According to Mike Mayock the Seattle Seahawks will probably trade down in the first round of the May 8-10 NFL draft.
Mayock’s theory: The Houston Texans are seeking an impact quarterback in the draft, and their scouts do not think the talent level at that position drops much between the first and second picks, and they therefore take Jadeveon Clowney with the first overall pick. The Texans are then almost certain to take a quarterback with their second-round pick at #33 – one pick behind the Seahawks at #32.
According to Mayock, there are many more teams in the market for a quarterback (Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, maybe the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals) than there are talented hurlers in the draft. In this theory, Seahawks general manager John Schneider’s cell phone blows up at this point with calls from quarterback-hungry NFL front offices.
In this scenario, what is pivotal is that the Texans take Clowney with the first pick. If that happens, this boring draft could suddenly have some drama for Seattle fans. Everybody knows what the Pete Carroll/John Schneider machine can do with middle/late-level draft picks: Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Cam Chancellor, and many more. The Seahawks are in the process of signing their high-impact core players to big contracts, but can not afford to keep the role players. These must be replaced in the draft.
Having your franchise quarterback in the house is massive for the Seahawks – Wilson does not miss games, he’s never even been on an injury report, in spite of the NFL-leading qb-scrambles he’s had to endure.
Wilson’s presence allows the Seahawks some serious versatility, and the ability to “go off the script” in the upcoming draft. It also allows Schneider to listen hard to any deals that might come his way on Thursday. It also allows him to keep his picks and just draft the best player available, if that is the best case scenario.
If the Seattle Seahawks were to draft for need, they’d pick a guard or a big, strong flanker. James Carpenter’s performance has been suffering due to injuries and weight. Mike Mayock thinks the most likely replacement would be guard Xavier Su’a-Filo (UCLA). The Seahawks might also get a guy like Joel Bitonio (Nevada), or a wideout like Cody Latimer.
Sidney Rice was supposed to be the big flanker to fill that role, but his own issues have kept him on the injured report. He has come back to the team on a renegotiated deal, but the Seahawks are still looking for a younger, healthier starter at that position. Having Rice gives them the option to draft a developmental receiver, instead of expecting the rookie to come in an perform immediately.
Will the Seahawks trade out of the first round? Don’t count on it. But if the Texans take Clowney as the first pick, Thursday will suddenly get very interesting.