“Not cool.” — John Schneider on having just four picks as draft month begins.
John Schneider is lamenting his lack of draft picks this year and wondering whether he will be able to trade down in a deep draft, but there is no reason to worry on either count.
Schneider needs to look at his draft stock over two years, knowing he will have 13-15 picks. As we chronicle in our comp tracker, the Hawks will have at least two bonus picks next year — a 3 and 4 — and might end up with all four (3, 4, 6, 7).
Knowing he will get at least an extra third and fourth, Schneider has the luxury of potentially using his real 3 and 4 in 2020 to trade up in this draft. Added to his likelihood of moving out of the first round, that should create enough flexibility for Seattle to net three or four Day 2 picks. And that is what Schneider should be targeting.
Schneider apparently thinks it could be hard to move down, telling 710 ESPN: “You have to find a partner; you have to negotiate within a specific amount of time. It’s not an easy thing to just move back. So yeah, we’d love to pick more than four times. It’s just going to be: How do you do it? It’s going to be a challenge this year because … the depth, the way we see it, is pretty good.”
But, there are always reasons teams will want to move up, and Schneider has mastered the trade down over the years, so there is no reason to think he won’t turn his four picks into at least six.
We ran through a bunch of trade options in February, and recent mocks are using a couple of them — the No. 32 Patriots moving up to 21 and sending Seattle the last pick in the second round, and the No. 26 Colts offering a third to move up. The Eagles also might want to jump from 25, which could net Seattle a fourth.
Then there’s the second move down. CBS added another deal with Jacksonville, giving Seattle 38 overall, 64 from New England and a fourth (109) from the Jags. That would bump Seattle’s total to a more satisfying six (two 2s, a 3, two 4s, a 5) — and Schneider probably would move down once more.
Rob Staton suggested two bulk moves down — deals with No. 29 Kansas City and then Buffalo, yielding the 40th overall pick and nine selections overall.
But, to hear Pete Carroll tell it, Seattle does not need that many picks because few of them will be able to make his deep roster. Six or seven seems the sweet spot, especially if Schneider can get three or four Day 2 picks.
If Kansas City and Buffalo were willing to deal, we’d rather swap 21 and 124 (fourth-rounder) for KC’s 29 and 63, then 29 and 159 (fifth-rounder) for Buffalo’s 40 and 74. That would give Seattle 40, 63, 74 and 84. That’s four players in a 45-pick span on Day 2. Seattle then could see whether a team like Cleveland (49) wanted to come up — Seattle could give up a 2020 fourth and get Cleveland’s comp third this year (95).
Seattle then could start its draft with 49, 63, 74, 84 and 95 — five Day 2 selections. And Schneider could always move down from 95 if he really wanted more than five picks.
Yeah, the Hawks would be letting some good players slide by in those 28 lost chances from 21 to 49, but four Day 2 picks and a couple on Day 3 certainly would trump the hand they have now (1, 3, 4, 5).
Schneider has not had great success (2 for 11 so far) on Day 2 the past three drafts, but there’s still hope that guys like Delano Hill, Rasheem Green, Ethan Pocic and Nazair Jones will become big contributors alongside Jarran Reed and Shaquill Griffin. Day 2 is still where the best draft value is found, as Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Tyler Lockett, Frank Clark and Reed have proven.
Say the Hawks ended up with 49, 63, 74, 84 on Day 2. Aggregating four top draft boards, at 49 they could have a shot at safeties Juan Thornhill (Virginia) and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (Florida) and receivers Parris Campbell (Ohio State), Hakeem Butler (Iowa State) and Deebo Samuel (Ohio State).
For those next three picks, these guys could be available: pass rushers L.J. Collier (TCU), Charles Omenihu (Texas), Oshane Ximines (Old Dominion), D’Andre Walker (Georgia), Wyatt Ray (Boston College) and Anthony Nelson (Iowa); Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson; Texas A&M tight end Jace Sternberger; Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin; and Maryland safety Darnell Savage.
If the Hawks ended up with something like Thornhill, McLaurin and a couple of pass rushers on Day 2, with a pair of picks left on Day 3, that would be a quality draft.