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Expect a Change in Strategy for the 2018 NFL Draft

Discuss your thoughts about anything draft related. Mocks, College and Pro. Knock yourselves out!!! LANGUAGE RATING: PG-13
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    I’ll be the first to admit, I love the draft. Outside of the excitement of waking up on a Sunday morning knowing I get to watch Seahawks football, nothing NFL related comes close. I love the lead-up to the draft. In years past I’ve taken for granted having a full-rack of picks in each round, I’ve taken for granted that the draft has always been a complimentary piece to an already stacked roster, maybe I shouldn’t have. With the 2013/2014/2015/2016 drafts proving to be somewhat disappointing, I’ve really delved quite deep into what mistakes Seattle has made, the risks they’ve taken and the types of guys they’ve ultimately selected.

    All that will change in 2018. All of it.

    John Schneider has said as much that he could have done a better job in years past and I agree with him. They’ve clearly drafted for need rather than best player available. Given how stacked their roster is it wasn’t a necessity in the grand scheme of things.

    I’m not going to go hard on pulling the picks apart because that doesn’t actually bring anything to the table. It’s clear that this front office has accepted that mistakes were made and is happy to address them. That’s a whole lot better than pretending everything is fine and carry on as they were. Acceptance is the first stage to resolution, after all.

    Whilst Seattle does have specific measurements for certain positions and several ‘draft traits’ they have deviated away from it at times. Although they were high on excellent SPARQ numbers, they’ve also taken guys with low scores, too. So it’s not an exact science by any means. They’ve also never drafted a cornerback with an arm length of less than 32 inches, but would they now accept that 31 ¾ is probably not going to be the end of the world?

    I think we see a different approach this year with some real ‘wow’ moments. Ronald Jones II could be a prime candidate that doesn’t fit the ‘typical’ Seahawks mould at running back, but I still believe he will be pretty high on their draft board. Jones II is taller than they have historically gone for and lighter, too. As a counter argument explosion tests for defensive lineman is likely to not change too much, given the importance of explosion for lineman. Although hand placement is, in my opinion, a close second. Joe Thomas said as much in a recent interview about a month ago. If there’s an EDGE guy that hasn’t tested particularly high in the explosion tests but has elite hands and a repertoire of moves, should they pull the trigger? I think so.

    If you’re talking the ‘ideal’ draft model and how to find the most success you have to take these three avenues –

    Best player available

    Make as many selections as you can

    Find value


    Going best player available is an obvious one, with the salary cap as it is, having all stars at every position isn’t possible, I can’t think of a single team that doesn’t have at least one glaring hole on their roster, it happens. Going best player available gives you a key advantage in singular matchups, it puts the best ‘overall’ football team on the field as well. Obviously it’s not an exact science and some common sense does need to come into play but it’s about finding that balance between BPA and team needs. If the draft falls your way, you might strike gold and be able to go BPA AND address the team’s biggest need, that’s a big plus.

    It has also been statistically proven on multiple occasions that teams who make lots of selections have the biggest success. Let’s not get silly and suggest that trading down 30 times to end up with a huge selection of 5th, 6th & 7th rounder’s is the answer because it isn’t. But if you’re selecting at #18, would you get a similar graded player at, say, #25? That obviously depends on how you grade players and how the draft falls, but ultimately, with the draft being (to a certain extent) a crap shoot of luck, making as many selections gives said team a higher chance of finding ‘those guys’.

    Lastly, value. Value, value value! It is so important in today’s NFL and not just from a draft standpoint. It applies to almost everything in this league. If you’re not getting value out of your draft selections, your team will almost certainly be on a downwards trend. Sure, free agency can mitigate that downward trend to a degree but that isn’t sustainable. Teams that win forever are teams that find value in contracts, be it rookies or veterans. If the day comes that the Seahawks are heavy buyers on the first day of the league year each March it will be the day I accept that this team is going nowhere and very likely being poorly run. You only have to have a basic understanding of the NFL to see the teams that typically go heavy in free agency in the first wave aren’t very good. Sure, there are exceptions, but as a general rule it’s the lower tier teams getting all silly with their money. How often are teams like the Seahawks, Packers, Patriots, Steelers etc active in the first wave? Almost never. Think about that if you ever find yourself disappointed that this team isn’t offering Sammy Watkins $17M per year, or singing a guard for $13M per year. It’s bad business, plain and simple.

    So what are this teams needs this draft?

    Well, if you ask 10 different people you could, potentially, get 10 different answers. The obvious ones are LG, RB and DE.

