RENTON — Almost four hours into the draft, the Seattle Seahawks let the air out of the balloon.
Seattle traded the 32nd overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings for a second-round pick (40th overall) and a fourth-round pick (108th overall).
“Yeah, we were blessed,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said. “That’s exactly what we were hoping for.”
Schneider said Seattle had submitted a name to be drafted before finalizing the deal with Minnesota, eschewing four or five other suitors.
The trade was not a surprise. The Seahawks came into the draft with just six picks and looking to gather more. They traded away their third-round pick as part of last season’s trade for Percy Harvin. They traded their seventh-round pick for quarterback Terrelle Pryor in late April.
It also sticks with Schneider’s pattern since becoming Seattle’s general manager in 2010. He’s made 21 trades during the draft since.
This deal gives the Seahawks two picks in the second round, fourth round and fifth round, plus one in the sixth. The second round starts at 4 p.m. PDT today.
Several of Seattle’s possible targets are still available. Offensive linemen like UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo and Virginia’s Morgan Moses were not selected. Pass rushers Demarcus Lawrence of Boise State and Kony Ealy of Missouri also were not drafted. Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro, who has also been linked to the Seahawks, remains an option.
“We have a number of players that were suitable for this pick that we feel will be suitable at 40 as well,” Schneider said.
It was the fifth time in the history of the franchise that it did not make a first-round pick. Seattle did not make a first-round selection in 1985, ‘88, ‘07, ‘13. It was also the second consecutive year the Seahawks did not select in the first round.
Seattle continued its trading relationship with the Vikings. It put together an enormous trade for Harvin last season when the Seahawks sent three picks to Minnesota. A key Seahawks personnel employee—vice president of football administration Matt Thomas—used to work in Minnesota.
Schneider said five or six teams were interested in trading for the 32nd pick. The Vikings selected Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, once thought to be the top overall pick in the draft, with the first round’s final selection.
The Seahawks moved out of the first round while division rivals made significant additions.
For the second consecutive season, the San Francisco 49ers picked a safety in the first round. The 49ers selected Northern Illinois free safety Jimmie Ward. At 5-foot-11 and 193 pounds, Ward is similar in build to Seattle’s Earl Thomas. San Francisco selected Pro Bowl safety Eric Reid with the 18th overall pick in 2013.
The St. Louis Rams picked offensive tackle Greg Robinson of Auburn with the second overall pick. They followed that with the selection of Notre Dame defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the 13th overall pick.
The Arizona Cardinals invested in Washington State strong safety Deone Bucannon, adding to a secondary not far behind Seattle’s.
Schneider joked their draft board would stand as is overnight, as long as a member of the cleaning crew doesn’t erase it. The draft unfolded in front of him as he expected, with prominent names being plucked.
“You saw all those those players at the top everyone is talking about all the time, Schneider said. “We just kind of watched them all go.”
Which means they will have to get to work today.