JIM MOORE

Moore: Ranking Seahawks’ 10 NFL Draft classes under John Schneider

Apr 9, 2020, 11:03 AM | Updated: 11:13 am
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, LB Bobby Wagner...
There's no topping the Seahawks' 2012 draft class. (Getty)
(Getty)

In two weeks, John Schneider will participate in his 11th NFL draft as the Seahawks’ general manager, which got me to thinking. Why not assess how he’s done in his first 10 drafts by ranking them in a top 10?

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So that’s what I did. Your rankings might differ from mine, but I think we can come close to agreeing on one thing – Schneider’s first three drafts from 2010-12 were his best, and they’re pretty far ahead of the rest. And I think we’d agree that Schneider should never take a wide receiver in the fourth round again since all four fourth-rounders – Kris Durham in 2011, Chris Harper in 2013, Kevin Norwood in 2014, and Gary Jennings in 2019 – failed to meet even the smallest of expectations.

Here’s how I’ve rated Schneider’s draft classes, with the rounds that each player was chosen in:

10. 2013

2) Christine Michael, RB
3) Jordan Hill, DT
4) Chris Harper, WR
5) Jesse Williams, DT
5) Tharold Simon, CB
5) Luke Willson, TE
6) Spencer Ware, RB
7) Ryan Seymour, OG
7) Ty Powell, DE
7) Jared Smith, DT
7) Michael Bowie, OT

The Seahawks did not have a first-round pick in 2013, and their first selection of Christine Michael was a complete bust and a curious one since Marshawn Lynch was in his prime at the time. Luke Willson was the best pick of the draft, but he was never more than a complementary player. Spencer Ware was in Seattle for one year and had one good season in Kansas City, rushing for 921 yards.

9. 2014

2) Paul Richardson, WR
2) Justin Britt, OT
4) Cassius Marsh, OLB
4) Kevin Norwood, WR
4) Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB
5) Jimmy Staten, DT
6) Garrett Scott, OT
6) Eric Pinkins, S
7) Kiero Small, RB

Justin Britt is the only player from this draft that has stood out, but it took two changes of position before he became a quality starter at center after playing tackle and guard. Paul Richardson, the top choice in another year in which Seattle did not have a first-round pick, has been a decent NFL receiver and is currently a free agent.

8. 2016

1) Germain Ifedi, OT
2) Jarran Reed, DT
3) C.J. Prosise, RB
3) Nick Vannett, TE
5) Quinton Jefferson, DT
6) Joey Hunt, C
7) Kenny Lawler, WR
7) Zac Brooks, RB

Jarran Reed is the best of this less-than-stellar bunch. Quinton Jefferson played well enough in Seattle to get a good free-agent contract in Buffalo this year. Germain Ifedi started all year at right tackle in 2019 but no one thought much of him, including the Bears, who signed him to a minimum one-year deal in free agency and plan to move him to guard. C.J. Prosise never panned out because of injuries. Joey Hunt filled in nicely for an injured Britt in 2019. Nick Vannett, as a third-rounder, was supposed to be a better player than he is.

7. 2019

1) L.J. Collier, DL
2) Marquise Blair, S
2) DK Metcalf, WR
3) Cody Barton, LB
4) Gary Jennings, WR
4) Phil Haynes, OG
4) Ugo Amadi, DB
5) Ben Burr-Kirven, LB
6) Travis Homer, RB
6) Demarcus Christmas, DT
7) John Ursua, WR

You might quibble with the 2019 draft being seventh in the rankings, and I’ll give you that it’s too early to tell. DK Metcalf is certainly the star of this class, but L.J. Collier could be a bust in the making. Gary Jennings has washed out already. Marquise Blair was not good enough to replace Bradley McDougald in 2019. Maybe that will happen in 2020, maybe not. Based on the Seahawks’ history in drafts, I’m guessing we won’t remember most of these names 10 years from now.

