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Seahawks still at their best in round 2

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The draft’s second round is where Seattle’s front office is at its best

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NFL: NFC Wild Card-Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks
the one that got away
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

There are potent arguments to support the excellent opinion that the Seattle Seahawks will trade back in the 2018 NFL Draft.

  • It’s what they do. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 they did not make a selection in the first round. In the two most recent drafts they traded back to accumulate later picks, sliding five slots back in 2016 and a total of nine back in 2017.
  • The Seahawks need picks. Due to the Sheldon Richardson trade, practice sanctions handed down by the league last year, and a lack of compensatory picks, they are without a selection from 1.18 to 4.120.

But no argument may be more heartening — to Seahawks fans at least! — than the indisputable fact that John Schneider is a second-round savant.

Dispute this:

NFC West, AV for second-rounders drafted 2010-2015

Cardinals: 72

49ers: 105

Rams: 147

Seahawks: 205

Utter dominance by Seattle among division rivals. When you expand the Approximate Value data set to the entire league, this happens:

NFL, AV for 2nd-rounders drafted 2010-2015

Have-nots: NO 21, NYJ 44, ATL 51, DET 71, ARI 72, WAS 76, IND 77, MIN 79, CAR 83, TEN 91, DAL 98, LAC 98, JAX 100, CHI 102, SF 105

Haves: KC 116, MIA 123, HOU 124, BUF 135, OAK 141, TB 142, LAR 147, PHI 149, BAL 154, PIT 159, NYG 162

Elites: CLE 183, GB 187, DEN 191, SEA 205, NE 209, CIN 216

By AV/pick, it gets even more impressive-looking for the Seattle FO. The Patriots and Bengals only outdid the Seahawks because of an excess of picks.

AV/2nd-round selection

1. Seahawks 34.2

2. Steelers 31.8

3. Bengals 30.9

4. Raiders 28.2

5. Giants 27.0

We’re omitting 2016 and 2017 picks throughout the post because it’s too early to judge their contributions. Since 2010 was such a long time ago, you deserve a blurb on each of the second-rounders Carroll and Schneider have plucked from college.

Golden Tate (2010): Developed with Seattle from a 21-227-0 rookie into a key contributor on the Super Bowl-winning team. 90-plus catches every year for four seasons with Detroit, over 1,000 yards thrice. Catch rate above 76 percent last season. Sassy.

Bobby Wagner (2012): Now a perennial All-Pro and yearly contender for NFL defensive player of the year. One of the top three linebackers in the game, objectively. Future Ring of Honor member. Core Seattle player now and in the immediate future.

Christine Michael (2013): On his fourth team (Indianapolis) despite explosiveness, good hands for a RB, and a career 4.3 yards/carry. Still just 27.

Paul Richardson (2014): Just signed a 5-year, $40 million contract with Washington after something of a breakout 2017 at just the right time. His line of 44-703-6 was better than all of his previous seasons combined. Tough, speedy deep threat, but beset by injuries in his sophomore and junior Seahawks seasons.

Justin Britt (2014): Center with 63 possible starts out of 64. Pro Bowler in 2016 after spending time at guard and tackle, early in his career, without excelling. At his best, a marginal star; at his worst, out of position. Long been a bright spot on an underachieving Seahawks offensive line.

Frank Clark (2015): 22 sacks in three seasons, mostly spent as the third pass rusher on a deep defensive line. Candidate for breakout performance in 2018, and an extension. Will get paid by someone, probably the Seahawks, despite a sketchy past.

There’s not a true dud in the litter. Tate, Richardson, Britt all signed rich extensions or free-agent deals elsewhere. Squeaky Clean Wagner’s accomplishments speak for themselves. Clark will become a very wealthy man after his rookie contract runs out. And yes, there is the curious case of C-Mike.

Michael has already been released by the Seahawks, Cowboys and Packers. He’s a Colt but hasn’t played a down for them. As such, Michael is by one measure the worst second-round pick of Schneider’s career, excepting the unforeseeable and self-inflicted Malik McDowell fiasco.

And that “worst pick” scored six rushing touchdowns one year for Seattle. Care to know how many second-rounders since 2010 have scored six or more rushing TDs in a single season? It is not a lot. Six besides Michael. And that’s counting Geno Smith, not a running back on most plays.

Care to know how many players drafted after 2.62 have reached the same six-touchdown threshold? It is also not a lot, relatively. Twenty-six besides Michael, in eight seasons. Twenty-three if you exclude quarterbacks (Dak Prescott, Tyrod Taylor and Russell Wilson, if you’re curious). So, approximately three mid-to-late-rounders per year.

Even Schneider’s worst second-round draft pick managed to be pretty productive, by league standards, for a short time, when his team desperately needed a ball carrier and touchdown-maker.

While it would be sad to see Earl Thomas get dealt in an effort to fill out the draft, or a bit of a letdown to see the Seahawks lose out on their first chance since 2012 to pick in the teens, the upside is that Schneider hits at an astonishing rate in the second round.

So... see you Friday for Day 2, right?