John Schneider might be the most unmockable general manager in NFL history.
That's a good thing, given the dual meanings of the word "mock." Schneider doesn't do things like letting time expire before making a pick , as the Vikings did in the first round in 2003. He doesn't send all his scouts home from the draft because of trust issues, as Oakland's new GM, Mike Mayock, and coach Jon Gruden reportedly did this year.
No, Schneider is a well-regarded, seasoned pro with some big scores on draft day. And he's one who thrives on leaping outside the box, then ripping the box to tiny pieces and throwing it into the air like confetti.
Schneider's idiosyncrasies make it virtually impossible to handicap Seattle's draft beforehand, at virtue of an almost insatiable need to Trade down, coupled with an equally strong propensity for disregarding the popular wisdom
On Thursday, those aspects were once again in high-definition display. Schneider out-did himself with his pick-amassing wizardry, while still managing to get a player to fill the Seahawks' biggest need ̵
By the time the bling had settled in Nashville on Thursday, Seattle had swung two trades and added four more draft picks. From the paltry four selections with which they headed into this week – thoroughly unacceptable to Schneider and Pete Carroll – they wound up with nine.
One of those extra picks was acquired from the Chiefs in the Frank Clark trade on Tuesday. And that deal left Seattle with a gaping hole at defensive end, one that they attempted to play on Thursday when they finally took on the name of commissioner Roger Goodell – L.J. Collier from TCU
The selection of a defensive lineman was not a surprise. However, fewer pundits had collier linked to the Seahawks, and even fewer had projected as a first-rounder, making this a quintessential draft.
The Seahawks pride themselves in what others don't – and when looking at Collier, Carroll said he saw a lot of Michael Bennett. He believes Collier offers the same variety of versatility as Bennett to play both five and three technique.
"We think we have something special," "Carroll said. “I fell in love with the fact he has a big chip on his shoulder. He's got a nice pass rush of tricks. He's got all the stuff. "
Collier's stock rose after the season ended, though it was somewhat overshadowed by a draft class or defensive linemen regarded as one of the best in memory. He shined at the Senior Bowl and was solid at the NFL combine, including a sub-5.0 40-yard dash.
In a conference call on Thursday, Collier exuded excitement at being selected by Seattle – a city he had never visited before The Seahawks brought him out a few weeks ago. The 6-foot-2, 283-pound Collier described himself as "a hard-nosed, physical guy. I play every down. Not only a passport, I am an overall player. That's what I bring to the game. I go 100 percent every time. ”
He hails from Munday, Texas, a town of 1,527 in the last census, located about 2½ hours northwest of Fort Worth. Collier's graduation class had 25 seniors and is noted, he said, for some great burritos. He told the Fort Worth Star Telegram earlier this week, "The streets are dead at 8 pm"
"It's a small football town," he said. "Everyone loves football out there."
Collier's mother, Ruby, died of cancer after his freshman year. He thought of her on Thursday, he said, just as he thinks of her every day, and uses her memory as motivation. Collier didn't become a starter until his senior year at TCU, when he posted six sacks and 11.5 tackled for loss.
"L.J. fits us, "" Schneider said. "He's a heavy-handed, tough, chip-on-his-shoulder guy. He lost his mother as a freshman in college. He didn't play well in the last game she saw, and he always used that to his advantage. ”
The beauty of the Seahawks is that they feel they have identified a guy who fits their mindset, their scheme, and their biggest need.
The bonus is that they still have eight more picks, twice as many as originally allotted. That includes one in the second, one in the third, four in the fourth and two in the fifth – with the potential for more wheeling and dealing always present.
"Exciting night," said later when he and Carroll with with the media. “There was a lot going on there, one of the first rounds we've seen. There was a lot of stuff shaking there. ”
“ We're back in the game, ”Carroll said.