    With the way this draft is, and if we had a second and third round  pick it would set them up perfectly to go LG in the first, RB in the second and DE in the third. That’s where the value lies in each round, roughly speaking.

    But what about tight end? What about wide receiver? What about linebacker? What about safety? You could make an argument for almost every single position outside of QB in the first round. That sets the team up perfectly to go the desired best player available route.

    As long as the player is the right one, having him on the roster will add value to the team regardless of the position he plays. If they go linebacker, we’ve got some much needed depth behind Bobby, they’ve got insurance in case they don’t extend K.J. Wright to a third contract. If they go left tackle, they’ve got cover for Duane Brown in case he gets injured or isn’t extended. If they go wide receiver, they have some solid insurance in case Tyler Lockett, Jaron Brown or Amara Darboh don’t step up.

    You get the idea? Going BPA sets the team up well for years to come and comes backs to Pete’s philosophy of ‘win forever’. In this day and age, teams have weak spots in the roster, even with the 2013/2014 Seahawks, they never had that pass rushing 3 technique defensive tackle that could collapse a pocket and take over games. It’s unrealistic to except a solid depth chart across the whole roster, it just doesn’t happen in a salary capped league, it’s almost impossible. You can get close, sure, but never the ‘total’ package.

    I’m sure Pete and John have their draft board pretty much set, expect to see them throwing cards in the bin in the war room on draft day as certain players they had highly ranked come off the board, expect them to manoeuvre their draft position to gain maximum value. Remember, Seattle doesn’t just historically move down, they also move up in the middle rounds.

    It will be exciting to see how this draft pans out. And for the record, I still believe Earl will be moved to recoup draft capital. This is a pretty solid draft at numerous positions and John and Pete will be salivating at the idea of some of the guys available at the end of this month. 
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    Richard Sherman wrote:People look forward to writing us off. Our demise was greatly overstated.
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  • I'll believe it when I see it . I would not trade out of the first if I were them. If Jones is there guy take him at 18 [if you can't trade down into the mid to late 20's] he has a first round grade his stock is rising and many think he's the second best RB in this class . Trading down to the mid 20's and picking up Jones or Guice would be the best case for them or stay at 18 and trade Earl for a high second and take Jones or BPA at 18. . That Cleveland trade we keep hearing about sucks. If Vita Vea is there by some miracle you sprint to the podium at 18 laughing at the idiots that passed on him. Every competent scout has him a top ten player.
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  • Northwest Seahawk wrote:I'll believe it when I see it . I would not trade out of the first if I were them. If Jones is there guy take him at 18 [if you can't trade down into the mid to late 20's] he has a first round grade his stock is rising and many think he's the second best RB in this class . Trading down to the mid 20's and picking up Jones or Guice would be the best case for them or stay at 18 and trade Earl for a high second and take Jones or BPA at 18. . That Cleveland trade we keep hearing about sucks. If Vita Vea is there by some miracle you sprint to the podium at 18 laughing at the idiots that passed on him. Every competent scout has him a top ten player.


    Ronald Jones II's stock is falling, not rising.
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  • If his stock was rising there is no way we would get him anyway. I’m surprised Jones is getting any mention in the first three rounds after posting that 4.65 in his 40.
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  • brimsalabim wrote:If his stock was rising there is no way we would get him anyway. I’m surprised Jones is getting any mention in the first three rounds after posting that 4.65 in his 40.


    Jones ran a 4.48 at his pro day his stock is on the rise a lot of mocks have him going somewhere between 25-32. There's a chance he might be available at 33 there's also a chance he won't and neither will Guice. Everyone knows Seattle wants a RB Guice and Jones are the top two after Barkley so if any team in front of us wants them they will be gone before 33. All that said i'm not sure Penny won't be as good or better than both Guice and Jones so if the worst happens hopefully there smart enough to take Penny.
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  • Chubb is another name to keep an eye on.

    Certainly ticks the theme that John Schneider keeps repeating this offseason. 'all football'.
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  • original poster wrote:Chubb is another name to keep an eye on.

    Certainly ticks the theme that John Schneider keeps repeating this offseason. 'all football'.


