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.
Continue reading Seattle started this draft last year
What’s the Seahawks’ plan?
That has been the question ever since Pete Carroll and John Schneider dismantled the battered Legion of Boom in 2018. The unsatisfying answer for the last three years, especially at pass rusher, has been: Make it up as we go.
Some think the excellent extensions of Tyler Lockett and Gabe Jackson mean the Seahawks have found their way again, creating a new long-term window of contention. But the fact is nothing has changed: Carroll and Schneider are still going just one or two years at a time.
They can’t help it now, because Russell Wilson’s future in Seattle is in question. Until that situation is resolved, they will remain year to year – even if they manage to get long-term deals with Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Brandon Shell and Michael Dickson.
Continue reading Lockett & Jackson aside, Hawks are still one year at a time
The official NFL draft order was released Friday, leading many fans to worry anew about the Seahawks’ lack of draft picks: They have a league-worst 0.9% of the total draft capital.
Some think John Schneider has basically punted on this draft after a pandemic-ruined college season and pre-draft period.
As Brady Henderson confirmed in December, Schneider did indeed make the big trade for Jamal Adams last summer because he knew this draft would be a bigger guessing game than usual. And he obviously was desperate to add a good guard (Gabe Jackson) to appease Russell Wilson. Those two deals cost a 1, 3 and 5. The 6 was traded in last year’s draft to move up for Stephen Sullivan, who is now in Carolina. So, Seattle has just a 2, 4 and 7 left at this point.
But, if you know Schneider, you know he will find a way to get back in the draft. After all, he has never had fewer than eight picks and is famously adept at moving down to add more selections.
Continue reading How Schneider could try to add more picks
Based on recent reports, the NFL salary cap is expected to be between $180 million and $185 million in 2021. The actual number is not expected to be set until just before the league year begins March 17, but the ceiling apparently will be at least $5 million more than the floor the NFL and NFLPA had set last year.
The Seahawks and the rest of the NFL would happily take an extra $5 million, if Tom Pelissero’s report is more accurate than Adam Schefter’s tweet. (Here’s an easy explanation of how the league arrives at the salary cap.)
Assuming the number is Schefter’s reported $180 million, the Seahawks still would need to create room just to tender Poona Ford (about $3.4 million on the second-round offer) and a few ERFAs, let alone sign needed starters at center, running back, linebacker and cornerback.
Continue reading Good news on the cap, but Hawks still have to make more room
Quandre Diggs received a nice early Christmas present, getting his first Pro Bowl spot. The next natural question: Is it the first of many to come in Seattle or will he be a short-timer here? Because his price to stay just went up.
The selection surprised a number of fans, because Diggs seemingly has not made a lot of impact plays this season. But the fact is he leads Seattle with four interceptions, which is tied for fourth in the NFL and tied for tops among NFC safeties with Minnesota’s Harrison Smith. Diggs is also tied with Smith with nine pass breakups, second among NFC safeties.
Clearly NFL people thought he deserved the Pro Bowl selection over the longtime Vikings star, and those who watch the All-22 film, which shows Diggs’ work on the back end of the secondary, tend to agree (although Pro Football Focus picked New Orleans’ Marcus Williams over Diggs).
Continue reading The Quandre quandary
If the first two games are any indication, the Seahawks are going to play in a lot of shootouts this season – and probably win most of them.
Russell Wilson is off to his best start ever — with nine TD passes and one interception (thanks, Greg Olsen). Meanwhile, the defense, even with superstar Jamal Adams, is struggling every bit as much as it did in 2019, when almost every week (12 of 16 anyway) involved a thriller.
This 35-30 win over the Patriots was more of that brand – and the same kind of show Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick’s teams always put on when they meet.
Continue reading expect more thrillers like that win over Pats
The Seahawks’ defensive line soap opera, which had dragged on for a year and a half (from Frank Clark to Ziggy Ansah to Jadeveon Clowney), finally ended when Clowney signed with Tennessee the other day.
Short of another trade, the Seahawks are going with the pedestrian pass-rush crew they assembled without Clowney. And we move on with fingers crossed and eyes closed.
We can only hope there is not as much drama – or failure — around extensions for Seattle’s now star-studded secondary next offseason.
Continue reading D-line drama over, contract focus turns to star-stacked secondary
Like it or not, Seattle seems to be standing pat with the pass rushers it has.
You can hold out all you want for the Seahawks to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney or trade for Yannick Ngakoue. But, if they were not interested in signing Everson Griffen for $6 million (what Dallas paid him), they are obviously content to go with what they have: Bruce Irvin, Benson Mayowa, Rasheem Green, L.J. Collier, Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson.
Instead, Pete Carroll is going back to his roots and building his defense from the back. And he would rather pay All-Pro safety Jamal Adams than Ngakoue or Clowney or even the cheap Griffen — perhaps partly because he expects Adams to sack the quarterback.
Continue reading Carroll goes back to roots on defense
As the Seahawks return to John Schneider’s home state to face his first NFL team, it is a good time to give the general manager some credit for his recent work in Seattle.
In March 2018, we called out Schneider for a mostly poor five-year run that helped lead to a slow decline of the franchise — from Super Bowl champs, to Super Bowl losers, to playoff losers, to playoff watchers.
Schneider definitely had a rough 2013-16 — in the draft, trades and free agency — but he has been very aggressive the past three years while trying to make up for previous mistakes, to replace departed stars and to keep a competitive roster for Pete Carroll.
He did especially good work this year, helping the Hawks win 11 games despite the NFL’s highest injury rate. They would not have gotten this far if Schneider had not made three really good trades for veterans and found a few draft picks who were able to contribute as rookies.
Continue reading Schneider has done his part this season
The Seahawks know how to win on the road in the wild-card round, as they proved again in Philadelphia. Now the question: Can they overcome their winless record in road divisional playoff games?
Russell Wilson beat the Eagles’ pressure, thanks in big part to rookie D.K. Metcalf’s record-setting game, and the Seattle defense sacked Philly’s passers seven times in a 17-9 win that was a duplicate of their Week 12 meeting in score, if not in other ways.
The Seahawks improved to 3-5 in road playoff games, all of the wins coming in the wild-card round. It was their first playoff win since the 2016 season, 26-6 vs. Detroit at home, and sent them to the divisional round for the seventh time in Pete Carroll’s 10 seasons. (Who wanted him fired again?)
Continue reading Wilson, Metcalf lead Hawks to Green Bay