Saturday, 10 April 2010

Why would the Seahawks trade #14?

By Rob Staton
Amongst well sourced speculation this week that the Seahawks would like to choose between Eric Berry and Trent Williams at #6, there was also talk of trading the #14. The idea was to earn a 2011 first rounder and getting something like a 2010 second rounder this year too. Essentially, you are milking a single first round pick over two drafts but running the risk of it being lower than the 14th overall selection. When you own two first round picks, it's easier to gamble moving one of them to next year.

It's unclear which teams, if any, would be interested in such a trade. Teams don't like to cough up first round picks without knowing their true value. It does happen of course - as we saw with Denver and Carolina last year. In hindsight though, the Broncos and Panthers would've been picking considerably higher than the positions they selected Alphonso Smith and Everette Brown. Would a team in the midst of a major rebuild run the risk of losing a valuable pick next year? Are you more likely to see a contender picking later in round one thining they can work out a deal to get a top prospect this year that they won't find later in 2011? We can merely speculate as to who might be interested or what 'extra' they'd give up.

The question perhaps should be - if this is a strong draft - why might Seattle be entertaining the prospect of coughing up the #14? The simple answer would be that there's a prospect/prospects that they're seriously interested in that is approaching their senior year. It's premature, but quarterback could be a position of strength in the 2011 draft.

We all know one name - Jake Locker - who would make sense as an example for the purpose of this speculative piece. Pete Carroll has praised Locker as the 'best' quarterback he ever faced in college. That may or may not be true - especially considering Locker recently helped Washington defeat USC. However, Locker is a local product who will have been coached by Carroll's former offensive coordinator - Steve Sarkisian (now the Huskies Head Coach).

When Charlie Whitehurst was signed - Carroll praised his ability to move around, throw on the run and how much of an athlete he was. He could've been describing Locker - and clearly the new system in Seattle will feature a quarterback who is at least agile enough to run a good boot leg. Perhaps it's all a bit too much of a film script to imagine Locker in Seattle - but let's take the ball and run with it for this piece.

If Locker has the senior year he's hoping for he'll be a favorite to go first overall. Seattle (barring a catastrophic 1-3 win season) will not be selecting that high. Owning two first round picks next year might offer enough ammunition to grab Locker. To use a precedent - San Diego drafted Eli Manning in 2004 but he refused to play for the Chargers (forcing a trade). The Giants drafted another quarterback (Philip Rivers) fourth overall and then traded Rivers, a 2005 first round pick (used to select Shawne Merriman) and a 2005 third round pick (used to select kicker Nate Kaeding) for Manning. Essentially, the total package was two firsts and a third - the standard market for getting a highly rated quarterback via trade (as witnessed in the Jay Cutler deal). Having two first round picks next year would allow the Seahawks to be creative if they felt they simply had to have Locker or anyone else for that matter.

There's a certain element of long term planning involved in such a scenario. Let's say the Seahawks drafted Trent Williams this year. He's still developing and as Kip reported in his excellent Alex Gibbs piece - Seattle's new offensive line coach likes to mould his guys and make sure they're ready. However, the intent is to find your long-term blind side blocker. You have Whitehurst as a potential starter in 2011 who has the physical criteria you want to implement a new system. You can put things in place in preparation for the day you hand over to, potentially, a highly drafted quarterback.

As I've mentioned, this is all incredibly speculative. But if the Seahawks are in a precise rebuilding process it makes trading the #14 more understandable should it happen. You get what you can for it in 2010 but essentially look to recoup a 2011 first rounder. That is of course, if you have that one prospect in mind for next year. Pete Carroll will get time to create his vision. It may not be a quick fix - but the 2010 draft will certainly offer some hints as to exactly what the thought process will be as the new regime look to rebuild this franchise.


Jon said...

The thing that makes this scenario more intriguing is that Jake can use baseball as leverage just like John Elway did back in the day.

I don't really see Jake pulling that move, but it's definitely there if he wants it.

Playstead said...

Interesting thought, but trading a 1st rounder this year because you have your eye on some next year is insane. If that's the strategy of this new regime, then we're screwed.

I do think they will try and move the pick, but just so they can acquire more picks in general as their philosophy is to build through the draft. In a strong draft, it makes sense to get as many picks as you can -- it also gives you more leverage to move a few spaces in any given round if someone you really like is slipping.

Anonymous said...

If this is the strategy, I don't necessarily think that it is just Locker that they have in mind. They could feel that Locker, Mallet, and/or Andrew Luck, or perhaps someone else will all be better than this year's prospects and they want to set themselves up to get one of them. Too speculative for me, but interesting to think about.

A-R-N-F said...

