Why the Seahawks are likely to trade down at 9 AND 41
A sixth round pick for Seattle? I guarantee it
A sixth round pick may not seem significant to you and I, but to Pete Carroll and John Schneider nothing else could be further from reality than the premise that day three picks are merely sprinkles on the sundae.
Since joining the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, Pete and John have NEVER left a draft without using a sixth round pick on a player. In fact, the Seahawks have drafted 17 players in the sixth round, including Stone Forsythe in 2021 despite only having three total picks last year.
Guess what: The Seahawks don’t currently have a sixth round pick in 2022 NFL Draft. I’m not saying that just because Seattle has used a sixth rounder in 12 out of 12 years, and used two sixth rounders on five different occasions that it guarantees that Pete and John will move down to acquire more capital.
But I am saying that the gap between the Seahawks pick at 153 in the fifth round and their next pick at 229 in the seventh round is MONUMENTAL to Pete and John.
Expect Seattle’s positions in the draft to change in the next few weeks, courtesy of the most trade-down happy regime in the NFL.
Among the Seahawks’ sixth round picks from 2010 to 2021 are Byron Maxwell in 2011, Jeremy Lane in 2012, Jacob Martin in 2018, Freddie Swain in 2020, and my Seaside Joe podcast guest Kristjan Sokoli in 2015. Please click play and put it on a loop to show gratitude for Kristjan sharing his Pete Carroll insights this week:
I’ve got timecodes in the description and highlights of what Kristjan said in the Seaside Joe post for the podcast.
The reason that Seattle does not have a sixth round pick in 2022 is because Pete and John traded it to the Jaguars for recently re-signed Sidney Jones. It’s probably not a total coincidence that Jones plays cornerback: five of those 17 sixth round picks were used on defensive backs. On top of that, guess what else:
Seattle traded a sixth round pick for Marcus Burley in 2014 and another sixth rounder for Mohammad Seisay in 2015; both are cornerbacks.
Of course, cornerback and safety is not the only position that Pete and John target on day three and in the sixth round. But it could be slightly inconvenient that in the same season when there are so many questions at cornerback for the Seahawks, the team doesn’t have a sixth rounder to use yet. Perhaps that is why Pete and John were moderately aggressive in the second and third wave of corners on the free agent market, securing Jones, then adding Artie Burns and Justin Coleman too.
There is also talk that for the first time ever under Pete and John, that Seattle could choose to use a first or second round pick on a cornerback. The highest-drafted cornerback under Pete and John was Shaquill Griffin in 2017, only the 90th player off of the board; but also a stark reminder that when the Seahawks did go heavy on defensive backs that year (Griffin, Lano Hill, Tedric Thompson, Mike Tyson) it was a calamity of overrating Pete Carroll’s ability to work wonders in the secondary.
Now 12 years after drafting Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, and 11 years after drafting Richard Sherman, it’s well beyond time to admit that the Seahawks merely got lucky. And that’s why it would not be as surprising in 2022 to see Seattle pick Derek Stingley Jr. or Sauce Gardner with the ninth overall pick, if not trading down and selecting the best cornerback on the board when the Seahawks finally do make their first selection.
And trading down is almost certainly going to be the name of the game, if Pete and John can find a taker.
Trading down from nine will require that no “Can’t leave the draft without him” players are left on the board at that point and also that a team behind Seattle will a) have their sights set on a must-have and b) be willing to sacrifice the draft picks necessary to move. If the Seahawks are asked to fall outside of the top-20, then a 2023 first round pick will be in order.
If the Seahawks are only negotiating a move down a few spots, then maybe a third or fourth round pick will be the bounty.
In either case, I expect that Pete and John are also going to negotiate the sale of their second of two second round picks at 41. Seattle would be able to hang onto their pick at 40 to make the selection that makes the most sense for the team, then negotiate the sale of pick 41 to the highest bidder. If there’s simply no interest, then the Seahawks will stay, but I am leaning towards “surprised” if Seattle goes back-to-back in the second round with no movement.
I can’t imagine that Pete and John will get another opportunity after that to fill in the gap between picks 153 and 229 without feeling the sting.
78 straight selections on day three without a Seahawks draft pick? That feels even less like “Pete and John” than it would be if the Seahawks drafted a quarterback or cornerback in the first two rounds. Who knows, Russell Wilson is on the Broncos and maybe 2022 is a new era of the old regime.
Go back and watch/listen to the Kristjan Sokoli interview. It was a blessing!
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