We’re a week away from what is likely to be one of the least consequential drafts in Seahawks history, but you know John Schneider will do everything he can to make it a lot more interesting than it has any right to be.
In the end, you know he will be a lot more involved than his three current picks, the smallest draft stock in the league, indicate he will be.
It’s usually pretty hard to predict what the Hawks will do in the first round – as we all know, they tend to overdraft players who struggle to contribute. But we can look at Schneider’s trends and the makeup of this draft and make an educated guess about what he might do April 30 and May 1. So here we go …
With the return of backups Jordan Simmons and Cedric Ogbuehi, the Seahawks’ offensive line is now set — at least until the draft – but plenty of people are wondering what Russell Wilson thinks about the fact that his calls for better protection netted just one new blocker.
Here’s a good reminder for those folks (and Wilson): Seattle’s first and biggest effort at improving protection was made in January with the hires of OC Shane Waldron and running game coordinator Andy Dickerson from the Rams.
Once upon a time, the Seahawks had the NFL’s top-paid players (or close to it) at three defensive positions, along with the No. 2-paid quarterback.
In 2019, they made Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner the league’s top-paid QB and middle linebacker — but they have not been interested in paying anyone else in that stratosphere since 2017, when they gave Kam Chancellor another top-three deal.
They didn’t want to pay Earl Thomas and Frank Clark in 2019, and they don’t want to pay Jadeveon Clowney this year.
Basically, they don’t want to pay elite pass rushers. So they used Thomas and Clark to draft a few. And, like it or not, they are counting on those swaps to work out.
After the 2019 season ended, Pete Carroll said he wanted to keep his offensive line together.
“It is important,’’ Carroll said. “I hope we can keep our guys connected. I don’t want to see a big change there.’’
Well, that plan obviously changed: The Seahawks will have three, perhaps four, new starters in 2020. Only three other teams in the NFL apparently will undergo that much change up front. It’s a tough year to do that, too — with a pandemic impacting preparation time.
The Seahawks hardly did a thing we expected them to in the draft.
They had three major needs – edge rusher, defensive tackle and offensive tackle – and we also expected them to move down from the first round to end up with five Day 2 picks in a draft that was especially loaded in the second round.
But, they didn’t accomplish most of those things. In fact, it’s the first time since 2015 that they did not address two of their top three needs in a draft.
The Seahawks have long claimed they look for rookies with “grit” who have overcome early life challenges. They think it gives those guys an edge and makes them better competitors.
“All come in with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove,” Pete Carroll said, repeating what he and John Schneider say every year.
They got “grit” guys again on Day 2 of this draft, moving up to take pass rusher Darrell Taylor and then moving down and picking guard Damien Lewis. Both overcame rough childhoods that included their dads being imprisoned (and Taylor’s mom died of breast cancer when he was a high school sophomore).
Carroll and Schneider think those hurdles — plus years of big-college experience — prepared these guys to play in the NFL as rookies, especially in a year when there will be no rookie minicamp and prep time likely will be minimal.