Schneider Draft Tendencies Position and round

Written by: Brian Nemhauser

Seattle owns eleven picks in the upcoming 2015 nfl draft. No team has more. How They use them will Determine just how long thEy can remain An elite team.

John Schneider burst onto the NFL scene in 2010 with a banner draft that included two Pro Bowl players withO his first two picks. Golden Tate's ascension to Pro Bowler in Detroit made that three straight for Schneider. He would later add another Pro Bowl talent with Kam Chancellor in the fifth round of that draft. Both safeties selected, Chancellor and Earl Thomas, have risen to All-Pro.

Schneider added another All-Pro in 2011 when he chose Richard Sherman in the fifth round. He then blew the doors off in 2012 with a franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson (3rd round), another All-Pro in linebacker Bobby Wagner (2nd round), and three additional players who became starters. That's how a team goes from bullied to bully in just three years.

Schneider added three All-Pro players, three Pro Bowl players, and sixteen total starters in his first three drafts as the Seahawks GM

Plenty of people will try to project what Seattle will do in the draft this year, and even more will attempt to grade their selections after they are made. Schneider has made both tasks nearly impossible. Anyone who tries to anticipate his picks based on what other teams do is wasting their time. A better plan is to examine what he has done, and look for telling patterns.


Seattle has made 48 total draft choices since 2010. Most people expect the Seahawks to pick a center this year after losing Max Unger in a trade. That would be the first time Schneider applied a pick to that position. It is the only position besides kicker and punter the Seahawks have not picked in Schneider's tenure.

The Seahawks have been decidedly slanted toward defense in their selections as well. Twenty-seven of their forty-eight picks have been used to draft defenders. The twenty-one offensive picks includes players like J.R. Sweezy who were defensive players in college, but drafted to play offense. There are also some possible tells in where different positions have been selected.

John Schneider Seahawks draft picks by position and round

Offense early, defense late

Eight of twenty-one offensive picks (38%) were made in the first three rounds. Just four of twenty-seven defensive picks (14%) were made in those rounds. The hit rate on those defensive picks has been basically 100%, with Bruce Irvin, Wagner, Thomas, and Jordan Hill. The early offensive picks have been more hit and miss with the likes of James Carpenter, John Moffit, Tate, Paul Richardson, Wilson, Okung, Christine Michael, and Justin Britt.

Receivers early, corners late

Schneider has used two second round picks on wide receiver and three fourth round picks.

Seattle has never drafted a cornerback before the fourth round while building the league's most fearsome secondary

Six total cornerbacks have been selected since 2010. Three, including recently rich Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane were taken in the sixth round. Two, Sherman and Tharold Simon were fifth round choices. Just one, Walter Thurmond III, was taken before the fifth round, and he was taken in the fourth.

The team clearly needs some depth at that position, and the league is more likely to value the types of players the Seahawks used to have to themselves, so Seattle may need to expend earlier draft capital at this position than in previous years.

Offensive tackles early, guards late

The Seahawks have selected three offensive tackles in the first three rounds. Carpenter was drafted to be a right tackle, even though he washed out at that position and eventually became a guard.

Only Moffit was selected before the seventh round at guard. Seattle has real need along the interior line, but history indicates Seahawks fans may need to wait until the final day, and maybe even the final round, before adding depth there. Tackle, on the other hand, may get earlier attention. If it does, the future of Okung in Seattle becomes far more questionable.

First three rounds start

Schneider has made twelve picks in the first three rounds. All but Michael have become starters for at least part of their careers. Nine of the twelve started during their rookie years. This has been due partly to good selections, but also because Seattle has a tendency to address needs early. Moffit, Carpenter, and Britt started more because their was nobody better on the roster than because their skill demanded playing time.


Schneider earned a lot of trust with his unconventional and wildly successful early drafts. His last two have been less outstanding so far. He must exit this draft with at least one eventual Pro Bowl player and at least three of starting caliber.

His history indicates Seahawks fans should expect early picks to be made on offense, likely either at tackle or receiver. Defensive tackles and linebackers come in the middle rounds, and corners, guards, tight ends, fullbacks, and rush end projects late.

Created By
Brian Nemhauser
Created with images by Marianne O'Leary - "2009 NFL Draft Stage" • crazyad0boy - "Montara Crossroads 2"

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