Seahawks Draft Ex-Husky Jerramy Stevens; Three Others

Seahawks Draft Ex-Husky Jerramy Stevens; Three Others
KIRKLAND - The Seattle Seahawks considered moving up in the first round of the NFL draft.

Instead, they wound up moving down.

After making a trade with the Green Bay Packers that netted them a second second-round draft choice, the Seahawks selected tight end Jerramy Stevens of University of Washington with the 28th selection in the first round on Saturday.

"There were some discussions to get up in the first round," said Ted Thompson, the team's vice president of football operations. "But none of the discussions that I was involved seriously our entire draft for today."

In other words, the Seahawks thought the price for moving up was too high.

"There were teams that requested that, but those were turned down," Thompson said. "We understand that draft picks are currency and it is expensive to get up into the single digits, even into the 10-11-12 area."

General manager-coach Mike Holmgren said Wednesday that the Seahawks might move up in the first round of the draft. He was believed to be after a premium defensive lineman.

"We would have gotten a very good football player," Thompson said after the Seahawks got Stevens and three other players in the first day of the two-day draft.

Holmgren said he never came "close" to moving up.

"Was there a lot of action?" he said. "Yes. Was there a lot of phone calls? Yes. From everything from using the whole first-day draft and moving up there. But people were reluctant early on to get out of there."

So Holmgren decided to trade down, giving his 20th pick in the first round and the 156th selection in the fifth to Green Bay for the Packers' No. 28 choice and the 60th pick in the second round.

After filling a major need by getting Stevens in the first round, the Seahawks drafted Oregon running back Maurice Morris (No. 54) and Nevada-Las Vegas defensive end Anton Palepoi (60th) in the second and, cornerback Kris Richard (85th) in the third.

The 6-foot-7, 265-pound Stevens, who left Washington after his junior season, will be given a chance to compete with returnee Itula Mili for the Seahawks' starting tight end job. The Seahawks lost Christian Fauria as a free agent.

Morris, who rushed for 2,237 yards and 17 touchdowns in two seasons at Oregon, can become Shaun Alexander's backup at running back.

"We intended to pick a bunch of really good players and I hope we did," Thompson said. "That's cutting it to the chase. We knew that we had a little itch at the tight end position that we would like to scratch. That normally is not a very exciting thing to do, to take a tight end in the first round. Which is part of the reason we traded back."

In Stevens, the Seahawks got a player who has enormous potential, but who also is considered something of a gamble.

Stevens got in trouble in college and when he was a quarterback at River Ridge High School near Olympia.

Last May in Seattle, police said Stevens ran his truck into a retirement center and fled the scene. His truck tore a hole in a wall at the Merrill Gardens, shattering a window in a bedroom where a 92-year-old woman was sleeping, a police report said.

Stevens pleaded guilty in June to misdemeanor hit-and-run and was ordered to complete 240 hours of community service for the elderly and homeless. A 90-day jail term and $1,000 fine were suspended.

In 2000, Stevens was arrested and jailed overnight for investigation of sexual assault. No charges were filed.

In June 1998, he was charged with two counts of assault after a fight near Olympia, about 60 miles south of Seattle.

Stevens eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault for kicking a man. A friend of his was convicted of a more serious charge for assaulting the victim with a baseball bat.

Stevens spent three weeks in jail that summer after a drug test administered under terms of his house arrest turned up THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

"I really trust that everything is behind him," Holmgren told reporters. "I know I'm giving him a clean slate and I would hope you guys could, too. Let him show us how he is going to handle this."

Stevens said he thinks he has matured to the point of not getting into any more trouble.

"I realize some of the mistake that I've made," he said. "Obviously, I wished I wouldn't have made some of the mistakes that I did."

Barring a trade or trades, the Seahawks will select six players in the final four rounds on Sunday.

"I think there's going to be some opportunity tomorrow," Thompson said.