Every year at the NFL draft there are a few players who don’t belong in the top ten and yet are taken there. Most years when you draft at twelve you end up getting a top ten value. The Seahawks own the twelfth pick this year, and are faced with the question of whether or not the value at twelve is going to be enough to justify holding onto the pick. It could be that with the new CBA making trades in the top half of the first round more likely combined with the Seahawks needs and the value at the top of the draft, it might be a year for the Seahawks to make a trade.
Let’s take a look at the players who will have come off the board before the Seahawks come on the clock. The Indianapolis Colts hold the first pick and will take either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin the Third. The first pick will almost certainly be Andrew Luck. Regardless of whichever quarterback is not taken with pick one will be taken by the Washington Redskins with the second pick. The third pick in the draft is currently owned by the Minnesota Vikings. I say currently because the third pick is the subject of many trade rumors. There are many teams which are looking for a franchise quarterback and have tricked themselves into thinking that Ryan Tannehill is one. There is discussion that the Cleveland Browns, who hold the fourth pick, may be disenchanted with their quarterback of the future, Colt McCoy and are looking to take Tannehill at four. Other teams that want Tannehill may look to trade to three to take him but for the purpose of this examination we are going to pretend that only the Seahawks can make a trade during the draft. If the Vikings hold on to the third pick they will take USC’s Matt Kalil.
After the first three picks, ignoring trade scenarios, projecting the draft gets a little more complicated. The Cleveland Browns hold the fourth pick and most likely will take either Tannehill or Trent Richardson. I believe Richardson is the more likely choice because they did take Colt McCoy just a few years ago but more importantly they recently lost their starting running back in free agency. The Browns are followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers would love to take Richardson but with him off the board they will likely take Morris Claiborne from LSU because their cornerback situation is on its way to be scary, in a bad way. The Buccaneers are followed by the St Louis Rams who will most likely take Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon because they need a wide receiver to help Sam Bradford grow as a quarterback. The Jaguars follow the Rams and would have loved to take Justin Blackmon but will settle for the second best wide-out in the draft in Michael Floyd. We have now reached the eighth pick in the first round and Ryan Tannehill is finally going to come off the board, going to the Miami Dolphins.
With only three picks left before the Seahawks we will start seeing players that the Seahawks would like to take come off the board. The Carolina Panthers, owners of the ninth pick, will either take Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe or University of North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples. Both players would likely be considered by the Seahawks but since the Panthers have a greater need at end, Coples will likely be the pick. The tenth pick is owned by the Buffalo Bills who will most likely take Reilly Reiff, the offensive tackle for Iowa, a player the Seahawks likely wouldn’t consider with the twelfth pick. Following the selection of Reilly Reiff, the Kansas City Chiefs will select David Decastro, offensive lineman from Stanford. Decastro is a technician who will be a successful starting guard from day one in the NFL and a player who the Seahawks certainly would have considered at twelve.
So here we are the Twelfth pick of the NFL draft and the Seahawks have seen two of the players they likely would have considered come off the board. Before we look at the players available to the Seahawks, we have to look at their needs. The Seahawks have major needs at quarterback, defensive tackle, defensive end and middle linebacker. There aren’t any quarterbacks who are worth selecting with the twelfth pick so we can ignore that need. The only defensive tackle worth selecting in the early part of the first round is Dontari Poe so hold his name in your mind. The best defensive end available is Melvin Ingram from South Carolina, so add his name to the list in your mind. The final name to add to your list is Boston College’s middle line-backer Luke Kuechly. The question at this point becomes whether any of these three players are actually worth the price you’ll have to pay to select them. Chances are that another team will have one of these three players rated high enough to warrant a trade. In my opinion if the Seahawks can find a partner who is willing to accept a first round swap with some extra value thrown into the deal they need to do it. There are motivation questions regarding Poe, Ingram doesn’t have the physical stats you would hope for from a twelfth overall pick and the last time the Seahawks took a safe player like Kuechly they ended up with Aaron Curry. With these factors taken into account it makes sense for the Seahawks to trade into the back end of the first round as long as they receive some extra value.