 10 times in 2011, and will look to impress in training camp and earn a spot on the roster. Rob Rang published his 'favorite 20' undrafted free agents on Tuesday, and guess who made the list?
WR Lavasier Tuinei, Seattle Seahawks: Besides boasting arguably the coolest name in unrestricted free agency, the Oregon Ducks' leading receiver last year also boasts the long, lanky frame and soft hands Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll has shown a preference for over his coaching career in the NFL and NCAA.
Tuinei lived up the seam and in the slot, and some have speculated that he might be tried at tight end, in a similar fashion as the Saints use Jimmy Graham. It's something I'll be watching for in training camp.
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