Shaquem Griffin deservedly received the bulk of the attention when the Seattle Seahawks drafted the star linebacker with one hand in the fifth round and reunited him with his twin brother Shaquill.
But aside from Griffin's selection Sean Taylor Jersey , general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll made clear the Seahawks intent to re-establish the core tenants of how they want to play: run the ball, play aggressive defense and rely on field position.
It started in the first round with the selection of San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny and continued through the nine selections made.
After an eventful offseason that's seen Seattle overhaul its coaching staff and say goodbye to some key veterans, the Seahawks needed to have a successful draft. Recent drafts have been filled with more misses than hits and started to catch up with Seattle last season when the depth wasn't there to overcome key injuries.
"We feel like we made great decisions all the way through and we'll see how it goes. You always feel that way right after," Schneider said.
Here's what else to know about Seattle's nine picks, including seven on the final day:
END OF THE ROAD: The end may be near for the longest-tenured Seahawks player.
Seattle traded up in the fifth round to draft Texas punter Michael Dickson, who left school early for a chance at the NFL. Dickson was regarded as the top punter available in the draft and could be a sign that Jon Ryan's tenure in Seattle is coming to an end. Ryan has been with the team since 2008 and has two years left on his contract with Seattle but counts $3.2 million against the salary cap in 2018 and $3.6 million in 2019.
Both Carroll and Schneider insisted Ryan will be part of the punting competition.
Dickson averaged 47.4 yards per punt as a junior, was a two-time Big 12 special teams player of the year, and was the Ray Guy Award winner in 2017. Perhaps most impressive, Dickson was the MVP of the Texas Bowl victory over Missouri after downing 10 of his 11 punts inside the 20-yard line.
"He can do stuff with the ball we haven't seen yet so we're really intrigued to see how that translates," Schneider said.
RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM: Seattle continued to focus on improving its run game on offense by drafting Washington tight end Will Dissly in the fourth round.
"We thought he was the best blocker in the draft," Carroll said.
Dissly arrived at Washington as a defensive end but transitioned to tight end for his final two seasons. While blocking is his strength, Dissly also had 21 receptions and two TDs as a senior. Dissly is the first Washington player drafted by the Seahawks since another tight end, Jerramy Stevens Dalton Schultz Jersey , was selected in the first round in 2002.
POSTION SWITCH: It wouldn't be a Seattle draft without at least one player switching positions. But this one makes sense as the Seahawks intend to use Tre Flowers at cornerback. Flowers was primarily a safety at Oklahoma State, but his size makes him a perfect fit for cornerback in Seattle. Flowers is 6-foot-3 with long arms and has experience playing some cornerback in college.
SLIDING DOWN: A gem of Seattle's draft could end up being Ohio State offensive tackle Jamarco Jones, selected late in the fifth round. Jones was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 3 offensive tackle available in the draft, but was taken with the 168th overall selection. Seattle projects Jones as a left tackle.
QB CALLING: For just the second time in nine drafts, the Seahawks used a draft pick on a quarterback. Florida International QB Alex McGough was selected with Seattle's final pick, No. 220 overall in the seventh round. Seattle indicated this may be the year it takes a QB to develop behind Russell Wilson, the only other QB drafted by the team since 2010. McGough threw for 2,791 yards and 17 TDs as a senior, but suffered a broken collarbone in the opening minutes of FIU's bowl game in December.
McGough did run some read-option in college and his mobility makes him a logical backup option to Wilson.
STILL NEED: The Seahawks addressed their most pressing needs, but could still use more depth at linebacker and an offensive lineman with the ability to play center. The other area Seattle may look to target among undrafted free agents could be a bigger wide receiver, but this draft clearly defined the Seahawks are going back to relying on the run first.
Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills vacationed this offseason in Africa, led several teammates on a training trip to Nebraska and returned to find the NFL's national anthem debate again at peak volume.
"We've got to clean up how things are looking," Stills said following the Dolphins' first training camp practice Thursday.
The sixth-year pro is part of the debate because he kneeled during the anthem the past two seasons and has been vocal discussing social injustice issues that inspired the protest.
Stills would prefer the league had no anthem policy so players could do as they wished Randy White Jersey , and said he'll wait until a policy is set to decide what he'll do during the anthem this season.
"At some point before the season starts, the league and the players association are going to come to an agreement," he said. "And at that point I'll have a better idea what I'll be doing."
Last week the league and union issued a joint statement saying the two sides are still working on a resolution. Their statement came hours after The Associated Press reported Dolphins players who protest on the field during the anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued last week.
The Dolphins subsequently issued a statement saying all options regarding the team's policy remain open.
On Thursday, coach Adam Gase said he doubted a Miami player would be suspended for protesting during the anthem.
"I mean, if anybody knew actual rules in the NFL, good luck suspending somebody," Gase said. "It takes about 5,000 things before anybody can get suspended by a club."
Gase said he doesn't see anthem issue as potentially divisive for his team.
"I think they do a good job of when issues come up, they get together and hammer it out," Gase said. "These guys aren't shy about speaking up. They've done a good job of making sure, as a group, they talk through things."
Three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey also plans to continue protesting, but wants people to quit seeing this as an anthem issue. The Tennessee Titans lineman said he will continue protesting by raising his fist at the end of the anthem.
"The biggest thing that we have right now is the way the justice system is set up for minorities Pierre Desir Jersey ," said Casey, whose wife is an attorney. "And that's just what the whole battle is about, trying to bring light to enlighten the things that's going on around the minority community."
The league hasn't been able to reach an agreement. On Wednesday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he'll insist his players stand for the anthem.
Stills' reaction to Jones' comments?
"I wouldn't expect anything different," Stills said.
Stills said he hadn't spoken much with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross about the issue since last year. Ross didn't attend the first day of training camp.
Stills tuned out the anthem debate this offseason by traveling to Victoria Falls, Kruger National Park and Cape Town, where he learned about African culture, went on safaris and tried bungee jumping. More recently, he spent time in Lincoln, Nebraska, with other Dolphins wideouts and a receivers coach he has known since he was in the 10th grade.
"The anthem stuff was becoming a really quiet, quiet topic," Stills said.
No more. Defensive end Robert Quinn http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/jason-witten-jersey , who protested during the anthem while with the Rams last year, was asked following his first Dolphins practice what the league should do about a policy.
"I'll just say one thing: It's called freedom of speech," he said. "Simple as that."
Quinn, Stills and others have been targets of criticism for their protests, which they believe have been misconstrued as unpatriotic.
But Stills was nominated by teammates last year for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, a reflection of his standing in locker room. His latest community project is with the nationwide OK Program, which mentors young black men.
"I think I've done a good job of trying to figure out ways to continue to use my voice and platform for the right things," Stills said, "and put the messaging back in the right direction."
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