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Schneider on 2013 draft: “It’s really going to be what your flavor of ice cream is.”

Post by Eric Williams on April 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm with 34 Comments »
April 17, 2013 8:30 pm

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 points
The 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.

Quotable

“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.

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Leave a comment Comments → 34
  1. A lot of great things here!

    1. I read this to say they are looking for a guy with a 1st round grade to slip to the 2nd – Might they be looking to trade up to get that guy?

    2. I love the idea that they are floating just about everything – Avril at LB here or there, Irvin at LB here or there. Both bringing something in the pass rush. Great flexibility, nightmares for OC’s to figure out how to attack a certain line up when you have no idea where guys might line up.

    3. Wingfield finally in the fold!! WELCOME!

    4. Clem healing well – very good news

  2. I really hope we trade some of our picks for 2014’s picks…..

  3. I’m not buying Schneider’s comments about Avril being a real option at sam LB. In fact, I’ll just call that a smoke screen right now. I think he’ll get reps there, in certain looks, but they didn’t acquire Avril for the purpose of covering NFL TE’s.

    There is perhaps no other position on this team that stands greater potential for instant upgrade than weakside LB. If they draft the right guy, the impact created could be immense. A pass catching TE to pair up with Miller would be another potential hot spot for major impact, IMO.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    xcman- That’s interesting because I had a different take. Mainly that Schneider felt it was easier to part with their first because they don’t have a ton of first round grades on their board. And rather than being in a position to have to trade out of the first on draft day, exchange it now for a sure fire “first” in Harvin. In any case…

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Sekola- Smith played pretty damn well last year. I still think 3-tech has the greatest room for improvent. Although Bennett and whomever (McDaniel) rotates in with him may have that changed.

  6. @Duke

    Smith looked impressive at times last season working at will backer, I must admit. I think it was after that Chicago game that I started feeling like I never wanted to see Leroy Hill in the starting lineup ever again.

    I’m all for Malcom getting his shot, but nothing should be given to him. I’d prefer to see a real candidate challenge him for that vacant will spot. It shouldn’t be that hard to draft a young backer that will heat this competition up.

    I am already anticipating that between what’s been done in free agency combined with better production from second year players like Scruggs, and possibly even Howard, that we will see at least marginal if not marked improvement. If Scruggs can avoid a sophomore slump I can see him doing quite a bit of damage in 2013.

    Drafting an impact 3-technique DT will certainly be a lot more difficult to do given our draft position, but I think we could easily pick up a run stuffing DT of some type with either that 2nd or 3rd round pick. Still, I think we stand to gain more by going backer. LB is the one position in the draft where teams frequently get a lot of bang for their buck because rookie backers tend to produce more as rookies than most other players at other defensive positions.

  7. Seemingly good news on the injury fronts for both Carp and Clem.

    Just got off a flight sitting across from a Niners fan who had gone to the game here last year. Good dude. Lots of mutual respect passed around. Except toward the personality of one Jim Harbaugh.

    Who won last year’s draft competition? STTBM?

  8. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “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.”

    Eric-
    Did you mean that five to 15 players with second-round grades are available when the team is ready to select in the third round?

  9. Cameron Morrah has signed with 49ers.

  10. The Cliff Avril to SLB talk has been pretty steady since we signed him. It will be interesting to see how that unfolds.

    Either way, I would be surprised if one of our first two picks wasn’t for an OLB.

  11. HonHawksLSB says:

    I would love for us to package several picks this year and trade up into the mid level rounds 3-4 and pick up 2-4 guys that have a chance to provide depth at OL, LB, DL and Special Teams ace that can make 53.

  12. HonHawksLSB says:

    Side note- Any excitement over the schedule coming out today?

    As an out of towner today pretty much dictates my fall vacation schedule!

  13. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Yes, very excited about the schedule coming out today.

  14. Dukeshire says:

    I’m wasn’t suggesting anything be given to Smith. Only pointing out there are other position(s) that are a larger improvement gap than what we saw last year.

    LB in general is rather thin, so I think it’s a near certainty they select and likes sign one an UFA next week.

  15. Regarding Avril playing some Sam, it seems that we will, at times, want to have pass rusher types on both ends, and Avril at Sam, Clemons at RDE and Irvin at LDE could be useful. I don’t see KJ at Will, but this front office and coaching staff is good at innovating, so we shall see.

  16. RDPoulsbo says:

    I can see Avril at Sam working. No, not on every down, but splitting time with Smith. He would maker it much harder for offenses to recognize zone blitzes since you can’t always assume he’s coming. Or pair him with Irvin on the strong side and you never know if one or both will come, assuming Irvin learns some coverage skills.

  17. ChrisHolmes says:

    “That’s interesting because I had a different take. Mainly that Schneider felt it was easier to part with their first because they don’t have a ton of first round grades on their board.”

