The pick is the Seahawks’ first selection in the opening round since 2012, when they took linebacker Bruce Irvin.
RENTON — On the first day of the NFL draft the Seahawks got player they described as “a big, big, powerful guy’’ and an additional draft pick they called “huge.”
Indeed, on paper it was a win-win for the Seahawks. They filled an obvious need by picking Texas A&M offensive lineman Germain Ifedi and indulged in their favorite draft strategy — moving down to acquire more picks.
The 6-foot-5¾, 324-pound Ifedi was a three-year starter as a right guard and right tackle in college and is expected to compete with free-agent signee J’Marcus Webb at right tackle.
Seahawks draft bio
College: Texas A&M.
Position: Offensive lineman.
Height, weight: 6-6, 324.
Birth date: June 2, 1994.
Personal: His brother, Martin Ifedi, was drafted in the seventh round by the Rams last year and is a defensive end with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Germain Ifedi was a highly recruited offensive lineman out of Houston and decided to stay close to home when he chose Texas A&M. He passed up his final season at Texas A&M to enter the NFL draft early. His father works for United Airlines, and his mother is a parole officer and part-time nurse.
Scouting report: The Seahawks filled their consensus need and their most obvious hole by drafting an offensive lineman in the first round. Ifedi has a versatile background, which the Seahawks like from their offensive linemen. He started as a guard in college before spending his final two seasons at tackle. Another thing the Seahawks like: Ifedi is a good athlete for a big guy and moves well along the line. That’s important for linemen who play for offensive-line coach Tom Cable. Ifedi is a bit raw and didn’t operate out of the three-point stance much in college, but many analysts think he has a big upside. “He’s a really good pick for a team that needs offensive linemen,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said during its draft broadcast.
Seahawks draft picks
Second round: No. 56
Third round: Nos. 90, 94 (acquired from Denver for No. 26 pick), 97 (compensatory pick for free-agent losses in 2015)
Fourth round: No. 124
Fifth round: No. 171 (compensatory pick)
Sixth round: No. 215 (compensatory pick)
Seventh round: No. 225 (acquired from Dallas in Christine Michael trade), No. 247
The Seahawks took Ifedi with the 31st pick in the first round after trading the 26th pick to Denver, which wanted to move up to take quarterback Paxton Lynch.
Seahawks in 2016 draft
Round 1, Pick 31
OL Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M | Bio
Round 2, Pick 49
DT Jarran Reed, Alabama | Bio
Round 3, Pick 90
RB C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame | Bio
Round 3, Pick 94
TE Nick Vannett, Ohio State | Bio
Round 3, Pick 97
OL Rees Odhiambo, Boise State | Bio
Round 5, Pick 147
DT Quinton Jefferson, Maryland | Bio
Round 5, Pick 171
RB Alex Collins, Arkansas | Bio
Round 6, Pick 215
C Joey Hunt, TCU | Bio
Round 7, Pick 243
WR Kenny Lawler, Cal | Bio
Round 7, Pick 247
RB Zac Brooks, Clemson | Bio
They received the 94th pick in the third round for moving down five spots, giving them 10 picks in this draft, including five in the first 97 selections.
Schneider said Thursday night that the Seahawks considered trading down again to move out of the first round, adding, “It got close a couple of times.’’ But ultimately they kept the 31st pick and made their first selection in the opening round since 2012, when they took Bruce Irvin at No. 15.
Adding another pick, Schneider said, was “huge for us picking three times in the third round (at 90, 94 and 97). … We have nine more picks, so that’s really exciting for us. We feel like it’s a solid draft all the way through, so for us to be able to get Germain (and the extra pick) is a big deal.’’
The Seahawks also saved money. Lynch, as the 26th pick, will be paid almost $9.5 million over the four years in the NFL’s slotted system for rookie contracts, and Ifedi will receive $8.265 million.
By adding Ifedi, the Seahawks took a significant step to address perhaps their most significant draft need, shoring up an offensive line that took a while to coalesce last season. They also must replace departed starters J.R. Sweezy and Russell Okung.
Besides adding Webb and Ifedi, Seattle signed veteran Bradley Sowell, who is expected to compete with Garry Gilliam at left tackle.
“I think by getting Germain in here, we’ve really built some fantastic competition with Brad, with J’Marcus, with Garry and now with Germain,’’ offensive-line coach Tom Cable said. “We need that. We need that kind of depth and quality.”
Ifedi, a native of Houston, redshirted at Texas A&M in 2012 when current Seattle center Patrick Lewis was in his final season with the Aggies.
Ifedi played right guard in 2013 and right tackle his final two seasons.
Cable said he began to get excited about Ifedi while watching film and grew more so when he worked Ifedi out during Texas A&M’s pro day. Ifedi also has the kind of measurables Seattle has often favored, notably 36-inch arms.
“You’re talking about a big, big powerful guy with a lot of length,’’ Cable said.
Ifedi can play several positions but Cable said, “We see him as a guy who can be a cornerstone player for you at tackle.’’
Asked if Ifedi can compete for an immediate starting spot, Cable said, “You certainly hope so. That’s obviously why we picked him with the 31st pick.”
Ifedi played mostly in a two-point stance in A&M’s spread offense, and Seattle’s coaches have lamented that players who come out of such schemes sometimes need a while to adjust.
Cable said Ifedi is “a little bit raw fundamentally, so there is some cleanup to do. But it’s an easy fix, I think.’’
Coach Pete Carroll said he also thinks Ifedi can make a quick adjustment in part because he has the kind of temperament that fits Seattle’s style.
“This guy is a really aggressive football player, so that makes it more comfortable for us, makes it a little easier for us,’’ Carroll said. “He’s got the nature we are looking for, so I think it’s going to work out good.’’
Or as Schneider said: “That’s just an ass-kicker over there.’’
Several mock drafts had Ifedi pegged for the Seahawks, based on his measurables and their need.
Asked if the Seahawks would have taken him at No. 26, Carroll and Schneider declined to answer.
Schneider, though, noted that the Laremy Tunsil situation — a possible top-three pick, Tunsil fell to 13 after a video of him smoking marijuana surfaced — meant “the tackles lasted a little bit longer,’’ which he said “was beneficial’’ for the Seahawks.
Schneider, though, also said the Seahawks “could have gone either way’’ with the pick. “Could have gone defensive line, could have gone offensive line.’’
The Seahawks figure to take a few more of each in the final six rounds, which begins for them in the second roundwith the 56th overall pick. The Seahawks then have three more in the third round Friday, giving them five of the top 97 picks.
The Seahawks haven’t had that many in the first 97 since 1977, when they traded the No. 2 overall pick to Dallas, which then took Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett.
Asked about the prospect of making that many picks in the final two days, Schneider smiled.
“It’s going to be a blast,’’ he said.