Wallaces head to Washington
Seneca, Taco (no relation) part of Seahawks' Day 2 haulPosted: Monday April 28, 2003 1:20 AM
KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) -- Seneca Wallace said all along he wants to keep playing quarterback in the NFL, and Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren was happy to grant the wish.
The Seahawks drafted the quick-footed Iowa State quarterback Sunday with the 110th overall selection.
"Mike was willing to pull the trigger with the first pick of the fourth round," Seattle general manager Bob Ferguson said. "Seneca Wallace is an exciting young player. He'll move the chains."
At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Wallace is small for an NFL quarterback but he built a winning reputation in college with his creativity, poise and leadership. He reluctantly agreed before the draft to work out at receiver for some teams.
"It was something I really didn't want to do," Wallace said. "I just thought if people can see past the height thing, there are a lot of other issues that come with playing quarterback."
Holmgren and Ferguson felt great about Seattle's draft, which was highlighted by two surprise acquisitions.
The Seahawks were thrilled to find Washington State cornerback Marcus Trufant available in Saturday's first round, using the 11th overall pick to snatch the native of nearby Tacoma, Wash.
"I know we picked a fine young corner," Holmgren said.
Then on Day 2, Seattle landed nine-year veteran defensive lineman Norman Hand by trading a fifth-round pick to the New Orleans Saints. That should shore up a defense that ranked last in the NFL against the run last season.
"He is a load," Holmgren said. "He is a big, strong man. When we played him in San Diego, he was part of those defenses that gave us fits. He's difficult to run the ball against and he's difficult to block."
The Seahawks also drafted hard-hitting Arkansas free safety Ken Hamlin in the second round, linebacker Solomon Bates from Arizona State in the fourth and defensive tackle Rashad Moore of Tennessee in the sixth.
For the offense, they drafted Wallace along with tackle Wayne Hunter from Hawaii in the third round, Syracuse fullback Chris Davis in the fifth and Kansas State receiver Taco Wallace in the seventh.
The Seahawks also took a kicker in the seventh round, Nebraska's Josh Brown.
"If you follow your board, nine times out of 10 you'll develop better depth than if you address needs," Ferguson said. "The guys on the bench have to be as good or better than the ones playing to win a championship. We've got some of that."
The hidden gem could be Wallace. He dazzled fans with his nimble highlight-reel runs at Iowa State, and Holmgren wanted to add a young quarterback to develop behind Matt Hasselbeck and Trent Dilfer.
"This guy was a terrific college player," Holmgren said. "He really throws the ball well. He's a shade under 6 feet but he appears to be able to find the windows, find the lanes."
Unlike the Steelers with former Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El, who now returns punts and lines up at receiver, the Seahawks won't consider switching positions with Wallace.
"He has been a very, very effective quarterback," Holmgren said. "The difference is that he's a very accomplished passer. Normally when you talk about switching positions, maybe he's not as fine a passer but a great runner.
"That's not this guy here," Holmgren said.
Wallace said play-making Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick "opened some doors for me." He's coming in ready to learn, and he sees himself settling quickly into the West Coast schemes.
"It takes time," he said, "but I know that I'll pick it up."