6. 2018

1) Rashaad Penny, RB
3) Rasheem Green, DE
4) Will Dissly, TE
5) Shaquem Griffin, OLB
5) Tre Flowers, DB
5) Michael Dickson, P
5) Jamarco Jones, OT
6) Jacob Martin, DE
7) Alex McGough, QB

When a punter, Michael Dickson, is the best player, you can’t call it a great class or even a good class. But it’s a class that still features a middling starter at right cornerback in Tre Flowers and a promising tight end in Will Dissly if he can stay healthy. Same goes with Rashaad Penny, who showed encouraging glimpses before getting hurt last year. Jacob Martin had a fairly good season for the Texans after being part of the Jadeveon Clowney trade.

5. 2017

2) Malik McDowell, DL
2) Ethan Pocic, OL
3) Shaquill Griffin, CB
3) Delano Hill, S
3) Naz Jones, DL
3) Amara Darboh, WR
4) Tedric Thompson, S
6) Mike Tyson, S
6) Justin Senior, OT
7) David Moore, WR
7) Chris Carson, RB

Shaquill Griffin turned into a Pro Bowler at left corner last season, and Chris Carson became an unlikely No. 1 running back as the 249th pick overall. David Moore has been better than you’d expect for a seventh-rounder. But the rest of the class has been really disappointing, especially at the top with Malik McDowell never playing a down after suffering a serious injury in an ATV accident. Amara Darboh was apparently overdrafted, and everyone’s waiting for Ethan Pocic to justify his selection in the second round. Delano Hill and Tedric Thompson were projected to be the starting safeties someday, but that day will never happen.

4. 2015

2) Frank Clark, DE
3) Tyler Lockett, WR
4) Terry Poole, OG
4) Mark Glowinski, OG
5) Tye Smith, CB
6) Obum Gwacham, DE
6) Kristina Sokoli, DT
7) Ryan Murphy, DB

This class has three solid starters in Frank Clark, one of the best pass-rushers in the league; Tyler Lockett, who’s a premier receiver; and Mark Glowinski, a starter on one of the NFL’s top offensive lines in Indianapolis. But none of the others in the class amounted to much if anything. This class by the smallest of margins edged out the 2017 class.

3. 2011

1) James Carpenter, OT
3) John Moffitt, OG
4) K.J. Wright, LB
4) Kris Durham, WR
5) Richard Sherman, CB
5) Mark Legree, S
6) Byron Maxwell, CB
7) Lazarius Livingston, DE
7) Malcolm Smith, LB

Richard Sherman was a fifth-round choice and became a future Hall of Famer at left cornerback. K.J. Wright has been a mainstay at linebacker for nine years. James Carpenter has bounced around but is still a starting offensive lineman in the league. And Byron Maxwell was a good replacement for Brandon Browner in the Legion of Boom. Plus Malcolm Smith was a Super Bowl MVP.

2. 2010

1) Russell Okung, OT
1) Earl Thomas, S
2) Golden Tate, WR
4) Walter Thurmond, CB
4) E.J. Wilson, DE
5) Kam Chancellor, S
6) Anthony McCoy, TE
7) Dexter Davis, DE
7) Jameson Kong, WR

Earl Thomas will be in the Hall of Fame after spending most of his career as the last line of defense in the Legion of Boom. Russell Okung has been an above-average starting left tackle for a decade. Kam Chancellor was the hardest-hitting strong safety in the league before injuries ended his career. And Golden Tate has carved out a nice career as a receiver.

1. 2012

1) Bruce Irvin, DE
2) Bobby Wagner, LB
3) Russell Wilson, QB
4) Robert Turbin, RB
4) Jaye Howard, DT
5) Korey Toomer, LB
6) Jeremy Lane, CB
6) Winston Guy, S
7) J.R. Sweezy, DL
7) Greg Scruggs, DE

When you find a franchise QB and a future Hall of Famer in the third round, your class trumps all others no matter what. And you have another bonus in Bobby Wagner, who will probably be a Hall of Famer too. Bruce Irvin returns this season to boost the Seahawks’ pass rush, and J.R. Sweezy is a converted defensive lineman who will be a starting offensive guard again this year in Arizona.

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