Fann Mail: Predicting how many draft picks the Seahawks will end up with in 2021

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Joe Fann
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Fann Mail: Predicting how many draft picks the Seahawks will end up with in 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The 2021 NFL Draft is just two weeks away, and everyone in Seattle is eager to see how John Schneider utilizes the three selections at his disposal. More specifically, everyone is curious how many picks he ends up with by the end of the draft.

Let’s start there in this week’s mailbag. Thanks, as always, to those who asked questions.

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I think I’m going to go with six. Schneider and the Seahawks are in a tough spot because while it would be nice to accumulate additional selections by trading back, Seattle can’t afford to pass up on players they covet. Moving too far back from pick No. 56 would be unwise in my opinion because that’s the team’s best shot at landing an immediate impact player.

Don’t be surprised to see the Seahawks give up a 2022 pick in order to gain an extra selection this year.

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This is a great question because you’re right, it does feel like a foregone conclusion that Schneider will try to trade back in the second round. To me, the Seahawks would have to feel like they can land Duane Brown’s eventual replacement at left tackle or a can’t-miss center in order stay at No. 56. Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg would be a name to monitor for the former and Creed Humphrey would qualify as the latter.

Syracuse corner Ifeatu Melifonwu would be awfully hard to pass up on as well.

My guess is that there won’t be a receiver left in the second-round that the Seahawks felt like they couldn’t live without but the injury history of Purdue’s Rondale Moore’s makes him a candidate for a potential draft day fall.

To reiterate, it makes total sense why Seattle would want to move back from No. 56, I think it would be risky to move back too far.

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I don’t think it’s perception as much as it is a reality that the Seahawks have drafted poorly in recent years. The number of misfires in 2016-18 is why Seattle has had to acquire veterans via trade like Quandre Diggs, Carlos Dunlap and, most notably, Jamal Adams. I wrote about the team’s underwhelming draft classes at length back in March.

Trading for veterans in order to keep the roster competitive is why Seattle has just three picks in this year’s draft. That puts immense pressure on Schneider to be more precise with his limited 2021 draft capital. That being said, don’t expect an overhauled draft strategy from the Seahawks. Schneider and Pete Carroll surely have confidence in their ability to scout players and aren’t likely to be too deterred by their recent failures.

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It feels inevitable that Antonio Brown will end up with the Seahawks. Russell Wilson wanted him last year, and likely is pushing Seattle to sign him again this offseason. Golden Tate and Danny Amendola are other potential options left on the free agent market.

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The Seahawks had an all-time great defense and a budding star quarterback on a rookie contract during the “Legion of Boom” era. That will never be easy to replicate, but it becomes harder when that quarterback starts making $35 million and damn near impossible when you draft as poorly as Seattle has of late. This upcoming season might be the Seahawks last chance during the Russell Wilson era to get over the hump again and return to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 2014.

Seattle has undoubtedly made some quality moves this offseason, signing the likes of Gerald Everett, Carlos Dunlap and Kerry Hyder while trading for Gabe Jackson. But is it enough in a loaded NFC West? That remains the biggest question.

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The Seahawks utilized 12 personnel much more frequently in 2020 at 28%, which doubles the amount they used two tight end sets in 2019 (14%). There’s no reason why that percentage should dip in 2021 with Everett, Will Dissly and fourth-round pick Colby Parkinson. That trio is expected to be featured heavily no matter who else Seattle brings in at receiver. The team’s usage of 12 personnel could creep up to 30%, but I doubt it would go much higher than that. Philadelphia and Tennessee led the NFL last season with 35% of snaps run out of two tight end sets.

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I think it’s fair to already be wondering how Jamal Adams’ contract situation is going to play out. What Seattle does with Adams is the biggest storyline currently facing the team, just ahead of the uncertain futures of K.J. Wright and Richard Sherman.

Here’s a look at Seattle’s options with Adams and why it could make sense for the Seahawks to trade the star safety. It has been radio silence from the team and from Adams’ camp in regard to whether or not any negotiations are currently taking place.