Here’s a look at how GM John Schneider has done adding talent for Pete Carroll through 10 years:
First round (C+)
Picks: LT Russell Okung, FS Earl Thomas, OT James Carpenter, LB Bruce Irvin, OL Germain Ifedi, RB Rashaad Penny, DE L.J. Collier, LB Jordyn Brooks.
Summary: Thomas became one of the league’s elite defenders during his nine seasons in Seattle before leaving in a blaze of ignom. Okung had one good year and four injured ones, and Carpenter (injuries) and Irvin (suspension) both were unavailable at times while also changing positions from the ones they were drafted to play. Ifedi started at right guard as a rookie and had a rough season; he had an even tougher time at right tackle in 2017 before stepping forward under Mike Solari in 2018 and 2019. Penny had a rough rookie year and got hurt in 2019 just as he had become a solid pro. Collier did nothing as rookie but showed some ability in his second year. Brooks came on toward the end of his rookie season in 2020.
Picks: WR Golden Tate, LB Bobby Wagner, RB Christine Michael, WR Paul Richardson, OT Justin Britt, DE Frank Clark, DT Jarran Reed, DT Malik McDowell, OL Ethan Pocic, SS Marquise Blair, WR DK Metcalf, DE Darrell Taylor.
Summary: Schneider has had big hits on five of 12 players in this round, with Taylor still up in the air. Tate took two years to get going and then gave the Hawks two solid seasons of contributions. Wagner has developed into a superstar. The team gave up on Michael after two seasons, brought him back late in 2015 and then cut him midway through the 2016 season. Richardson did little over his first three years, due largely to injuries, before putting together a nice season in his contract year. Britt was a major reach in 2014 and struggled at right tackle and left guard his first two years before finding a home at center in 2016. Clark, a very controversial pick, played well in the D-line rotation (19 sacks in 2016-17) before putting together a great year in 2018 (14 sacks) and being traded in 2019. Reed quickly became a mainstay and showed unexpected pass-rush ability with 10.5 sacks in 2018, but he was suspended for six games in a disappointing 2019 and forced a release after 2020. The Hawks added to the trenches again in 2017, gambling on McDowell and adding the versatile Pocic. But McDowell was a bust and Pocic didn’t do much until he replaced Britt as the starting center in 2020. Metcalf set rookie records in 2019 and turned into a star in 2020. Blair, overdrafted in the second round, showed promise despite little playing time as a rookie, then missed his second season. Taylor, a desperate draft gamble (a big move up for an injured player at a weak team position), didn’t play as a rookie.
Picks: OG John Moffitt, QB Russell Wilson, DT Jordan Hill, WR Tyler Lockett, RB C.J. Prosise, TE Nick Vannett, OL Rees Odhiambo, CB Shaq Griffin, SS Delano Hill, DT Nazair Jones, WR Amara Darboh, DE Rasheem Green, LB Cody Barton, OG Damien Lewis.
Summary: Wilson and Lockett were stellar picks, and Griffin became an immediate starter in 2017 and went to the Pro Bowl in 2019. Vannett did well when given his chances, especially in 2018, but he was traded in 2019. Injuries doomed Jordan Hill and Prosise, and Moffitt and Odhiambo were simply bad picks. Jones took a step back after a good first season, and Darboh was a bust. Delano Hill did nothing in his first two years and then had a horrible 2019. Green stepped up in his second season but struggled with injuries in 2020. Barton showed promise in limited time as a rookie in 2019, but he clearly is a backup. Lewis stepped right in as the starting right guard as a rookie, looking like the best third-rounder since Griffin.
Picks: CB Walter Thurmond, DE E.J. Wilson, LB K.J. Wright, WR Kris Durham, RB Robert Turbin, DT Jaye Howard, WR Chris Harper, DL Cassius Marsh, WR Kevin Norwood, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, OL Terry Poole, OG Mark Glowinski, FS Tedric Thompson, TE Will Dissly, WR Gary Jennings, OG Phil Haynes, DB Ugo Amadi, TE Colby Parkinson, RB DeeJay Dallas.
