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On the run

Seahawks grab RB Alexander, OT McIntosh

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Posted: Saturday April 15, 2000 08:01 PM

  Shaun Alexander was the fourth running back chosen, but the Seahawks were happy that he fell to them at No. 19. AP

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) -- Ricky Watters has a new understudy and the Seattle Seahawks' offensive line has a potential new starting tackle.

In his second NFL draft in Seattle, Seahawks general manager-coach Mike Holmgren followed up his trade of running back Ahman Green by going for Shaun Alexander with the 19th pick in the first round on Saturday.

"When Ricky comes out, I'll go out and try to make big plays," said Alexander, Alabama's all-time rushing leader.

With the 22nd choice, Holmgren went for Chris McIntosh, a 6-foot-7, 317-pound blocking machine for Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne at Wisconsin. When Seattle's training camp opens in Cheney in July, McIntosh will compete with Todd Weiner and Floyd Wedderburn for the starting right tackle's job.

"Their reputation at Wisconsin is running the ball and knocking the stuffing out of people," Holmgren said.

The Seahawks went into the draft needing a lot of help after losing eight starters during the offseason, but getting another running back to back up Watters became the team's premier need on Friday.

Seahawks First-Round Draft Picks
Year  Player  Pos  School 
2000  Shaun Alexander  RB  Alabama 
2000  Chris McIntosh  OT  Wisconsin 
1999  Lamar King  DE  Saginaw Valley 
1998  Anthony Simmons  LB  Clemson 
1997  Shawn Springs  CB  Ohio State 
1997  Walter Jones  Florida State 
1996  Pete Kendall  OT  Boston College 
1995  Joey Galloway  WR  Ohio State 
1994  Sam Adams  DT  Texas A&M 
1993  Rick Mirer  QB  Notre Dame 
1992  Ray Roberts  Virginia 
1991  Dan McGwire  QB  San Diego State 
1990  Cortez Kennedy  DT  Miami 
1989  Andy Heck  Notre Dame 
1988  Brian Bosworth  LB  Oklahoma 
1987  Tony Woods  LB  Pittsburgh 
1986  John L. Williams  FB  Florida 
1985  NO PICK       
1984  Terry Taylor  CB  S. Illinois 
1983  Curt Warner  RB  Penn State  
1982  Jeff Bryant  DE  Clemson 
1981  Kenny Easley  UCLA 
1980  Jacob Green  DE  Texas A&M  
1979  Manu Tuiasosopo  DT  UCLA 
1978  Keith Simpson  DB  Memphis State 
1977  Steve August  Tulsa  
1976  Steve Niehaus  DT  Notre Dame 
Since 1970
X -- No. 1 pick
 
 

"I can understand why a team would take a running back over a big tackle," McIntosh said. Holmgren dealt the disappointing Green, who had injury and fumbling problems last season, to Green Bay for promising cornerback Fred Vinson, who will challenge Willie Williams as a starter next season.

In Alexander, he drafted the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year. The Seahawks won the AFC West title last season, but they were hurt when they made the playoffs for the first time since 1988 after Watters suffered a knee injury in the next-to-last game of the regular season.

Watters was held to 40 rushing yards in Seattle's playoff loss to Miami.

Watters is still the starter in Seattle, but he's headed into his 10th NFL season. Alexander is expected to play a lot more than Green, who had 26 carries last season.

"I would like to have Ricky fresher at the end of the year," Holmgren said. "Ricky is still our halfback, but you need more than one halfback. Ricky's played a long time and I don't know how long he's going to play."

Holmgren didn't think Green had good enough hands to play in his West Coast offense. He likes his quarterbacks to throw to his running backs. Watters caught 40 passes last season.

"Shaun has good hands," Holmgren said. "In our offense, the back has to catch the ball."

Holmgren said he talked to a number of teams about moving up in the first round, but decided against it. He said he even talked to Cincinnati about getting the Bengals' fourth pick.

"We tried everybody, but nobody wanted to move out of there," he said. "I didn't have enough ammunition."

He also thought about trading down before deciding against that, too.

"But it crossed my mind," he said.


 
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