The Seahawks' draft begins today, which is exactly the way they wanted it.
General manager John Schneider loves to move down the draft to add picks, and with just six picks coming into this one he definitely wanted to vacate the 32nd overall pick if he could. When quarterbacks Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater were still unpicked at the end of the first round, it seemed likely the Hawks would get their wish.
The Minnesota Vikings obliged, and for the second straight year the Hawks sent the Vikings their first-round pick (the Vikings used it on Bridgewater). In return, the Hawks dropped eight spots to No. 40 and added the 10th pick in the fourth round (108 overall).
"That’s exactly what we were hoping for," Schneider said after trading down for the seventh time in his five Seattle drafts. "We were talking to a number of teams down there at the end, and Minnesota stayed with it, so we did it with them.”
In March 2013, the Seahawks sent the Vikings their first-rounder and two other picks for wide receiver Percy Harvin. Now, the Hawks hold the Vikings' second- and fourth-rounders in this draft and the Vikings have Seattle's third-rounder after using their No. 1 pick again.
"We have a great relationship with those guys," Schneider said of Vikings GM Rick Spielman and his staff. "(Seahawks lead contract negotiator) Matt Thomas used to work with those guys and we’ve done several trades with them (actually just two, but all of the other moves involving ex-Vikings make it seem like more).
"They’re challenging Detroit, I guess," he added, referencing the five deals he has made with the Lions since 2010.
This was the second time Schneider has moved down in the first round and it was the seventh time he has moved down overall in his five drafts. And he's probably not done.
The Hawks are back up to seven picks -- two in the second, fourth and fifth and one in the sixth. But don't be surprised if Schneider moves down from one of his perches in the second round -- 40 or 64 -- to add more. After all, he has dropped in the second round in every draft, and he has never had fewer than nine picks.
"There are several guys that we hope will be there tomorrow," he said, "but if somebody comes tomorrow with something that we can’t turn down then we’ll look at that as well.”
Seven teams draft before the Seahawks' new spot at 40, but there will be plenty of good players available if the Hawks stay there.
The best options probably will be along the lines and at receiver. On the OL, they could still have a shot at Xavier Su'a-Filo, Joel Bitonio or Morgan Moses. On the DL, they could see Demarcus Lawrence, RaShede Hageman and Stephon Tuitt. And there should be a host of receivers: Cody Latimer, Jordan Matthews, Davante Adams, Donte Moncrief, et al.
With all of those options at 40, it is easy to see them being comfortable dropping five or six spots and still getting a guy they really like.
LOOKING FOR SECONDS AND THIRDS
Schneider has made a habit of moving down in the second round, so do not be surprised if he bails on at least one of those No. 2 picks.
Here's a look at his moves in the second round:
2010: In March 2010, Schneider overpaid for QB Charlie Whitehurst, dropping from 40 to 60 in the second round and giving up a 2011 third-rounder. The Hawks drafted WR Golden Tate at 60.
2011: Schneider traded out of the second round to regain a third and add a fourth from Detroit. The Hawks drafted OG John Moffitt in the third and WR Kris Durham in the fourth, so it was a forgettable deal all around. (Ironic that Durham ended up playing for Detroit last season.)
2012: The Hawks dropped from 43 to Philadelphia's spot at 47, added two picks and ended up with LB Bobby Wagner (47th), LB Korey Toomer (154th) and DE Greg Scruggs (232th). Not bad for sliding down four spots.
2013: They dropped from 56 to 62 and took RB Christine Michael in a surprise move. They also added a fifth and sixth in that deal with Baltimore, and the Hawks used those to move up in the fifth round to draft DT Jesse Williams.
DID PATS STEAL HAWKS' TOP CHOICE?
The Hawks reportedly were set to draft Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley at 32 until New England poached him at 29. That locked them into trade mode.
Schneider said they were ready to pick another player if a deal did not materialize, but they talked to five or six teams and the Vikings "were just adamant about taking their guy."
“There were some good players there," he said, "but we had the opportunity to grab another pick, a fourth-round pick, another player. We saw value with the trade and just decided to pick tomorrow. Now we just have to see how tomorrow goes. Right now we’re picking 40, and we’ll see what happens.”