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NFL Draft Expert Matt Miller: Why Seahawks may stick with just 3 draft picks

The Seahawks are known for trading down in the NFL Draft. (Getty)

Due in large part to a 2020 offseason trade for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams and a 2021 offseason trade for guard Gabe Jackson, the Seahawks enter the 2021 NFL Draft with limited ammo.

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As it stands, Seattle has only three picks in this week’s NFL Draft, including none in the first or third rounds.

The Seahawks have made at least eight picks in each draft since John Schneider and Pete Carroll came to Seattle in 2010, and part of that is because the front office has a tendency to trade down and accumulate more picks in the middle and late rounds.

With only three picks, it seems like the Seahawks trading down from their first pick, which is 56th overall near the end of the second round, is a slam dunk. But is it really?

Matt Miller, an NFL Draft expert who founded and runs TheDraftScout.com and contributes to ESPN’s draft coverage as an analyst, explained to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob why the Seahawks could stand pat with their three picks.

“On the surface, I think that’s what it could be,” Miller said of the Seahawks trading down as they’re accustomed to do. “But I think this year’s a unique year where No. 1, it’s not the best draft class, No. 2, there’s not much information about these prospects.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 college football season was much different than usual. Some players opted out due to either health and safety concerns or because they felt their draft stock was high enough and they didn’t want to risk injury. Some players didn’t get to play as much because some conferences played only a handful of games. And because of the pandemic, in-person interviews between players and scouts haven’t happened and many teams have unanswered medical concerns with some players, Miller said.

Because of that, Miller said he could see the Seahawks making only three selections this week.

“It’s really an incomplete picture with a lot of the prospects this year where John Schneider and Pete Carroll may look at it and say, ‘We have a team that’s going to win 10-11 games as is right now, so we’ll keep our three draft picks and we’ll be ready for next year,'” he said.

And while a lot of media members critiqued the Seahawks for giving up two first-round picks for Adams because he’s a “box safety,” Miller said that was a good deal for a few reasons.

“That box safety is an All-Pro and the draft pick you gave up is not that valuable,” he said of Seattle trading the No. 23 pick to the New York Jets. “It’s not that good of a draft pick.”

Seahawks needs vs. draft depth

The Seahawks’ two biggest needs entering the draft are at cornerback and interior offensive line.

With Seattle’s picks coming later in the draft, can they still get quality players at those positions potentially?

“I think corner is a pretty deep group, but interior offensive line is not,” Miller said.

What potentially works out for Seattle, Miller said, is that with picks past the first round, teams can focus more on the physical makeup and scheme fit rather than viewing a player as a first-round talent and whatnot.

But while it’s a deep cornerback class, Miller said the Seahawks may not find what they’re looking for in terms of measurables.

“This is a very short cornerback class and Seattle is well known for liking those 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2 long corners,” he said. “That might be the biggest obstacle this year is finding someone who fits the size threshold. But it’s definitely a deep enough corner group where there will be starters whether it’s round two or round three.”

Listen to the full discussion with Miller at this link or in the player below.

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