Throughout the course of his rookie season, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Korey Toomer went from being a promising fifth-round draft pick to being outright released. He then cleared waivers and was re-signed to the Seahawks practice squad, where the young man from the University of Idaho began arduously refining his game.
Despite his status as a fifth-rounder, fans didn’t seem particularly surprised by Toomer’s relatively slow development, given the growing perception that he was a “raw but talented” prospect coming out of college. In fact, directly following his selection in the draft, pundits immediately began marveling over his potential while simultaneously adding that the young man “has a lot to learn.” This, of course, being the typical fence-straddling approach employed by various football analysts nationwide.
In this particular case, however, it was the undeniable truth. Coming from a small school, Toomer’s talent was overwhelmingly evident, but it was clear he needed time to learn how to be a complete football player — not just an outstanding athlete. It actually may have been his tumultuous rookie season that was the wake-up call he needed.
After all, it was just last summer – on the precipice of Toomer’s sophomore season in Seattle – when he started really looking the part, making plays sideline to sideline. Then, in the midst of a promising offseason, Toomer was injured (working out on his own) leading to his eventual placement on the Non-Football Injury List. He remained there for the entirety of the season.
Now, after two years of mishaps in Seattle, Toomer is again trying to find his home on the Seahawks roster. While it may seem like another rookie season of sorts for the young man from Idaho, Toomer is much further along for his third attempt at impacting the NFL. The strong side linebacker has looked marvelous to this point in OTAs and has even drawn high-praise from head coach Pete Carroll as well as Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. for his play.
That’s probably a good thing too. After all, with incumbent starter Bruce Irvin and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith recovering from injuries, it could be now-or-never for Toomer. Next year, he will be at the end of his contract and quite possibly on his way out the door with the growing number of talented linebackers arriving in Seattle.
Regardless of whether he ends up with the Seahawks for the long haul or not, Toomer has undeniable potential as an NFL linebacker. At 6-foot-2 and 232 pounds, he runs a ridiculous 4.53 40-yard dash with an astounding 42-inch vertical. His athleticism has never been in doubt though.
The fact that his football IQ seems to be catching up to his physical capabilities is certainly exciting. All things considered, it could create the perfect storm for Toomer and the Seahawks in 2014; if only he can stay healthy.