    That’s how I read it too. The way I read it, they knew this was a draft without consensus 1st round players two months ago, and so they used their first-round pick for an impact player. I love the pH acquisition even more today because there isn’t a pH in the 1st round of this draft…

    “I would love for us to package several picks this year and trade up into the mid level rounds 3-4 and pick up 2-4 guys that have a chance to provide depth at OL, LB, DL and Special Teams ace that can make 53.”

    That’s how I see this draft play out. I’ve been saying that for a while.

    We have 10 picks. 10 draft picks aren’t going to make this team. Especially those higher round picks in the 6th and 7th rounds. So you need to use your ammunition wisely.

    When your team has a dearth of talent, those 6th and 7th round choices have a chance to make your team. When your team is loaded? Not as likely. I think Schneider is going to try and package picks to move up in rounds 2, 3 and 4 to nab guys they like who start to fall to them.

    It’s all going to depend on who slips.

  18. Duke – Agreed on the 1st round :) but this comment “Schneider said usually between two to three players with first-round grades are still available when the team selects in the second round” Was the one that got me thinking that they are going to be watching to see who they have with a 1st round grade that slips into the 2nd round.

    I don’t think they will ever regret trading that first in this case.

    I by no means think they will put Avril or Irvin at LB for any significant amount of plays but I can see every so often 3-5 times over 2 games. I just like the fact that they put that in OC’s mind. I hope we see some vanilla packages in the Pres-season that show this. Just because

  19. WiscCory says:

    Avril and Irvin lining up at LB has to be a bunch of smoke. Irvin doing anything other than pass rushing seems unlikely.

    LB is likley a high focus in the draft. TE, too.

  20. WiscCory says:

    The complete schedule comes out later today. All we know at this point is the 3rd 49ers/Seahawks game is scheduled for January 19, 2014.

    My over under on primetime regular reason games is 3.5. CBS and Fox will fight for the Hawks to stay on Sunday days as much as possible.

  21. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Joe Staley says he loves playing at the Clink. I wonder if he loved that last game? Lol.

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12040_8645139,00.html

  22. Predictions for this season:

    Seahawks Win Super Bowl after a 13-3 regular season (one loss to Niners unfortunately)

    Russell Wilson — Super Bowl and Regular Season MVP

    Richard Sherman — Defensive Player of the Year

    Tell me that doesn’t seem too far-fetched!

  23. 3 losses? I was thinking one or maybe two….. : )

  24. ChrisHolmes says:

    “Duke – Agreed on the 1st round but this comment “Schneider said usually between two to three players with first-round grades are still available when the team selects in the second round” Was the one that got me thinking that they are going to be watching to see who they have with a 1st round grade that slips into the 2nd round.”

    They’ll be watching all right, but the problem with this strategy this year is it’s a math game, and this is a bad year for the numbers.

    Let’s say in a normal draft year you give 28 guys “1st round grades”. Okay, then the odds of one of those 1st-round grade guys dropping to the 2nd round are pretty good, especially if there are a few “upsets”, like Oakland taking Darius Heyward-Bay. With a few “upset” selections, a guy you have a 1st round grade on could slip into the 2nd.

    Now let’s look at this year. How many guys in this year’s draft have a 1st round grade? It has to be less than most years. That’s the consensus I see anyway. So let’s say it’s 20. How many “upsets” do you need to have a guy with a 1st round grade drop into the second round? A lot more than you need with 28 1st-round graded guys. Odds of a guy with a 1st round grade dropping into the 2nd round? Lower. By a lot.

    But the advantage this draft has, according to the “experts”, is that it’s a deeper draft. Which should translate into a more guys with 2nd, 3rd and 4th round grades. More of those guys available means you want to spend your draft currency in those rounds.

    We have 10 picks. If we’re smart, we’ll be packaging picks in later rounds to move up in the 3rd and 4th to grab guys we like who probably won’t fall all the way to our spot. This is the kind of draft where you have opportunities aplenty to pick up a guy with a 3rd round grade who falls into the early 4th round. You like him, he’s high on your wish list, so you package, move up, and get a 3rd round guy for a 4th round selection.

    I’m interested to see how Schneider and PC play it. There should be quite a bit of movement this draft.

  25. ChrisHolmes says:

    “Avril and Irvin lining up at LB has to be a bunch of smoke. Irvin doing anything other than pass rushing seems unlikely.”

    Maybe, but I kind of doubt it. Look at Irving. Just looking at his body style, he looks like a rush LB to me.

    That doesn’t mean he plays LB. It means he rushes from a LB position on obvious passing downs.

    If you’re Seattle, and Clemons comes back from the ACL, you have to find a way to get Clemons, Avril, Bennett and Irving on the field for obvious passing situations. That’s a pile of heat coming. Now, they can’t all play DE, and they can’t all move to the inside.