The way Carroll and Schneider drive a hard bargain, I wouldn't expect any more than twelve seventh rounders and a fourth next year. Maybe a few eighth rounders thrown in for good measure.

But seriously, trading back is rarely a bad thing. Trading back to get someone in a future draft is not so smart, but we'd still most likely be getting a decent return even if Locker wasn't available.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they think that this draft is so deep that they will be able to get a player in round 2 who would be a sure 1st rounder most other years.

Anonymous said...

If the Rams draft Bradford than that means most of the possibly horrible teams will have their qb of the future(Tampa, Detroit, Lions). buffalo, chiefs, and the raiders are the wildcards

Kip Earlywine said...

I posted this elsewhere a few days ago, but as soon as I read the rumor about the FO insisting on a future 1st + 2010 2nd in a trade down, I immediately thought of Locker.

A future 1st plus a 2nd is actually pretty terrible value and would normally be considered a bargain to move up from the 2nd to the #14. So the fact that they are insisting on a future 1st even at the expense of value tells me that they believe they'll need that extra first next year to trade up if necessary for a QB.

Kip Earlywine said...

As currency, a future 1st is considered the value equivalent of a 2nd round pick. Last year the #37 and #43 were dealt for future 1sts. So lets work with this, and tangibly say a future 1st is worth the equivalent of the #40 pick.

I think Buffalo is the most likely suitor, since they would like to draft a franchise QB but need a LT worse and will probably go tackle at #9. Their 2nd rounder is the #41. So lets say the Seahawks make the future 1st + 2010 2nd deal with Buffalo.

Buffalo's 2nd rounder is worth 490 points per the NFL draft chart, and the future first is worth an even 500, adding up to 990 points.

The Seahawks #14 pick is worth 1100.

Huh. So its not as bad as I was expecting. If Buffalo tossed in a 4th or a future 3rd, it would be a very even trade.

Michael (NC) said...

Come save us Locker! Bring Luke, John, Matthew and Mark with you!

Please play to win now. There is no tomorrow in life. Nice to have a plan, but next year's QB's are about to get ripped to shreds just like this years did.

All this speculation on Locker is... well, I guess astounding. Perhaps pathetic?

Kip Earlywine said...

The other most like suitor is Minnesota. Washington does not own a 2nd or a 3rd, which would make a deal extremely tough. Cleveland has similar resources to Buffalo, but my gut says Holmgren would rather just take Colt McCoy at #38. Worth keeping an eye on though- Cleveland will obviously draft a QB somewhere. Oakland may show interest, but they lack a 2011 first rounder.

Minnesota: 2011 first + #30 = 1120 pts.

Works out pretty nicely actually. I could see Minnesota and Buffalo being very real possibilities, with Cleveland being the dark-horse.

Kip Earlywine said...

All this speculation on Locker is... well, I guess astounding. Perhaps pathetic?

I wanted a QB LAST year, but if the Seahawks wanted to take Clausen, I don't think they would have traded like their lives depended on it for Whitehurst. Perhaps Clausen's pro day may change that, but we'll see. On that same day, Carroll hinted that the Seahawks were not seriously after Clausen but also said "anyone who wants him has to go through us." Anyway, I don't think drafting a QB this year is terribly likely if that's what your hoping for.

Seahawks draft blog hasn't talked that much about Jake Locker at all, so I'm not sure who you were directing your comment at. Its no secret that Carroll is a HUGE fan of Locker's, and Locker is a perfect fit for Bates. Rob lives in England, and as far as I know is not a UW homer.

As far as the salivating over Locker elsewhere, I can't say its unjustified. He was born like an hour from Seattle, is on the verge of becoming a UW football legend, and as a pure prospect, is one of the best QBs to come out in a really long time. A lot of people think he could have gone #1 THIS YEAR, even though he's still very raw. Mel Kiper recently said this as well:

"If you had to ask me right now who is going to be the number one pick in the 2011 draft, I would say it's etched in stone it's going to be Jake Locker," Kiper said. "You can mark that down. Jake Locker, if he's not the number one pick, it's an upset."

As far as I know, Steve Emtman and Drew Bledsoe are the only state of Washington products to go 1st overall. This type of pub doesn't happen much, so its pretty much to be expected that UW homers and Hawks fans alike are losing sleep thinking about it.

Charles said...

Kip the only problem with the minnesota deal is that their 2011 first round pick would likely be in the bottom half of the first round, probably a playoff bound team if farve returns... so even if we were getting basically 2 first round picks (30 is still a first rounder... barely), its still might not be enough to move up easily into the top 5... next year if we had to.

A-R-N-F said...

