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Shhh! Seahawks’ selection process in progress

Posted May 12, 2014

Monday metatarsal musings: When it comes to the Seahawks’ philosophy behind the NFL Draft, mum is the word. And the team’s silent treatment allows it to target players without even the players knowing.


Draft room. Quiet please.

It doesn’t just say that on the doors of the draft room at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, that’s how those who have called this inner sanctum home for too much of the past several weeks conducted business during the arduous process leading up to the just-concluded three-day NFL Draft.

The best example of how the Seahawks kept their draft choices close to the vest came when Tom Cable was discussing the selection of Missouri tackle Justin Britt in the second round. Told that Britt had said the Seahawks never had him in for a workout or even a visit, Cable just smiled.

Then the team’s assistant head coach/offensive line coach offered, “We knew, really I think from the time I was at the Combine, got a chance to meet him be around him. Tried to keep our distance from him as best we could, obviously it worked out.”

It did indeed. The Seahawks – from general manager John Schneider and his staff, to coach Pete Carroll and his staff – take devilish pleasure in locking onto prospects early but not letting anyone know.

Including the players they ended up selecting with their nine picks that were spread over Friday and Saturday – the Seahawks traded their first-round pick on Thursday night, the first of three moves that helped them increase the six picks they had entering the draft.

Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson, the Seahawks’ first pick with the 13th selection in the second round: “I figure it out when the general manager called me. … I met with the team psychologist (in Los Angeles) a month or so ago, and that was a great experience. … I had met with (area scout) Matt Berry. But yeah, that’s pretty much the most I’ve been in touch with the Seahawks.”

UCLA defensive end Cassius March, the first of the Seahawks’ seven picks on Saturday: “Actually, Seattle didn’t work me out. I didn’t do a trip or anything. I just had a couple of phone calls and a meeting at the Combine. … I knew they were interested, but I didn’t know if it would be them who picked me.”

Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood, the second of the Seahawks’ three picks in the fourth round: “I think I talked to them one time, and that was for them to get my (contact) information.”

Marshall tackle Garrett Scott, the first of two picks in the sixth round: “I had a workout with coach (assistant offensive line coach Chris) Morgan. That was pretty much the contact I had with them. They called me today and said, ‘We’re thinking about getting you.’ And sure enough, I got the call.”

Arkansas fullback Kieko Small, the team’s final pick in the seventh round: “I had some (contact), but not as much as some others.”

The Seahawks also met with Boston College linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (fourth round) at the NFL Scouting Combine – one of the team’s 60 player interviews during the annual evaluation event in late February. And San Diego State defensive back Eric Pinkins (sixth round) came to VMAC for a visit.

But for the most part, the Seahawks conducted this draft on the QT – just as they had the previous four drafts conducted by Schneider and Carroll. That’s why the players the Seahawks select are often greeted with stunned reactions by those who had tried to predict who they would draft.

Bucky Brooks, a former scout for the Seahawks and now an analyst for NFL.com, did a four-round mock draft last week. His picks for the Seahawks: Virginia tackle Morgan Moses (first round), Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant (second round) and South Carolina defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles (fourth round).

The Seahawks drafted two tackles, two wide receivers and two defensive linemen, but not the ones Brooks projected. And Brooks knows how Schneider goes about his draft business better than most.

“It was kind of like Yogi (Berra) said, ‘It’s déjà vu all over again,’ ” Carroll said. “I thought it was a terrific three days.”

It also was three days when mum continued to be the word when it came to who the Seahawks would select, and when.

As former coach Chuck Knox used to say, “If a hair on my head knew what I was thinking, I’d pluck it out.”