In 40 years, the Seahawks — like all teams — have made their share of irrelevant draft picks. Not these guys. Here's look back at four decades of drafts and the best picks in Seattle history in each round.
The 1976 NFL draft marked not only the first time the Seahawks made a pick but the first time there was an official acknowledgment of the last selection as Mr. Irrelevant.
Not that the two facts are related, even if the Seahawks — like all teams — have made their share of irrelevant picks.
But in this look back at 40 years of Seahawks drafts we come to celebrate only the good, selecting the best pick in Seattle history in each round.
NFL draft, round one begins at 5 p.m., ESPN
One caveat — that 1976 draft featured 17 rounds. A year later it was cut to 12 (which seems fitting), to eight in 1993 and to the current seven in 1994.
Only one of the players Seattle picked in rounds 13-17 in 1976 played in a game: Andy Reid — not the coach but a running back from Georgia who never played for the Seahawks but did for Buffalo.
So we’ll skip those rounds and stick to the more appropriate number of 12. Here are the best picks in each round:
First round: OT Walter Jones, 1997
The Seahawks have had six first-round picks who were named All-Pro at least once and two who are in the Hall of Fame — Jones and Cortez Kennedy (1990). Jones, though, gets a slight nod. He is considered the greatest left tackle of his generation and is in the discussion for the best ever.
Second round: LB Lofa Tatupu, 2005
Someday, maybe even in a year or so, this honor might belong to Bobby Wagner. And some might argue for center Kevin Mawae, a 1994 second-rounder who played in eight Pro Bowls. None of those, though, came in Mawae’s four seasons with the Seahawks. So we’ll side with Tatupu, who as a rookie in 2005 helped solidify a defense that led the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl and played in three Pro Bowls.
Third round: QB Russell Wilson, 2012
Wilson, the 75th overall pick, is as big of a slam dunk as there is on this list. A few honorable mentions are wide receiver Tyler Lockett (2015), linebacker Fredd Young (1984) and linebacker Michael Jackson (1978). A “what-might-have-been” goes to running back Ahman Green, a third-rounder in 1998 who gained 329 yards in two seasons with the Seahawks before being shipped to Green Bay and gaining 8,876 the rest of his career.
Fourth Round: RB Chris Warren, 1990
The Seahawks have drafted only three players in the fourth round who played in the Pro Bowl. Two did it with other teams — kicker John Kasay (a 1994 Seahawks pick) with Carolina and defensive back Larry Whigham (2004) with New England. The third is Warren, who rushed for 6,706 yards, still second in team history. A few years from now, though, linebacker K.J. Wright (2011) might top this list.
Fifth round: CB Richard Sherman, 2011
So here is maybe the toughest choice on this list — do we go with 2010 fifth-round pick Kam Chancellor or Sherman, a fifth-rounder a year later? No other fifth-rounder comes close (though a couple others of note are running back Bobby Joe Edmonds in 1986 and receiver Alex Bannister in 2001, who each made the Pro Bowl as special-teamers). We’d call it a tie, but some might say that is a me-di-o-cre way out. Forced to make a call, we’ll give it to Sherman by a tip of a finger.
Sixth round: DE Michael Sinclair, 1991
Sinclair has the unfortunate distinction of being a great player during the time in Seahawks history when they were not the prime-time attraction in Seattle — the Behring-era 1990s. But Sinclair made three Pro Bowls and had 73.5 sacks in a career that began in coach Chuck Knox’s final season and ended in the last year at Husky Stadium.
Seventh round: S John Harris, 1978
The stats say to give this to Michael McCrary, the 170th overall pick in 1993 who ended up playing 10 years and going to two Pro Bowls. But both were with Baltimore, where his name is on the Ring of Honor. We could also maybe go instead with Malcolm Smith — his Seattle stint also was short but he was the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII. But for sheer production, the nod goes to Harris, who started from 1978-85 and finished his Seattle career with 41 interceptions.
Eighth round: OL Jeff Blackshear, 1993
The pickings start to get slimmer here. The current Seahawks might be glad to have gotten a player in the eighth round — if such a thing existed — as they did in Blackshear, a Louisiana-Monroe grad who started 96 games.
Ninth round: OL Adam Schreiber, 1984
The Seahawks had little luck in the ninth round. But they should have kept Schreiber, a guard who after playing one season as a Seahawk ended up playing 15 more years. He was part of the 1998 Atlanta team that went to the Super Bowl.
10th round: RB Derrick Fenner, 1990
Fenner, who rushed for 2,996 yards in his career, is the best player Seattle took in the 10th round. But no 10th-rounder has had a more lasting Seattle impact than quarterback Sam Adkins (1977) who after five years as a popular backup to Jim Zorn (he was 17 for 39 for two touchdowns in his career) turned his attention to a broadcasting career that exists to this day.
11th round: CB Dwayne Harper, 1988
As might be expected, there wasn’t a real great hit rate of picks made this low. Of the 18 players Seattle selected in the 11th round, only five played in a game, and two appeared in just two games. But Harper was an exception, emerging as a starter his second season and playing 12 years.
12th round: RB Jeff Moore, 1979
Twelve wasn’t a great number in the draft for Seattle. Moore, who was the team’s primary kick returner in 1979 and played six seasons, was as good as it got.