Hawk Picks Put UW Over Top -- Rongen, Fraley Among 11 Huskies Taken

KIRKLAND - The Seattle Seahawks helped the Washington Huskies.

Now, can the Huskies help the Seahawks?

By picking Husky guard Kris Rongen in the 11th round and linebacker Chico Fraley in the 12th yesterday, the Seahawks boosted the number of UW players drafted by NFL teams to a national high of 11.

Tennessee, Penn State, Florida and Oklahoma finished second with nine players apiece taken.

While this year's NFL-draft title doesn't match the Huskies' 1991 national co-championship for prestige, it is valuable recruiting ammunition. The total also matches the UW's previous high of 11 draftees set in 1983.

Rongen, 6 feet 5, 284 pounds, and Fraley, 6-1, 210, are long shots to make the team but match the philosophy of Seahawk second-day drafting.

"Once you get into the second day, you're looking to hang your hat on something - whether it's size or speed," said Mike Allman, Seahawk director of player personnel.

Rongen is big and Fraley is fast, having run a 4.54-second 40-yard dash in a workout for the Hawks.

The Seahawks hadn't drafted a Husky since offensive tackle Rick McLeod was taken in the 11th round in 1988. He failed to make the roster. Rongen and Fraley are the seventh and eighth Huskies in history drafted by the Seahawks.

Seattle used its 10th-round pick to draft defensive end Anthony Hamlet of the University of Miami.

"We wanted to get some players off national-championship teams," Allman said. "So we got two Huskies and a Hurricane. If you mix that up, be sure not to drink it."

The Hurricane and Husky players were hardly the most unusual picks in the second day for the Hawks. That distinction seems to belong to the sixth- and seventh-round picks, running back and wide receiver Michael Bates of Arizona and defensive end Mike Frier of Appalachian State.

Bates is fast, with a 200-meter time of 20.37 seconds and a 100-meter clocking of 10.17. He has a strong chance to make the Olympic team at 200 meters, and the Seahawks say they will allow him to pursue his Olympic dream.

Bates' football credentials are less impressive. He played only two years at Arizona, 1989 and 1990. He was a threat as a kick returner, averaging 23.7 yards, but averaged only 3.5 yards on running plays and never displayed great hands as a receiver, which is where the Seahawks project him.

Frier was the Seahawks' second pick this year from Appalachian State, an NCAA I-AA school in Boone, N.C., joining safety Gary Dandridge, who was the fifth-round choice. Frier didn't play football last fall. The 300-pound defensive end was academically ineligible for the second time in three years.

Bates and Frier are two of four Seahawks who didn't play football last fall. The others are trade acquisitions Keith Millard (injury) and Rueben Mayes (retirement).

The Seahawks entered the draft with a need list that included a running back (Mayes was acquired), a top offensive lineman (No. 1 pick Ray Roberts), a middle linebacker (third-rounder Bob Spitulski from I-AA Central Florida) and a tight end.

Tight end remains a question mark. The only tight end drafted by Seattle was Larry Stayner, 6-4, 241, a Marysville-Pilchuck High School graduate who played at Boise State. Stayner, taken in the ninth round, was a Rhodes Scholar candidate and wants to combine an NFL career with medical school.

Ex-Seahawk quarterback Jim Zorn, who was on the staff at Boise State until being named offensive coordinator at Utah State in February, said Stayner improved dramatically between his junior and senior years and might make it in the NFL.


-- Seahawk representatives were in position throughout the country as soon as the draft ended to begin signing promising free agents who went undrafted.

-- Roberts was presented with jersey No. 73, the number worn last season by reserve tackle Curt Singer. Singer, who is considering retiring but hasn't made a final decision, wasn't upset. "I've had more numbers with the Seahawks than you can shake a stick at," he said. "One more isn't going to matter. I'm a giving person anyhow, especially when I don't have a choice."

-- Mayes says he retired from the New Orleans Saints last summer because he didn't like living in the South and didn't feel like he was "in sync" with the Saints. "Just the way the South is wasn't for me," he said. "Maybe if I was born in the States or something, it might have been different. But being raised the way I was, it was just difficult for me." Mayes was born and raised in North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

-- The Seahawks used three of their final seven draft picks for defensive ends. Flores said he is concerned about the aging of the line. Four veterans (Keith Millard, Joe Nash, Jacob Green and Jeff Bryant) are at least 30.