Seahawks make promise for rapid draft riser's floor in the first round

Nobody's NFL Draft stock has skyrocketed more in recent weeks than Texas' Byron Murphy II.
John Schneider, Seattle Seahawks
John Schneider, Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

When I wrote the other day that my Atlanta Falcons could potentially take Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II at No. 8 overall, I couldn't believe what I was writing. All along, I thought Atlanta would take either an edge rusher or a cornerback with the No. 8 pick. I assumed Murphy would be coming off the board a bit later to the Cincinnati Bengals picking at No. 18 or the Los Angeles Rams at No. 19.

Now, it seems as though Murphy's floor has been set. Apparently, the Texas star has been told by the Seattle Seahawks that he is not going to slide past them picking at No. 16. Seattle general manager John Schneider always does things differently. The Seahawks have usually been picking in the second half of the first round, so he has had to find value with those picks that others may not see.

What this does for Murphy is it creates a market for teams like Cincinnati, Los Angeles, possibly even Seattle, to trade up. In a way, it may weirdly justify the Falcons taking him at No. 8. Raheem Morris wants his own version of Aaron Donald in Atlanta. The other driving force behind him going even that high is we have no idea if the Chicago Bears picking at No. 9 will stay put and select a wide receiver.

For now, we can safely say Murphy has gone from a first-round lock to a probable top-16 selection.

Texas could have multiple first-round picks this year if wide receiver Xavier Worthy is a top-32 pick.

Seattle Seahawks set Byron Murphy II's floor at the No. 16 overall pick

Everybody is looking for the next Donald. Right now, the best player in the game who checks that box is Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones. He was the reason why they repeated as Super Bowl champions. Although he is all-world now, keep in mind he was even more under-drafted than Donald. Jones was a second-rounder out of Mississippi State. Donald was a first-rounder out of Pitt.

This is one of those position groups that is hard to figure out. While the recently retired Fletcher Cox was a first-round pick out of Mississippi State, Grady Jarrett was a fifth-round pick out of Clemson, and his father Jessie Tuggle was a perennial Pro Bowler for Atlanta in the 1990s! This is proof that the NFL Draft can be a total crapshoot at times. It is why having the right general manager matters a ton.

For my money, there are few general managers who extract more value out of their draft selections than Schneider. He has built a career on this. He knows exactly what he wants on defense. While Seattle has a new head coach in Mike Macdonald, defense is the side of the ball he favors. It may be different without Pete Carroll roaming the sidelines this year, but Seattle can never be crossed off.

If Seattle values Murphy that much, other teams in need of defensive help should look at drafting him.

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