Taking a look at the history of the seven 2017 picks held by the Seahawks illustrates that the NFL draft is a crapshoot.
That the NFL draft is one of sport’s ultimate crapshoots has long been established.
But it’s a realization worthy of a reminder as another draft looms.
A review of the history of the seven picks held by the Seattle Seahawks illustrates well the vagaries of the draft — at each spot there have been a few real hits, but ultimately far more misses. And as only makes sense, the misses grew in percentage with each descending pick. Here’s a look.
The draft begins April 27.
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Seahawks history: Seattle has had just one pick at No. 26 in its history, taking center Chris Spencer in 2005. Spencer was a serviceable player who started 70 games over six seasons with Seattle but is hardly remembered as one of the greats in franchise history. But indicating how little is guaranteed with even first-round picks, the 95 starts Spencer made in his career overall are 15th most of the 87 players picked 26th overall in NFL history.
Seattle went into the draft with the 26th pick a year ago but then traded with Denver to move down to 31 to take OL Germain Ifedi. The Broncos took QB Paxton Lynch.
NFL history: The 26th pick has yielded just one Hall of Famer so far — longtime Buffalo and Cleveland offensive lineman Joe DeLamielleure. Linebacker Ray Lewis, though, may be the best player ever picked 26th overall and will be in the HOF soon.
Other notable 26th picks include Jim Harbaugh and Seahawks Ring of Honor member Dave Brown, who was selected by Pittsburgh in 1975 and came to Seattle a year later in the expansion draft.
Seahawks history: Seattle has picked three players at 58, the most notable being running back Sherman Smith in the team’s initial draft in 1976. Others were DT Dennis Boyd (1977) and OL Bill Dugan (1981).
NFL history: Of 73 players picked here since the Pro Bowl originated in 1949, just 14 have been named to the game. And just one player is a Hall of Famer — defensive back Dick LeBeau (1959). Pittsburgh took cornerback Sean Davis, who started eight games as a rookie, at this spot in 2016. Seattle also has another recent pick at this spot on its roster — cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste, taken here in 2014 by the Saints and then released in 2015.
Seahawks history: Seattle has just one pick at this spot, but it’s as recent as it gets — running back C.J. Prosise in 2016. Prosise showed lots of promise a year ago but also battled injuries, playing just six games.
NFL history: There has never been a Hall of Famer picked here, and just eight of 74 have made it to at least one Pro Bowl. In fact, only two players picked 90th have been named an All-Pro — receiver Antonio Freeman (Green Bay, 1995) and OL Joe Signaigo (Rams, 1948).
Seahawks history: Seattle has taken just one player at 102 — defensive end Mark Bell of Colorado State in 1979. He made two starts in five NFL seasons.
NFL history: The Pittsburgh Steelers made one of the best picks ever at this spot in 1955, taking quarterback Johnny Unitas. One problem — the Steelers cut Unitas before he ever played a game for them. Unitas instead became one of the best QBs in NFL history with the Baltimore Colts.
Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti was also the 102nd pick in 1962. And Washington has done all right with QB Kirk Cousins here in 2012. But overall, only eight of 73 players taken 102nd overall since 1949 have made a Pro Bowl.
Seahawks history: Seattle has made just one pick here — running back Robert Turbin in 2012. That was a fourth-round pick then, but this year it’s a third-rounder as a compensatory selection.
NFL history: The most notable player taken in this spot may be Don Perkins, a six-time Pro Bowler with Dallas in the 1960s. But there’s something of an asterisk needed as he was already signed by Dallas in 1959 to a personal services contract before the franchise began play. Baltimore took him the following year but he was awarded to Dallas when the Colts got a compensatory pick in exchange.
Another notable 106th pick was offensive lineman Norm Evans by Houston in 1965. He went on to a storied career with Miami and then was an original Seahawk, playing for Seattle from 1976-78.
Seahawks history: Seattle has drafted four players here but none ever played in more than 21 NFL games — tackle Matt Hernandez, taken in 1983. The last time the Seahawks drafted in this spot they took receiver Jordan Kent in 2007.
NFL history: Only two of 71 players drafted here since 1949 have so much as made one Pro Bowl — OT Stan Walters (drafted by Bengals in 1972) and QB Wade Wilson (Vikings, 1981). Seattle has one player taken in this spot on its current roster — cornerback Demetrius McCray, selected by Jacksonville in 2013. His 16 career starts are already the 11th most of the 77 players in NFL history drafted here.
Seahawks history: Seattle has never made a selection at 226.
NFL history: Two players taken here have made Pro Bowls — WR Steve Tasker, drafted by Houston in 1985 but mostly known for his years in Buffalo, and tackle Ernie McMillan (Patriots, 1961). Maybe the most notable player taken at this spot was Pat Tillman by Arizona in 1998. Tillman played four seasons before becoming an Army Ranger and then being killed in Afghanistan in 2004.