For the first time since John Schneider became general manager, the Seahawks drafted more players on the first two days than on Day 3.
In fact, the four picks today will be the fewest under Schneider — assuming the Seahawks don’t make an unexpected move involving a player or 2017 pick that gives them another selection.
Barring those kinds of moves, the Seahawks will draft once each in the fifth and sixth rounds (both untradeable comp picks) and twice in the seventh (both tradeable but not likely to be dealt).
Schneider has been money in the fifth round, hitting on 4 of 9 picks — Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor standing as his masterpieces. He has hit on a few in the last two rounds, too — Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane, J.R. Sweezy, Malcolm Smith — but the Hawks have actually been at least as good in the “eighth” round.
At one point during the 2015 season, nearly half of the Seahawks’ roster was comprised of players who had entered the NFL as undrafted free agents.
Many of them started with Seattle: Michael Bennett, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Garry Gilliam, Thomas Rawls, DeShawn Shead, Mike Morgan, Brock Coyle, et al.
The Seahawks have made it a big part of their draft process, even turning out a brochure to agents as a recruiting tool.
“These guys that come in after the seventh round are just as valuable to us as anybody that we take in the draft, and we treat them with that thought,” Pete Carroll said earlier this week. “The care that John goes through to figure out the eighth-round pick, the ninth-round pick, the 10th, all those guys.
“We hopefully can handpick those guys, and … we do give them a great opportunity, and we do count on them. They’ve been famously effective for us in our organization. It’s all part of the thinking.
“It’s not just, ‘Oh, who’s the next guy we can sign up?’ We’re handpicking guys and going after them with great focus and all at that time, and it’s a huge part of our team. It’s half the team.
“So much of the time those guys come in with a great attitude,” Carroll said. “They’re not real happy with how that happened. They had dreams about being drafted and wanted to get that shot and all that. When they get here, they feel like draft picks. That’s just knowing that there’s a good chance they’re going to be fantastic parts of our team. We have a bunch of stories to prove that.”