In the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks ended up being one of the Michigan Wolverines’ biggest admirers — drafting both defensive end Mike Morris and center Olu Oluwatimi with the 151st and 154th overall picks, respectively.
In Morris, the Seahawks see a bruising defensive end who can disrupt pockets across the league, according to head coach Pete Carroll.
“Mike is going to be a defensive end for us,” Carroll said, per Seahawks.com. “He’ll play on the guard and play on the tackle, but he’s going to have his hand on the ground for the most part. And a little bit of transition for that. He played there quite a bit, but we’re going to play him there a lot. So that’s a — that’s a little bit of an adjustment for him.”
Seahawks GM John Schneider described the evolution of Morris as the reason they drafted him, saying Morris went from a speed rusher to one who embraced his power.
“He had an interesting spring because he tried losing weight to test better and he had a high ankle sprain and he’s just kind of figuring out, like, ‘You know what? I’m a big person,’” Schneider said. “I’m a defensive end. So as of today, he was 295 and, yeah. So we got a cool video this morning and he’s sitting on the scale because we’re like, come on. He’s a big guy. He’s long and he plays hard.”
When speaking about the four linemen in the draft class as a whole for Seattle, Carroll emphasized the physicality of each player.
“The four guys we hit — I can see it now, you’re looking at the guys coming back-to-back-to-back, the big guys,” Carroll said. “They all have a similar makeup about them in the mentality. This is a very strong, very physical, aggressive bunch of guys, and it fits on both sides of the football, and it complements what happened on the top end of the draft too. So there’s a commonality. It should be obvious and it’s really what we’re looking for.”
Morris and Oluwatimi were two of nine total players drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft by Seattle, with the Seahawks tied with San Francisco and Dallas for the most Wolverines taken at two players each.