In the six previous drafts under John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks had traded up only twice. So it was surprising that they traded up again Saturday to get Jefferson.
RENTON — It sort of has been a running joke all week between Seahawks general manager John Schneider and reporters: that Schneider prefers trading down in the NFL draft and stockpiling picks rather than trading up to get a player.
In the six previous drafts under Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks had traded up only twice. So it was surprising that they traded up in the 2016 draft not just once — in the second round to select Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed — but again in the fifth round Saturday to get Maryland defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson.
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
“We didn’t see a ton of players like him after that,” Schneider said of Jefferson. “We usually don’t do that sort of thing, but looking at our compensatory picks coming around the corner for next year, we thought this was a wise decision.”
Translation: The Seahawks lost quite a few pricey free agents this offseason, so they should get a few compensatory picks (announced at the league meetings next year). Those extra picks allowed them to feel comfortable parting with a fourth-round pick in 2017 to move up for the versatile Jefferson.
“He plays all over,” Carroll said. “He really does. He gives us the flexibility. It’s why when John saw it happen, he said, ‘Let’s go do it, let’s go get him.’ It was a rare opportunity for us.”
Carroll said Jefferson has similar traits to Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett, whose value is tied to his production from multiple spots along the line. Depending on the situation, the Seahawks can deploy Bennett from the edge or inside.
It’s a rare set of skills, and the Seahawks have said they’ve seen that ability from other players over the years (Frank Clark and Cassius Marsh). But Carroll said Jefferson has the quickness to be flexible.
Jefferson has an interesting backstory. He broke his jaw in a fight before college and had to grayshirt his first year. He spent that first year lifting boxes at Best Buy, an experience never far from his mind.
“I felt like I really needed that,” he said. “It humbled me. I said, ‘I don’t want to be working at this warehouse. I want to do something with my life.’ ”
He is married and has three young daughters — a 5-year-old and two twins about to turn 2. He said they are his motivation, and he didn’t live a typical college life.
QB Adams to get tryout
Ex-Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams will attend Seahawks rookie minicamp May 6-8 on a tryout basis, an NFL source confirmed.
Adams was not selected in the NFL draft and did not sign as an undrafted free agent.
Adams put up monster numbers at Eastern Washington before graduating and transferring to Oregon for one final season in 2015, where he led the nation in yards per attempt (10.2) and pass efficiency (179). He threw for 26 touchdowns against six interceptions.
But his height — just under 5 feet 11 — was considered a major stumbling block as well as the fact he played in spread offenses unlike what he would have to operate in the NFL.
• The Seahawks signed quarterback Trevone Boykin of Texas Christian as an undrafted free agent, according to a tweet from Boykin. The Seahawks had not confirmed UDFA signings as of early Saturday night, but they reportedly also signed USC RB Tre Madden, Oregon LB Christian French, Western Kentucky TE George Fant, Colorado State CB DeAndre Elliot, North Alabama CB Darvell Harris, Rutgers LB Steve Longa, Michigan State WR DeAnthony Arnett and Florida Atlantic DT Brandin Bryant.