For the fourth time in their history, the Seahawks sat out the first round, but the team that ousted them in the playoffs, Atlanta, jumped up to take UW’s Trufant.
What Seahawks GM John Schneider described as “the most unique draft” in his experience produced a largely drama-free first round Thursday, made more so locally by the Seahawks resisting any compulsion to jump up from their second-round pick, 56th overall — only the fourth time they’ve sat out the first round.
“It’s very hard for us to say who the top five players are in this draft,” Schneider said last week. “We know who we think they are, but when you look at this draft . . . it’s the most unique draft, and I’m not just saying this because we don’t have a first-round draft choice this year.
“Now the closer that we’ve gotten with this thing, it’s kind of stood out that the first round is just a wide variety of players that’s really going to be your favorite flavor of ice cream.”
A most unusual flavor was Central Michigan, which produced the draft’s No. 1 choice in Eric Fisher, taken by the Kansas City Chiefs — the first of three offensive tackles taken in the first four picks.
The round had only one quarterback chosen, E.J. Manuel of Florida State, by Buffalo with the 16th pick, and no running backs, which hasn’t happened since 1963.
The most noteworthy local news was the selection of Desmond Trufant, Washington’s All-Pac-12 cornerback voted the team’s most valuable defensive player, taken 22nd by Atlanta — the 20th Husky drafted in the first round.
The most recent was quarterback Jake Locker, who went No. 8 to Tennessee in 2011. In the last three drafts, the Huskies had two players in each, but it’s unlikely another will be taken in the final six rounds this weekend. Rounds two and three will start at 4 p.m. Friday, and the final four beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Falcons, who beat the the Seahawks in the playoffs last season, lost three cornerbacks in the off-season and were desperate for help. To get Trufant, Atlanta moved up from 30th to 22nd by swapping picks with St. Louis, and giving Rams their third- and sixth-round picks.
Trufant, from Tacoma’s Wilson High, started 47 games in his four years at Washington. He has two brothers in the NFL, Marcus (11 years) with Seattle and Isaiah with the New York Jets (three years), although Marcus, the 11th overall selection in the 2003 draft, is not expected back.
Desmond Trufant’s only interception last season was a big one, thwarting Stanford late to season the outcome in the Huskies’ biggest win. Trufant had a big game in the Senior Bowl, nd enhanced his draft chances with a strong pro day performance at UW.
The Seahawks’ heated NFC West rival, San Francisco, made a move. Eager to replace former Huskies star Dashon Goldson, who left in free agency, filled the immediate need by taking LSU strong safety Eric Reid. The Niners moved up to 18th by trading their No. 1, 31st overall, as well as their third round (74th pick), to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Niners began the day with a league-high 13 picks in the draft, so have 11 to use over the final six rounds. The 49ers have veteran safety Donte Whitner in his final yeasr of his contract, and added Craig Dahl in free agency. The Seahawks have 10 picks.
Besides Trufant, three other Pac-12 players were taken: Oregon DE Dion Jordan, No. 3 by Miami; Oregon G Kyle Long, No. 20 by Chicago, and UCLA DE Datone Jones, No. 26 by Green Bay.
The most notable players who went unselected were Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o, USC QB Matt Barkley and West Virginia QB Geno Smith.