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Should the Seattle Seahawks trade up in the 2014 draft?

Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

When the Seattle Seahawks traded their first round pick in the Jimmy Graham trade, it appeared much of the intrigue was lost for the team in the 2015 NFL Draft, which begins on April 30.

If everything holds as is, the Seahawks will not make a selection in the first round of the draft, lessening the chance that Seattle could add an immediate impact talent. However, there are several reasons why the later rounds will still be interesting for the Seahawks.

Seattle has 11 picks in this draft following the announcement of compensation selections, the most of any team in the NFL. Given how John Schneider and Pete Carroll have typically excelled in the mid and late rounds, the quantity of picks is more important than having a high selection.

There’s also a need to hit on some players who are ready to contribute in a major way by year two, if not year one. The Seahawks need more depth on both lines quickly and should also consider looking at a long-term starting No.2 cornerback if they believe Tharold Simon isn’t the future.

As the team hasn’t got much out of the 2013 class (and 2014, but it’s still early), at least compared to the years before, this draft will be particularly critical. However, one more factor could even be in play.

The Seahawks have been more keen in recent years to trade down and acquire more picks rather than move up for better players at the expense of selections. This year, there could be a scenario where trading up makes some sense.

Seattle has been rumored to be interested in polarizing wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham for much of the draft process and attended his pro day. It’s unclear where exactly Green-Beckham might go, but he’s probably not going to fall to the Seahawks at the end of the second round.

If Green-Beckham falls into the second round, and there’s a good chance he will, the Seahawks could still be in play. Green-Beckham is a tremendous raw talent that could justify spending an extra pick.

At 6-5 237 pounds with 4.4 speed, Green-Beckham is a rare athlete with the kind of physical ability that few can match. He’s got a massive catching radius and great hands, making him a very difficult cover in the red zone.

It’s off-the-field issues that are going to keep Green-Beckham from going in the first round in all likelihood. Green-Beckham was kicked out of Missouri for two marijuana offenses and a more serious allegation of an alleged role in a burglary, and declared for the draft before playing a down at Oklahoma.

That has left many questions about Green-Beckham and many teams aren’t going to even consider him at this point. It’s also impacted his play on the field, as Green-Beckham is still very raw, undeveloped and needs a ton of work against physical cornerbacks.

Carroll and the Seahawks won’t shy away from a player due to character concerns and are one of the few teams who will likely consider giving Green-Beckham a chance. There’s a huge chance that Green-Beckham might bust completely, but he will be the most talented player on the board if he makes it to the mid-second round.

It wouldn’t make much sense for the Seahawks to trade up into the first or early second to grab Green-Beckham, as they have needs elsewhere. If Green-Beckham slides into the 45-50 range and the Seahawks can get him for the No. 63 pick plus one of their three first rounders, they should seriously consider making a move.

The addition of Graham lessens the need for Seattle to add a big wide receiver, but the position should still be considered a need in this draft. A core of Graham, a successful Green-Beckham, a healthy Paul Richardson and Doug Baldwin in the slot would make Seattle a very dangerous offense in the near future.

Seattle has other needs, particularly at the interior offensive line, so addressing receiver with its first pick may not be the best plan of action. If the Seahawks can grab free agent Stefen Wisniewski or see a lineman they like that can be grabbed in the third round or later, moving in on Green-Beckham would make some sense.

Any team that drafts Green-Beckham will have done extensive interviews with him. If the Seahawks dig around a bit and believe they can help him with off-the-field trouble, Green-Beckham could be had at a low cost relative to his talent level.

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Nathaniel Reeves

Nathaniel Reeves is a journalism student at the University of Washington, currently covering sports for The UW Daily in addition to Sports Out West. He has been closely following Seattle sports his entire life.
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