The Seahawks, who don’t have a first-round selection, hold 11 picks from No. 63 to 248, giving them plenty of opportunity to prove again their prowess at finding gems in the middle to late rounds.
No team will have to wait longer to make a pick in the NFL draft this week than the Seahawks, who don’t have a selection until No. 63 overall thanks to the Jimmy Graham trade.
But no team will have more picks than the Seahawks, who, thanks in part to compensatory selections granted for losing free agents in 2014, will have 11.
And though Seahawks general manager John Schneider said there will “be some anxious people’’ waiting at the team facility in Renton to get involved in the draft, he’s not complaining about the team’s situation.
More draft coverage
We’ve got all your NFL draft needs covered this week in The Times and at seattletimes.com:
• Bob Condotta takes a closer look on seattletimes.com at 10 players in the draft who could be a good fit for the Seahawks.
• Condotta and Jayson Jenks break down the first round with their mock draft in Thursday’s Times.
• Jerry Brewer, Larry Stone, Condotta and Jenks will bring you the latest updates and analysis — including live chats — Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the draft.
The poll has expired. Thank you for your submissions.It’s a familiar spot for the Seahawks. Unless they make a trade they will not have a first-round choice for the third consecutive year, but they have had the most selections of any team since Schneider took over as general manager in 2010 — 48 in the past five drafts.
Talking once about trading out of the first round to acquire more picks, Schneider said: “I just like it in general.’’
That’s what the Seahawks did last year, trading down twice — from 32 to 40 — adding two picks along the way. In fact, of Seattle’s 10 draft-day trades in the Schneider era, nine have been to move down to acquire more picks (Seattle moved up in 2013 to acquire defensive tackle Jesse Williams).
Holding 11 picks already, the Seahawks might not need to add more this year.
They hold 11 picks from No. 63 to 248, giving the Seahawks plenty of opportunity to prove again their prowess at finding gems in the middle to late rounds.
The Seahawks hardly have been bad in the first round under Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, with each of the four players they have taken emerging as starters, including Pro Bowlers in safety Earl Thomas and left tackle Russell Okung in 2010.
But it’s been the later rounds where the Seahawks have set themselves apart and built the foundation of their two Super Bowl teams. The successful selections include middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (second round, 2012), quarterback Russell Wilson (third round, 2012), linebacker K.J. Wright (fourth round, 2011), safety Kam Chancellor (fifth round, 2010), cornerback Richard Sherman (fifth round, 2011), cornerback Byron Maxwell (sixth round, 2011) and guard J.R. Sweezy (seventh round, 2012).
Bill Polian, a former general manager of the Bills and Colts and now an analyst with ESPN, said one key to Seattle’s mid-round success is its willingness to think outside the box.
“They have a great feel for the kind of players that can thrive in their system, and some of it is contrarian, as you saw with their pick of Russell,’’ he said. “Pete knows exactly how he can use those players and how they fit and where they can play at their best in their system — Bobby Wagner being a prime example.
“Where most observers of the draft thought, ‘Here’s a guy who can run and is tough, but we don’t think he’s a first-rounder,’ they are able to put square pegs in round holes and they understand exactly what they want.’’
The Seahawks, though, also are believers that the more players you take, the better your odds are of landing some good ones. That’s especially true in the middle to late rounds where there often isn’t considered to be much difference in the potential of a player taken at, say, 120 and one at 180 (it also hardly needs to be stated the importance of depth in a sport where injuries are such a factor).
The Seahawks, of course, consider Graham as essentially their first-round choice this year, though they also had to give up center Max Unger to get him. Seattle also gets in return a fourth-round pick.
Schneider said Seattle would not have been able to get a player of Graham’s ability and immediate impact with its first-round pick.
“When you acquire a player of Jimmy’s caliber with the 31st pick, that makes it that much easier to sleep at night knowing that we wouldn’t be able to get a player like that,’’ he said.
The Seahawks might have picked a particularly good year to have so many picks in the middle of the draft — they will have seven from 95 to 181 — as the draft this year is considered even after the top half of the first round.
“I can’t remember one where it was more up in the air just in terms of all these position groups,’’ NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. “There is no sheer pecking order when you talk to people around the league, and you talk about offensive tackles, edge rushers, defensive tackles, even getting into running backs. You get a variety of order from talking to people around the league.’’
Seattle’s mid- to late-round success has been a little more, well, middling the past two years — tight end Luke Willson (fifth round, 2013), is the only player in the past two drafts taken after the second round to become a consistent starter.
True, an already stocked roster, as well as injuries, have played a role in limiting playing time for Seattle’s past two rookie classes.
But NFL observers will look to see if Seattle still has the mid-round magic touch it displayed so often from 2010-12. The Seahawks won’t lack for opportunities to show it’s still there.