The Seahawks final preseason game in Oakland will feature a number of relatively unknown players fighting for the last few roster spots. Here's an in-depth look at one of them:
We've heard this story before;
- Seahawks see athletic defensive lineman struggling to make it in the league
- Seahawks sign that athletic defensive lineman
- Seahawks convert said lineman to offense
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The results have been mixed. J.R. Sweezy took to the transition quickly and became a fixture at RG for Seattle before signing for big money in Tampa Bay as a free agent last offseason.
Kristjan Sokoli was drafted in the 6th round a year ago but struggled to switch sides and was released today. In announcing the release, Sokoli's agent took a bit of a swipe at the Hawks.
The Seattle Seahawks just released Kristjan Sokoli. Drafted in 6th round last yr & converted to OL. Needs to switch back to defensive line.
— Brett Tessler (@TesslerSports) August 30, 2016
We'll see how that works out for him.
Drew Nowak is another DL-to-OL convert who didn't work out, starting the first 6 games last season before being benched and then released after massive struggles.
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And then there Will Pericak. At the University Of Colorado he started a school record 49 games at defensive tackle, racking up 207 tackles during his career. He went undrafted and bounced around from Baltimomre to Jacksonville to San Diego before the Seahawks scooped him up and flipped him to offense. He spent 2015 on the practice squad.
He was never active for any games last year, but made a bit of a name for himself when an ESPN reporter asked Seahawks players which teammate they felt was going to make a significant impact during the season.
Sweezy himself made this proclamation at the time: "I'll tell you somebody, he's on the practice squad right now, but Will Pericak. He switched from D-line to O-line. He's really impressed me how he's taking on to it and how he's learning every day. I think down the road he can be something special. Something to keep an eye out for."
Clearly, Sweezy jumped the gun.
But Pericak clearly has impressed coaches to the point that last year's starting center Patrick Lewis was released today, leaving 6th round rookie Joey Hunt as the #2 pivot (with Justin Britt now firmly entrenched as the starter). Pericak figures to be 3rd on the depth chart. Whether the team sees enough talent there to have him on the final 53 man roster remains to be seen, but the fact he can also play guard helps his cause.
At worst, Pericak should land on the practice squad again, and be available in case of an injury. If he continues to develop, however, he could figure into the teams long term plans as a versatile interior backup. We should see a lot of him at center Thursday against Oakland.
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