Possible Seahawks trade up scenarios
Seaside Joe 1122: Could Seattle surprise everyone and move up this time?
Over the 12 Seattle Seahawks drafts conducted by Pete Carroll and John Schneider, the regime has been involved in 23 trades that involved a first, second or third round pick. Of those 23 trades, only two were because the Seahawks wanted to move up to draft a player.
Can you name them?
Normally, I like to look to history in attempts to grasp probabilities in the future. But in the case of Seattle trading up in the first round this year I think that history could prove misleading.
This is only the second time in 13 drafts that Pete and John will be picking in the top-10. This is also the first time since 2012 that the team will be picking in the first round without Russell Wilson as the starting quarterback. Times are different.
I would still expect the Seahawks to favor trading down over trading up; it may not seem a huge deal, but Seattle has only one pick between 153 and the end of the draft at 262, a fact that likely bothers Pete and John. If they get a call from the Texans, a team with two picks at the top of round four, and three sixth round picks, plus two picks in the first and third rounds of 2023, that’s the type of pot that I could see the regime moving down four spots four.
But are there scenarios in which the Seahawks would consider moving up? I wouldn’t rule it out because this is a unique place in the draft for Pete and John to be and we already know how much they do love premium prospects… they just don’t usually acquire them until a few years after they’ve been drafted.
Today, I will outline the first of three trade up scenarios for Seattle.
Lions trade pick 2 to Seahawks for picks 9, 41
Seahawks pick the best remaining edge rusher
In 2016, we saw the Eagles trade up to two even though they weren’t sure if they would get Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. In 2021, we saw the 49ers trade up to three, even though they couldn’t guarantee if they would get Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, or other.
Why can’t we see a similar scenario play out for the 2022 edge rushing rivalry quietly bubbling up between Aidan Hutchinson and Travon Walker?
Lions general manager Brad Holmes has said that the team is openly having conversations about trading away the number two pick, noting that maybe other teams have a different evaluation on the quarterback class than they do. Basically: Holmes agrees with me that there’s no quarterback worth drafting at pick two. He’s hoping a different GM sees it differently and is willing to pay up to move up.
In a weak quarterback class though, why not moving up for the anti-quarterback?
Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker has skyrocketed up the draft boards in the last few months, even more dramatically so than Malik Willis has. He now has the second-best odds, after Hutchinson, of going first overall in the draft.
Would it be fair of me to ding Willis for an unexplainable rise in mock drafts, but not do the same for Walker? I don’t know, I’m not the fair police. I have not spent as much time on the rest of the positions as I did with the quarterbacks over the last year. I’ll let you know soon if I find Walker to be overrated or not.
Walker played three seasons at Georgia and posted a career-high 7.5 TFL and six sacks, which makes up the bulk of his three-year production for the Bulldogs. When I would peruse Georgia’s top-ranked roster for names that were getting NFL draft buzz, Walker’s name was not coming up very often.
This is not to say that people didn’t view Walker as an NFL Draft prospect. On the contrary, he was a borderline five-star prospect in 2019 and viewed as one of the best athletes in the country. Obviously what was holding him back was the lack of playing time and production as a pass rusher (3.5 sacks in first two seasons), but now that his size and athleticism has been confirmed at the combine, Walker is viewed as an even better prospect for pro football than he was for college football.
Of every player over 270 lbs to run the 40-yard dash at the combine since 2000, Travon Walker’s 4.51 is the fastest by four-tenths of a second.
Walker’s 6.89 three-cone time is the seventh-fastest since 2000, behind a group that includes J.J. Watt, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Chris Hovan, and Chris Hubbard. Walker’s 4.32 short shuttle time was the fastest of any player over 270 in the 2022 class. His 35.5” vertical was two inches higher than any player in the group. He tied teammate Jordan Davis for the longest broad jump.
Said Lance Zierlein of Walker right off the bat: “Walker is a big, rugged run-stopper with the playing style and body type to play 3-4 end.” Sounds Carroll-like.
Walker is a self-described versatile player, another plus for a Pete Carroll defense.
“Georgia played me at multiple positions and put me in different scenarios throughout my time here,” Walker told Justin Melo of the Draft Network. “It really enhanced my resume just for the simple fact that I’m able to play every position on the defensive line. They exposed me to everything and it makes me different from every other defensive player in this draft.”
Should the Seahawks sacrifice one of their two second round picks for the ability to put either Walker or Hutchinson in a potential Week 1 starting situation in their new 3-4 defense?
What are the odds that both second round picks will pan out? How much are the odds of success increased with Seattle’s first round pick if they select second instead of ninth?
There are risks with Walker, mainly that he may never develop the desired pass rushing skills of a number one or number two draft pick. Would it be good enough for the Seahawks to move up for the next Jadeveon Clowney? And what if they wind up with the next Clelin Ferrell?
If the Jaguars select someone other than Hutchinson though, perhaps Seattle would go in his direction. At two, they would have their options.
I have contracted "Analysis Paralysis."
Frank Clark and Tyler Lockett? I just guessed, seem remember some movement up wrt to those names. Could be way off.