And now for the good news in losing three starters and seven players overall in free agency last year …
The Seahawks have been awarded four compensatory picks in the NFL Draft that will be conducted April 30 and May 1-2, it was announced Monday. The extra picks will come in the fourth round, No. 134 overall; fifth round, No. 170 overall; and sixth round, the 209th and 214th picks overall.
|2015 COMPENSATORY DRAFT PICKS|
|The following 2015 compensatory draft picks have been determined by the NFL Management Council:|
The Seahawks gained the extra picks because leading receiver Golden Tate (Detroit Lions), right tackle Breno Giacomini (New York Jets) and cornerback Brandon Browner (New England Patriots), as well as productive defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), signed elsewhere in free agency. The Seahawks also lost cornerback Walter Thurmond (New York Giants), offensive lineman Paul McQuistan (Cleveland Browns) and special teams standout Chris Maragos (Philadelphia Eagles).
By receiving four of the 32 compensatory picks that were announced at the owners meeting in Phoenix, the Seahawks now have 11 draft choices this year. They traded their first-round pick to the New Orleans Saints in the deal to acquire three-time Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham, but they still have their own picks in the second, third, fourth, fifth and seventh rounds. They acquired an additional fourth-round pick from the Saints in the Graham trade, as well as the Jets' sixth-round pick in the deal that sent wide receiver Percy Harvin to New York in October.
The Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos also received four compensatory picks, while the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans each got three.
What kind of players can be acquired with compensatory picks? The Seahawks have had four in their five drafts under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll.
In 2011, the Seahawks selected linebacker Malcolm Smith with a seventh-round compensatory pick – the 242nd player taken overall. Smith became a core specials teams player, was selected the MVP in Super Bowl XLVIII and recently signed a free-agent contract with the Oakland Raiders.
In 2013, the Seahawks had back-to-back compensatory picks in the seventh round – the 242nd and 243rd picks overall – and took a couple of offensive linemen. The first was Jared Smith, who spent his rookie season on injured reserve and was waived injured last July. But he just signed with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency. The other was Michael Bowie, who started nine games at three positions as a rookie but was waived injured last August and claimed by the Cleveland Browns before the Seahawks could re-sign him.
But extra picks are extra picks, especially for a team that has had as much success as the Seahawks drafting players on the third day, when rounds four through seven are conducted.
The All-Pro duo of cornerback Richard Sherman (2011) and strong safety Kam Chancellor (2010) were fifth-round draft choices, as was tight end Luke Willson (2013). The sixth round delivered cornerbacks Byron Maxwell (2011) and Jeremy Lane (2012), and Maxwell just signed a lucrative free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles after starting 22 of the past 27 games for the Seahawks.
Also, offensive lineman Stephen Schilling was a sixth-round compensatory selection by the San Diego Chargers in 2011. He started three games at center for the Seahawks last season after being signed in free agency.
UPDATE (3/25, 1 p.m. PT): The NFL Management Council made changes to the 2015 compensatory draft selections.
Carolina's 6th-round selection (6-38-213) is now a 5th-round pick (5-38-174).
Denver's 6th-round selection (6-33-208) is now a 7th-round pick (7-33-250).
Pittsburgh's 7th-round selection (7-35-252) is now a 6th-round pick (6-36-212).
The Seahawks' compensatory picks stayed the same, but their round-by-round selections were slightly affected as a result.
Here's how the team's 11 draft picks break down:
Round 1: No pick.
Round 2: Pick 31, 63 overall.
Round 3: Pick 31, 96 overall.
Round 4: Pick 13, 112 overall; Pick 31, 130 overall; Pick 35, 134 overall (compensatory)
Round 5: Pick 31, 167 overall; Pick 34, 170 overall (compensatory)
Round 6: Pick 5, 181 overall (from New York Jets); Pick 33, 209 overall (compensatory); Pick 38, 214 overall (compensatory).
Round 7: Pick 31, 248 overall.