Seahawks GM John Schneider talks draft board, what’s left to do

Apr 14, 2023, 12:05 PM | Updated: 2:39 pm

Seahawks John Schneider...

Seahawks GM John Schneider speaks to the media at the 2020 NFL Combine. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

It’s been a busy offseason for Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider as his team owns two picks in each of the first two rounds, including the fifth overall pick.

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Schneider and many members of the Seahawks’ front office and scouting department have been all over the country conducting visits and checking out workouts for draft prospects, but during this week’s John Schneider Show on Seattle Sports, Schneider was back at the team’s practice facility in Renton.

“It’s exciting to go out and do the work and see all that, but I’m most excited about being back and being able to hunker down in the draft room with everybody and be able to study and continue to bounce things off each other and try to try to figure this thing out,” he said. “I think just being back here – obviously I love sleeping in my own bed – but I don’t mind that travel at all.”

During this week’s visit with Wyman and Bob, Schneider shared some insight into what’s left for the Seahawks to do ahead of the draft and much more.

What’s left for Seattle Seahawks?

We’re now two weeks away from the start of the 2023 NFL Draft, so for Schneider and the Seahawks, they’re wrapping up a lot of key things.

“We’re still Zoom (calling) a bunch of guys. We had a huge portion of our (top 30) visit (Wednesday), and then (Thursday), we had our local group in for our local visit, which is a big tryout day. Awesome,” he said. “We had some really really cool guys in today and it was one of our better local days that we’ve had.”

A key part of any NFL team’s draft preparation is setting up their draft board, which Schneider said is a key focus moving forward.

“We’re meeting with the scouts right now. This is like our third time through the board,” he said.

How many times with the Seahawks go through their board before the draft?

“Five. It gets like a rescraping, kind of,” Schneider said. “Not taking everybody off, but just moving around and making sure everybody has all their input and everybody feels good about it.”

Seattle’s draft board

Let’s stick with the draft board.

“I think the most difficult part of what we do leading up to the draft is making sure that the board, which is a map basically, looks exactly the way we want it to and that everybody’s comfortable about the different scenarios,” Schneider said.

Those scenarios, obviously, include trading up or down from a specific spot and “where to move in certain areas to acquire specific players at different positions.”

With the draft, Schneider said that while the Seahawks may not know exactly what’s going to happen, they have a really good plan in place and are on the same page of what they want to do.

“I’ve prayed on it a ton and I’ve studied it enough where I’m totally at peace with where we’re going and what our communication looks like in the room and our communication with the rest of the league,” he said. “… My anxiety ramps up with all the preparation, and then I’m most at peace when we get going and we’re like, ‘OK, everything’s set now. Here we go, and we’re just gonna go execute.'”

Difference with other teams

Obviously, every NFL team operates differently.

When it comes specificially to the NFL Draft, though, is there anything the Seahawks do differently than with other teams?

“Some teams won’t necessarily take a player because they’re afraid of blowback from the fan base. And I’m like, man, I’m not sure we could do that,” he said. “We don’t do that because we just believe in what we’re doing and we just keep moving forward.”

In terms of evaluating players, Schneider said he’s taken bits and pieces from all his previous jobs in order to build how the Seahawks operate.

“I’ve been with three different clubs and I’ve kind of taken bits and pieces of the stuff that that I liked and eliminated the stuff I didn’t like throughout the evaluation process to kind of streamline it as well as making everybody feel like they have a voice and they’re being heard and coaches have the buy-in for their player,” he said.

Listen to the entirety of this week’s John Schneider Show at this link or in the player below.

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