Summary: Wright, drafted in 2011, has easily been the best player from this round; he received a contract extension late in the 2014 season and has been stellar ever since — turning in one of his best seasons in 2019 and another excellent year in 2020. Thurmond was oft-injured and also was suspended for four games in 2013. Turbin was a solid backup before being released in 2015 (but making a late-season cameo in 2019). Howard was a key player for the Chiefs for a bit. After injury ended his rookie season early, Marsh turned into a special-teams demon in 2015 and a defensive contributor in 2016; he was traded in 2017 and brought back in 2019, though he did not make the team. KPL could not stay healthy and also was dealt in 2017. Glowinski ascended to a starting role in 2016, but he could not keep it and stupidly was cut late in 2017 (one of Schneider’s worst personnel moves). He became a stalwart for the Colts instead. Thompson played almost entirely special teams as a rookie before starting 10 games in 2018. He continued to struggle in 2019 before getting hurt and was gone in 2020. Dissly was off to a great start as a rookie in 2018 before his season ended in Week 4, and then his 2019 season ended after just six games. Schneider should avoid receivers in the fourth round; he has dumped all of them without getting a thing from them. Haynes could not stay healthy his first two seasons. Amadi was a great special-teamer from Day 1 and turned into a solid nickelback in 2020. Parkinson was injured for the first half of his rookie season and then became the third tight end when Greg Olsen was injured. Dallas had to play a lot in a couple of games due to injuries; he was gallant but also showed his inexperience.
Picks: SS Kam Chancellor, CB Richard Sherman, S Mark LeGree, LB Korey Toomer, DT Jesse Williams, CB Tharold Simon, TE Luke Willson, DT Jimmy Staten, CB Tye Smith, DT Quinton Jefferson, RB Alex Collins, LB Shaquem Griffin, CB Tre Flowers, P Michael Dickson, OT Jamarco Jones, LB Ben Burr-Kirven, DE Alton Robinson.
Summary: The fifth round is never a sure thing, but Sherman and Chancellor were the best fifth-round duo in the NFL in their seven years together. LeGree and Toomer did not pan out, and Williams — a smart injury gamble — was never healthy. Simon had a horrid 2014 playoffs/Super Bowl and was always injured; the team finally gave up on him in 2016. Willson was a capable No. 2 tight end until he went to Detroit in 2018 (he returned in 2019 but struggled through injuries). Smith was with the team for only a year. Jefferson spent his rookie year on IR, was cut in 2017 and then brought back and started most of 2018 and 2019. Collins was the fourth running back for most of his rookie year and went on to have a very good season as Baltimore’s top back in 2017. Dickson was All-Pro as a rookie in 2018, and Flowers (a converted safety) started every game in 2018 and 2019. Griffin played mainly special teams his first year but offered some pass rush help late in 2019. Jones was injured his rookie year but showed great promise in relief work at guard in 2019 and 2020 (before getting hurt again).
Picks: TE Anthony McCoy, CB Byron Maxwell, CB Jeremy Lane, S Winston Guy, RB Spencer Ware, OT Garrett Scott, DB Eric Pinkins, DE Obum Gwacham, OL Kristjan Sokoli, C Joey Hunt, DB Mike Tyson, OT Justin Senior, OLB Jacob Martin, RB Travis Homer, DT Demarcus Christmas, WR Freddie Swain.
Summary: Maxwell earned a big contract after starting 17 games and the playoffs in 2013 and 2014; he then returned for the end of 2017. McCoy couldn’t stay healthy. Lane became a special-teams dynamo and solid nickel back, but he had trouble staying healthy and did not live up to the extension the Hawks gave him in 2016. Guy flamed out fast, aided by a suspension in his rookie year. Ware couldn’t stay healthy and also had a DUI, but he played well for Kansas City before getting hurt in 2017. Scott was an unlucky pick due to a heart issue, and Pinkins saw some playing time in 2015. The team kept Sokoli, a major project athlete, in 2015, but he didn’t make it past that. Hunt became the backup center in 2016-19. Tyson didn’t stick, and Senior was a wasted pick. Martin helped the pass rush a little as a rookie and then was traded in 2019. Homer played very well after the three backs in front of him were all injured late in the 2019 season, but he was a non-factor in 2020 (sidelined by injury in the second half). Swain made a few plays as a rookie in 2020.
Picks: DE Dexter Davis, TE Jameson Konz, DE Pep Levingston, LB Malcolm Smith, OG J.R. Sweezy, DE Greg Scruggs, OG Ryan Seymour, LB Ty Powell, OL Jared Smith, OL Michael Bowie, FB Kiero Small, SS Ryan Murphy, WR Kenny Lawler, RB Zac Brooks, WR David Moore, RB Chris Carson, QB Alex McGough, WR John Ursua, TE Stephen Sullivan.
Summary: The seventh round is such a crap shoot, but Schneider has about a 25 percent success rate — with Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, Carson, Sweezy, Scruggs, Moore and Bowie contributing to varying degrees. Carson had turned into the top back as a rookie, until he suffered a broken leg. But he came back with 2,381 yards over the next two years (though he was hurt again at the end of 2019 and had more injury trouble in 2020).
