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Seahawks Mailbag: Draft Week, Celebrating History & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.

Mailbag 042324

Happy NFL Draft week everybody! The draft kicks off Thursday, with the Seahawks currently holding seven total picks, beginning with No. 16 overall, and by Saturday they'll have added a group of players who figure to be a big part of the team's future. But before the draft gets going, it's time once again to open up the mailbag and answer some questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around. And remember, the mailbag is always open at, so send in your questions/thoughts/opinions whenever the inspiration hits you.

Ken Kraemer from Austin, Texas asks, "How likely is it that we will trade down for more picks?"

A: Seahawks general manager and president of football operations John Schneider has a pretty long history of trading back to acquire extra draft picks, and considering that the Seahawks currently don't have a pick between No. 16 and No. 81, it's reasonable to think Schneider and his player personnel department will be very open to moving back to acquire an extra pick or two on Day 2 of the draft.

There are, of course, a couple of things to consider when assuming the Seahawks will move back. For starters, they need a willing partner who wants to move up and is willing to offer enough compensation to make that move worthwhile. Then there is the not so insignificant factor of who is available and how the Seahawks have those players graded. If, for example, there is one or two players left who the Seahawks view as surefire first-round talents, and a team picking in the late 20s wants to move up, Schneider may be hesitant to move back knowing he's unlikely to get one of his top remaining players. Extra picks are always great, but not if it means missing out on a potentially great player in order to get one or two more players who might not be difference makers. The ideal scenario for any team moving back is to be in a position where they're moving back while having a cluster of players with similar grades still available. For example, if the Seahawks had five players at the top of their board with relatively equal grades and a team wanted to move up from the early 20s, then the Seahawks could do that confident that they'll get one of those five players.

@Trumpdumper6 "Why erase all the greatest seahawks moments in history? Pete Carroll was the best coach we ever had and should be honored every day on the walls."

A: Couple of things here, the first of which is that nobody is disagreeing with you that Pete Carroll is the best coach in Seahawks history, and someday he'll go in the Seahawks Ring of Honor—and hopefully the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well—and when he does, he'll be honored with his name and a large picture prominently displayed in the hallway, along with the other members of the Ring of Honor, through which players walk every time they enter or exit the building. Which brings me to the next point, which is that, despite what you may have heard in the last week or so, the Seahawks are not erasing their history at all. What you've been hearing is a lot of reaction to one player's comments, which were positive by the way, reaction that is based off of incomplete information.

Yes, there is one hallway outside the team meeting room that has indeed been altered. The pictures on that wall, which were from the Carroll era specifically and not the team's entire history, and which included a lot of phrases and slogans specific to Carroll (Always Compete, I'm In, etc.), were indeed taken down. As John Schneider noted on Seattle Sports 710AM last week, new video boards will eventually go up there, some of which may well celebrate the team's history, but regardless of what happens with that space, taking those down was not about trying to forget what was unambiguously the best era in franchise history. As Leonard Williams mentioned last week, relaying the message Macdonald gave the team in their first team meeting earlier this month, the idea is that the current team will build its own identity while at the same time, "we're obviously going to respect the tradition and the history of the Seahawks." For Mike Macdonald to succeed, he can't come in trying to be Pete Carroll and use Carroll's slogans and motivational tactics; he needs to be his authentic self. And when the current team hopefully finds success and builds its own traditions and identity, then there will be some new stuff to hang on the walls.

And again, it's important to reiterate that while that one wall was changed, the team's history is hardly being erased. As mentioned earlier, not far down the hall from there, large pictures hang for every member of the ring of honor, and beyond that, there are plaques with the signatures of every player in franchise history. Walk from there out the doors to the indoor practice facility, and there is still a giant banner on one wall celebrating the team's Super Bowl XLVIII victory, including the name of every player and coach from that 2013 team, and across the field from that, there's an equally large banner with Paul Allen raising the Lombardi Trophy. And on the north wall of the indoor facility, there are banners for every division title, conference title and the Super Bowl title. Up the stairs from there, where players go to the cafeteria and to meeting rooms, plenty more history awaits them, including pictures outside of meeting rooms honoring who were named the team's Man of the Year. There are also plaques marking every playoff appearance, as well as pictures from big moments throughout the franchise's history, including prominently displayed pictures of Richard Sherman's tip that sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, and of Malcolm Smith's pick-six in the 43-8 rout of the Broncos.

