Finally, a defensive tackle: Seahawks take Mississippi State ‘dog’ Cameron Young, round 4

·2 min read
Mississippi State defensive tackle Cameron Young (93) pursues Arkansas quarterback Malik Hornsby (4) during the second half of an NCAA football game in Starkville, Mississippi, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The Seahawks selected Young in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL draft.

Pete Carroll’s overhaul of the Seahawks’ defensive line continues.

It took longer than many expected, to the third and final day of the NFL draft Saturday, but Seattle finally selected a defensive tackle: Cameron Young from Mississippi State. He was the team’s second pick in round 4 Saturday, at 123 overall.

Young is 6 feet 3, 304 pounds. He has extraordinarily long arms for a nose tackle: 34 1/2 inches. That size and length will go well anchored in the middle of Seattle’s 3-4 defense over opposing centers.

He’s also known at Mississippi State as an extremely hard worker.

“I like to describe myself as a dog,” he said Saturday morning on the telephone from New Orleans, where he and his family had rented a home for a big draft party.

He said he had about 30 to 40 people in the house waiting this weekend for an NFL team to call.

Around noon Louisiana time Saturday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider did.

“Oh, man, nerve-wracking to say the least. But I’m blessed,” Young said.

“Yes, I think the Seahawks were the heavy favorite. They’d been talking to me through this whole process.”

He said Seattle’s coaches have told him they see him as able to play nose tackle and outside some at end in the team’s 3-4 defensive front Carroll has been overhauling all offseason.

The Seahawks entered this weekend with just four defensive tackles among 52 players on the roster after cutting captain Al Woods and Shelby Harris from last season. Two of those four tackles, March free-agent signings Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed, did not play for the team last season. A third D-tackle, Bryan Mone, had surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee after his season-ending injury in December.

The huge Young averaged double figures in points and rebounding playing basketball for Franklin County High School in Meadville, Mississippi.

“Being a bigger guy, lot of times people don’t expect you to be athletic,” Young said.

The Seahawks obviously think he is.

A late scholarship offer from Mississippi State on signing day 2018 is why Young played in the Southeastern Conference instead of starting at Gulf Coast Community College he’d been planning to attend.

He and other NFL-hopeful Mississippi State players chose to play in the team’s bowl game Jan. 3 after the death of coach Mike Leach. The former Washington State and Texas Tech head coach died Dec. 12 at age 61 after complications from a heart condition.

“At a time of adversity like this, it kind of tests your character. I’d planned on planning in the bowl game anyway,” Young said Saturday.

“I try to keep Coach Leach’s legacy alive.”