GRADES BY POSITION
QB (Picks: 2. Grade: A): The Hawks traded picks to get Charlie Whitehurst, but Wilson was the only pure draft pick at the position until McGough in 2018.
RB (Picks: 11. Grade: D+): High picks Michael, Prosise and Penny were all busts — and that makes this the worst drafted position in the Schneider era. Even seventh-rounder Carson, the best pick of the lot, has not been able to stay healthy. Turbin was a good backup before he was waived-injured in 2015. Ware and Small didn’t make it. Michael was traded in 2015, brought back amid a roster emergency and then cut during the 2016 season. Prosise showed his skill in a couple of games as a rookie but was hurt throughout his too-long stay in Seattle. Collins came on late as a rookie, was let go in 2017 camp and went on to play well in Baltimore before returning to Seattle in 2020. Penny was overdrafted in 2018 and never stayed healthy. Homer saved the club amid injuries late in his rookie year, but he and Dallas are pure backups.
WR (Picks: 13. Grade: B+): If Doug Baldwin counted, this grade would be higher. The best picks have been Lockett and Metcalf. Lockett rebounded from a 2016 broken leg and hobbled 2017 to have a breakout season in 2018 and his first millennial season in 2019. Metcalf turned into a star in 2020 after a great rookie season. Tate didn’t develop until his third season, and the Hawks missed on fourth-rounders Durham and Harper, traded Norwood after one year and waived Jennings in his rookie season. Richardson finally stayed healthy in 2016-17 and turned in some awesome plays when he got his chances, earning a big contract from Washington. Darboh couldn’t stay healthy in his first two years and was replaced by fellow 2017 draft pick Moore.
TE (Picks: 6. Grade: C): The Seahawks have never drafted an impact tight end. McCoy was inconsistent and then injured a lot until the Hawks gave up on him. Willson was a solid fifth-round backup who was forced into the starter’s role a lot and kept finding his way back to Seattle. Vannett was a solid third-round pick in 2017 who was traded in 2019. Dissly showed promise but suffered gruesome injuries in both 2018 and 2019.
OL (Picks: 20. Grade: C-): The Seahawks just haven’t had much luck (or skill or good coaching) at this spot. Okung was a no-brainer as the sixth pick in the 2010 draft, but he had all kinds of injury issues. Carpenter struggled throughout his time in Seattle, and Moffitt was a horrible pick. Britt finally found a spot (center) where he played pretty well. Ifedi improved under Solari in 2018 but never lived up to his first-round pedigree. Pocic was a bad second-round investment in a busted 2017 draft. Sweezy was an unlikely success as a DL/OL convert and returned in 2018, usurping Pocic at left guard. Lewis started as a rookie and may turn out to be the best line pick in the Schneider era.
DL (Picks: 20. Grade: C-): The Seahawks have been pretty horrible at drafting defensive linemen, with second-rounders Clark and Reed their only real success stories. Clark didn’t play much as a rookie, but he tallied 33 sacks in the next three seasons before being traded to KC. Reed was stellar inside in 2018, had a troubled 2019 and bounced back in 2020 before forcing the team to cut him in 2021. Jones was good as a rookie but then oddly disappeared in 2018 and 2019. Green emerged as a nice rotation guy in 2019 but struggled with injuries again in 2020. As for the other picks, only Hill showed any promise, but the Hawks finally got tired of his injuries. McDowell was a big gamble that blew up in Schneider’s face in 2017. Taylor was a big trade-up gamble that did not pay off in 2020; we’ll see whether he gets on the field in 2021.
LB (Picks: 11. Grade: B+): Wagner has been one of the elite defenders in the NFL for several years, and the always steady Wright was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2016, too. Irvin converted from pass rusher and turned into a decent linebacker before moving on to Oakland and then Atlanta in 2018. Smith was a great No. 3/4 who owns a Super Bowl MVP award. Barton, a 2019 rookie, looked like he could become something, but he was still making mistakes in his second season. Brooks started looking like a first-rounder late in his rookie season.
DB (Picks: 19. Grade: B): It’s no surprise that Carroll’s favorite position is the Seahawks’ strength. He built a historic defense from the back up, turning out three Pro Bowl players from the 2010-11 drafts. He has tried to set up another ace secondary with homegrown picks Griffin, Flowers, Hill, Thompson and Blair, but it has not worked and he has instead switched to veterans (Bradley McDougald, Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams) at safety.