I really don't get the amount of hype he gets. He has been getting better, sure, but he still makes mistakes and bad throws. Personally I think way too much of his stock would have been based on potential if he came out this year. I mean, if I could get back all the hair I've pulled out after watching him miss receivers by 10 yards, I would probably look like Charlie Whitehurst. If he proves himself this year and posts a top tier QB season, then he's a bonified first overall. Otherwise he is still far from a can't miss prospect.

And this is comming from a UW grad who grew up 10 minutes from Ferndale.

Btw, anyone else think one of picks we get back would actually be meant for Marshall?

nightwulf said...

From what I've seen, the moves the Hawks have been making this year are not the moves of a team gearing up to make a run at the division crown this year. They look to be stockpiling younger talent that they can mold to the precise needs of the team they're trying to create. I can see them giving this a shot...And I think Locker is most decidedly worth it. Remember, his first 3 seasons at U dub were under Willingham...Look at the difference just one year under a real coach made...I expect him to make even bigger strides this year...The plan may be to get Locker next year, bring back Hass under a reasonable 2 yr contract, just to mentor Locker the way Dilfer did him, with Whitehurst there to fill in any gaps...If this IS the plan, I don't expect much out of the Hawks in "10, '11 or even '12...but by '13, we may have the beginnings of a dynasty...and THAT would be worth the wait:)


This doesn't make any sense at all trading our 14th pick in order to increase our chances for Locker. If Carroll really wants Locker then tank the whole season. That should ensure the first pick overall in 2011.

akki said...

Getting another first round pick for next year seems like a plausible strategy though not necessarily something I'd agree with. Isn't this year already considered well above average as far as quality of entire draft goes? Next year would on average be worse. But anyway to tie such a strategy to Locker, let alone any single player, seems silly.

First, qb projections are really unreliable. You have a situation this year where Bradford was projected to be top overall pick in the 2010 draft as of last summer, and he's still projected to top overall, but that probably happens less than 50% of the time. Circa mid-2006, the 2007 draft was supposed to be the Brady Quinn sweepstakes. The year Carson Palmer came out, the big qb name before that college season was Byron Leftwich. Locker's profile is moving upward, but he still has a long way to go.

Second, we're already in the 2x 1st round pick situation this year. We traded last year's 2nd for a 1st, stunk it up last year, and still don't have enough ammo to trade into #1 without ruining the rest of our draft.

I expect that if we trade down, we may acquire some picks next year, but that would be less about us preparing for next year and more about other teams not wanting to give up picks in this year's draft.

Rob Staton said...

Michael (NC) - I did reference that this is a speculative piece and merely a discussion starter rather than a meaningful statement or prediction. If Seattle did trade the #14 for a 2011 first though, we can certainly speculate to their thinking. People have rightly said it could be just to maximise value out of one pick - especially with this being a deep draft. There isn't a huge drop off from 10-20 to 20-35. However, they might look at prospects available for 2011 (Carroll, more than most, will be absolutely aware of the college prospects hitting their senior year) and feel they'd like those two first rounders next year.

As Kip says, it's not my perogative to discuss Locker just because he's a local guy. I am not a Huskies fan - I am not a fan of any college team. I have no agenda here. The only reason I mention Locker is because - as linked to above - Carroll is a fan, the praise for Whitehurst physically and the relevance to the new scheme/how that compares to Locker and the fact Steve Sarkisian is the coach at Washington.

But, as I freely admit, this is rampant speculation. But it's started a debate.

Steve in Spain said...

I'm delighted if the staff is prioritizing a rehaul of the QB position. I've long advocated targeting one of the two top guys in this draft (Bradford or Clausen) or, failing in that, trade back to acquire additional 1st or 2nd round picks to enable a move for the best QB next year. That all makes sense.

What I don't get and can't get on-board with is the idea of passing on Clausen if he falls to us at #14 or even at #6, just in the hopes of getting a more ideal candidate (Locker) at a more ideal time (after the expiry of Hasselbeck's conract). If a franchise QB like Clausen falls to us, we gotta get him pronto. Move Hasselbeck if you must to clear space on the roster.

QB is the most important position and priority 1 is to get that house in order.

Steve in Spain said...

And as I mentioned on the other thread, a Plan-B option with a high 2011-rounder is WR. If the Hawks can't snare Marshall, Bates may want to target Julio Jones, Michael Floyd or A.J. Green to bring a true #1 WR threat to Seattle's offense.

Steve in Spain said...

OT: Awesome Suh video:

Austin said...

I liked the article and would love to see Locker in a Seahawks uniform next year. After this year most of the horrible teams will have invested in their franchise QB so I'm not so sure its going to be that hard to trade into the top spot or close to it to secure Locker if that is what Seattle wants to do. They might be stockpiling picks so that if a move is made like that they can still rebuild through the draft and not pull a Ditka when he went for broke on Ricky Williams. I also think like it was previously mentioned that netting another 2nd rounder might actually be for Marshall. Either way I'm actually getting more and more confident in Carroll and Schnieder's ability to build a team and it seems like they have a plan. Locker is going to be superstar at the next level.....

