John Schneider is focused on moving younger players into the Seahawks’ lineup, which is why he is willing to move aging stars.
Two of his big points Friday at the Combine were about (1) trying to find a way to bridge the big draft gap created by the “go for it” injury-replacement deals for Sheldon Richardson and Duane Brown and (2) getting recent draft picks to pull their weight.
Schneider also said he wants to keep Richardson (he met with his agents Thursday night) but was not planning “at this point” to use the franchise tag on him by Tuesday’s deadline. “We have time,” he said, “but we have more people that we have to talk to this weekend. We’re not done with all our meetings.”
Schneider said the Seahawks have eight picks (Rounds 1, 4, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 7 — the Isaiah Battle trade not costing them anything), but they need to find a way to get back into Day 2.
“Right now we’re sitting here specifically without a 2 and a 3, which is a really fun challenge for us,” Schneider said. “How do we figure out how to compensate for those openings?”
That’s where Earl Thomas comes in, and it sounds like the Hawks have a good chance of finding a taker — as much as it would frustrate a number of fans.
Seattle wants a 1 and 4 but surely would settle for a 2 and 3. Per Combine insider Tony Pauline, “Several teams are now openly talking about acquiring the safety and discussing how he would fit in their system.”
Of course, the other way Schneider plans to add picks is by trading down. He has moved down in the first round or out of it completely in each of the past six drafts. He reminded 710 ESPN’s John Clayton how he does it: “There’s certain shelves or levels of players all the way through it. We’re confident in our ability to study those players and know where those dropoffs are going to be. And then hopefully move back and try to take advantage of that.”
Beyond bolstering his draft stock, Schneider wants some of his recent picks to step up. He has drafted 10 players on Day 2 the past two years, and only three or four of them have made any impact. He wants the rest to get into the action.
He specifially mentioned 2016 third-rounder C.J. Prosise, who is always injured, and 2017 DBs Delano Hill, Tedric Thompson and Mike Tyson.
“It has been hard for these guys to get out there, especially on defense,” Schneider said. “We (usually) put guys out there right away, particularly on defense. Look, Earl played right away. Sherm played right away. Maxie (Byron Maxwell) would have played right away if he hadn’t gotten injured right away. Bobby (Wagner) played right away. K.J. (Wright). Those guys went, ‘OK, here we go.’ And so it’s kind of a challenge and a mindset to get back to doing that. Let’s get these guys out there.”
OTHER COMBINE NOTES
Per Rob Staton of Seahawks Draft Blog: “Mike Solari was incredibly hands-on during the O-line drills. He was constantly coaching and teaching the prospects. … Solari was clearly the coach in charge on the field.”
Schneider said the Seahawks will meet with UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin, the one-handed twin brother of Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin.
Chris Warren III, son of former Seahawk star Chris Warren, ran a 4.70 40. He is being looked at as an H-back. The Seahawks reportedly talked to him at the Combine.
Husky TE Will Dissly met with Seahawks on Thursday night. He is considered one of the top blocking tight ends in the draft. “I would love to stay in Seattle,” he said.
LSU RB Derrius Guice, who models his game after Marshawn Lynch, ran a 4.49. Seems like a Day 2 option for the Hawks, assuming they end up with a couple of Day 2 picks. Other backs who seem to fit Seattle’s mold: Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson, Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Tennessee’s John Kelly.
A couple of top players suffered injuries: Ohio State C/OG Billy Price (pectoral) and USC RB Ronald Jones (hamstring).
The Seahawks reportedly asked Texas punter Michael Dickson, the draft’s best kicking specialist, how long he could go without blinking. The Seahawks might be preparing to replace Jon Ryan (would save $2 million in cap space). Dickson could be drafted as high as the third round.