What would Doug Baldwin do with the 26th pick if he were the Seahawks’ GM?
Maybe Doug Baldwin was just giving a politically-correct answer when asked what he would do with the 26th pick if he were Seattle’s general manager. After all, it could come across as a slight to some teammates if Baldwin, a wide receiver, said the Seahawks should address any specific position with their first-round pick.
Then again, he offered some sound reasoning while explaining why he would trade back in an interview that is set to air Thursday on “Justin and Gee.”
“In the GM-world terms, we call it the shelves of talent,” Baldwin said, sounding like Seattle’s actual general manager, John Schneider. “There’s not a big drop-off of talent in those first three rounds. So you can actually go back – if somebody’s willing to trade up – you can (go) back and get a few more picks and still be in that top shelf of talent…”
As we noted last week while examining the Seahawks’ options at No. 26, seven of the nine pick-for-pick draft trades Seattle has made under Schneider and coach Pete Carroll have been to move back. The Seahawks have done so twice in the first round.
The case for Seattle doing it again this year, as Baldwin mentioned, is based on the overall quality of this class of players. Schneider recently told Sports Radio 950 KJR that in his view, this is the best draft since 2010. So in theory, the Seahawks might be able to trade back a few spots, acquire some additional selections and still end up with a player they would have considered at No. 26.
Mandates for Seahawks WRs
Baldwin’s conversation with Scott included a question about the pre-requisites for playing wide receiver in Seattle’s run-first offense.
“The first thing the receivers have to know is that they’re not going to get the ball as much as they think they’re going to get it,” Baldwin said. “And you’re going to have to learn how to block. In order for you to play receiver here in Seattle, you’re going to have to learn how to block.
“A lot of guys, they come in and they don’t have that mentality that, ‘OK, I’ve got to go down and crack this safety so that Marshawn (Lynch) or Thomas Rawls can bounce to the outside … Guys don’t have that mentality. It is hard to get it; I will say that. But as a receiver, a rookie receiver coming in, they have to have that mindset. They have to acquire it quick or they’re not going to survive.”
Baldwin’s draft experience
Baldwin also recalled his own draft-day experience in 2011, which wasn’t a positive one. He thought he would be drafted, perhaps as early as the fourth round, but wasn’t. That led to what he called a “devastating” time in his life.
“There was a lot of emotion because football has been my thing since I was 6 years old,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. And we were in the lockout year, so after the draft was over, none of the teams could talk to us.”
In any other year, Baldwin may have been signed minutes after the conclusion of the draft. But the labor dispute disrupted the usual order of business. It wasn’t until the lockout ended just days before the start of training camp that he signed with the Seahawks. There was three months of anxiety in between.
“I’m sitting there, undrafted, no interest because no teams had called me because they couldn’t, and I’m about to graduate and I don’t have a job,” Baldwin recalled. “So I was worried, man. I started applying to different jobs in the area. My best friend at Stanford, he helped me get an interview with Dropbox at the time. I was searching. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was lost.”