Danny ONeil

Hawk Talk highlights: Is OL or DT a more likely first-round pick?

Andrew Billings of Baylor is among several defensive tackles who could be chosen in the first round. (AP)

Danny O’Neil hosted a live Seahawks chat on Tuesday as “Hawk Talk” continues into the offseason. Here’s the transcript. Highlights are below.

Geezle noted how Tom Cable views most college offensive linemen as projects and asked if the Seahawks are more likely to use their first-round pick on a defensive tackle, which is considered a particularly strong position group in this year’s draft.

O’Neil: It’s impossible for me to say “more likely” simply because I haven’t seen their draft board. The selection of Justin Britt in the second round shows that the team doesn’t entirely discount potential among more proven college offensive linemen. But I think it’s more likely that Seattle picks a position other than offensive line in the first round than it picks an offensive lineman. And that is based entirely off the fact that general manager John Schneider has been really adamant that you don’t let need force a selection.

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Rymong asked if the Seahawks are more likely to trade down in the first round than up given the depth in this year’s draft.

O’Neil: Yes, it’s more likely that Seattle trades down at this point. That’s based on this simple fact: Seattle has entered the draft with a total of five first-round picks under Schneider. It has traded down with two of those first-round picks (moved back from No. 12 in 2012 and out of the first round entirely in 2014). So is it more likely Seattle trades back? I say, “Yes.”

MacHawker brought up Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.

O’Neil: I’d be surprised if Seattle didn’t draft a quarterback in this draft. I think if Russell Wilson had signed an extension last year prior to the draft that Bryce Petty would have been a serious consideration for Seattle. The difficulty was that selecting Petty in the draft last year would have really freaked everyone out.

12 North asked if whatever quarterback the Seahawks draft would slide into the No. 2 spot or if Seattle would sign a veteran for the backup job.

O’Neil: Depends on how advanced the rookie was. I don’t think Seattle would be against having a rookie as the backup.

howker noted that it hasn’t been the M.O. of Seattle’s front office to tip off its draft plans.

O’Neil: Honestly, it takes guts to do that. Here’s why: If you don’t tell anybody who you want, you don’t get the subtle (or blatant) praise after the draft. “The Seahawks got exactly who they wanted in this draft. A+.” I’ll give you an example. Dr. Z — Paul Zimmerman — a long-time Sports Illustrated writer who is a godfather of sorts for NFL coverage, was covering the draft back in the early 2000s. Mike Holmgren told Dr. Z how much he loved Daniel Graham, a tight end out of Colorado. Holmgren said that’s who he really wanted. Well, the Seahawks are on the clock that year, 2002 I do believe, and Graham is there at right about 20. Seattle trades back. Graham goes to the Patriots and Seattle is seemingly stuck with Jerramy Stevens. After the draft, Holmgren mentions that he pulled a bit of misdirection. He said that he had told a reporter his preference for Graham — Holmgren might have even mentioned Dr. Z specifically — but Stevens was the guy he really wanted. Two things never happened after that: Dr. Z never trusted Holmgren’s pre-draft opinions again, and the Seahawks never stopped wishing they had chosen Graham ahead of Stevens.

Nica Hawks Fan asked if the Seahawks view DeShawn Shead as a long-term starter at cornerback.

O’Neil: Long term, I don’t think Shead has the type of top-end speed the Seahawks like in an outside corner. He’s a strong tackler, though.


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