Predicting the unpredictable: What the Seahawks will do in the draft
Five drafts under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll have shown that the Seahawks are capable of just about anything.
They’ve chosen a 5-foot-11 quarterback in the third round and then a defensive tackle in the seventh with the intention of converting him to an offensive guard. They’ve drafted players from Harding and Northwestern State, little-known schools that require a Google search to locate on a map. They’ve used their top pick on a running back despite being stocked at that position and they’ve made a pair of first-round selections that were so surprising they sent reporters scrambling for the players’ bios.
With a league-high 11 picks, there’s no telling what the Seahawks will pull off this year. We’ll try to guess anyway. Here are three predictions for the most unpredictable team in the draft:
The Seahawks will trade up at some point. Don’t get ahead of yourself, though. We’re not talking about a move all the way back into the first round. Based on the draft value chart, trading up from No. 63 even to No. 32 would take all seven of Seattle’s tradable picks (teams can’t trade compensatory selections) in this year’s draft or maybe next year’s first if future picks were involved. That’s too much, especially in a draft that may not include 32 players with first-round talent in Seattle’s eyes. But a move up, say, a few spots in the second round could make sense when you consider a) the Seahawks aren’t picking until No. 63, which is an awfully long time to wait; b) they have some expendable draft capital in the form of a league-high 11 picks and c) their roster is established enough that all 11 draft picks probably wouldn’t make the team, which means there might be more value in dealing some of those picks to move up. Seattle has moved up in a pick-for-pick trade only once under Schneider and Carroll. Don’t be surprised if it happens for just the second time this year.
They’ll draft a cornerback who doesn’t fit the mold. It wouldn’t be all that bold to predict that the Seahawks will draft a cornerback considering they’ve chosen at least one every year since 2010. Here’s where I’ll go out on a limb: Seattle will draft a cornerback who’s 6 feet or shorter. The Seahawks’ secondary has become known for its towering cornerbacks, but that height requirement is restricted to the guys on the outside as opposed to those operating in the slot, where the better matchup with a smaller, quicker receiver is usually a smaller, quicker defender. The Seahawks need to restock at cornerback in general, but the more immediate need is inside with Jeremy Lane likely to miss the start of the season. Seattle may end up drafting multiple cornerbacks, but expect at least one of them to look more like Lane or Walter Thurmond than Richard Sherman or Brandon Browner.
They’ll add to their crowded running-back mix. It’s not an immediate need for the Seahawks, not even close to one when you consider that they’re returning arguably the best running back in the league and a very capable backup not to mention a certain former second-round pick with all sorts of talent. But look ahead to a year from now. Marshawn Lynch could retire, something he’s reportedly considered at least to some degree the last two offseasons. Robert Turbin will be an unrestricted free agent. And then there’s Christine Michael, who has had a hard time seeing the field let alone making any sort of impact in two seasons. This draft is considered especially deep at running back, so as well-stocked as the Seahawks are heading into this season, it’s entirely possible they add another with an eye to 2016 and beyond.