With no first round pick in this year’s draft, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider joked that he and the rest of the personnel department were planning on hanging out at nearby Dino’s Pub on the opening day of the draft next week, but vice public relations guru Dave Pearson swatted down that idea like Mutombo.
“We were going to go across the street to Dino’s, but Dave talked us into not going,” Schneider joked. “So I’m going to stay here and work I guess.”
Schneider said that this is the first time in his career as an NFL personnel man that he’s been a part of a team that does not have a first round draft pick.
“It’s very hard for us to say who the top five players are in this draft,” Schneider said. “We know who we think they are. But when you look at this draft, it’s very unique. It’s the most unique draft (I’ve been a part of) – and honest to God I’m not just saying this because we don’t have a first round pick this year.
“I felt this a little bit when we made the deal with Percy (Harvin),” Schneider went on. “But now the closer we’ve gotten to this thing, it’s really kind of stood out that the first round is just a wide variety of players. And it’s really going to be what your flavor of ice cream is.”
Who the Seahawks take in the second round at No. 56 will depend on how many surprises or upsets take place leading up to the team’s first pick.
Schneider described upsets as players the team does not have rated in the first two rounds taken before them. Surprises, on the other hand, are players the team has rated as a first round talents that fall to the second round. Golden Tate was considered a surprise for Seattle when they selected the Notre Dame product in the second round of the 2010 draft.
“Basically, you have to have certain upsets along the way,” Schneider said. “So we know that we have to have – without getting into too much detail – a certain number of upsets for it to happen –meaning players that we wouldn’t consider in the first or second round.”
Schneider said usually between two to three players with first-round grades are still available when the team selects in the second round. And he said between five to 15 players with second-round grades are available when the team is ready to select in the second round.
Clemons on the mend: Schneider said the news continues to be good on the recovery of defensive end Chris Clemons, who is rehabbing from ACL knee surgery in January. “I haven’t talked to him specifically because we’ve been in our meetings,” he said. “But our training staff stopped up yesterday, and they were telling me he stopped in, and he’s doing great. He’s really a quick healer.
“When he had that ankle thing with the pins and all of that, he did a great job with that, too. He’s a fast healer. I can’t tell you from a PUP standpoint what’s going to happen with that. … Obviously we’ll know more in two months.”
High expectations for Carpenter: Schneider said that offensive lineman James Carpenter, who finished the season on the injured reserve list with a lingering knee issue, stayed in town and has been working out with strength and conditioning coach Jamie Yanchar on a one-on-one basis.
“It’s going to be a pure confidence thing for him as he continues,” Schneider said. “He’s very, very strong right now. From what they tell me, he’s the strongest guy on the team. The whole thing is going to be his lower body, flexibility, movement and strength.”
Flexibility at outside linebacker: With starting outside linebacker Leroy Hill likely not returning to the team, Schneider reiterated one of the reasons the team made the move for Cliff Avril was his experience playing strong side, outside linebacker in college at Purdue, which could allow K.J. Wright to move to weak side, outside linebacker.
Further, he did not rule out the possibility of pass rush specialist Bruce Irvin seeing some time at outside linebacker as well, saying that the duo’s athleticism gives Seattle more versatility defensively.
“Athletically, absolutely,” Schneider said, when asked about the ability for Irvin to play outside linebacker. “But really, as a pass rusher he needs to improve his game as well. And I’m sure he’d tell you the same thing. But athletically, there’s no question.
“When Cliff was in college, he played up and away – off (the line of scrimmage). He moved around a little bit. Now, he was a heck of a rusher, too. But there’s no doubt that athletically both guys can do it. Cliff has a little bit more experience playing on that side of the ball up close to the line of scrimmage, and out in space more than Bruce does. But I think that’s something the coaching staff continues to work through as they try and figure out how they are going to implement guys and accentuate their strengths.”
Extra pointsThe Antoine Winfield deal is now official. Schneider said the veteran defensive back is in town. … Schneider said defensive tackle Tony McDaniel would likely get first crack to fill Alan Branch’s role as the run-stuffing defensive tackle on early downs.
“He’s an outspoken person. It’s just the way he’s built. It’s the way he plays the game. And I’m sure there’s things he said that have been taken out of context, too. But I think that happens when you put yourself out there a lot.”
Seahawks general manager John Schneider, commenting on cornerback Richard Sherman's latest comments on Adderall.