RENTON, Wash. -- Pete Carroll walked into Oklahoma's pro day and was swarmed with hugs and fist-bumps from Sooners players.
Same thing happened at Florida. At Texas. At Notre Dame.
This spring, more than for any draft in team history, the Seattle Seahawks have an ace card that trumps a scout's secondhand assessment of a player's character and background.
Other draft boards have estimations and anecdotes. Because of his time spent as the cultivator of the nation's top football talent at USC, Carroll has firsthand knowledge of many of the draft prospects' upbringing, their family -- heck, even their Twitter accounts.
But will familiarity breed draft success in this turning point in franchise history?
Schneider said he's open to trading down. "Two players for one. Your odds are higher," he said. "And we do have needs."
The Seahawks need a left tackle to replace Walter Jones, who likely will retire. They need a dynamic running back. A pass rusher. A defensive tackle. Offensive linemen.
A lot has changed since 1999 when Carroll last prepared for a draft as an NFL coach.
Scrutiny of and information on prospects have grown exponentially because of the Internet and round-the-clock television coverage. Social networking was something people did at a bar when Carroll, 58, was last a pro coach.
Yet Carroll said he will draft players for the Seahawks the same way he recruited them to USC: Immediately get the ones he believes can play for his team. Leave long-term development for the losers.
"Perspective-wise, I am much different than I was (before) as an NFL coach," Carroll said. "John is pumped because he knows that I look at guys coming into this program as guys that should play right away and should be directed to get on the field immediately. That is what we are attempting to do. It is exactly how we did it down south (at USC).
"Every guy that we bring in, we are looking at them like he is playing for us until he can't. It's a little different way of looking at it (from) before."
Carroll said this draft and its opportunities for the Seahawks were key factors in his decision to leave USC in January, to return to the pros and have final say on all of the team's personnel matters.
"There are a lot of names -- a lot of names -- we have recruited and played against. And some of the guys, we know them intimately," Carroll said, referring to this year's draft pool. "And I'm not talking about the guys from SC. This is from other schools because we competed so hard in recruiting some of the really best guys in the country."
"We certainly feel comfortable with a number of them," he said. "Hopefully we can cash in on that."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press