Doubling up

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s always good to have more than one first-round draft choice. But it’s an even better deal this year.

That’s the opinion of Charley Casserly, the former general manager of the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans who now works for the NFL Network. Casserly is in town this week to participate in the cable channel’s coverage of the scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“This is the best first round I’ve seen since 1983,” Casserly said Friday. “In talking to general managers throughout the league – decision-makers – it’s the result of two things.”

It’s a convergence zone that has created what Casserly calls “a perfect storm.”

As he explained it, “Last year, I believe there was a concentrated effort to keep players in school. Conversely, obviously both sides in the labor negotiations have talked about a rookie wage scale. So when you have those two things working – players without a motivation to stay in school and players who stayed in last year – you’ve got … probably the best junior crop you’ve had all the way back since ’83.”

The Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are the only teams with double picks in the first round – the Seahawks at No. 6 and No. 14, and their NFC West rivals at No. 13 and No. 17.

“The biggest impact (of the uncapped year) is the fact that you’ll see teams not dramatically improve on the personnel side,” Casserly said. “If you’ve got extra picks, this is a great year to have the extra picks.

“Teams, a year ago in making trades, had this in mind when they were acquiring picks.”

The Seahawks got the No. 14 pick from the Denver Broncos in a draft-day trade last year, while the 49ers got No. 17 in a deal with the Carolina Panthers.


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