Who has been the best first-year Seahawk?

Dec 7, 2017, 10:12 AM | Updated: Dec 11, 2017, 10:06 pm
seahawks, duane brown...
Pro Bowl LT Duane Brown joined the Seahawks as part of a midseason trade in October 2017. (AP)

The Seahawks’ active roster currently has eight 2017 NFL Draft picks, a handful of free agents, and another three players acquired via trade. Through 12 games, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk wondered: Which of those players has been the best first-year player so far for Seattle?

Wyman Football 101: Sheldon Richardson makes his presence felt

After running a very scientific poll, Brock Huard and Mike Salk were surprised by the results of the more than 5,000 fans who voted.

“The answer is obviously Duane Brown,” Mike Salk said. “There’s not even room for debate here as far as I’m concerned.”

Brown was one of four choices offered to 710 ESPN Seattle listeners Wednesday – though he didn’t come out on top for voters. The winner of that poll was rookie cornerback Shaquill Griffin (45 percent of the vote), followed by Sheldon Richardson (32%), Brown (16%) and Bradley McDougald (7%).

“Here’s the thing: my opinion on this is short and sweet,” Salk argued. “The offensive line was by far the worst thing on this football team. It was the only conversation we’ve had for at least two and-a-half years. They traded for Duane Brown; it’s no longer a problem. It was that simple. All they had to do was acquire Duane Brown and now the offensive line is fine… (he) changed the entire offense.”

The offensive line jumped from 30th  in the league in pass protection to 8th following the addition of Brown, according to Pro Football Focus. Quarterback Russell Wilson was under pressure almost 40 percent of the time earlier this season; that number has dropped to 22.8%.

Huard gave fans the benefit of the doubt, noting that it’s easy to select a rookie when considering first-year impact, and Griffin has been especially impressive. However, he also agreed that Brown should be the uncontested pick.

“You’ve been looking for that guy to dominate on the field and off the field. You’ve been looking for it since Max Unger left here. And now you’ve found a guy that by all accounts, from the head man down – and you ask anybody there in that building on a daily basis – the dude just has changed the dynamic.”

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

Seahawks Geno Smith...
Brent Stecker

ESPN’s Riddick: Gap between Seahawks’ Geno Smith, Drew Lock is ‘Grand Canyon-esque’

ESPN's Louis Riddick explained to Brock and Salk why he doesn't think the savings that going with Drew Lock at QB would outweigh Geno Smith's production for the Seahawks.
1 day ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic J.P. Crawford...
Brent Stecker

Dipoto: How differences for Mariners will help Kelenic, Crawford

Jerry Dipoto explained how newfound depth for the Mariners will relieve pressure in 2023 for both Jarred Kelenic and J.P. Crawford.
1 day ago
Mariners Evan White...
Brent Stecker

Dipoto: What Mariners’ expectations for Evan White are in 2023

Evan White won a Gold Glove for the Mariners in 2020 but has struggled to stay healthy since. Jerry Dipoto provided a look Thursday at his status.
2 days ago
Seahawks Marcus Davenport...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard: How this draft class’ strength can help Seahawks in free agency

Because the 2023 draft is loaded with pass rushers, Brock Huard says there's history to show the Seahawks can take advantage in free agency.
3 days ago
Seahawks Ohio State Dawand Jones...
Brandon Gustafson

Seahawks Draft: All-American Dawand Jones an OL to consider

If the Seahawks want to add another big guy to their offensive line in the draft, Brock Huard likes Ohio State's Dawand Jones.
4 days ago
Seahawks draft Julius Brents...
Brandon Gustafson

Seahawks Draft: The CB who could be this year’s Tariq Woolen

Kansas State's Julius Brents is a cornerback in this NFL Draft class who is in the mold of Seahawks star Tariq Woolen, Brock Huard says.
5 days ago
Who has been the best first-year Seahawk?