SEATTLE — Could the Seahawks be interested in a reunion with one of their former defensive linemen?
And could they look to make a selection in Wednesday’s NFL supplemental draft?
Here are some answers to each of those questions.
Seahawks interested in Ahtyba Rubin?
Any close follower of the Seahawks knows the defensive line remains one of the team’s top two or three main areas of concern entering training camp, and Seattle is expected to continue looking to add players to that spot as preseason rolls along.
The Seahawks appear to have some interest in tackle Ahtyba Rubin, who started all 32 games he played for Seattle in 2015 and 2016. He may be best remembered for recovering an Adrian Peterson fumble forced by Kam Chancellor that led to the winning points in a wild-card playoff game at Minnesota in 2016, clinched on Blair Walsh’s famous miss from 27 yards out.
The Times has learned that Rubin — who remains a free agent — is in town for a visit with the Seahawks as he attempts to restart his NFL career after sitting out last season due to a biceps injury.
Seattle, meanwhile, can use all the competition it can get up front as it attempts to shore up a line on a defense that last year allowed 4.9 yards per carry, third-highest in the NFL and by far the most of the Pete Carroll era (and 1.5 yards per attempt higher than 2016, Rubin’s last year with the Seahawks).
Seattle released Rubin in 2017 and he later had stints with Denver, Atlanta and the Raiders. He was with the Raiders in camp last year before suffering a biceps injury in August and spending the season on injured reserve.
Rubin turns 33 on July 25 and has played in the NFL since 2008. Indications are that he wants to play at least one more year and not go out with his final season having been the 2018 campaign that he spent on injured reserve.
Seattle took some steps to try to upgrade its run defense in the offseason by signing veteran free agents Jamie Meder and Al Woods. Jarran Reed and second-year player Poona Ford are the likely starters at the two tackle spots. However, Reed, Meder and Woods all are coming off injuries suffered in 2018 (Reed is expected to be ready for the start of the 2019 season after having had sports hernia surgery in the spring), and Seattle may want to add all the veteran depth it can.
If it happens, Rubin would likely sign a one-year, low-risk (veteran minimum or just above) deal.
WILL SEAHAWKS MAKE A PICK IN SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT?
The NFL holds its annual supplemental draft — which is for players who have become draft eligible since the conclusion of the draft last April — Wednesday.
Seattle hasn’t partaken in the supplemental draft a lot through the years. The last time Seattle made a pick was 1987, when the Seahawks won the rights to linebacker Brian Bosworth. The only other time Seattle made a pick was 1977 (running back Al Hunter).
Picks by anyone aren’t all that common — just five have been made since 2010.
Five players are eligible this year, and two are considered as potential draft picks, notably Washington State safety Jalen Thompson. Thompson entered the draft when learning he would be ineligible for the 2019 college season due to violating NCAA rules when he purchased an over-the-counter supplement (The Spokesman-Review reported it was not a steroid).
West Virginia receiver Marcus Simms is the other player who generally has potential to be drafted.
The basics of the draft: Teams submit the round in which they would take a player. The order is determined via a lottery based essentially on their record of last season — full details here. If a team gets the player, then it gives up its 2020 pick in that round. Players not selected become free agents and can immediately sign with a team.
Both Thompson and Simms, though, play at positions where Seattle drafted at least two players in April (one of the three receivers Seattle selected in April was Simms’ West Virginia teammate, Gary Jennings, taken in the fourth round).
Of Thompson and Simms, Thompson might make the most sense for Seattle to think about (I earlier detailed some of the reasons).
Since then, Thompson held a pro day where he measured at 5 feet 10 inches, 186 pounds (he was listed by WSU as 6 feet, 195 pounds). As local draft expert Rob Rang tweeted, that has some teams thinking he may not be big enough to play safety and could instead have to be a cornerback.
“At 5-10, 186, Jalen Thompson won’t pass every club’s threshold for FS, which could move him back to CB,’’ Rang wrote. “He has the requisite agility & acceleration for man to man, as well as good body control and hands for INT. A pesky, drag-down tackler. Enough savvy, toughness to stick. 6th RD”
That sounds an awful lot like a player Seattle just drafted, Ugo Amadi of Oregon, a 5-foot-9, 201-pounder who spent most of the offseason program playing free safety, due in part to injuries to other players at that position, but is expected to get a long look at the nickel corner spot once training camp begins.
That may all point to the Seahawks sitting out the supplemental draft. But they’ve surprised before.