Seahawks 7th-round draft pick Kenny McIntosh is one motivated, ticked-off running back

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Want to know why the Seahawks drafted Kenny McIntosh?

Check out the running back from the University of Georgia’s reaction on the telephone Saturday moments after Seattle changed his plans of heading into undrafted free agency and selected him in the seventh and final round, 22 picks before the end of the 2023 NFL draft.

“(Shoot), man, I’ve been waiting all day,” McIntosh said, crying through the telephone, of a Saturday that began with the fourth round at noon his Eastern Time before he got drafted at about 6:30 p.m. “How do you think it feels?

“I wasn’t expecting this, honestly.

“C’mon, let’s do it. ...I’m lit.”

That attitude is SO Pete Carroll.

McIntosh’s sobs continued.

“My family, my whole family is around me,” he said from their home. “We’ve been waiting all day. Not just me.”

McIntosh was on the phone with his agent, plotting possible offers from various NFL teams in undrafted free agency. That market officially opens as soon as the draft ends, but teams don’t wait. They contact undrafted players before the seventh round ends, sometimes before it starts, trying to recruit them.

McIntosh figured that’s the derby he was about to enter. Then the Seahawks called.

“Man, I was upstairs, going through it already, waiting for my name to be called,” McIntosh said, through more tears. “So when they called me, I was on the phone with my agent talking about free agency.

“Then they called me, man, right in the middle of the call with my agent.”

McIntosh ran the 40-yard dash at 4.62 seconds the league’s scouting combine last month. That was the third-slowest of any running back.

That’s why he didn’t get drafted until late Saturday in the final round.

“I think I did everything I needed to do on the field,” he said. “I know I had a bad 40. They hold that over you, for life, you feel me?

“But I didn’t think I was going to go this low.”

Count yet another guy with a massive chip on his shoulder coming onto the Seahawks’ roster. Pete Carroll loves to collect those players in Seattle.

“I know it dropped me down a lot, but this low? That’s crazy,” McIntosh said. “But it gives me a chip on my shoulder to go out there and work harder.

“I’ve definitely got something to prove, man. I’ve been feeling like this since I got to college. Going to Georgia, I had something to prove, man. This ain’t nothing new.

“So let’s just bring it on. I’m ready for the challenge. ...I’m going to prove a point, like I did at Georgia.

“They are going to know who Kenny is.”

You can hear the entire, emotional interview here:

Another big-school player

Seattle went big schools to fill big needs in this NFL draft.

Their 10th and final selection of this weekend’s draft was McIntosh. The 6-foot, 204-pound McIntosh was a rusher, effective pass receiver out of the backfield and team captain for the national-champion Bulldogs last season. He rushed for 829 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged almost 12 yards per catch on 43 receptions with two more touchdowns in Georgia’s passing game last season.

He said linebackers can’t cover him when he split outside in formations, or runs pass routes out of the backfield.

“Come on!” he said, still crying.

A loud gathering of family were noisy celebrating in the background. He passed the phone to his brother Deon McIntosh, who played at Notre Dame and Washington Stat. Another brother is New York Giants defensive tackle R. J. McIntosh.

At one point in the interview amid the noise, the crying, the anger and the passing around of his phone, one couldn’t tell if he was talking to Kenny or Deon or who knows who.

The Seahawks need a third-down back. The guy in that role the last few seasons, Travis Homer, signed in free agency last month with the Chicago Bears.

Nine of Seattle’s 10 picks in this year’s draft were from power-conference college programs: Illinois cornerback Devon Witherpoon, Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet, Auburn outside linebacker Derick Hall, LSU guard Anthony Bradford, Mississippi State defensive tackle Cameron Young, defensive end Mike Morris and center Olu Oluwatimi both from Michigan and McIntosh.

The lone non-power-conference player the Seahawks selected was safety Jerrick Reed from New Mexico of the Mountain West Conference, in the sixth round.

McIntosh’s role

McIntosh and Charbonnet, the Seahawks’ second pick in round two on Friday, will join returning DeeJay Dallas as backups to Kenneth Walker. Walker rushed for 1,000 yards as a rookie second-round pick last year.

Rashaad Penny, the lead back entering last season, sustained his latest season-ending injury in October. Walker took the job after that. Penny signed in free agency with Philadelphia last month.