It figures that a guy named Lynch had a lot to do with the Seahawks winning big on the first day of the NFL draft.
Marshawn is retired (we think), but Paxton is just coming into the league, and the Seahawks took advantage of that and an unexpected first-round development to end up with a double win.
While they didn’t move out of the first round for the fourth straight year, as it seemed they would, they did better: They traded down just five spots and added another third-round pick while helping their offensive line with Texas A&M’s Germain Ifedi.
They can partially thank the New York Jets for passing on Paxton Lynch at 20, which created a big market for the Memphis quarterback.
John Schneider said the Seahawks suddenly became a “target” for teams trying to move up to get Lynch. They had four or five options to trade down from 26, which explains why they were able to get a third-rounder from Denver for moving five spots.
It was an even better deal than the Seahawks got in 2014, when they let Minnesota come up to 32 to draft Teddy Bridgewater. The Seahawks got only a fourth-rounder for dropping to 40 in that QB deal.
Dallas reportedly was one of the teams trying to move up for Lynch in this draft. One report says the Cowboys offered their second- and third-round picks (34 and 67), but it seems unlikely the Seahawks would have declined that offer for 31 and 94. Another report indicated that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would have been willing to trump Denver’s offer in hindsight.
Either way, the Seahawks won that trade and now have four picks on Day 2 of the draft, including three picks from 90 to 97 in the late third round.
As Pete Carroll said, the Seahawks “will be rolling” at the end of third. Of course, as Schneider said, that’s only “if we stay there.”
After moving down to 31, the Seahawks seemingly had all of their top options available — until Carolina added to its stacked defensive line by drafting tackle Vernon Butler.
He actually might have been Seattle’s preferred pick. Schneider said the selection “could’ve gone either way — defensive line or offensive line.”
Schneider also said the sudden slide of tackle Laremy Tunsil helped assure that Ifedi would be there at 31. Tunsil, considered a top-six pick, slipped all the way to Miami at 13.
Whether that factored in or not, the Seahawks almost surprisingly ended up picking a guy many had been projecting to them all along. It’s the first time since 2010 (Russell Okung and Earl Thomas) that the Seahawks actually used a first-round pick on a player projected to go in the first round.
Like most college linemen, Ifedi will need some coaching up. But he sure seems better than James Carpenter, Seattle’s stretch first-rounder in 2011.
Tom Cable said the Seahawks see the 6-foot-5, 325-pound Ifedi as a “cornerstone player at tackle.”
Schneider said he “just moves people, plays with a nasty streak.” And Carroll said he is a “really aggressive player. … He’s got the nature we’re looking for.”
Cable said Ifedi is “raw fundamentally, but it’s an easy fix, I think.” He said Ifedi has to learn to play with leverage, but “the cool thing is he’s wired to do that.”
The Ifedi is expected to battle journeyman J’Marcus Webb for the starting job, which Carroll optimistically called “a really good situation for us.”
Cable said Garry Gilliam is ready to switch from right to left because he has “left tackle athleticism” and really developed last season.
Assuming Ifedi beats out Webb, the line probably would look like (left to right) Gilliam, Justin Britt, Patrick Lewis, Mark Glowinski and Ifedi.
But the Seahawks surely are not finished adding to the line. They still have nine picks left, including four today, and they surely will grab a couple more blockers.