April 25, 2013 in Sports

Expect Seahawks to move down in deep NFL draft

Jayson Jenks Seattle Times
 

First round

NFL draft

Today: ESPN, 5 p.m.

2nd/3rd rds. Friday, Rounds 4-7 Saturday

Seahawks general manager John Schneider has never seen a draft like this one. He’s not alone. The Kansas City Chiefs are looking at four players for the No. 1 pick because there is no obvious choice. Mike Mayock, widely considered the best draft analyst in the business, said he has “zero confidence” in his mock draft. John Elway told the Denver Post, “We feel like we can get as good a player at No. 28 as we could at 10.”

“It’s the most unique draft, and honest to God I’m not just saying this because we don’t have a first-round draft choice this year,” Schneider said. “It’s really just going to be your favorite flavor of ice cream.”

The Seahawks, who don’t have a first-round choice after trading it to Minnesota in the Percy Harvin deal, are scheduled to draft their first player in the second round Friday with the 56th selection overall. There is always a wait-and-see aspect, but this year will likely accentuate that as teams see who rises and falls in a draft viewed as deep but not top-heavy.

Schneider has made five draft-day trades in his three years at the helm. Not once did the Seahawks move forward in any of the deals.

“We don’t really move up,” Schneider said. “I’m not going to say that. You never know, there may be a player that falls. That’s what I’m saying, we have no idea. My boss kind of gives me crud for not ever moving up.”

Don’t put it past the Seahawks to move up if a player they value highly falls late in the first round or early in the second round – Schneider calls these scenarios upsets – but history suggests, if anything, Seattle will trade down and stockpile more selections later in the draft.

Schneider and his staff build their draft board based on “depth at each position and then how we think people can compete at certain positions with the guys currently on our roster or the guys we project may not be on our roster in 2014.”

The Seahawks bolstered their roster with big moves this offseason – “Offseason champs,” NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said in reports – but that doesn’t mean the Seahawks don’t have needs.

Here are some positions where the Seahawks could use some help through the draft:

Linebacker

The Seahawks have found value at this position in the draft before with starters K.J. Wright (2011) and Bobby Wagner (2012). Arthur Brown from Kansas State, Khaseem Greene from Rutgers or Zaviar Gooden from Missouri are all possible options.

Defensive tackle

The Seahawks signed free agent Tony McDaniel to man the middle with steady Brandon Mebane, but they could use more depth. The good news: This draft is deep with defensive tackles. “It is absolutely loaded,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said in a report.

John Jenkins, a 346-pounder from Georgia with consistency issues, could be an option in the second or third round. So could Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins, a 320-pounder.

Later-round options include Nick Williams, a defensive tackle from Samford who can also play some defensive end, and Akeem Spence from Illinois.

Offensive line

Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead is a physical specimen and could fit in the second round. San Jose State’s David Quessenberry and Virginia’s Oday Aboushi could be middle-round targets.

Wide receiver

Yes, the Seahawks just signed Harvin. And, yes, they return Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. But the Seahawks could still be in the market for a receiver. Tennessee Tech’s Da’Rick Rogers is an option in the second or third round. Georgia’s Tavarres King could also be a punt returner.

Quarterback

The Seahawks re-signed Josh Portis this offseason and announced the signing of free agent Jerrod Johnson on Wednesday. Johnson started at Texas A&M before losing the job to Ryan Tannehill his senior season. Johnson has spent time with the Eagles and Steelers but hasn’t played in a game.

The Seahawks signed Brady Quinn this offseason to be Russell Wilson’s backup, but Quinn’s career 12-to-17 touchdown-to-interception ratio might have Seattle looking for a quarterback in the later rounds.

Keep an eye on Matt Scott, a dual-threat quarterback from Arizona, in the third or fourth round or Vanderbilt’s Jordan Rodgers, the brother of Aaron Rodgers, in the seventh round.

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