Seahawks GM Schneider: How draft position impacts strategy

Apr 18, 2024, 6:48 PM | Updated: Apr 21, 2024, 6:25 pm

Seattle Seahawks draft...

A view of the stage as the Seahawks deliver a pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. (Photo: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Trading back in the first round of the NFL Draft has been a common strategy for the Seattle Seahawks under John Schneider. Since he took over as general manager in 2010, Seattle has traded back from its first-round pick six times.

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The Seahawks currently hold the No. 16 overall pick in next week’s draft, but they don’t have a second-round pick. They dealt their second-rounder to the New York Giants last October as part of the trade for defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

With no second-round pick, many have speculated this could be yet another instance where Seattle deals its first-round pick to acquire more draft capital.

However, of the six times the Seahawks traded back in the first round, four came when they held picks in the No. 21-32 range.

During Thursday’s edition of The John Schneider Show on Seattle Sports, the Seahawks GM/president of football operations was asked how draft position affects a team’s approach to their first-round pick.

“On average, there’s probably 15 to 20 – depending on the year – true first-round-graded players,” Schneider said. “So when you’re (drafting) in the late 20s, you’re really picking in the second round anyway. So why not acquire another pick is kind of the way we’ve looked at it.”

Schneider said a similar concept applies to the second round, which can affect how far a team decides to trade back.

“How far back are you going to go? Where’s your cutoff?” Schneider said. “Because … you might only have 15 guys or 18 (second-round-caliber) guys in the second round.”

Drafting in the middle of the first round is a bit of an unfamiliar position for the Schneider-era Seahawks.

Over the past 14 drafts, Seattle has made just three first-round selections in the No. 11-20 range. Two of those instances came more than a decade ago, when they took safety Earl Thomas at No. 14 overall in 2010 and defensive end Bruce Irvin at No. 15 overall in 2012. The other was last year, when they selected wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba at No. 20 overall.

Seattle also traded away the No. 18 overall pick in 2018 to move back and acquire more picks.

Listen to the full interview from this week’s show at this link or in the audio player near the top of this story. Catch The John Schneider Show live every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Seattle Sports.

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