Few things are certain about next week’s NFL draft, but this is close to a sure thing: The Seahawks will trade their first-round draft pick.
The Seahawks always trade their first-round pick, and as one GM told Peter King in Football Morning in America, “Only two sure things in this draft: Joe Borrow to the Bengals and John Schneider trades down in the first round.”
Not since 2011 have the Seahawks kept their original first-round pick. And when they trade their pick, it’s always to acquire a veteran player or to move down, never to move up. Here’s what the Seahawks have done with their first-round picks in the last eight drafts:
In 2019, Seattle traded down from 21 to 30.
In 2018, Seattle traded down from 18 to 27.
In 2017, Seattle traded down from 26 to 31, then down again from 31 to 34, then from 34 to 35.
In 2016, Seattle traded down from 26 to 31.
In 2015, Seattle traded its first-round pick to acquire Jimmy Graham from the Saints.
In 2014, Seattle traded down from 32 to 40, then down again from 40 to 45.
In 2013, Seattle traded its first-round pick to acquire Percy Harvin from the Vikings.
In 2012, Seattle traded down from 12 to 15.
Draft trades have been one of the keys to the Seahawks’ ability to sustain success, and trading down is usually the smart thing to do: Many GMs overestimate their ability to scout players, so they pay a premium to move up for one specific player. The Seahawks know that the smart play is to bring in as many good players as you can, not to target one player, so they love to trade down to acquire more picks. And that’s what they’re highly likely to do again next week.