DRAFT COUNTDOWN: 3 weeks. A weekly look at draft-related topics involving the Seahawks. Make sure to check out our draft page.
Plenty of people – especially amateur draftniks — are wringing their hands over Seattle having just three picks left for the NFL selection meeting at the end of the month.
The Seahawks have the least draft capital in the league, per Football Perspective, and apparently the third-lowest pick value in the past 21 drafts. So this could be the least important draft in John Schneider’s tenure.
But, as Schneider surely will remind everyone when he speaks later this month, he already has used five of his picks to draft four guys – and three of them are expected to be major contributing starters for at least the next couple of years.
Sure, Schneider probably will find a way to turn his trio of selections into five or six as well. But the fact is he already has a head-start – with Jamal Adams, Carlos Dunlap and Gabe Jackson all counting as part of this class.
Schneider was fine giving up picks for vets in this draft because the pandemic messed with the college season and the pre-draft process and made this year more of a chaotic crapshoot than most. He instead used his picks in Rounds 1, 3, 5 and 7 to get sure things, so the actual draft will be of minor consequence, perhaps even more so than Schneider’s 2013, 2014 and 2018 drafts (we rank the significance of all of his drafts here).
Schneider has been Trader John for much of his tenure in Seattle. But he has ramped up the veteran trades the past two years, adding seven key guys as he has tried to fill some troublesome roster holes. Jadeveon Clowney, Jacob Hollister and Quinton Dunbar had short stints, but the four others are still here. Some were cheaper than others.
Schneider certainly overspent on Adams last summer when he sent the Jets two 1s and a 3 (plus Bradley McDougald), with a 2022 fourth-rounder coming back. Using Rich Hill’s trade chart, that equates to about the ninth overall pick.
It was a high price to pay – even though Adams was the sixth overall pick in 2017 and was an All-Pro already. This deal will be worth it only if Schneider is able to keep him for the next four years and Pete Carroll and Ken Norton keep him healthy and productive during that time.
While the value for Adams is dubious, Schneider used just two fifth-rounders to secure three other starters.
His 2020 fifth-rounder actually brought both Quandre Diggs and Dunlap, because Seattle also got a 2021 seventh from Detroit in the Diggs deal in 2019 and used that pick to get the veteran pass rusher from Cincinnati last year. Schneider got great value out of that seventh-rounder for eight games last season, and he figures to get even more for the next couple of years now that Dunlap has returned.
The GM also used his 2021 fifth-rounder on Jackson, and Seattle now has its guards locked in for the next three years. (Schneider also burned a 2021 sixth-rounder last year on Stephen Sullivan, who is now in Carolina.)
That leaves Schneider with three selections at this point. But he loves his draft picks, and you have to figure he will turn his slots in Rounds 2, 4 and 7 into a couple more. He converted four into 11 in 2019 and has 28 over the past three years – right in his 11-year average of 9.5. He should end up with at least five or six this time.
Top OL options
After yeoman’s work in free agency, the team has few glaring holes. As we wrote last week, the deep pockets of this draft largely match the Hawks’ needs at corner, receiver and O-line. So, even if Schneider were to stand pat, he should be able to get promising players in Rounds 2 and 4.
C Quinn Meinerz, Wis.-Whitewater
Ranks: No. 4 in TEF, No. 73 on board
The Senior Bowl stud is much higher on some key Big Boards and likely will not be available for Seattle fans who are in love with him.
OT Walker Little, Stanford
Ranks: No. 23 in TEF, No. 76 on board
An intriguing project at left tackle who opted out of 2020 for COVID-19, he’ll have to shake off the rust.
C Josh Myers, Ohio State
Ranks: No TEF score, No. 83 on board
Myers is coming off foot surgery but expected to be ready for offseason work by the end of May.
OT Brady Christensen, BYU
Ranks: No. 1 in TEF, No. 85 on board
Some think he is looking at a move inside; Staton even lists him as a center prospect.
OT Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa
Ranks: No. 6 in TEF, No. 106 on board
A giant at 6-9, Brown has the athleticism to possibly move from the right side to left.
OG/C Kendrick Green, Illinois
Ranks: No. 3 in TEF, No. 127 on board
Green is only 6-2 with 32-inch arms, but he’s very explosive and could be a great interior backup/future center.
OT D’Ante Smith, East Carolina
Ranks: No. 20 in TEF, No. 143 on board
He’s really long (35-inch arms) and explosive. Strength is the only concern.
C Drew Dalman, Stanford
Ranks: No. 9 in TEF, No. 259 on board
If the Seahawks wait until Day 3 to address center, Dalman could be the top choice.
A QB on Day 2?
Schneider has drafted just two quarterbacks in his time as Seattle GM: Russell Wilson in Round 3 in 2012 and Alex McGough in Round 7 in 2018.
Considering the questions around Wilson’s future with the team, would Schneider think about taking a QB with his top pick in this draft?
Kellen Mond of Texas A&M is getting slotted anywhere from the second to fourth round. This would be a great time for Schneider to add a potential heir to Wilson; Mond could become a solid backup and emergency plan in case things really do go south with Seattle’s QB1.
In one mock for this scenario, we traded down twice, added Kendrick Green and then came back up and got Mond at 98. We finished with speedy Auburn receiver Anthony Schwartz and corners Rodarius Williams (OK State) and Bryan Mills (NC Central).
It would take some maneuvering, but it might be a smart play if Mond is still available after Seattle moves down from 56.