Holding the fewest picks of any NFL team, the Seahawks currently are slated to make three selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Only one of those picks, No. 56 overall in the second round, comes in the first 100 picks.
Given general manager John Schneider's background, Seattle will likely look to trade down at least twice to recoup additional picks. But if the team sits pat or only trades down a few spots, he has a pretty solid track record of finding quality players in the second round during his time at the helm.
Revisiting Schneider's previous 11 drafts, which position groups have yielded the best results? And which ones haven't been as successful?
Schneider has used three second round picks on receivers, selecting Golden Tate in 2010, Paul Richardson in 2014, and most recently DK Metcalf in 2019. Tate overcame a slow start to his career to become a key contributor for Seattle's Super Bowl XLVIII title squad, catching 109 passes for over 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns in his final two seasons with the team before evolving into a perennial 1,000-yard receiver in Detroit. While injuries prevented Richardson from reaching his potential, he still had one season with over 700 receiving yards and six touchdowns before leaving as a free agent. As for Metcalf, he has shattered the franchise record books in his first two seasons, including breaking Steve Largent's single-season mark for receiving yardage last year. Only 23 years old, he already has eclipsed 2,200 receiving yards in his first two seasons and earned the first of what should be many All-Pro selections in 2020.
In terms of quantity, Schneider has only drafted one linebacker in the second round, but it's safe to say he hit a home run in terms of quality with that lone pick snagging Bobby Wagner out of Utah State. Becoming an immediate starter, he has produced 100 or more tackles in each of his nine NFL seasons, racked up 22.5 sacks, and produced 55 passes defensed and 10 interceptions in coverage. Widely regarded as the best all-around linebacker in the sport, he has earned six First-Team All-Pro nods and seven Pro Bowls in a seven-year span. Set to turn 31 in June, Wagner looks to have plenty of gas left in the tank as he continues his surefire Hall of Fame career.
Hit and Miss
When it comes to drafting defensive tackles overall, Schneider has had a checkered track record regardless of round. But that's especially been true in the second round, where he used selections on Jarran Reed in 2016 and Malik McDowell in 2017. Reed, who was acquired after trading up in the second round, eventually evolved from a run stuffer into a quality all-around starter, producing 115 tackles and 19.0 sacks from 2018 to 2020. But while his selection turned out to be a good one, McDowell never played a single down for the team after suffering undisclosed injuries in an offseason ATV accident. He has tried to make a comeback several times, but remains out of the league, making his pick arguably the worst of Schneider's tenure.
Though the pick was heavily criticized by many fans due to domestic violence charges that led to his dismissal from Michigan's football program, Frank Clark turned into one of Schneider's better second-round choices. Emerging as one of the best pass rushers in the NFC, he broke out with 10.0 sacks in a reserve role in his second season and eventually racked up a career-high 13.0 sacks in 2018. Unable to afford him, Seattle traded the talented defender to Kansas City for a first-round pick and future second-round pick, which ultimately helped the team trade up to draft Metcalf. Schneider's other pick at the defensive end spot - Darrell Taylor - missed his entire rookie season recovering from surgery to repair a broken leg. The organization remains hopeful he will become an impact player rushing off the edge in future seasons, but that's obviously not the start anyone envisioned.
As evidenced by Seattle's long-standing issue trying to improve pass protection for Russell Wilson, the team hasn't necessarily done a good job drafting offensive linemen over the years. With that said, while neither of Schneider's two second-round picks at the position group became stars by any means, Justin Britt and Ethan Pocic each earned second contracts and offered positional versatility. Britt opened his career at right tackle, moved to right guard the next season, and eventually found a home at center, starting 54 games from 2016 to 2019. Pocic battled injuries in his first three seasons and looked to be a busted pick, but once Britt departed, he finally returned to his natural center position in 2020 and played well enough to warrant a one-year contract to return.
If not for McDowell, who never had a chance to show what he could actually do on the field due to his accident, Christine Michael would easily be Schneider's biggest second-round miss. After a dominant performance at the NFL combine where he put his freakish athleticism on full display, Seattle drafted the Texas A&M product believing he would eventually replace Marshawn Lynch. But despite his obvious physical tools and potential, Michael never found his groove and seemed to spend more time on the ground than actually running, rushing for just 915 yards in 26 career games spread out over two separate stints with the Seahawks. He bounced around with the Packers and Colts before washing out of the league and most recently played in the XFL.