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No surprise: Seahawks trade out of first round

By Brady Henderson

RENTON – For all the surprising choices the Seahawks have made with their first pick in recent drafts, their latest move was entirely foreseeable.

There was no out-of-nowhere selection like those of James Carpenter, Bruce Irvin or Christine Michael Thursday – only close to four hours of waiting for a first-round pick that Seattle didn’t even end up making.

The Seahawks traded it instead, sending No. 32 overall pick to Minnesota in exchange for the Vikings’ second- and fourth-round selections. Minnesota selected Teddy Bridgewater at No. 32 after moving up eight spots and leapfrogging a handful of other teams who might have had designs on taking the former Louisville quarterback.

The Seahawks have seven draft picks after trading their first-round selection to Minnesota.

Round 2: 40 overall (from Minnesota)
Round 2: 64 overall
Round 4: 108 overall (from Minnesota)
Round 4: 132 overall
Round 5: 146 overall (from Oakland)
Round 5: 172 overall
Round 6: 208 overall

Seattle now has seven selections over the final two days of the draft, the first of which is the eighth pick of the second round.

“That’s exactly what we were hoping for,” general manager John Schneider said of moving back and acquiring an additional pick. “We were talking to a number of teams down there right at the end and Minnesota stayed with it, so we did it with them.”

Trading out of the first round was no sure thing but a widely projected possibility for the Seahawks, who have shown a penchant for moving back under Schneider and were perhaps more determined to do so this year as they entered the draft with only six selections.

Also unsurprising was that Seattle traded the pick to a team that moved into the first round to take a quarterback. Rookie contracts for first-round picks come with fifth-year options, which can be especially beneficial with a quarterback who establishes himself as a long-term answer and would otherwise command a massive payday a year earlier.

So the Seahawks found themselves in a good spot with Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel the only quarterbacks off the board when it came time for Seattle to pick at 32. At least five of the teams owning the first 10 picks in the second round – Houston, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Tennessee – could conceivably be in the market for a quarterback. So with Bridgewater and another potential first-rounder in Fresno State’s Derek Carr still available, there was a healthy market for the 32nd pick.

“I think we talked to five or six teams,” Schneider said.

Part of the reason why Seattle reached a deal with Minnesota, Schneider said, was because of the rapport between the two teams. Matt Thomas, Seattle’s vice president of football administration, knows Vikings general manager Rick Spielman from their days in the Dolphins’ front office. Seattle and Minnesota were trade partners last offseason when the Seahawks sent three picks to the Vikings for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

One of those picks was the Seahawks’ 2014 third-round choice, which might have made Seattle even more inclined than normal to move back and recoup an extra selection.

That’s not to say that the Seahawks were dead set on moving back. Schneider said Seattle was prepared to take a certain player had the right offer never materialized. It did, so the Seahawks will turn their attention to the second round.

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt, wide receiver Jordan Matthews, guard Xavier Su’a-Filo and tackle Joel Bitonio are among the highly-regarded prospects who are still available and play positions considered needs for Seattle.

“There are several guys we hope will be there tomorrow,” Schneider said, “but if somebody comes tomorrow with something that we can’t turn down then we’ll look at that as well.”

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.