Here’s a look at how GM John Schneider has done adding talent for Pete Carroll through nine years:
First round (B-)
Picks: LT Russell Okung, FS Earl Thomas, OT James Carpenter, LB Bruce Irvin, OL Germain Ifedi, RB Rashaad Penny, DE L.J. Collier.
Summary: Thomas became one of the league’s elite defenders during his nine seasons in Seattle. 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.
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 D.K. Metcalf.
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) 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. 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. Metcalf set rookie records in 2019, and Blair showed promise despite little playing time.
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.
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, and Barton showed promise in limited time as a rookie in 2019.
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.
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. 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 was cut late in 2017. 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. 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. There is hope for Haynes and Amadi (a great special-teamer).
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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).
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: 10. Grade: B): 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 was always 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. Homer saved the club amid injuries late in his rookie year.
WR (Picks: 11. 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 and his first millennial season in 2019. 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: 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: 19. 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. Jones and Haynes seem promising.
DL (Picks: 18. 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 and then had a forgettable 2019. Jones was good as a rookie but then oddly disappeared in 2018 and 2019. Green emerged as a nice rotation guy in 2019. 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: 10. 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, looks capable of starting.
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. He has tried to set up another ace secondary with homegrown picks Griffin, Flowers, Hill, Thompson and Blair, but he has instead gone with veterans (Bradley McDougald and Quandre Diggs) at safety.