Pre-draft roundtable with John Clayton, Mike Sando
By Brady Henderson
ESPN’s John Clayton and Mike Sando joined “Brock and Danny” on Monday for a roundtable discussion on how the Seahawks are approaching this week’s draft, their fourth under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
Below are some of the highlights.
How Harvin trade could change approach. The Seahawks don’t have a first-round pick after sending it to Minnesota in the Percy Harvin trade, a deal that also cost Seattle a seventh-round pick and next year’s third. Clayton and Sando agreed that while the Seahawks still have 10 picks at their disposal this year and only a few holes to fill, not having those earlier selections reduces the margin for error that would otherwise exist.
While the Seahawks have found gems in the fourth and fifth rounds, they’ve also whiffed on players like Kris Durham. (AP)
That’s significant given the Seahawks’ tendency to take chances while drafting in the middle and later rounds. As O’Neil wrote about earlier Monday, that swing-for-the-fences approach has produced home runs and whiffs alike. Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were both fifth-round picks while K.J. Wright was taken in the fourth, and all three have been two-year starters on one of the league’s best defenses.
The Seahawks have also gotten little or nothing from other players they’ve drafted in those two rounds. E.J. Wilson was released during his rookie season while fellow fourth-round pick Kris Durham was let go after a year. Fifth-round picks Mark LeGree and Korey Toomer didn’t make the team as rookies.
“Those misses really hurt him (Schneider) personally even though they’ve had great success in the draft,” Sando said, “so I think they really will try to avoid some of the higher-risk moves they’ve made at times in the middle rounds.”
The Seahawks have two picks in the fifth round and four in the seventh.
Take your pick. Tavon Austin, a wide receiver from West Virginia, was Clayton’s choice when posed a hypothetical question asking which player he’d pick regardless of position, need or draft order. Clayton thinks the Seahawks viewed Austin as a game-changing playmaker worthy of taking with the 25th overall pick, and he theorized that Seattle traded for Harvin after determining that Austin wouldn’t last that long. Trading up, say, five spots might have cost the Seahawks a third-round pick, which is what they included in the trade for Harvin.
Chance Warmack from Alabama was the name Sando mentioned while making the case for a stud guard who could solidify Seattle’s offensive line. Clayton agreed with the idea, noting that using such a high pick on a non-premium position is easier to justify now that the rookie wage scale has made first-round salaries more affordable.
O’Neil pointed to right tackle Breno Giacomini as an example of the Seahawks’ ability to find starting offensive linemen who weren’t high draft picks. Guards Paul McQuistan and J.R. Sweezy are other players who have developed under offensive line coach Tom Cable.
Trading up? Because the Seahawks have a strong roster and few openings, Carroll has said some of their 10 draft picks might not make the team. With that in mind, O’Neil asked whether it would make sense to trade some of those picks to move up in the second round.
Sando doesn’t think they’ll need to, the reason being that because they tend to evaluate players differently than other teams, someone they’re targeting could be available when it’s their turn to make the 56th overall pick.
“I really couldn’t justify giving up even more of your number of picks because they’ve hit on enough of those middle-round picks,” Sando said.