Here’s a look at how GM John Schneider has done adding talent for Pete Carroll through eight years:
First round (B)
Picks: LT Russell Okung, FS Earl Thomas, OT James Carpenter, LB Bruce Irvin, OL Germain Ifedi, RB Rashaad Penny.
Summary: Thomas has carried this group, becoming one of the league’s elite defenders. 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. Penny was a role player his rookie year.
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.
Summary: 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). Reed quickly became a mainstay and showed unexpected pass-rush ability with 10.5 sacks in 2018. 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 fare very well once he got into the lineup in 2017 or 2018.
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.
Summary: Wilson and Lockett were stellar picks, and Griffin became an immediate starter in 2017. Vannett did well when given his chances, especially in 2018. 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 did nothing in his first two years, but both still have a shot to join Delano Hill from that 2017 class and do something.
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.
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. Thurmond was oft-injured and also was suspended for four games in 2013. Turbin was a solid backup before being released in 2015. 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, then was traded in 2017. 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 was cut late in 2017. He became a stalwart for the Colts in 2018, though. Thompson played almost entirely special teams as a rookie before stepping up and starting 10 games in 2018. Dissly was off to a great start as a rookie in 2018 before his season ended in Week 4.
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.
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. 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. 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 started every game. Griffin played mainly special teams his first year, and Jones was injured all season.
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.
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 2016-18. Tyson didn’t stick, and Senior was a wasted pick. Martin helped the pass rush a little as a rookie.
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.
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 a 1,000-yard season in his second year.
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: 9. Grade: C): 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 otherwise has been hurt. Collins came on late as a rookie but was let go in 2017 camp. Penny was overdrafted in 2018, when Carson came back from injury to lead the way.
WR (Picks: 9. Grade: B): If Doug Baldwin counted, this grade would be much higher. The best pick has been Lockett, who rebounded from a 2016 broken leg and hobbled 2017 to have a breakout season in 2018. Tate didn’t develop until his third season, and the Hawks missed on fourth-rounders Durham and Harper and traded Norwood after one year. Richardson finally stayed healthy in 2016-17 and turned in some awesome plays when he got his chances, earning a big contract. Darboh couldn’t stay healthy in his first two years and was replaced by fellow 2017 draft pick Moore in 2018.
TE (Picks: 5. Grade: B+): 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. Vannett had a bigger role in 2018, especially after standout rookie Dissly was lost for the season.
OL (Picks: 18. 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 Pocic did not. Sweezy was an unlikely success as a DL/OL convert and returned in 2018, usurping Pocic at left guard.
DL (Picks: 18. Grade: C-): The Seahawks were horrible at drafting defensive linemen until they decided to start using high picks — second-rounders on Clark and Reed in 2015 and 2016 and a third on Jones in 2017. Clark didn’t play much as a rookie, but he has tallied 33 sacks the past three seasons. Reed has been stellar inside. Jones was good as a rookie but needs to rally from a disappointing 2018. 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.
LB (Picks: 8. 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.
DB (Picks: 17. Grade: B): It’s no surprise that Carroll’s favorite position is the Seahawks’ strength. They have built their defense from the back up, turning out three Pro Bowl players. They had a four-year dry spell at this spot until picking Griffin in the third in 2017. Thompson emerged ahead of Hill in 2018, if only because Bradley McDougald was better as a strong safety, but both 2017 picks factor in the future. Flowers had a nice rookie year as a fifth-round starter and should pair with Griffin for the next couple of years anyway.