Seahawks Sitting Out First Round
By Liz Mathews
The Seattle Seahawks are without a first-round choice in the 2013 NFL Draft, opting instead to trade their pick (25th overall) to the Minnesota Vikings for Pro Bowl wide receiver Percy Harvin. This marks only the fourth time in franchise history that the team will head into the draft without a first-round selection.
But that doesn’t mean that Seattle won’t be monitoring the action on Thursday just as closely as ever.
“We’re going to sit and watch how it comes off, we’ll be there,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider told local reporters last week during his pre-draft press conference. “We want to really see how this thing is going to come off because I think you’re going to see a certain run on players, and then that will help us kind of figure out what’s going to happen in the second round.”
Barring a trade to move up, Seattle will have its first selection late in the second round Friday evening, with the 56th overall pick. Including the two compensatory seventh-round selections the team was awarded, the Seahawks have a total of 10 picks in this year’s draft.
Seattle has already been busy this offseason. The Harvin trade was followed by signing some of best available free agents on the market: defensive ends Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and cornerback Antoine Winfield, to name a few. With numerous positional holes now filled, Schneider was asked about the impact – if any – these moves would have come draft time.
“Well, I’d be lying to you if I said it doesn’t because we grade for it and we build our board off of our team – we don’t build it for the league,” Schneider explained. “So it’s impacted it based on the depth at each position and how we think people compete at certain positions with the guys that are currently on our roster or the guys that we project may not be on the roster in 2014.”
Rebuilding the Seahawks with head coach Pete Carroll since 2010, Schneider is finally starting to see the fruits of his labor — a young, balanced team with no glaring needs and the freedom to draft the best available players. In just three years together, Schneider and Carroll have managed to retain 22 of 28 draft choices on the roster, with 12 of those now starters.
Not one to reveal tactic or strategy, Schneider said little if anything about the team’s actual plans for draft weekend, leaving his history to speak for itself.
“You get to a certain point in the draft where I think you could kind of take a deep breath and just feel good about your preparation and just go,” Schneider said. “I think we’re at that point.”