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With all the talk about competition at defensive back, one of the folks who has gone under the radar a bit is second-year pro DeShawn Shead.
However, the Portland State University product finished last season for the Seattle Seahawks on the active roster after spending most of the season on the practice squad.
At 6-1 and 220 pounds, Shead is another one of those rangy athletes who fits Seattle’s profile for a press corner. However, this year Shead has been playing more safety, and offers some versatility as an athlete who can play both corner and safety, along with special teams.
Shead is competing for a backup safety job with Jeron Johnson, Chris Maragos and Winston Guy.
“It helps a lot to be versatile,” Shead said. “If somebody goes down at corner, I can step right in. If somebody goes down at safety, I can step right in, along with different roles on special teams. So showing my versatility is definitely a factor.”
Shead was a playmaker at Portland State. A four-year starter for the Vikings, Shead finished his college career with 11 interceptions, 211 tackles, five fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles and 29 pass deflections in 44 career games. After three years at cornerback, Shead played safety his senior season at Portland State.
Shead also was a decathlete at Portland State, with personal bests of 10.93 in the 100 meters and 14.49 in the 110 meter hurdles.
“Being a decathlete is tough,” Shead said. “You’ve got to run the 1500, to the 100, to the 400 meter dash to the pole vault – all of that in a matter of two days. So training for that definitely helped me prepare for playing multiple positions.”