    I'd be shocked if they took Chuub . He just doesn't seem like a Pete John kind of RB not enough wiggle or burst and he already had a knee injury.
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  • After last season, where the RB's injury bug hit so many, I'd think they would be looking at RB's without major injury history. I don't think going into the season, they pass on a top tier RB in the draft, last years RB stats say that is very much imperative. IMO, they will take a RB early & another RB with one of those 5-th round picks.
    My preference: RB/KR-Rashaad Penny early and Kelly, Wadley or Smith in the 5-th. = Running game FIXED.
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  • One thing to remember is Seattle doesn’t consider every single person a draftable player. When people say we should stay put and take the best available player, then the assumption is that Seattle’s board looks like Mel Kiper’s and we should just grab the best available. It doesn’t work that way. Seattle might only have 8-9 guys who they would be willing to draft at 18 and they may all be gone by that point. Trading back might not just be for the sake of trading back and adding picks, it might be to match value with selection.

    For instance, we’re sitting at 18 and fans are clamoring for (random guy) when Seattle has vetted the kid out and found that he’s not a scheme or culture fit. The next draftable player on Seattle’s board may have an overall value of a 28-40 range so Seattle trades back, adds a pick or two and drafts for value according to their chart. To Seattle it might be very good value while Mel Kiper wonders why we didn’t draft a 5’9” off-coverage corner to fill a need and fans decide Schneider is an idiot.

    We see multiple top 15 selections bust ALL THE TIME. There is an ascending likelihood that a player will bust as you move lower in the draft, but by adding multiple selections you are betting on 3-4 guys to hit and a couple more to be special teams contributors. If you package picks and move up you are taking a massive gamble. You now have less selections and less chances to hit.
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  • endzorn wrote:One thing to remember is Seattle doesn’t consider every single person a draftable player. When people say we should stay put and take the best available player, then the assumption is that Seattle’s board looks like Mel Kiper’s and we should just grab the best available. It doesn’t work that way. Seattle might only have 8-9 guys who they would be willing to draft at 18 and they may all be gone by that point. Trading back might not just be for the sake of trading back and adding picks, it might be to match value with selection.

    For instance, we’re sitting at 18 and fans are clamoring for (random guy) when Seattle has vetted the kid out and found that he’s not a scheme or culture fit. The next draftable player on Seattle’s board may have an overall value of a 28-40 range so Seattle trades back, adds a pick or two and drafts for value according to their chart. To Seattle it might be very good value while Mel Kiper wonders why we didn’t draft a 5’9” off-coverage corner to fill a need and fans decide Schneider is an idiot.

    We see multiple top 15 selections bust ALL THE TIME. There is an ascending likelihood that a player will bust as you move lower in the draft, but by adding multiple selections you are betting on 3-4 guys to hit and a couple more to be special teams contributors. If you package picks and move up you are taking a massive gamble. You now have less selections and less chances to hit.
    this


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  • endzorn wrote:One thing to remember is Seattle doesn’t consider every single person a draftable player. When people say we should stay put and take the best available player, then the assumption is that Seattle’s board looks like Mel Kiper’s and we should just grab the best available. It doesn’t work that way. Seattle might only have 8-9 guys who they would be willing to draft at 18 and they may all be gone by that point. Trading back might not just be for the sake of trading back and adding picks, it might be to match value with selection.

    For instance, we’re sitting at 18 and fans are clamoring for (random guy) when Seattle has vetted the kid out and found that he’s not a scheme or culture fit. The next draftable player on Seattle’s board may have an overall value of a 28-40 range so Seattle trades back, adds a pick or two and drafts for value according to their chart. To Seattle it might be very good value while Mel Kiper wonders why we didn’t draft a 5’9” off-coverage corner to fill a need and fans decide Schneider is an idiot.

    We see multiple top 15 selections bust ALL THE TIME. There is an ascending likelihood that a player will bust as you move lower in the draft, but by adding multiple selections you are betting on 3-4 guys to hit and a couple more to be special teams contributors. If you package picks and move up you are taking a massive gamble. You now have less selections and less chances to hit.


    This is absolutely true in terms of the FO since this regime has been here. The lower pick isn’t necessarily the pick the team wants or value doesn’t match need. More is better as perhaps more will prove out.

    I do think they went away from their roots and instead of pursuit of value, they traded away the cap cheaper picks for expensive veteran players in several go for it attempts. Unfortunately these expensive picks created roster limitations for the younger players as these expensive veterans had to play the always compete thing was winked at.

    I also believe the team deferred to Coach Fable with the OLine and choices were made that upon short term reflection seemed to be misses. Maybe some were just so poorly coached up or so extremely raw but there will be changes made regarding the OLine selections going forward.

    I think they clearly have made some mistakes, but it’s because the have gone away from the way they did things prior to Harvin, Graham, and Richardson.
    Until we develop a pass rush that will cause opposing teams to be forced to scheme to defend it we will never be able to consistently take the final step. The interior rush needs improvement. The OLine clearly still needs work.

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