Realistic Draft Trade Possibilities for the Seattle Seahawks
Trades are part of every NFL draft, and since the implementation of the rookie wage scale as part of the collective bargaining agreement in 2011, it seems that teams are even more willing to pull the trigger on them.
For the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, this trade-friendly era provides a prime opportunity to get the exact pieces the team needs to make a repeat appearance in the Super Bowl.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider already made one big trade this offseason, sending the 31st overall pick in the 2015 draft and center Max Unger to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for star tight end Jimmy Graham.
Some additional maneuvering in the midst of this week's NFL draft could land the Seahawks another key player or a bevy of picks to use for building the future. However, not every potential trade is a truly realistic one.
With this latter point in mind, let's take a look at some draft-day trades that the Seahawks realistically could execute and why they would make sense for the franchise.
Trade Up from 63rd Overall to Grab Dorial Green-Beckham
The Seahawks do not have a first-round selection in this year's draft because of the trade for Graham, so that means that a top-tier receiver prospect like Alabama's Amari Cooper or West Virginia's Kevin White is likely out of the question.
However, there is still a need for an elite receiving option. With all due respect to guys like Jermaine Kearse and Paul Richardson (the team did nearly win their second consecutive Super Bowl a couple of months ago with their current receiving corps), Seattle lacks the type of wideout that truly strikes fear into opposing defensive coordinators.
If Seattle can snag a guy like former Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham in the second round, they may just get their legitimate No. 1 receiver. Green-Beckham has off-field issues, but the 6'5", 237-pound wideout also has top-10 talent.
Tony Pauline of Draft Insider recently reported the following:
I’m told the Seattle Seahawks would love to grab Dorial Green-Beckham if he’s available at the 63rd selection but they expect the receiver to be off the board during the initial fifteen picks of round two.
The good news for Seattle is that the team has three picks in the fourth round, two in the fifth and three in the sixth. These, along with possibly a future pick, could be used to move up and grab a guy like Green-Beckham.
The Seahawks can afford to part with mid-to-late-round picks because they are already a championship-caliber team with only a few legitimate openings on the roster.
Trade Up from 63rd Overall to Secure a Starting Center
We've already mentioned how the Seahawks can move up from their spot in Round 2 in order to grab a receiver, and the same formula holds true if the team decided to make a move for a center.
There is a need at center, of course, because Max Unger was surrendered as part of the Graham trade.
Though the Seahawks did recently re-sign backup center Lemuel Jeanpierre, they also admitted that a rookie could be the starter in 2015:
Schneider: "With Coach Cable and his staff it's definitely 'viable' that a rookie could start at center." #NFLDraft— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) April 22, 2015
Grabbing a starting-caliber center like Oregon product Hroniss Grasu could require a trade up into the top half of the second round, especially if the Seahawks get the feeling a team like the Cleveland Browns would want to target one there.
Browns center Alex Mack can opt out of his contract after the 2015 season, so the team may be interested in finding his replacement this offseason. This is a move recently suggested by Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com.
Trade Selections No. 63, 130 and 134 for Alex Mack
Of course, if Cleveland is prepared to draft Mack's replacement, it might just make sense for Seattle to seek a trade for the Pro Bowl lineman rather than spend capital to move ahead of the Browns for a prospect.
Mack is currently rehabbing a broken leg, but he is just 29 years old, is a two-time Pro Bowler and never missed a snap before the injury.
The tricky part for Seattle would be figuring out if Mack would be willing to restructure his contract in order to play for a championship contender. Trading for a player with the ability to leave after a year doesn't make a ton of sense.
The good new is that under the new draft format, there will be a full day between the first and second round that teams can use to work the trade lines. A second-round pick and a couple of mid-rounders should be enticing enough for the Browns if they believe Mack will walk after this season, and it would be a small price to pay for the Seahawks to replace Unger with another Pro Bowler.
Trade Up on Day 2 to Grab a Top Guard Prospect
You're probably noticing a bit of a trend here, but the reality is that is makes a ton of sense for the Seahawks to package some of their later picks to move up in the second or third round or as part of a trade for a veteran player.
There aren't many holes on this team and filling just one or two of them with a top option could be enough to get this team back to the big game for a third consecutive year.
As good as the Seahawks roster is, there is definite room for improvement on the interior of the offensive line. Last year's starting left guard, James Carpenter, signed with the New York Jets in free agency. Starting right guard J. R. Sweezy ranked just 51st overall among guards last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
This is why an interior lineman like A.J. Cann out of South Carolina would make sense if he falls into the second round and Hobart's Ali Marpet (who can also play center) would make sense in the third. The problem is that Seattle picks at the bottom of both of these rounds.
Trading up to grab a potential starter makes too much sense not to pull the trigger, especially when you realize that the Seahawks probably won't have enough roster openings for all 11 of their current picks.
Trade Down from No. 63 to Allow a Team to Snag a Quarterback
"I'm not going to get into specifics on Russell's situation other than to say that we all love Russell and we want him to be our quarterback for a long time," General manager John Schneider recently said, via ESPN's Terry Blount.
Therefore, Seattle shouldn't be in a rush to draft a new signal-caller and shouldn't hesitate to trade down if a quarterback-needy team comes calling for the chance to grab one.
Seattle obviously can't trade out of Round 1 this year, but a trade out of the 63rd spot could be entirely possible if a second-tier quarterback prospect like UCLA's Brett Hundley or Baylor's Bryce Petty is still sitting there.
It will be the teams that performed poorly in 2014 picking at the top of the third round—and if one wasn't lucky enough to land Florida State product Jameis Winston or Oregon's Marcus Mariota in the first round and turned elsewhere in the second, a second-tier prospect could be awfully enticing.
The trick here, of course, is to land good future selections and not just more Day 3 picks in this year's draft.