Clayton: How the Seahawks have used draft day trades to their advantage
Everyone anticipates Seahawks general manager John Schneider will trade down from the 18th pick in the first round Thursday of the NFL Draft.
With no picks in the second and third rounds, it’s only fitting for Schneider to figure out who he wants as the team’s first pick and then make the trades necessary to still get that player and load up more picks. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to review Schneider’s history with draft day trades.
Looking ahead, you can figure the Seahawks could add third rounders by trading down a few spots a couple times. It’s likely the Seahawks make about two trades and gain two third rounders and maybe a couple picks in the third day of the draft.
As you look back at the Seahawks’ 19 draft day trades since 2010, you see an interesting pattern. He’s pretty good at identifying where he can get a player that he values, and the trades down usually work. Even though trading down last year to pick Malik McDowell in the second round didn’t work because of his ATV accident, the Seahawks still added four prospects – Delano Hill, Tedric Thompson, Mike Tyson and Chris Carson – as a result of making that first trade.
Schneider says he prefers trading back to trading up, but his trades up have been pretty good.
In 2015, he traded from the 95th pick into earlier in the third round to get Tyler Lockett at 69th. Schneider gave up picks in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, but Lockett has been to the Pro Bowl as a returner and is a starting wide receiver.
In 2016, the Seahawks moved from the 56th pick (second round) to No. 49 to draft defensive tackle Jarran Reed. Reed is a starter and an ascending player; the Seahawks gave up a fourth-rounder to get him.
That same year, Seattle traded down an gave the Denver Broncos the chance to draft quarterback Paxton Lynch with the 26th pick in the first round. Schneider wanted Germain Ifedi, so the Seahawks moved down five spots and were able to get him and add a third-round choice to take tight end Nick Vannett.
Another sleeper of a trade down came in 2014. The Seahawks moved from 40 to 45 and drafted wide receiver Paul Richardson, who played well when healthy for Seattle and signed this offseason as a free agent with the Washington Redskins to make $8 million a year. The swap of lower-round choices ultimately got the Seahawks a fourth-round pick at No. 111 that year.
In 2012, the Seahawks dropped in the second round from 43 to 47, knowing they wanted to draft linebacker Bobby Wagner. They picked up choices in the fifth and seventh rounds. Also in 2012, they dropped from the 12th pick in the first round to No. 15 and took linebacker Bruce Irvin, adding a fourth and a sixth in the process.
In Schneider’s first draft, his trades were more about adding veterans. He was starting to build a roster. But after a couple of years, he settled into making two or three draft day trades – mostly trades down.
What’s interesting about this upcoming season is several of the acquisitions Schneider has made by trading down might have a chance to play – guys like Vannett, Hill, Thompson, Carson and Quinton Jefferson.