Seattle's John Schneider wants draft pick that won't back down

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider never wants to get specific about who the team might draft, but he will say that mental toughness is a major factor for any player the Seahawks consider.

“There’s no golden wand or anything to find out what they have in their heart and what’s going to drive them and what’s going to be their passion,” Schneider said. “You have to be able to have all the information you possibly can have in order to [determine it].

“We’re going to sit down with our sports psychologist after this [interview session] and talk through a number of guys we have a lot of questions on. We need to figure out if they are going to do exactly what you’re talking about.”

Schneider sat down Wednesday afternoon for his annual pre-draft conversation with reporters.

The Seahawks have a league-high 11 picks for the NFL draft that starts April 30 and continues through May 2. They do not have a first-round pick as it stands now, sending their first pick to the New Orleans Saints (along with center Max Unger) in the deal to acquire tight end Jimmy Graham.

“We didn’t feel like we would be able to get a player of Jimmy’s caliber with the 31st [overall] pick,’’ Schneider said, which is why the trade was worth it to the Seahawks.

Now they have to try to find players with the confidence to show they are good enough to shine on a team that has reached the last two Super Bowls. Schneider made his point by using the Legion of Boom -- Pro Bowl players Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman.

These [draft picks] have to have certain characteristics to be able to sit in the room with Earl and Kam and Sherm,” Schneider said. “You have to have some unique qualities to be able to complete with those guys.

“And the same is true on the offensive side for receivers going against those guys. They can’t blink. They can’t back down.”

That’s the bottom line for Schneider and coach Pete Carroll, finding players who won’t back down.