For the 12th Man in Seattle it is the "Year of the Twelve" and the Seahawks have the 12th pick.
With the 2012 NFL draft getting underway Thursday, draft analysts have predicted, strategized and completed scenario planning for the first round of the draft with a seemingly similar, but not-at-all comparable, approach as SEAL Team 6’s preparations for storming Osama bin Laden’s compound.
For the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have made it fairly clear their interest lies with improving the pass rush, and drafting a defensive end or linebacker appears to be the conventional wisdom. Although there is a desire to improve the rush, the team finds itself in a position this year they haven’t been accustomed to since their new management arrived in town.
They really don’t have any glaring needs.
By picking up quarterback Matt Flynn, defensive end Jason Jones and veteran linebacker Barrett Ruud in free agency, the Seahawks have put themselves such a position that many fans have taken a strong interest in trading away the 12 slot to accumulate a few extra draft picks.
Carroll and Schneider have proven themselves capable of finding some great NFL talent in the draft, so getting extra picks naturally seems like a great strategy. If your coach and GM can get first-round talent like Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin in the late rounds of the draft or even post-draft in Baldwin’s case—why not trade down?
I don’t tend to be a superstitious person, but Seattle can’t trade away their pick—not this year. What are the chances the stars align in a way for a team that so prominently highlights the 12th man also gets the 12th pick in the 2012 NFL draft?
It’s just too coincidental for me to support the idea of trading back a few picks, especially knowing that in a few years they’re going to be looking back at who was taken at the spot they traded away. If that player is Pro Bowl-caliber or is simply better than whoever Seattle had ultimately selected, fans would be furious knowing that things had lined up so coincidentally.
Another reason to not trade down is the team is assured a certain level of talent. There are going to be a number of talented players available and even though casual fans may not recognize names beyond Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, Seahawks fans can bet that Carroll and Schneider have more than a handful of players in mind depending on how things play out in the draft’s first hour.
While I’m not necessarily advocating that the Seahawks select a quarterback or wide receiver and unretire the No. 12 jersey to turn their trifecta of good karma into a superfecta, I do want whoever Seattle picks to be considered worthy of a yellow blazer 12 years from now.
That’s not asking too much, is it?
Brandan Schulze is a Navy veteran and member of the Military Sea Hawkers, the military chapter of the official booster club for the Seattle Seahawks. For more information on the chapter, visit www.militaryseahawkers.com. Membership is free for all military service members and veterans.