Seattle currently has 10 draft picks come April and that is where Schneider and Carroll have found the most success. It's not so much the early-round selections that have paid off — although Thomas and Russell Okung in the first-round in 2010 created a sturdy foundation — but the picks in the later rounds that have proved valuable.
The Seahawks grabbed starting strong safety Kam Chancellor and all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman in the fifth round; outside linebacker K.J. Wright in the third round; right guard J.R. Sweezy in the seventh round; and of course, what turned out to be Seattle's greatest steal, Wilson in the third round last April.
Carroll said with the depth already on the roster, it will be difficult for some of those draft picks to make the team.
"What's going to be hard is for the 10 guys that get drafted to make this team," he said. "That's what I think the challenge is, and that's how much I believe in these guys. I think they're going to come back ready to go."
Because there are so few free agents to deal with this offseason, the Seahawks may start looking ahead to the next offseason — 2014 — when a number of key players can become free agents. Among those whose contracts expire after next season: Chancellor, Robinson, receiver Doug Baldwin, cornerback Brandon Browner, right tackle Breno Giacomini, guard Paul McQuistan and receiver Golden Tate.
But being in that position of looking head is a luxury for Seattle thanks to the work already done.
"The key is the guys that are the nucleus of our football team always growing and us always developing and seeing how we can all get better individually, but also collectively," Wilson said.
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