    I can see Avril and Clemons playing the ends, Bennett moving inside, and Irving rushing from a LB spot where they can move him around a bit. He has great speed, so playing a bit off the line shouldn’t hurt him much. And if Seattle moves him around, teams are going to have to account for him.

  26. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Ya know… if you had Irvin and Avril lined up as LB’s, you could run some 46 defense… that could scare some people.

  27. Interesting note that Carp may be the strongest guy on the team. Not totally surprising, with his build. He could be a real boost (almost like an addtl high draft pick) if he stays healthy and plays up to expectations this year.

  28. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Well pdway – just to be negative for no reason – Carp was a high draft pick – him playing like a high draft pick wouldn’t be that big a boost…

    He was supposed to be our 10 year RT, but now he’s our often injured LG. Probably the worst Shneidaroll pick yet – and that’s a compliment! Getting a starting LG at pick 25 is a solid pick – but I think they hoped for more…

    I think these guys are 4 for 4 on 1st round picks (Okung, Earl, Carp and Irvin [and Harvin - call it 5 for 5!])

    Better than Ruskell – Spencer, Jennings, [Deion Branch, ugh], Lawrence Jackson and Aaron Curry – that’s a big O-fer.

  29. I know, Hawk, that’s all true. Just hoping that we get something from what has kind of been nothing to date. Seems like he’s got the potential to improve our G position if he can stay on the field.

  30. raymaines says:

    I think there will be more rookies on the 53 than some of you guys do. I’m thinking six, maybe even seven. The extras will come at the expense of some second contract guys that may be a little better, but significantly more expensive than a rookie.

    This is all part of the moving puzzle that is the roster, and how there will be enough money to keep superstars like Richard Sherman and RW who are now on their first contract.

  31. C-Holmes – you’ve outlined a wicked scenario with Clem, Irvin, and Avril all rushing the QB on a passing play, however I think it would only work on 3rd and 20. NFL minds would find a way to exploit the flat or middle or where-ever Irvin lines up.

    IMO, Irvin was strictly one dimentional in 2012. I hope he develops, however saw him as a huge liability in the Falcon game against the run. Also, I can’t imagine he has much pass coverage skill.

    Sorry if it seems like I’m trying to shoot holes – that’s not my intension. My point is there’s no way JS is going to show his cards on how personnel will be used, and I’m HOPEFUL he drafts some versatile LB talent. That’s why I think the Irvin and Avril LB banter is just that.

  32. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Wisc – Interestingly, Irvin was a DB in high school. Not saying that means he has amazing cover skills… but its a data point.

    He got to JuCo late, and didn’t have time to learn the coverage schemes. So they just stuck him at DE and said go get the QB. Rest is history…

  33. ChrisHolmes says:

    Good to play Devil’s Advocate.

    That said, 3rd and long was our Achilles Heel last season. So I can see the coaching staff coming up with ways to use Irving to free him up and get him to attack the QB from positions other than DE.

    And we’ve seen, in the NFL, defensive linemen drop into zone blitz schemes and pick off hot reads and short routes. I’m not sure Irving needs to become a well-rounded versatile linebacker in order for him to become a serious threat weapon on defense as a part-time stand-up rusher. If he’s rushing the QB 75% of the time from a LB position, how good does he really have to be the other 25% of the time in coverage?

    And even if Seattle chooses to use Irving as a LB on some downs, I still think he’s primarily a DE.

    But is there harm in creating situational looks that give our guys an advantage? I mean, let’s say you put Avril, Clemmons and Irving on the field at the same time just for 3rd and long. Maybe it’s not a defensive look you give a lot; but if you use it three times a game and it comes up with big stops in crucial spots, or better – turnovers, isn’t it worth it to invest some time in that set?

    We have some pass rushers. I’m excited to see how PC and Co. implement them.

  34. bbnate420 says:

    Yes, it’s unlikely that 10 picks make the 53. Not to mention UDFAs. But you never know. And it could easily be argued that having more players come in gives you a better chance of finding some good players. If you trade up and only take 4-5 players, then you better get it right with those players. I’m not against trading up to get a player, but I don’t see them only leaving themselves with 5 or less picks.

    For reference, 9 of the 10 2012 draft picks made the 53. Toomer, the 10th, made the PS. 6 of the 9 2011 draft picks are still with the team. So is Baldwin, who was an UDFA. 6 of the 9 2010 draft picks are still with the team. And yes, I know the Hawks’ roster is in a different position now. But they have 53 roster spots AND 8 spots on the PS. I keep hearing people only mention the 53. Regardless, it’s totally impossible to say how many draft picks can make the team at this point. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s April and injuries happen all the time. This is the NFL. Also, we should all know by now that PC/JS are capable of picking some guys that will come in and shock everyone.

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