As the deadline for compensatory signings passed this week, the Seahawks once again ended up with a zero in the comp column. The 2022 draft will be the fourth time in five years that the Seahawks won’t have any comp picks – quite a reversal for a team that used to play that game as much as anyone.
As we wrote last year, Schneider wasn’t getting much out of those picks anyway. But why has his strategy changed?
The quick answer: Seattle has lost few quality UFAs and largely has decided signing veterans to replace departing players is better than angling for a fourth-round pick the next year.
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 …
The spotlight is on Seattle’s GM this week as the Seahawks and Jamal Adams face the Jets and Darrell Taylor’s future remains a mystery.
John Schneider’s job security, quite frankly, should depend on two things: Whether he re-signs Adams and whether Taylor ever plays. If neither happens in 2021, the last year of Schneider’s deal, the GM should not be re-signed.
This is not just about the two big moves to get those guys this year — deals that cost the Seahawks five high draft picks. It’s about a GM who has had a lot more failures than successes over the past seven years, who is still living off his historic 2010-12 drafts, who has whiffed at the top of his last eight drafts way too often, who rarely makes good decisions in free agency, who is not very creative with the salary cap and who for several years has been making it up as he goes, with no long-term plan.
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.
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.