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Percy Harvin and the cost of moving up

By Brady Henderson

Acquiring Percy Harvin in a trade with the Vikings last month cost the Seahawks this year's first- and seventh-round picks as well as a third-rounder in 2014.

That was a lot to give up, especially for a team whose current regime has valued draft picks and shown an ability to find star players with those picks.

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The Seahawks thought trading for Percy Harvin made more sense than moving up in the draft to take a receiver. (AP)
General manager John Schneider wouldn't disagree. But as he said when the team introduced Harvin and again when he joined "Bob and Groz" this week, trading for Harvin made more sense than trading up from the 25th pick to draft a player with a similar skillset.

"We really looked at where we were with the 25th pick and just thought that for us to get a difference-maker like this we were going to have to move [up] at least five to 10 spots ... in order to acquire a player that may have a chance to be a Percy Harvin," Schneider said.

"So in order to do that, you're giving up at least a third-round pick, maybe a second-round pick."

The draft-pick value chart backs up the latter contention, assuming the Seahawks would indeed have had to move up to get the player they wanted.

According to the chart, moving up five spots to No. 20 would have a value that falls right between the 92nd and 93 overall selections, which are both late in the third round. The difference between pick Nos. 25 and 15 is equivalent in value to the 57th overall pick, which is late in Round 2.

With that in mind, we can look at the trade another way: Seattle, with its sights set on a difference-making receiver, gave up picks in the first, third and seventh rounds for a known commodity as opposed to spending a first-round pick and potentially trading a second or third to draft an unproven player. The latter scenario would have saved the Seahawks a seventh-round pick, leaving them with five in all.

Of course that player, while unproven, would have been significantly more cost effective given the rookie wage scale and the $67 million extension the Seahawks gave Harvin. And Harvin comes with some health-related uncertainties of his own.

The move to add Harvin was a bold and risky one, no doubt. But to Schneider and the Seahawks, it made more sense than the alternative.

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