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Jimmy Graham, C.J. Prosise among Seahawks' spring standouts

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks wrapped up their three-day minicamp Thursday. The players are now on their own until late July when they return for training camp.

Here is what we learned over the past two months.

The team believes TE Jimmy Graham is primed to have his best year in Seattle.

When Pete Carroll was asked who stood out this spring, Graham was the first name out of the coach's mouth. Last year at this time, Graham was recovering from a ruptured patellar tendon. He made it back on the field in time for the opener and ended up having a solid season: 923 receiving yards (third among tight ends) and 14.2 yards per reception (first).

But the Seahawks struggled to get Graham the ball in the red zone, where he had just six receptions. That needs to improve in 2017.

"He's so much more of a complete player than maybe we thought he would even become, really," Carroll said. "So he surprised us. He and [QB] Russell [Wilson] are really tuned in. They spend a lot of time together. They communicate beautifully. I think it will hopefully show up as we get closer to the end zone -- not quite as productive as we thought we could be. But that's a big area of focus for us now."

Graham spent time with Wilson in Los Angeles this offseason. The tight end is entering the final year of his deal in Seattle.

Health is the only thing holding back RB C.J. Prosise.

Prosise consistently made impressive plays in the passing game during practices open to the media. He's a savvy route runner, a smooth athlete and a mismatch problem. That is, of course, when he's able to stay on the field. Prosise had multiple injuries last season and played in only six games. So far this offseason, he has looked healthy and dangerous.

"It was incredibly beneficial for us to see C.J. make it through the whole time," Carroll said. "He has a great scope that he fills for us. He can come out of the backfield, and he can run routes as a receiver, and he looked really good running the ball behind the line of scrimmage.

"So he goes into this six weeks hugely ahead of where he's been in years past, and we have really high hopes."

Prosise caught 17 of the 18 passes thrown his way last year. He adds an element to the Seahawks' offense that no one else on the roster can provide.

The George Fant hype is real.

In March, Carroll said that if Fant had to spend a year as a backup, it might be good for him. But Fant transformed his body in the offseason and is doing everything in his power to prove he deserves a legitimate shot to start at left tackle.

His physique impressed the coaching staff, as Fant has put on about 25 pounds. Of course, it's impossible to judge the progress of offensive linemen in May and June. Training camp and preseason will tell the story with Fant. But at this point, he has to be considered the favorite to protect Wilson's blind side.

CB Shaquill Griffin is a rookie to watch.

Often when the Seahawks were in nickel, Griffin lined up outside with Richard Sherman, while Jeremy Lane played across the slot. The coaches raved about the way Griffin has picked up the scheme.

"He's got probably one of the best corner minds that we've had for a young guy around here," defensive coordinator Kris Richard said.

The key for Griffin this summer will be to show that he can play the ball in the air. But he has a chance to contribute right away.

S Bradley McDougald has a chance to carve out a role on defense.

The Seahawks did not have a third safety like McDougald last year, and his versatility could allow for some new looks in 2017.

"Absolutely, there's no doubt about it," Richard said. "We've got some things in mind for Bradley. Obviously, he is learning both free safety and strong safety, and in the event that something happens to either Kam [Chancellor] or Earl [Thomas], we're looking for him to be the first safety going into the football game. He has done a fantastic job for us. We're very happy to have him here."

Seattle could utilize a big nickel look with McDougald or simply rotate him in. It appears he'll be more than just a depth piece this season.