“Who says we’re picking at 26?” — John Schneider in 2016 (and 2017?).
With the draft two weeks away, it looks like John Schneider could be getting ready to make some big moves.
On top of the Marshawn Lynch trade that seems destined to happen at any time and the potential Richard Sherman deal, Schneider is rumored to be talking to teams about moving up in the first round — which would be a first for him as Seattle’s general manager.
Reports early Thursday indicated the Seahawks and Raiders would end up working out a trade, assuming Lynch and the Raiders worked out a contract. On Thursday night, Lynch sent out a tweet that seemed to indicate he and the Raiders had come to terms, and it was reported as done Friday until Lynch seemed to set everyone straight.
Once it gets “real” with the Raiders, a deal between Seattle and Oakland would seem to be coming shortly after.
Another interesting tidbit Thursday put together the idea we posited last month: A Lynch-Sherman combo deal. While it certainly is possible the Raiders might be interested in a two-fer, it seems pretty unlikely that they would want to give the Hawks a first-rounder and another good pick (a second in 2018?) for both players. It seems more probable that the Raiders will simply send back the seventh-rounder Seattle traded for Dewey McDonald last year — or a conditional 2018 pick.
That would leave Sherman still on the table — a good chip for a possible trade. Tennessee just cut starting corner Jason McCourty, which could set the table for a trade for Sherman. Such a deal could net the Hawks the 18th pick in the draft.
With the 18th and 26th picks, plus four Day 2 picks, Schneider would have ammunition to move up. The question is: For whom?
It could be a pass rusher — either Stanford’s Solomon Thomas or Alabama’s Jonathan Allen, per Davis Hsu. Thomas and Allen are considered the No. 2 and No. 3 pass rushers in the draft.
Most mock drafts have those guys going in the top 10, so Schneider would need to add at least a third-rounder to get up there from 18. Or, he could use Sherman as payment for moving up from 26.
It’s hard to imagine Schneider really wants to get into the top 10 though. Perhaps he is hoping to get within range of 12-15 in case one of the pass rushers falls. Haason Reddick seems like another option in the 15-18 range.
Schneider also could be targeting Garett Bolles, a raw but very Seahawky tackle who probably will be there at 18. He could sit behind Luke Joeckel in 2017 then replace him in 2018, or Bolles could be an option at right tackle, especially if Garry Gilliam signs with the 49ers by the April 21 deadline and the Hawks decide to keep Germain Ifedi at right guard.
The Hawks also reportedly are high on Forrest Lamp (like everyone else) and could settle for him if the pass rushers don’t make it.
NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said one NFL coach told him this O-line class is the worst in 15 years, so it would make sense if Schneider really wanted to make sure to get Bolles or Lamp.
Schneider recently said he was targeting certain areas of the draft to make picks. He said it “seems like there are some gaps in there. … I think there’s different parts of it that I do like, and we want to pick in that range.”
He pretty much never likes to draft in the 20s anyway (can you blame him?). He has traded his top pick in the past five drafts, twice for veteran players ahead of the meeting and three times in draft-day trades down. It seems clear he wants out again — whether it is up or down.
A deal is not likely to happen until draft day, but Schneider always sets up possibilities ahead of time.
As he said last year, “We have a lot of different connections with our team, so we talk to a lot of people. I’ll spend Thursday going through every team, talking to every general manager, and just talking to them about what they want to do. Some people know already that they want to go back. Some people know that they want to go up. There’s not a ton shared right now, but there’s a couple teams that we have relationships with that know what they want to do.”
Schneider has made deals with 22 teams since he became Seattle’s GM in 2010, and the Hawks have especially close ties to Green Bay, Oakland, Atlanta, Minnesota, Detroit, Kansas City, Buffalo and Baltimore.
“It’s relationships,” Pete Carroll said. “John’s been working with these guys for years.”
Schneider has made 12 in-draft deals in seven Seattle drafts, including two moves down in the first round and four moves down in the second. The last two years, he has moved up — netting Tyler Lockett (third round) in 2015 and Jarran Reed (second round) and Quinton Jefferson (fifth round) last year.
He has never moved up in the first round, but it sounds like he might be considering it this year.
Here’s a list of all 42 of Schneider’s trades as Seattle’s GM.