What if we told you the Seahawks could have had Frank Clark, Ziggy Ansah and pretty much all of the same draft picks (just a different pass rusher) and still have room for more, like they do now?
A lot of people are buying Seattle’s claim that the Clark trade to Kansas City enabled Seattle to turn four picks into 11, in what looks to some like an ingenious draft for the ages. Pete Carroll called the trade “the key to kick-start this thing.” And John Schneider said, “That draft choice with Frank definitely helped us.”
But the reality is: Clark became L.J. Collier, and Schneider did what he always planned to do with pick No. 21 — flipping it over and over until it became a six-player pancake. One had nothing to do with the other. And, as much as we love to see an aggressive move from Schneider, he didn’t have to trade Clark to do anything he has done since that deal.
Here’s the exact order in which Schneider made all of his draft moves:
On April 23, he traded Clark to Kansas City for the 29th overall pick plus a 2020 second-rounder, swapping 2019 thirds (Seattle dropped eight spots).
On Day 1 of the draft (April 25), Schneider made two moves down from his original pick at 21, netting No. 37, 114, 118, 132 and 142. In between, he drafted Collier at 29 — completely unrelated to any of those draft-day trades.
On Day 2, he traded No. 37 to Carolina for 47 and 77. At 47, he drafted Marquise Blair. He then used 77 and 118 to move up to 64 with New England and grab D.K. Metcalf. In the third round, he moved up four spots (from 92 to 88) to draft Cody Barton; he swapped a fifth for a sixth in that deal with Minnesota.
On Day 3, Schneider moved down from 114 to 120, picking up a sixth and drafting Gary Jennings. He used his own fourth, 124, to draft Phil Haynes. Then he used 132 and 142, acquired on Day 1, to draft Ugo Amadi and Ben Burr-Kirven. Travis Homer was added with 204, which also was a product of the move down from 21.
Demarcus Christmas (209) was off the Barton deal, and John Ursua was drafted after Seattle gave a 2020 sixth-rounder to Jacksonville.
So, Schneider turned pick No. 21 into six players — Blair, Metcalf, Jennings, Amadi, Burr-Kirven and Homer. But, as you can see, Clark had nothing to do with that. It was what Schneider always intended to do with pick 21.
In fact, if Schneider had not dealt Clark, he would not have swapped thirds with Kansas City and wouldn’t have had to trade up for Barton. That would have left Schneider with a fifth (159) instead of a sixth (209). And Seattle wouldn’t have had to wait 62 picks between Burr-Kirven and Homer. That would have allowed Schneider a shot at pass rushers Charles Omenihu or D’Andre Walker (instead of Christmas in the sixth).
So, if Clark had stayed, the Hawks would not have Collier & the 2020 second-rounder — but they would have Clark and 10 other draft picks, including perhaps another pass rusher.
They also still could have afforded Ansah while paying Clark (assuming a similar deal to what he signed with Kansas City, which includes a 2019 cap number of just $6.5 million) — and they still would have over $10 million to spend on free agents (a run-stuffing tackle and possibly another pass rusher) and a potential extension for Bobby Wagner.
Everyone thinks trading Clark was a necessary evil to do all of the other things they have done in the draft and since. But, as we just showed you, they could have done all of that stuff anyway — and had a better pass rush than they appear to have right now.