If it’s NFL draft season, and I say “JOHN—” your line is “SCHNEIDER!” and if I shout “TRADE—” you ought to reply “DOWN!” It is the way of things on 12 Seahawks Way, which I’m pleased to report is not the actual address of the V-Mac in Renton, because that would be cheesy. Trust me. Don’t look it up.
Ah, but something smells different in the air this spring. For one, the Seahawks actually have a top 10 pick, which felt a lot more sucky earning it than it will using it. There are two* schools of thought on how JS should proceed, armed with more draft capital than he’s had since 2010.
There’s the Draft at 9 crowd, with whom I sympathize. It stings seeing the Seahawks watch helplessly as rivals get first crack at the freakiest and most accomplished athletes college football has to offer. Maybe it’s our turn to nab a Bosa brother, no?
There’s the Maybe Drop A Little camp, with whom I equally sympathize. Wouldn’t it be cool to still reap the benefits of a lost season by picking at 14, while also adding another selection in the sixties, Schneider’s sweet spot? It would. It really would. Nothing wrong with that, at all.
And then... and then there’s this mental exercise, which, as the only course of action fans and analysts have discarded, should be considered. Because Seahawks. And that’s the Trade Down Forever scenario. Trade Down: Maximum Velocity. Ye Olde Trade Downe Mocke Drafte.
There are a number of ways it manifests. Perhaps the FO has its eye on two particular QBs but they both disappear in the top 8. Perhaps Malik Willis is still on the board and another team offers the Seahawks a deal they can’t refuse, and their interest in him was feigned all along. Perhaps PCJS decided that after just three picks in 2021, an infusion of youth is overdue. Or they perceive the second round to be richer in value than the first. Either way, I’m gonna examine what it looks like if 1.9 turns into 1.30, which will feel familiar.
After all these years of ignoring the top half of the first round, our appetites are preternaturally whetted for a flashy pick, and trading back would feel like more of the same, womp womp. But do you trust the Seahawks more with 1.9 and a pair of 2s, or with a late first, five seconds, and bonus goodies next year? I gotta say it’s the latter, and you can get there without stretching credulity. What better insurance against a first-round bust than a foursome of picks in the Wagner-Taylor-Tate-Metcalf zone? Or a fivesome, even.
And the beauty of dropping a dozen spots is that the Seahawks have, to put it mildly, a number of holes, specifically in the trenches. Any good rebuild should involve equal amounts of luck and accumulation of linemen, on both sides of the ball.
So, let the unforeseeably aggressive trading down commence.
6:02 p.m. Pacific: SEA sends 1.9 to NO for 1.16, 2.49 and a 2023 6th
Jordan Davis is still on the board and the Saints love him enough to overpay a little in draft value.
6:41 p.m. Pacific: SEA sends 1.16 and 3.72 to PIT for 1.20, 2.52 and 6.208
It’s a complex trade but the math works. Sam Howell’s sitting right there and the Steelers pounce. The Seahawks move down four spots on Thursday in exchange for moving up 20 on Friday. Put that way, it’s pretty cool. Pittsburgh sweetens the deal with a sixth when Schneider hesitates (strategically) on the phone.
At this point, the Seahawks hold a 1, 2, 2, 2, 2 hand. Pete Carroll and the crew are not done.
7:09 p.m. Pacific: SEA sends 1.20 and 5.153 to KC for 1.29 and 2.62
Another trade that benefits the Seahawks slightly on the draft value chart. The Chiefs have 12 picks, including back-to-back at the bottom of the first, so it makes sense for them to move up with one of them. At 20, they covet WR Jameson Williams and are not scared off by his recent ACL injury. And now, the Seahawks possess:
Holy shit people, those are the ingredients for a REAL rebuild. You don’t even have to hit on every pick. But real quick, looking at the rest of the rounds, gonna send 2.40 to the Colts for 2.43 and 5.159., to recoup the fifth those nasty Chiefs demanded earlier.
Let us infuse the roster with some cheap talent. Finally.
With the 29th pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks select: Logan Hall, DL, Houston
Measurables: 6-foot-6, 282 pounds
Key stat: 13 TFL plus six sacks
Is there anything more important to a defense in the modern NFL than interior pass rush? Maybe a lockdown corner. Maayyyybe. Speaking of —
With the 41st pick of the draft: the Seattle Seahawks select: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
Measurables: 5-11, 190
Key stat: Led SEC in pass breakups (14)
McCreary would historically be too small for Carroll, except look at the recently acquired Tre Brown, Sidney Jones, and DJ Reed: all six feet tall or less, all under 200 pounds, all with arms shorter than 32”.
(Pete Carroll is so inflexible that he went from run-first to pass-first, changed his defense from 4-3 to 3-4, and completely re-imagined his outside corner type.)
With McCreary opposite Brown, outside corner is solved for the immediate future.
