The Seahawks acquired Marshawn Lynch via trade today in a deal that will cost a 2011 4th round pick and a conditional 2012 draft choice. So how does this leave the 2012 draft following another big trade? Seattle still possesses it’s own selections in rounds one, two, five and seven. The third round pick was spent on Charlie Whitehurst and the sixth rounder on Kentwan Balmer. In addition, the Seahawks acquired a conditional pick from Baltimore for Josh Wilson which could rise to a fourth round selection. The Lawrence Jackson trade brought in a 6th round choice from Detroit to replace the one spent on Balmer. Seattle also gained a conditional 2011 pick for Seneca Wallace after he was traded to Cleveland in March. The deals involving Rob Sims and Darryl Tapp brought in 2010 draft picks that have already been used. Tyler Polumbus was traded to Seattle for what is believed to be a late round pick in 2012.
A lot to take in then right? It just goes to show how busy the Seahawks have been since Pete Carroll and John Schneider arrived in Seattle. Simply put, the Seahawks may end up with a full quota of picks (rounds 1-7) aside from the third rounder spent on Whitehurst. The worst case scenario would likely mean owning two fifth round choices instead of a 4th and a 5th, depending on the Josh Wilson deal. Seattle may also gain a compensatory pick for losing Nate Burleson in free agency. Taking that into consideration, spending a fourth round pick on a running back that is 24 years old and has been to Pro Bowls could be deemed a risk worth taking.
But what else have we learnt here? For starters, this is a regime not afraid to make deals. Some trades have worked (moving Tapp for Chris Clemons appears to be a master stroke, Seattle even got a 4th rounder out of the deal) whilst others haven’t (moves for Kevin Vickerson and LenDale White – both since cut). Whilst the front office continue to piece together the team’s identity, I suspect they’ll keep making moves. It’s a pro-active approach. Some teams wouldn’t dream of coughing up draft picks – and Seattle’s value in the 2010 draft late on proves the potential is there to get starting caliber players in the later rounds. However – the Seahawks cannot afford not to be pro-active. Drafts alone will not a great team make and it makes greater sense to invest in younger talent that has stalled rather than invest huge sums of money in ageing veterans during free agency like the previous regime.
The move for Lynch also stresses the importance Pete Carroll and his staff have placed on the running back position. Is this an attempt to find a quality runner without spending the big money in round one? Or is this a sign that perhaps if given the opportunity, they may well consider investing in a stud like Mark Ingram next year?
It’s interesting also that they feel better quality at running back was needed rather than solving other issues within the game plan. Perhaps if Lynch fails to generate a productive ground game, it’ll only stress the Seahawks’ need to stretch the field a little more – either by improving at receiver or by using/signing a quarterback who can get the ball downfield. Whilst ever the offense is relying on short-range passes of no more than 10-15 yards maximum, opposition defenses will only have a short area to cover – making it very difficult to create running room whoever carries the rock.
The Lynch trade could indirectly open up debate as to what the Seahawks need to do next April and what prospects they may target.