In other words, it's simply inaccurate to say that the Seahawks are erasing their history regardless of what you might have seen or read last week.

@tompage asks, "When the front office guys did their pre-draft presser, they said the new coaching staff doesn't make that much difference, football is football is what they said, but there are some subtle differences with the new staff, what would those be?"

A: As you noted, members of the Seahawks' player personnel department met with the media last week, and one of the takeaways was that, despite an almost entirely new coaching staff, not much changes for them, evaluation wise. The phrase Schneider likes to use when talking about finding the right kind of player is "smart, tough and reliable," and you'd be hard pressed to find any coaching staff not looking for that, as well as obvious size and athletic traits. It's also worth noting that the scouting department has been working on this year's draft class since shortly after the 2023 draft ended, so drastic changes on evaluations aren't going to happen at the last moment, relatively speaking, because of a coaching change. Plus, if the new coaching staff did have some specific things they wanted that are different from what the Seahawks have done in the past, why would they want to share that right before the draft? But if you are looking for any subtle things specific to the new staff, one trait that assistant general manager Nolan Teasley pointed to, especially on defense, is versatility.

"I wouldn't say that a lot changes," Teasley said. "One thing I would emphasize is versatility. I think they probably touched on it by retaining Leo (Williams), his ability to play up and down the line of scrimmage, depending on the front and personnel. I know a player we're really excited about, that they're excited about moving around is Dre'Mont Jones because of his ability off the edge, his ability to rush anywhere from the 3 (technique), to the 6, maybe even out to the 9. We feel like we have versatility throughout our roster. You talk about the back end with Julian Love and now Rayshawn Jenkins, we're truly nuanced at that safety position. Coby Bryant, who's a player that's going into his third year, but he's played outside corner, he's played nickel, he's played dime. So they've kind of identified some of that versatility that's already here, and we're excited about seeing what they can do with it."

@bartpkelly asks, "Chances and history of John Schneider keeping three quarterbacks?"

A: In the 14 years Schneider and Carroll ran the team, the Seahawks had only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster the majority of the time, while keeping a third quarterback on the practice squad. There were a few exceptions here and there, but in general that's how they did things.

Where that could change this year is if the Seahawks draft a quarterback, particularly before the final couple of rounds, meaning it's a player they would not likely be able to get through waivers and onto the practice squad. For the majority of the Carroll-Schneider era, the Seahawks were in good shape with Russell Wilson at quarterback and only drafted one other quarterback after Wilson, 2018 seventh-round pick Alex McGough, who spent his rookie season on the practice squad before joining the Jaguars the next year. Schneider mentioned at the NFL Scouting Combine that he doesn't love his history of not drafting quarterbacks, and if he does select a quarterback to add to a group that also includes starter Geno Smith and recent trade acquisition Sam Howell, then I'd guess there's a much better chance that the Seahawks carry three quarterbacks this year despite not doing so very often in the past.

@McPooPooFart asks, "Are we still going to get draft clues?"

A: First off, that twitter handle is, um, a choice. My kids would no doubt appreciate it, however. As for the draft clues, that was always a Pete Carroll-driven deal, so I'd expect that we won't be seeing any draft clues this year. If it'll help kill time before the draft, however, I'm happy to tweet out some random videos that have nothing to do with the draft plans and call them draft clues.

@WeaponNext and SeanReneau2 ask if I'll be in the draft room again this year for a behind the scenes article.

A: Aww, thanks guys, nice to know people enjoy those. And if you don't know what they're talking about (shameless plug alert!) here's the story from inside the draft room last year. And yes, that is the plan again for me to be in there and to document what I can of the experience… Unless of course someone in the front office reads this mailbag and thinks, "Wait, we let John in there? Yeah that's gonna stop now."

The Seahawks were back outside for another voluntary veteran minicamp workout session on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. Check out the 12 best photos from their workout.

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