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What does the NFL draft process look like for a GM? John Schneider previews this year’s Seahawks rookie class

May 3, 2018, 2:16 PM | Updated: 2:56 pm
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Seahawks general manager John Schneider is entering the draft with just four picks. (AP)
(AP)

Seahawks general manager John Schneider joined Bob Stelton, Tom Wassell and Dave Grosby on 710 ESPN Seattle Thursday to recap the 2018 NFL Draft and give a quick update on the situation surrounding All Pro safety Earl Thomas.

The Seahawks wrapped up the weekend with nine new rookies added to the roster: RB Rashaad Penny, DL Rasheem Green, TE Will Dissly, LB Shaquem Griffin, CB Tre Flowers, P Michael Dickson, T Jamarco Jones, DE Jacob Martin and QB Alex McGough.

The selection of Griffin was not only a huge story locally, but also nationally, when he became the first one-handed player drafted into the NFL.

“It didn’t really hit me until I was on the phone with him, talking to him,” Schneider said of the emotional impact that would follow the pick. “It didn’t really hit me until Pete (Carroll) was sitting there staring at me getting ready to take the phone from me. That’s when I was like, ‘Holy smokes, we did it, we picked him.’ You guys are going to love him. He’s a really awesome, awesome kid.”

In keeping with years’ past, the Seahawks traded back from No. 18 overall on Day One of the draft. However, they surprised fans when they used pick No. 27 on San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny. It was just the second time since 2013 they’d used a first-round pick.

“He was splitting time last year with (Donnel) Pumphrey and never complained about it once,” Schneider said of Penny. “But when you’re studying Pumphrey, you’re like ‘Holy smokes, who’s number 20?’ He continued that this year. Every time he touched the ball, he’s one of those guys you just kind of hold your breath.”

Here are a few more notes:

On how Seattle is replacing the offensive production from TE Jimmy Graham and WR Paul Richardson, and whether they’ll still add pieces to the offense: “We never feel like we’re going to stop adding pieces, but we’re really excited about Jaron Brown and Amara (Darhoh) and David Moore. People that you haven’t necessarily seen yet. It’s a process. (Ed) Dickson, it was pretty cool to get him from Carolina and he’s a guy who can stretch the field. I think it’s going to be a fun group. It’s going to be wide open competition, especially when you’ve got those guys like (Tyler) Lockett and Doug (Baldwin) and now we’ve added to the room, so it’s going to be exciting. We got some rookie free agents we’re excited about seeing, a kid from Vanderbilt and a kid from West Virginia. So we’re just going to keep evaluating it all the way through. Don’t sleep on Uncle Will (Will Dissly) either, he’s pretty fun.”

Through your communication with Earl Thomas and his reps, what’s the general sense you get from him about whether or not he wants to be here: “My sense is that he wants to be here. I haven’t got that sense from his agents at all.”

(On reaction after Thomas’ comments about contract at Pro Bowl and whether it was concerning, cont.) “I met with his agents after that, like we do with all of our players’ agents at the combine, and I expressed my questions or concerns about that. And they didn’t tell me it was any different that what we had thought, that he wants to be a Seahawk.”

On the offensive line talent in this year’s draft: “It was solid at the guard position … I would say solid at guard, solid at center, and not real great at tackle. You had the two top guys and then there was a bit of a gap.”

On his favorite part of the NFL draft cycle: “I think the rookie free agency part. If you guys are able to be in there, it’s almost like ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ it’s pretty crazy in there… you’re just competing like crazy. And you have a deal with some people and guys back out, and then you go to a different guy, and then the person you wanted first will call you back… but (Director of College Scouting) Matt Berry and (Co-Directors of Player Personnel) Scott Fitterer and Trent Kirchner do a great job of getting that thing organized.”

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