During his tenure as the General Manager for the Seattle Seahawks, John Schneider has made trading down in the draft an annual tradition. Almost every year, Schneider has found a partner to play with when Seattle’s pick edges closer and closer, and he checks the hawks down into the last few picks or out of the first round entirely. It can be annoying for fans to see their team turn down first round talent for extra picks on day two and three of the draft, but the flip side of trading down is that it increases their return on investment if the players pan out. One of the biggest reasons Seattle’ was able to boast so much talent on their roster for the better part of the last decade is that they were able to hit on so many later round picks, with players like Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, and KJ Wright all being drafted in the forth round or later. Every year is not the same and there are a bunch of variables that won’t be known until draft night that will factor into Schneider’s decision, but they should go ahead and trade down yet again.
Sorry to all the fans that just want to see Roger Goodell stroll up to the podium and read the Seahawks pick while thundering boos fill the room, but there are two huge reasons why they need to trade down in the first round this year. The first reason is that Seattle is actually quite low on draft capital, especially in the later rounds, and need as many picks as they can get. As things stand, the Seahawks don’t have picks in the second, sixth, and seventh rounds and hold just four picks in total. As a team that is still resetting after losing what seemed like half of their starters in 2018, they need to get as much new talent into the building as possible. Even though young players like Tre Flowers and David Moore were able to step in and perform for this team last year while they made a surprise run back to the playoffs, there are still glaring holes in the roster and a complete lack of depth that need to be addressed. With most of Seattle’s cap space this off season more than likely going towards retaining Frank Clark via the franchise tag and extending Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner as they enter the final year of their contracts, the draft is going to be where they will get some actual long term solutions to their problems. In fact the players in this draft class are the second reason Seattle needs to trade down. The biggest needs for the Seahawks entering the draft are at defensive line, with uncertainty surrounding Frank Clark and his long term intentions with Seattle and a very thin interior line that ranked 30th in yards per attempt against the run in 2018. The two deepest positions in this draft class happen to be edge rusher and interior defensive line, showing the stars are aligned for Seattle to get exactly what they need without needing to pick in the first round.
Schneider will have to wait and see how the draft shakes out and what players are available, but there will be no shortage of franchises willing to play ball when the 21st pick is in sight. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys that have no first round pick could trade a second and a third to get a play maker on offense to help out Dak Prescott after they extend him this off season. Other teams like the Colts that have nine total picks could try and jump a few spots and swap firsts and throw in at least one of their forth round picks depending on who was still available. The bottom line is the Seahawks should once again trade down because the difference in talent they end up drafting will be marginal and they will be able to bolster their roster while they gear up for the long term future of this team.