With the 43rd pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks select: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
Measurables: 6-4, 250
Key stat: Tore his Achilles at his pro day in March
Ojabo is the pick you’d make if you wanted first round talent and had enough job security to wait a year for that talent to see the field. Gotta feel bad for the guy, to see a decade of dedication undone in a non-contact event a month before the draft. It’s awful. Unless he falls to Seattle and plays with a chip on his shoulder. Then it’s less awful, on a superficial level, our level.
11 sacks, 12 TFL three passes defensed and five forced fumbles for Ojabo last year. That’s production. And I believe the last decade has established that the Seahawks are unafraid to select players with a significant injury history.
With the 49th pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks select: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
Measurables: 6-5, 316
Key stat: First team all-Big Ten.
French name translates to “little brother,” which is how he plans to treat Nick Bosa. Eventually.
With the 52nd pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks select: Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
Measurables: 6-8, 384
Key stat: look up one line
Faalele’s size comes with its own set of questions, regarding leverage and lateral agility. Yet he’s not a project; more of an experiment. huge. Remember Bigger Stronger Faster Louder? Faalele has the first two covered.
This would be called an astute pick by some and a reach by others. Gee, we’ve never heard that before.
With the 62nd pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks select: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Notre Dame.
Measurables: 6-0, 217
Key stat: 74 receptions in three years, so possible three-down back
A running back in the second? What is this, 2013? No, it’s the Seahawks. Pete literally cannot believe Spiller is still on the board and submits the pick in less time it takes him to remove his shirt. The first person to say C.J. Prosise is banned until the draft.
With the 84th pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks select: Abraham Lucas, OT Washington State
Measurables: 6-6, 315
Key stat: Combine-best 4.4 seconds 20-yard shuttle
Lucas immediately enters the tackle competition, and could end up as a guard down the road too, which is still valuable. Four-year starter at Wazoo with 42 starts, local guy, from Everett and stayed in-state. Keep him home.
With the 109th pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks select: Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
Key stat: 70.1 completion percentage
While a QB room of Geno Smith, Drew Lock, Carson Strong and Jacob Eason is not going to have anyone picking Seattle to win the NFC West, remember that this whole draft is predicated on moving down to own the second round. That only happens if the Seahawks perceive their their QB options at 1.9, 1.16 and 1.20 don’t meet a value threshold.
What I’m saying is, of course they didn’t select a QB until 109, they either lost out on their guy or saw more value in another position, or are waiting to make their move next year.
(Carson, incidentally, comes from the conference that has put Colin Kaepernick, Derek Carr, Josh Allen and Jordan Love in the league since 2011. As mentioned, he completed 70.1 percent of his passes, with a 27-4 TD/INT ratio. There’s enough to like.)
You can guess the rest. One LB, a project DB, an under-the radar wide receiver who can contribute right away on special teams, and then of course a kicker in the seventh as a prelude to cutting Jason Myers. All very normal stuff.
The final haul, in chart form:
2022, a year for the 2s
|Pick||Name||Position||College||Ht. / Wt.|
|Pick||Name||Position||College||Ht. / Wt.|
|1. 29||Logan Hall||DL||Houston||6-6, 282|
|2. 41||Roger McCreary||CB||Auburn||5-11, 190|
|2. 43||David Ojabo||EDGE||Michigan||6-4, 250|
|2. 49||Nicholas Petit-Frere||OT||An Ohio St.||6-5, 316|
|2. 52||Daniel Faalele||OT||Minnesota||6-8, 384|
|2. 62||Isaiah Spiller||RB||Texas A&M||6-0, 217|
|3. 84||Abraham Lucas||OT||WSU||6-6, 315|
|4. 109||Carson Strong||QB||Nevada||6-3, 226|
|5. 145||Malcolm Rodriguez||LB||Oklahoma St.||5-11, 232|
|5. 159||Damarri Mathis||S||Pitt||5-11, 196|
|6. 208||Jalen Nailor||WR||Michigan St.||5-11, 186|
|7. 229||Cade York||K||LSU||6-1, 198|
Not lost on anyone with a google machine: in 2023, the Seahawks are already armed with two firsts and two seconds. Any blockbuster deal — a la Percy Harvin or Jamal Adams — that Schneider wants to engineer, he can. Any machinations he wants to unleash in an effort to move up for the QB he wants next year on draft day, he can.
If I were trying to make another run before my contract ended in 2025, and I’d just dumped a franchise QB in his prime (still have not forgiven anyone involved in this debacle), and I had assurances that I’d be given two full seasons to show results, the first thing I’d want to do is be flush with youth, ongoing draft capital and cap space.
With a little trading back on Thursday, the 2022-2023 Seahawks are set up for exactly that. Now they just have to take advantage, and maybe get a little lucky, too. That wouldn’t hurt.