Frankfrog said...

With the upcoming rookie cap any one that could play left school last year. This is going to go down in history as the greatest draft ever because of the rookie cap next year. The talent in this year is hard to spot because every possision has talent, how good would Walter Jones look against L-Taylor.
Locker is to stiff and robotic to deal with a pass rush, will bust in the NFL. Worst case is to give up on this year for a guy next year that can't play.
You wan't to improve the team, move to a 3-4 and throw away this silly zone blocking scheme of having 5 TE as you'r O-line.
Zone only works at running the ball in long yardage when a pass is just as likely, you need bigger blockers for pass coverage as we'll.
It's hard to see the seahawks make as many blunders as they have this off season, but if we don't win a single game next year maybe they will start to change to a Patriot, Steelers, Ravens, Denver type roster and scheme. We can only Dream.
Locker is a flawed player maybe Jamarcus Russel is best comparison for what he can do and what he can't. I can't be the only one that thinks Denver is a great model for how to turn around a team am I?

Anonymous said...

If the Hawks draft Berry (or) McCoy at #6 then they would more than likely draft a LT,RB,WR at #14,, If the Hawks draft R. Okung (or) T. Williams at #6 then they will draft WR,S,DT,CB at #14...... This is what I feel but who really knows what will happen come draft day.. As a Faithful Seahawks fan for over the past 22 years I just hope they draft pro bowl caliber player & maybe someday HOF players in the draft...

Austin said...

How can you call Locker a Jamarcus Russel clone? Have you watched much tape of either? Their strengths and weaknesses don't even match up. His ability to move in and out of the pocket is a strength of his not a weakness. I don't think dealing with pass rushes is a concern when breaking down his game.... I'm guessing your a WSU fan hence the hate. There is good reason that everyone sees Locker as a potential elite talent. Also the ZBS isn't only successfull in long yardage situations.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say clone just compared to a nicer comparison would be David Garard or David Carr. Strongish Arm with no control, great straight line speed rumors of a 4.5. Bad pocket presence not going to use his athletics like a Romo, Mcnabb or Hasselbeck would to extend a play.
Best trait stiff arm and 40 yard dash, looks like a Raider to me.
PS: Austin I'm a Stanford guy myself worked their for years. But I don't care who a prospect played for in school.
Jake Locker comp % 51.7
Ryan Leaf comp% 53.8

Austin said...

To be fair though he has had one year with the new staff and the completion percentage is also a product of the talent around him. I respect your thoughts but I truly believe he has the skill set to be a star at the next level and I think he will prove that this year. I did see a guy who was able to extend plays and made plays when the line broke down and he had to do this often. All of this is opinion and thats what makes it fun. Stanford has a pretty good young quarterback as well!

Anonymous said...

I'm half convinced Frankfrog has a vendetta against Locker.
I don't know what year you were watching Locker but last year, there were multiple times where he extended plays (it's not a weakness). His touch (needs to work on the long ball) and mechanics got better as the season progressed and it's overall good. His release is compact and quick.

And no, the rumor of his 40 dash is a 4.4, not a 4.5. As for his weakness, it's mostly experience inside the pro-style offense. His accuracy can be better, but it's decent in the short to intermediate range. His mental-clock could be better and he could have faster reads (experience issue). In all, the flaws of Locker are all very coachable and do remember, he only has one year of experience in the pro offense yet he made a lot of progress.

As for the career completion %, those are biased. 51% doesn't mean anything if the first two years are completely different than the first two due to a different QB coach and offensive system.

Frankfrog said...

I'm glad there is one more year to evaluate Locker, if he settle's down and stop trying the Micheal Vick way to win. I don't like a QB that has to run so much to move the chains, why risk the whole franchise so often?
When you see the highlights he looks like a bigger stronger right handed Steve Young that Adam Scheffter called him in a tweet. The problem is when you watch a whole game not just the highlights he misses chances at big play's by tucking and running too soon. If he learns some patience in the pocket and gain's some accuracy I will be his biggest cheerleader.
My point is that he could be great but a running Qb get hurt to often. Not worth losing out in this super strong draft to trade into next years weak draft for one player you like, who's to say that next years number one team in the draft doesn't take him. He is fast for a QB but not fast for the NFL. I don't think you throw away the franchise for that type of gamble. Bird in the hand worth two in the bush and all that.
Love watching Locker and hope the best for a local boy always, just not going to allow my hope for a local to change my idea's on how to build a franchise. Suh is from Portland Where is the love for Suh? He is going to be the franchise for some lucky team.