RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider has found some of his greatest success during the fifth round of the NFL draft in his first three seasons leading the team's front office.
All-pro cornerback Richard Sherman and Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor were both mined out of the fifth round during Schneider's first two seasons as Seahawks general manager. The fifth round will again be a focal point for Seattle as they selected Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams, LSU cornerback Tharold Simon and Rice tight end Luke Willson on Saturday.
Williams is a big tackle who can play multiple positions along Seattle's defensive front. Willson is an athletic tight end the Seahawks believe can stretch the field in the passing game.
But it was the pick of Simon, just two days after he arrested in his hometown of Eunice, La., that may be the most intriguing.
Simon was arrested Thursday night on charges of public intimidation, resisting an officer and a noise violation. He was released on bond. His agent, Peter Schaffer, said he is certain Simon acted appropriately and will be exonerated.
Simon said a series of misunderstandings and an overzealous police officer led to his arrest. Simon said he was asked to move a car from in front of his grandmother's house. When he turned on the car, the stereo was turned way up and blared loudly as Simon pulled the car into the driveway.
The officer then asked for Simon's license and told one of his friends to stay back. Simon said he told the officer, "Man, you're tripping for nothing. There's really nothing serious going on around here." The officer then told Simon to pick up his sagging pants and put his hands behind his back, according to Simon. He said he tried to toss the keys to the car to his cousin and that's when the officer said he was resisting arrest.
"I never ran. I never flinched to move or nothing and he said I was resisting arrest," Simon said. "So he took me to jail or whatever and said I threatened his life or whatever. I told him I had 30 witnesses that know I didn't do nothing wrong and that I didn't say nothing wrong.”
Police say Simon told the officer, "I own Eunice," then peeled his tires as he moved his car and blared his stereo at an excessively loud level.
When the officer said he was going to issue a citation for violating a noise ordinance if Simon did not lower the volume, Simon allegedly responded that "the mayor is on my side" and that he could have the officer fired for writing a ticket.
At that point the officer stated that he approached Simon to arrest him for public intimidation, and that Simon "violently jerked his arm away" and said, "Don't touch me.”
Simon said he regrets the incident and takes the blame for parking the car where it needed to be moved, but doesn't believe he did anything wrong.
"I'm a humble guy. I'm embarrassed about what happened because it shouldn't have happened," Simon said.
The 6-foot-3, 193-pound Simon was widely projected as a middle-round draft choice, and was hoping to be selected as early as Friday night, when the second and third rounds were taking place. He fits Seattle's mold of looking for tall cornerbacks, joining Sherman and Brandon Browner in the Seahawks secondary.
Seattle selected Kansas State wide receiver Chris Harper in the fourth round and their second running back of the draft in LSU's Spencer Ware in the sixth.
Harper, a former quarterback at Oregon, was the Wildcats leading receiver each of the last two seasons. Ware declared for the draft after his junior season after starting just four games last year for the Tigers. Ware said he has some experience playing fullback as a freshman and the Seahawks could ask him to reprise the role in Seattle.
Seahawks take LSU RB Spencer Ware in sixth round
The Seahawks took their second running back of the draft by selecting Spencer Ware from LSU in the sixth round Saturday.
The Seahawks spent their second-round selection on Texas A&M running back Christine Michael and now have added another back in much the same mold. Like Michael, Ware is 5-foot-10 and close to 230 pounds. Ware is also Seattle's second draft pick from LSU.
Ware elected to declare for the draft after his junior season. He started four games for the Tigers in 2012 and ran for 367 yards on 94 carries. He also caught 18 passes for 230 yards with one rushing and one receiving touchdown apiece.
Ware also played some fullback with LSU as a freshman and could be asked to block in Seattle.
Seahawks select Vandy G Ryan Seymour and Harding LB Ty Powell in 7th round
The Seahawks finally turned their attention toward the offensive line in the seventh round with the selection of Vanderbilt guard Ryan Seymour.
Seymour is the first of four seventh round selections for the Seahawks.
Seattle needed to add some depth along their offensive line during the draft but elected to address other positions through the first six rounds. Seymour started 35 games at Vanderbilt during his career and took snaps at every position last season. He started nine games at left guard, played both tackle positions and served as the team's backup center.
Seymour's versatility could be a key for his hopes of making a crowded roster with Paul McQuistan, James Carpenter, John Moffitt and J.R. Sweezy all returning at the position.
The Seahawks selected outside linebacker Ty Powell out of Division II Harding University with their second pick in the seventh round.
Powell is the first player from the Arkansas school to be drafted in 30 years. Bruce Baldwin was the last player to be selected out of Harding, by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round of the 1983 draft.
Powell played defensive end, linebacker and safety at Harding. Seattle could look to him as a depth option as a situation pass rusher behind Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril. Seattle likes smaller, fast ends to play the "Leo" position in their defense and at 249 pounds, he fits the type.
Powell recorded 40 tackles, with 15 for loss, and 8.5 sacks during his senior season.
Seattle drafts Smith, Bowie with final picks
The Seahawks selected New Hampshire defensive tackle Jared Smith in the seventh round and plan on moving him to the offensive line.
Smith was taken with the first of Seattle's two compensatory picks on Saturday. Seattle selected offensive tackle Michael Bowie from Northeast Oklahoma with its final pick in the draft.
Smith said Seattle was the only team that talked to him about making the switch from defensive line to offense. Last year, J.R. Sweezy started a few games at guard for Seattle after being drafted in the seventh round and making the switch.
Bowie started his career at Oklahoma State before leaving before the start of his senior season after violating team rules. He was expected to start at left tackle for Oklahoma State last season before transferring.
2 (62) Christine Michael, rb, Texas A&M.
3 (87) Jordan Hill, dt, Penn State.
4 (123) Chris Harper, wr, Kansas State.
5 (137) Jesse Williams, dt, Alabama.
5 (138) Tharold Simon, db, LSU.
5 (158) Luke Willson, te, Rice.
6 (194) Spencer Ware, rb, LSU.
7 (220) Ryan Seymour, g, Vanderbilt.
7 (231) Ty Powell, lb, Harding.
7 (241)-x Jared Smith, g, New Hampshire.
7 (242)-x Michael Bowie, ot, Northeastern State (Okla.)