Seahawks GM Schneider has learned lesson from drafting for need

Apr 20, 2023, 5:47 PM

Seattle Seahawks coach search 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)

When it comes to the NFL Draft, there’s a long-running debate about whether it’s best for teams to draft based on their own personal roster needs or to simply take the best player available. On Thursday, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider shared what he’s learned from doing both in his career.

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“In general, we just do a much better job when we just pick the best player,” he said during the weekly John Schneider Show with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob.

Schneider explained his point by using a hypothetical scenario involving two different positions.

When you’re self-scouting, the evaluation process, reviewing the draft, you can get in situations where, you know, personally, I feel like we’ve made some mistakes where we’ve pushed players based on need and what the draft looks like. So that particular class, say you have – I’m using generalities here and vague terms – but if you have one receiver on the board in one round, and then there’s a gap of two rounds, and you have five cornerbacks on the board in those same two rounds, (the idea is) ‘Well, we should just go ahead and take the receiver.’ Well, is the receiver really the best player, or is the corner the best player with more options below him? And in retrospect, over the years, when we look back at pushing players up, you can do that based on need because you say that guy’s gonna step right in and he’s gonna play. But is that truly accurate when you’re comparing the players?

Because of that, Schneider said it’s important for the Seahawks to be thorough with their draft preparation.

“I think you guys have heard me talk about there’s ledges all throughout the draft, there’s gaps in each round, and you have to be really careful not to push a player based on a specific need or based on what the numbers look like in that specific draft,” he said. “That’s why you have to be really, really honest and in-depth on your study of what each class looks like, and know that, hey… maybe he really is a fourth-rounder and you made him a third-rounder.”

The final John Schneider Show before next week’s NFL Draft will be Thursday, April 27, with a conversation between Schneider, Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton airing on Seattle Sports just before the first round is set to begin at 5 p.m.

Listen to this week’s full John Schneider Show in the podcast below.

More Seattle Seahawks draft coverage

Draft Profile: How ‘most talented’ OL Skoronski could fit Hawks
Seahawks Draft Profile: ‘Cold-blooded’ OSU WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Why Huard would trade 5 and 20 to get Will Anderson to Seahawks
Rost: The Seahawks’ best picks by round under Schneider and Carroll
Bump & Stacy: Draft mistakes Seattle Seahawks need to avoid

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