By John Boyle
Before we get into looking at what might happen when the Seahawks’ first pick comes up in the draft, a couple links from our draft coverage so far. On Sunday, a look at Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s willingness to bet on a player’s potential rather than focus on weaknesses, and how that’s paid off in some big mid-round hits, but also led to some misses. And from today: assuming Leroy Hill is gone, just how much of a need is linebacker?
The Seahawks enter a draft without a first-round pick for the first time since 2007 and for the fourth time in franchise history, having traded the 25th pick to Minnesota as part of the deal that brought wide receiver Percy Harvin to Seattle.
That means Seahawks fans will have to wait until late in Friday’s second round—pick No. 56 to be specific—to find out who is the newest Seahawk unless Seattle decides to package some of its 10 picks and move up in the second round, or perhaps even into the first round.
But if you’re rooting for that scenario, well, don’t hold your breath. If anything, John Schneider and Pete Carroll’s draft history tells us they’re likely to move back from that 56th pick, not up.
“We don’t really move up,” Schneider said with a laugh. “I’m not going to say that. You never know, there may be a player that falls. We have no idea. My boss kind of gives me crud for never moving up.”
But even if Schneider was joking when he said the Seahawks never move up, in his three drafts as Seattle’s GM he has not traded up a single time, but he’s moved back plenty, including from pick 12 to 15 in last year’s draft, and even more relevant in this case, they’ve gone back in the draft with every one of their second-rounders.
A month before the 2010 draft, the Seahawks moved back 20 spots in the second round and sent a third-round pick to San Diego for Charlie Whitehurst, then used Pick No. 60 on Golden Tate.
The Seahawks went into the 2011 draft with pick No. 57, but sent that pick, a fifth-round pick (157) and a seventh-rounder (209) to Detroit for a third-round pick (No. 75, John Moffitt), and fourth-rounder (No. 107, Kris Durham), a fifth-rounder (No. 154, Rich Sherman) and a seventh-rounder (No. 205, Pep Levingston).
Last year, in addition to moving back in the first round, getting a fourth-rounder (No. 114, Jaye Howard) and a sixth-round pick (No. 172, Jeremy Lane) in the process, the Seahawks once again moved back in round two, sending pick No. 43 to the Jets and getting pick No. 47 (Bobby Wagner), a fifth-rounder (No. 154, Korey Toomer) and a seventh-rounder (No. 232, Greg Scruggs).
The Seahawks don’t move back over and over again just to torture fans who are waiting for a pick, it’s because they believe enough in their scouting process that they think they can add more talent to the team by acquiring more picks. It’s a draft philosophy Schneider learned in Green Bay, and one that has paid off for the Seahawks. Just look at some of the names above, most notably Sherman, a first-team All-Pro last season, and also people who have made significant contributions such as Moffitt and Wagner.
The Seahawks are in a different place now than they have been in the past — they are more talented and much deeper than when Carroll and Schneider took over — so it would make more sense now than a couple years ago to package some picks and move up. Just don’t go into this week’s draft expecting it. You’ll probably end up disappointed.