John Schneider already has made three trades involving picks in this draft, and everyone is curious to know whether he’s going to make another one — moving off the Seahawks’ first pick at No. 63 on Friday.
Last season, Schneider basically ended up swapping sixth-round picks while adding cornerback Marcus Burley and deleting wide receiver Percy Harvin.
But the big move was the one Schneider made March 10, sending center Max Unger and Seattle’s first-round pick (No. 31 overall) to the Saints for tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-rounder.
The other day, Schneider said, “When you acquire a player of Jimmy’s caliber with the 31st pick, that makes it that much easier to sleep at night knowing that we wouldn’t be able to get a player like that.”
With Graham coming in as their nominal first-rounder — much like Harvin in 2013 — the Hawks are left to pick at No. 63. But will they stay there? Or will they consider using some 2016 draft capital to add a pick in the second round?
Schneider didn’t rule out trading up, but he repeated his usual mantra: He loves to have a lot of draft picks.
“The thing that always ends up happening throughout the process is that there’s always guys you want to take,” he said. “We have 11 picks, and it’s the most in the National Football League, and you look at your board and you’re excited about so many people, so many prospects. So you never feel like you have enough.
“We’re not picking until 63 right now, so that’s a lot of people to see come off your board. … (The first round) usually goes like everybody’s been talking about for the last two or three months or whatever. There’s a specific pattern. We see all the same guys. But then once you get into the second round it’s kind of like it’s very much up in the air.”
He said “the most exciting part for us” is the point when the Hawks need to decide whether to trade to get a player. “Do we move up to get one of them? Can we move back to get two of them?”
Rob Staton has trumpeted using the fourth-rounder acquired from the Saints to move up in the second round and grab a top-eight wide receiver, if possible.
Per Draft Insider Tony Pauline, the Seahawks “would love to grab Dorial Green-Beckham if he’s available at the 63rd selection, but they expect the receiver to be off the board during the initial 15 picks of Round 2.”
Green-Beckham would be a total character gamble — something the Hawks don’t need to burn a couple of extra picks on.
A trade up would be worth it only if the Hawks could get a potential replacement for Russell Okung at left tackle (e.g., D.J. Humphries, Jake Fisher or Cedric Ogbuehi) or a blazing receiver/return man (Phillip Dorsett or Nelson Agholor).
Schneider typically saves his big splashes for the first day of free agency (Harvin, Graham) and plays it conservative in the draft, so it would be kind of fun to see him do something explosive in this draft.
He knows he figures to have 11 picks next year, too — including a third-rounder — so the Hawks certainly could burn one to get a higher pick in the second round this year.
It is safe to assume the Hawks will be drafting late again next year, so would they be willing to deal the 2016 first-rounder to add another second-round pick in this draft without losing any of the 11 picks this year?
If the Hawks address a key upcoming need a year early, it might be worth it.
If the Hawks stay at 63, most mock drafts have them taking a lineman — whether it’s South Carolina guard A.J. Cann, Duke guard Laken Tomlinson, Colorado State tackle Ty Sambrailo, Penn State tackle Donovan Smith, Oregon center Hroniss Grasu or Missouri lineman Mitch Morse.
Over the past three years, the Hawks have telegraphed their pick based on VMAC visits and private workouts. If they stick to form, their preferred options in the second round appear to be Michigan receiver Devin Funchess, Sambrailo, Florida State pass rusher Mario Edwards and Arizona State defensive back Damarious Randall.
Funchess seems to be the kind of unique player the Hawks love. Kind of like Jimmy Graham, he is a mismatch player — 6-4 size against corners and 4.5 speed against linebackers. The Seahawks would be stacked at tight end with Graham, Funchess, Luke Willson and Anthony McCoy. Forget wide receivers.
Sambrailo played left tackle at Colorado State but likely would challenge at left guard for Seattle. Edwards does not at all seem like the Seahawks’ kind of player from a mental standpoint; but, if they think otherwise, he seems to be a Cassius Marsh clone.
The Hawks likely are looking at Randall as a nickel cornerback. With Jeremy Lane likely to miss the first six games on PUP and then become a free agent next offseason, the Hawks need to find someone to play inside — Tharold Simon proved he cannot do it. Randall does not have the size the Hawks want in their outside corners, but Randall could play slot corner and back up Earl Thomas at free safety.
Something tells us the Hawks might end up drafting a defensive player if they stay at 63 and plan to get linemen in the third and fourth rounds.
Schneider’s staff is meeting with Carroll’s coaches this weekend to finalize the draft board. Schneider said the board is 80 percent set, pending input by coaches.
“All the scouts are in and we’re sitting together and having discussions on all of these guys and we’re going to spend part of Saturday, part of Sunday and part of Monday with the coaches then,” he said last week. “We have several new coaches on our staff, so we have to understand what they’re looking for and what kind of teachers they are and how they can draw specific things from players.”
The new guys he referred to are linebackers coaches Michael Barrow and Lofa Tatupu and secondary coaches Chris Cash and Andre Curtis. In the end, Pete Carroll and new DC Kris Richard will be the judge of the kind of players the coaches want, but Schneider’s all-inclusive philosophy is in keeping with the team’s standard approach.
Schneider also said his staff and the coaches will meet with sports psychologists to “talk through a number of guys who we have a lot of questions on that we need to figure out if they are going to do exactly what you are talking about.”
Green-Beckham and Clark clearly are two guys whose psychological profiles will be closely scrutinized.
Former superstar safety Kenny Easley, the fourth overall pick in 1981, will announce the Hawks’ second-round pick from Chicago. Amid all of the talk of Russell Wilson wanting to play two sports, here’s an interesting tidbit for those who did not know: Easley was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 10th round in 1981. He never played pro basketball though.