The Seattle Seahawks have prolonged the career of Idaho inside linebacker Korey Toomer, after drafting Toomer with the 19th pick in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Although Toomer was the only Vandal drafted, four of his teammates have agreed to join four separate teams as free agents. Running back Princeton McCarty is set to join the Carolina Panthers, defensive tackle Michael Cosgrove will join the Detroit Lions, offensive tackle Tyrone Novikoff will join the Dallas Cowboys and another offensive tackle, Matt Cleveland, will join the Cleveland Browns.
After missing the first phone call from the Seahawks, Toomer, who doubted Seattle would draft a second linebacker, answered the phone on the second attempt.
“They asked me if I wanted to be a Seahawk and I said yes,” he said. “I was shocked. I didn’t think they were going to pick up another linebacker.”
Though Toomer was Idaho’s most versatile player during the 2011 season, filling in at the fullback position where he punched in three touchdowns during a single game, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll expects him to play as an inside linebacker for Seattle.
“We’re going to put him at the same position and knowing that he’s a guy that’s on the rise we’ll see what he does from that,” Carroll told the media following the final day of the draft. “That’s a good spot for him, a little longer he’s over 6’2, got good long levers and all that so that’s where we’ll start him out.”
The Las Vegas native was named Idaho’s most valuable player in 2011, thanks to an exceptionally productive senior season on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. Prior to his senior season though, Toomer carried out a minimal role on a Vandal team that had recruited him from Arizona Western College.
A back-up linebacker during Idaho’s Humanitarian Bowl season, Toomer saw limited action and recorded just eight tackles. The Shadow Ridge High School product redshirted the 2010 season to help him gear up for a senior season that witnessed him tally 68 tackles, a team-leading four sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss.
Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. had an opportunity to witness the 154th overall pick at Idaho’s pro day. Though Toomer wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, his 40-yard dash time of 4.50 and 42-inch vertical leap were both indications he was physically prepared for the next level.
Seattle general manager John Schneider spoke about Toomer’s physical abilities following the draft.
“We thought he was a great athlete, thought he had great length and could run and had a great attitude about him and was a good mover and excited about the workout,” Schneider said. “It’s a great thing when you have a position coach that’s vying like that and he had a lot of conviction about him so it’s exciting.”
Toomer was one of eight defensive players selected by the Seahawks and one of three from the Western Athletic Conference. Utah State inside linebacker Bobby Wagner and running back Robert Turbin will join Toomer in Seattle.
Prior to the draft and following his pro day, Toomer had visited 12 other NFL teams while Seattle, New York (Giants), Miami and Dallas all worked him out.