The Seattle Seahawks perturbed your benevolent dictator with their draft day trades even though they traded down, earning a “D+” grade for their efforts. All teams start with an average “C” grade and then need to impress me in order to move up. Seattle’s front office simply traded away too much quality for quantity. After untangling all seven of their trades, here is the net of what they did:
Began with: No. 21 (1st), No. 92 (3rd), No. 118 (4th), No. 159 (5th), 6th Rd. 2020
Ended with: No. 47 (2nd), No. 64 (2nd), No. 88 (3rd), No. 120 (4th), No. 132 (4th), No. 142 (5th), No. 204 (6th), No. 209 (6th), No. 236 (7th)
We can break things down even further by removing the picks that have essentially the same value. For example, there is almost no difference in the quality of player available at No. 88 and No. 92. Same goes for No. 118 and No. 120. We can even remove No. 142 (which Seattle got) and No. 159 (Seahawks gave up) to simplify things even further. We can also remove this year’s sixth round pick, No. 209, and the 2020 sixth rounder included in this package. When removing these four trades, here is the net of what Seattle pulled off:
Began with: No. 21 (1st)
Ended with: No. 47 (2nd), No. 64 (2nd), No. 132 (4th), No. 204 (6th), No. 236 (7th)
The ultimate goal of the draft is to land at least one player who can alter the future of your franchise and make multiple Pro Bowls. Good talent evaluators should be able to find this Pro Bowl caliber talent at No. 21, Seattle’s original pick. Between 2004 and 2018 a total of 105 players were selected between No. 18 and No. 24 (Seattle’s No. 21 pick, plus and minus 3) with 23 multiple Pro Bowlers. Seattle ended up with No. 47 after trading down. Over the same timeframe, when looking at players take between No. 44 and No. 50, only 12 became multiple Pro Bowlers.
In Article 1 of TDI’s Glorious Constitution I state, “If you are drafting a stud, DON’T trade down.” If Seattle had confidence in its talent evaluators, they should’ve been able to find a stud at No. 21. It gets exponentially harder to try to do the same at No. 46. Now, they also picked up No. 64, a late second rounder, and No. 132 (4th) as a result of their deals, but talent starts getting watered down too much at that point in the draft when the price you paid to get it was a mid-first rounder.
Despite my surprising negativity for a team that embraced trading down, Seattle could prove me completely wrong here and hit absolute home runs with Marquis Blair (No. 47) and D.K. Metcalf (No. 64). Both of them could become impact players, or perhaps one of the extra late picks they acquired defies the odds and has a solid career. That wouldn’t be shocking, but I’d still rather have one shot at a clear Pro Bowl talent at No. 21.
Overall the Seahawks net trade rating is an abysmal -40 based on the Dallas Draft Value Chart, meaning they gave up significantly more value than they got back in return. I agree.