The NFL Combine is not just about the players and their performance. To up the intrigue around the event, the NFL customarily performs their coin-flip for teams that ended up tied for Draft position. It just so happens that this year, the Seahawks are one of those teams.
Seattle finished in a dead heat with Kansas City this year - same records and same strength of schedule - so the league will flip a coin to determine who picks 11th, and who picks 12th.
As Peter King of Sports Illustrated pointed out Tuesday:
The NFL will hold a coin flip to break ties at two draft positions Friday at the Westin Hotel in Indianapolis, where the league office is headquartered at the combine. Carolina and Miami went 6-10 last year, with a strength-of-schedule winning percentage of opponents at .504 (foes of each went 129-127). So they'll flip to see who picks eighth; the loser, obviously, chooses ninth in the first round. Same deal for the 11th and 12th picks -- the Chiefs and Seahawks went 7-9 last year, and their foes went 131-125. So they'll flip too. It's not a franchise-altering deal, certainly, but it is important.
The difference in one spot on the draft trade value chart -- the chart most teams use to divine value when making draft-day trades -- between picks that high is 50 points. That's roughly the equivalent of a mid- to low-fourth-round pick on the chart. And with this draft expected to have lots of very close valuations between post-Luck and -RGIII players at the top, the winner of each flip could lead to a valuable chip when the first round goes off April 26. Example: Let's say Kansas City and Seattle both want Iowa tackle Riley Reiff at No. 11. Seattle wins the flip. And let's say there are other suitors for Reiff. Seattle could move down one spot, with the Chiefs, for a third- or fourth-round pick, or seven spots, with tackle-needy San Diego, for something significantly better. Just something to keep your eye on in the two months before the draft.
The point King brings up is valid - a difference between 11th or 12th is potentially a pretty big deal. If teams are going by the Draft Value Chart so often cited in past seasons, that 50 points (low fourth round pick) seems pretty major. However, in an article written by NFL.com's Albert Breer today, Breer brings up the idea that the old Jimmy Johnson draft value chart is becoming obsolete with the new CBA, where the pay scales and rookie contract limits make first-round picks less risky.
...A newer school of thinking is starting to take hold in some front offices, where the draft-value chart that was developed by Jimmy Johnson is becoming obsolete. Instead of there being rigid values, now, it appears, supply-and-demand dictates the power of each selection more than ever before.
"It's, 'Where am I gonna get an explosive player who's gonna make a difference?' I think (Falcons' GM Thomas Dimitrioff, who traded the house to move up and select Julio Jones) was saying, 'I have depth, I can do this,' " said a second NFC GM. "You do have a bunch of teams that stick to the value chart. But I really think that's because of all of you (in the media) have it, so you can all say they didn't get it right. And then you have a bunch of us who say, 'I don't give a (crap) about that'. I use the chart as a resource, but not as a bible."
Whether or not the difference between 11th or 12th ends up being a big deal remains to be seen, but it's just one more thing to watch this weekend during the Combine. The coin flip takes place at 4:00AM PST on Friday.
For more on the Seahawks, head over to Field Gulls.