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Digging deeper into what fans can expect from the Seahawks 2019 draft picks

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

With Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider likely working diligently on a Russell Wilson contract extension, due to the deadline that has been set on completing that matter, let’s start taking a look into what the team could expect from its draft picks this season. With so many other matters dominating the news cycle for the Hawks, including the Wilson deadline and trade rumors surrounding Frank Clark, there has been a surprising lack of attention on the fact that as of right now the team holds only four draft picks.

As of writing, those four draft picks are:

  • Pick 21 in the first round,
  • Pick 84 in the third round,
  • Pick 124 in the fourth round and
  • Pick 159 in the fifth round.

It’s likely that the team will add to that arsenal of picks through trading back from the pick it currently holds at 21, as well as through potentially dealing multiple players, including Frank Clark, George Fant or Ethan Pocic,

Last week I revisited the series from 2018 on managing expectations for draft picks and looking at the probability of picks developing based on where they were selected. Specifically, in addition to looking at the overall performance of players over the course of their careers, I looked at how the Seahawks have drafted since Pete Carroll and John Schneider have arrived in Seattle in 2010 in comparison to the league wide data.

Today I’ll start by looking at the picks the Hawks hold in 2019 one at a time from a historical perspective in a little bit more detail. This is not meant to be any kind of groundbreaking work, just a quick overview of what to look for from draft picks in various areas of the draft. So, without beating too much around the bush, let’s jump right to what players selected somewhere around pick 21 can be expected to do over the course of their careers.

For those who don’t recall the methodology of the data collection I used in the 2018 series, the data on player career performances is based on 31 years of draft data. I wanted to keep this data fairly consistent, so in this year’s series I’ll be using draft picks from those same 31 years. However, wanting a sample size larger than just 31 picks, I’ve expanded the sample to take into account three picks on each side of the Seahawks pick.

Thus, for the pick at 21, we’ll be looking at the outcomes from 31 seasons of data for the players selected from picks 18 through 24. That is a sample size of 217 players across a variety of teams and systems, and obviously playing nearly every position (it misses including Sebastian Janikowski, selected 1.17 in 2000 by a single selection). Here is the raw data on the distribution of outcomes for era adjusted AV.

Distribution of AV for players selected with picks 18 through 24 in the NFL draft

Career AV Number
Career AV Number
130-139 1
120-129 2
110-119 1
100-109 1
90-99 2
80-89 4
70-79 18
60-69 18
50-59 22
40-49 32
30-39 30
20-29 29
10-19 30
0-9 27

For those who prefer more visual representations of the data, here is what it looks like in chart form. This first chart has the outcomes grouped by career AV for the players.

And then here is the same data presented in terms of mortality/survivorship.

So, as a reminder from the data from last year, even first round picks have a not-insignificant chance of being a bust as a draft pick, and even someone taken with a pick in the range of 1.18 to 1.24 has a decent chance of never developing into an impact player in the NFL. Over the rest of the week we’ll dig more into the other draft picks the team holds in the 2019 draft in order to attempt to properly manage expectations for the players the Hawks will be bringing to town.