By Bill Swartz
For the past two years, Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have used the team’s draft picks on cement blocks and mortar. Like any good construction crew they’ve been laying a solid foundation before looking for pizazz and eye-popping artwork.
Just last year they attempted to construct the right side of the offensive line with John Moffitt and a guy fittingly named James Carpenter. Before that they cobbled together a Pro Bowl secondary anchored by young safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.
Seattle had a leaky foundation when Schneider and Carroll started working on their football house. After two years of caulking cracks and painting a coat of primer, they might be ready to install a brand new gourmet kitchen.
The Seahawks hold the 12th overall pick in the draft. There are reports suggesting teams in slots three to 16 are willing to do plenty of moving to get players high on their draft boards.
I asked Schneider during the team’s pre-draft press conference on Monday whether he gets a sense that there could be lots of wheeling and dealing.
“I don’t get that feel right now, but that could change late into Wednesday and early Thursday,” Schneider said. “I know there’s a couple teams that would like to get back. Right now it’s still early in the evening.”
Traditionally those sort of deals aren’t done until the pressure mounts to make a move.
“Those moves aren’t an easy thing,” Schneider said. “The majority of those are done that night when you’re on the clock and waiting to see who’s going to come and see what player’s sitting there. Then you have to evaluate the difference between two, maybe three players who will be there.”
The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement has helped teams looking to trade up for what former Seahawks coach Chuck Knox used to call an “IM-PACT player.” Top 10 draft picks aren’t guaranteed the huge dollars they used to get.
“I think if there’s a guy you really want it’s a lot easier to present it from a football standpoint and a cash standpoint, absolutely,” Schneider confirmed.
Count on 710 ESPN Seattle for wall to wall NFL draft coverage starting at 5 p.m. Thursday.