Beat reporters who regularly cover the team had a chance to talk to Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider this afternoon in preparation for next week’s draft.
As usual, Schneider was entertaining, informative yet vague enough in answering questions about what Seattle will do with the team’s six picks that he really didn’t give any secrets away.
But he did offer up some interesting tidbits regarding the team, and his overall thoughts on the draft.
On the possibility of selecting Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill despite the team’s financial commitment to Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson, Schneider said the Seahawks would take him at No. 12 if he were available.
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“He’s a really good player and he’s got a great upside,” Schneider said about Tannehill. “We would definitely consider him (at No. 12). Just because we’ve done these things, the guys know – it’s no disrespect to Tarvaris, or Matt or Josh (Portis) at all.
“The guys know at some point we wanted to get this thing rolling where we would be able to get a younger quarterback in, and kind of getting them going, whether it’s in the first round or second round or however it comes.”
But Schneider isn’t expecting Tannehill to last until the 12th pick of the opening round.
“It’s fun to talk about, but I mean he’s not going to be there,” Schneider said. “You know, I think he’s going to get drafted pretty high.”
Schneider also likes where Seattle sits at No. 12 in the first round of this year’s draft.
“I look at 12 as kind of like – and I think other teams may look at this way too – that at 11, 12 and 13 there’s a little bit of a ledge there. There’s a little bit of a difference in players. So if we want to stay and pick, I think it’s a really cool place to pick.
“But if somebody does something that’s real attractive and we feel comfortable with the way we prepared, we can go back, too. But we feel like we’ve covered some things where we can go ahead and just take the good players that come to us.”
Schneider talked about having just six picks this year, the lowest number the team has had since he’s been running the draft in Seattle.
“There’s nothing we can really do about it,” he said. “Like I said, if something were to happen and people came to us with something that was a great option for us, we would have to do it. Otherwise, I just think we’re in a really cool spot.”
He pointed to linebacker, running back, quarterback and defensive line as strong areas of depth in the draft.
“Quite honestly I feel like if I was a free agent linebacker this year I would be a little bummed out,” Schneider said. “There were a number of very qualified free agent linebackers, unrestricted guys. And then this draft compared to last year looks completely different. There’s good numbers up there at the linebacker position.”
In terms of selecting a linebacker in the first round, Schneider said he doesn’t value the linebacker position any more or less than any other position like cornerback, defensive end or offensive tackle.
“That’s not our philosophy,” Schneider said. “We value that position as highly as any other position.”
Schneider had this to say about linebacker David Hawthorne ending up in New Orleans in free agency.
“We kind of approached it like, ‘Look, this is where we are. And if we can’t work anything out, as hard as it is for both sides, we probably need to move on,’” Schneider said. “And that’s what happened.”
Schneider highlighted two stats that have the most affected on winning games since 2007 – turnovers and explosive plays – and pointed to finding players that most affect that category in the draft.
“If you have what our guys upstairs call “daily doubles”, and you hit both of those you have like a 96 percent chance of winning the game if you are plus in those categories,” Schneider said. “So is it a ball-hawking defensive back? Is it an end that’s going to put pressure on the quarterback? Or is it another receiver that can get down the field, or a runner? What is that combination – that’s kind of like what’s going through my head right now.”