John Schneider has built a reputation as a draft pick collector. He’s such a pick hoarder that he had surrendered picks to move up just twice in his first six drafts.
Well, in his seventh draft, he flipped the script, trading up twice. And he did something he had never done during the draft: trading a future pick to get back into a round.
The move up to draft Jarran Reed in the second round on Friday cost the Hawks their fourth-round pick and meant they were going to have to wait 72 picks before their first selection on Day 3. But they saw another defensive tackle they liked in the fifth round (before their pick at 171), so they decided to send New England a 2017 fourth-rounder so they could pick Quinton Jefferson.
It was the first time since 2009 — before Schneider and Pete Carroll arrived — that the Seahawks had dealt away a future pick during the draft. In 2009, Tim Ruskell traded gave up a 2010 third-rounder as part of a package to get back into the 2009 third for wide receiver Deon Butler.
Schneider was comfortable making this move because the Seahawks are expected to pull three comp picks next year — a fourth, fifth and sixth — for their free agency losses this year. Add in a seventh-round pick they will get from Carolina for trading Kevin Norwood last year, and the Hawks are projected to have 10 picks next year.
Jefferson was rated a seventh-rounder by most analysts, so the Seahawks might have jumped the gun with that move. But they obviously felt he was worth it: They consider him as versatile as Michael Bennett.
“We didn’t see a ton of players like him after that,” Schneider said. “We usually don’t do that sort of thing, but looking at our compensatory picks coming around the corner for next year, we thought this was a wise decision.”
In the end, it will cost the Seahawks only a fourth-rounder in 2017 — and it could be their comp pick (future comp picks can be traded as of this year).
While that move may or may not turn out, Schneider’s two other deals in this draft sure look like winners. Before the move up to get Reed, the Seahawks had moved down in the first round and added a third-round pick; they drafted right tackle Germain Ifedi with the top pick and tight end Nick Vannett with the bonus third.
Schneider now has moved up four times in 14 draft-day deals, and three of those jumps have been for defensive tackles. In 2013, he traded a couple of picks to jump up in the fifth round and take injury risk Jesse Williams, who never played for Seattle.
Check out all of Schneider’s 41 trades as Seattle GM.