Hawk Talk highlights: Carroll, Schneider and the draft

May 7, 2014, 9:44 AM | Updated: 9:54 am

By Brady Henderson

Highlights from the latest edition of “Hawk Talk” with Danny O’Neil:

Luke jokingly suggested the Seahawks should reveal their draft board to reporters instead of playing it as close to the vest as they have the past four years.

O’Neil: I know, right? I won’t ever criticize a team for keeping secrets, though. It takes some confidence. If you’re interested in getting better draft grades, though, one way to do that is let a draft analyst know before who you like. Then if you draft that guy, people will start saying things like, “I know this is the guy they wanted all along.” You tend to get a higher grade if the analysts know you picked a player you had talked up beforehand. Not only that, but when an analyst hears that you’re interested in so-and-so at No. 15, well, if that analyst had not previously had the player graded as a first-round pick, he would be more included to bump his stock up. When Seattle goes out and drafts Bruce Irvin, and he’s not on most mock drafts’ first-round projections, well, what does an analyst with an ego say? Ignore my pre-draft rankings that had this guy No. 43 overall. The Seahawks really know they’re stuff so he’s really good.

Draft fan asked whether there’s a big difference between the way Seahawks drafts are run under general manager John Schneider and Pete Carroll and their predecessors, Tim Ruskell and Mike Holmgren.

O’Neil: Yes. Absolutely. Gigantic difference. Under Holmgren-Ruskell, there was always the reality of a power struggle behind the scenes. I will never forget the draft – 2007 – in which Seattle traded Darrell Jackson for a fourth-round pick and Holmgren had to be cajoled into coming out to answer questions. First, the Seahawks didn’t have a first-round pick because of the trade for Deion Branch – a receiver Holmgren never asked for – then Seattle uses its second-round pick on Josh Wilson (the second year its first pick was used on a corner) and not only that but Ruskell trades the receiver who has mastered the offense (within the division no less) for a fourth-round pick used on … wait for it … Mansfield Wrotto.

Luke asked about the credibility of ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.

O’Neil: I think Todd McShay knows a lot, yes. I also think he approaches it more like a scout than a reporter. He wants to tell you how he evaluates the available players. He’s not predicting where a player will be drafted so much as telling you where they will be drafted. Kiper is more a mix between rumor and evaluation.

Luke asked whether defensive end Cliff Avril is a “core” player in the Seahawks’ eyes.

O’Neil: I don’t know. When Cliff Avril signed, he took a shorter-term deal with an eye toward re-entering free agency in 2015. We’ll see how he positions himself there. Remember, this is a guy who played a year on the franchise tag, too.

Bo Knows asked which coaches could replace Carroll when he retires.

O’Neil: In terms of Pete’s successor, possibly Tom Cable? I also think Dan Quinn is a head coach sooner rather than later.

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