WYMAN AND BOB
Wyman: Do Seahawks draft well? What their last 12 drafts tell us
With the NFL draft less than two weeks away, I thought I’d look at coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider’s draft choices over the past 12 years with the Seahawks.
I broke down the 108 players they have selected and put most of the players into four different categories. I’d be curious to hear what our readers and people at Seattle Sports think about the lists I’ve made.
There’s a lot good and bad said about the Seahawks’ draft abilities, so I’d say that we should establish what is a fair conversation to have both about the draft choices they’ve made and the players they have selected. For instance, I don’t think it’s fair to agree that the NFL Draft is a “crapshoot” for every team except the Seahawks. So, no calling Richard Sherman or Russell Wilson “lucky” picks while continually calling players like L.J. Collier and Malik McDowell “horrible” picks. It’s a crapshoot!
With that being the case, let’s not forget to compare the Seahawks’ drafts to other teams. Every team has had their sixth-round Hall of Famer and their top 10 pick that washed out. Another thing that may not be fair is to compare all of the Seahawks’ draft classes to Carroll and Schneider’s first three when they had higher picks. As you will see, I have a “Home Run” list, and almost half of the 19 players on that list were selected in those first three drafts.
So let’s break down the “good” lists.
The “good” lists
• Home Runs: Future Hall of Famers and Pro Bowl-capable players (19)
*Players who earned one-name status
• Significant Contributors (30)
• Just A Guy (14)
Ben Burr Kirven
The Flop List (16)
This list includes only players taken in the first f0ur rounds
Seahawks all-time NFL Draft history from Pro Football Reference
The close calls
I’m going to invoke my “in my expert opinion” clause to explain some of players whose inclusions on their lists may jump out.
• I included cornerback Tre Brown and pass rusher Darrell Taylor on the Home Run list because both players are ballers. The End.
• Offensive lineman Germain Ifedi is on the Significant Contributor list because he started all but four games in his four years in Seattle. Yes, he was a first-rounder and no, he never made the Pro Bowl, but he played in over 60 games during his time in Seattle.
• Wide receiver Dee Eskridge and offensive lineman Stone Forsythe, both 2021 draft picks, made the cut because there just hasn’t been enough time and they’re still in the building.
• The Seahawks have made 108 draft selections since 2010.
• 63 total made one of the “good” lists for a .583 hit rate.
• 45 are not on any list for a .416 miss rate.
• 16 of the 45 that I did not list ended up on a “Flop” list. That’s any player taken in the first four rounds that totally washed out of the league.
• Of the 16 on the Flop list there are one first-rounder, two second-rounders, six third-rounders and seven fourth-rounders. That’s three flops in the first two rounds over a 12-year period.
• As a standard, I used 40 games (2 ½ seasons) to determine who made or missed the good lists, excluding recently drafted players (2018-21).
• Of the Seahawks’ 22 draft choices in the last last three years, all but three are still in the building.
• Something else to consider is Seattle’s success with rookie free agent signings. Those players include Doug Baldwin, Poona Ford, Benson Mayowa, Jermaine Kearse, DeShawn Shead, Thomas Rawls and Mike Morgan, to name a few.
As always, when I conduct a study like this I want the numbers to do the talking. I want the truth. But when it comes to evaluating draft choices, it’s very subjective and I love that debate.
After rating and categorizing the last 12 drafts and the 108 draftees, the simple truth is that the Seahawks have won and their draft picks have helped get them there. They’ve made the playoffs in nine of the last 12 seasons, and call me crazy but I’m gonna go with winning as THE standard, and a lot of that is because of their ability to draft well even though the NFL has punished them with draft picks at the bottom of every round.
To me, what is more impressive than the abundance of home run players and solid contributors is the fact that, by my estimation, in 12 years they’ve had just three flops in the first two rounds, and there is still a chance for one of them to play their way off of that list (L.J. Collier).
Does this give me hope in the Seahawks’ ability to draft well in the future, and specifically in a few weeks? It does, and not just because they have a top 10 pick for the first time in over a decade. They paid a pretty penny for that No. 9 overall pick, but as I like to say, the No. 9 pick could get hit by a bus. Being a salty old NFL linebacker, rookies are rookies, and going from college football to the NFL is the toughest transition in any professional sport.
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