Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks' GM John Schneider ready to wheel and deal?

Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks enter the NFL Draft process with four picks. That's about 10 too few for Seattle general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll.

Having picks in just rounds one, three, four and five certainly won't cut it. 

“That’s a challenge for us,” Schneider told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind.  

Don't expect Seattle to sit still with just four selections once the three-day, seven-round draft starts on April 25. 

Schneider and Carroll love the NFL Draft process and for them, the more picks the better. The duo has made a living out of selecting middle-to-late-round gems such as quarterback Russell Wilson (third round, 2012), cornerback Richard Sherman (fifth round, 2011), safety Kam Chancellor (fifth round, 2010) and running back Chris Carson (seventh round, 2017).

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For those reasons, Seattle seeks to stockpile picks. They drafted nine players last year, 11 in 2017 and 10 in 2016. In fact, the last time Seattle drafted just the normal allotment of seven players was in 2009, a year before Carroll and Schneider took over.

“It’s what we do,” Schneider said. “Our guys do a great job of working their relationships around the league and we’re trying to navigate where we’re going throughout the draft and targeting players and moving around.”

There is a good chance that Seattle will do much of the same in April. 

 

"We don’t necessarily have to go down all the time," Schneider said in regards to trading down in the draft. "But it’s kind of fun." 

Seattle is light on picks because it traded its second-round pick to acquire left tackle Duane Brown from the Houston Texans in 2017, traded its sixth-round pick to Green Bay to acquire backup quarterback Brett Hundley and sent its seventh-round pick to Oakland for safety Shalom Luani.

On safety Earl Thomas: Schneider was asked about safety Early Thomas, who held out of training camp in hopes of a contract extension before returning to action and then breaking his leg in the fourth game of the season. Thomas is now a free agent.

"I understood his frustration," Schneider said when asked about how things ended with Thomas. "It's a business. He's a free agent. He’s going to test free agency. We’ll see what happens. He's going to be one of those dudes that's up in the (ring of honor)."

On running back Rashaad Penny: During last year's draft, Seattle traded down to acquire picks and then selected running back Rashaad Penny No. 27th overall. Penny battled injuries while rushing for 419 yards and two touchdowns while not being able to beat out second-year running back Chris Carson, a seventh-round pick in 2017 who rushed for 1,151 yards and nine touchdowns. 

“He had a nice rookie year," Schneider said. "Battled through some things. He’s never been hurt before. As a rookie it was kind of hard for him to figure things out. But I think he’s on the path of getting ready to have a great season. We don’t have any reason to not think that.”

On defensive end Frank Clark: The biggest free agent on Seattle's radar is likely its own, Frank Clark, who led the team with 13 sacks. Seattle is expected to work to keep him but Schneider offered little insight into that process. 

"Frank and I, we have a great relationship," Schneider said. "Communication has been great. There’s a strong level of trust between the two of us."

Kicking situation: Another free agent is kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who turns 41 this weekend. Seattle made a move at that position shortly after the season ended by signing Sam Ficken to a futures contract in January. Ficken appeared in two games with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018 and two in 2017. The 26-year-old out of Penn State has attempted six career field goals making three.

 

"He had a great workout with us," Schneider said. "We wanted to get him in there as quickly as we could to have that stable guy. We will continue to look for someone to work with him.

Janikowski has made 436 of 542 career field goal attempts.