Here’s a look at how GM John Schneider has done adding talent for Pete Carroll through six years:
First round (B-)
Picks: LT Russell Okung, FS Earl Thomas, OT James Carpenter, LB Bruce Irvin, OL Germain Ifedi.
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; looks like he’s headed to right tackle.
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 Pro Bowl middle ‘backer. 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 showed great promise late in his rookie season before getting hurt in the playoffs; his 2015 season ended after one play, but he came back in 2016 and came up with some great plays when he got his chances. 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, has played well in the D-line rotation (10 sacks in 2016). Reed quickly became a mainstay as a rookie. The Hawks added to the trenches again in 2017, gambling on McDowell and adding the versatile Pocic. We’ll see how they affect the grade.
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.
Summary: Moffitt, one of the most bizarre characters to wear Seahawks blue, drags this grade down, but Wilson and Lockett were stellar picks. Hill finally emerged late in 2014, with 5.5 sacks before getting hurt, but he was a non-factor again in 2015 and the team gave up on him. The 2016 class of Prosise, Vannett and Odhiambo didn’t do much, but they will be expected to become core members of the club in 2017. The Seahawks added for more players in 2017 and will need to hit on at least three of them to keep this grade up — and keep the franchise a contender in 2019 and beyond.
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.
Summary: Like most of the league, Schneider has been very hit and miss in this round. Wright, drafted in 2011, has 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 until being released this month. After injury ended his rookie season early, Marsh turned into a special-teams demon in 2015 and a defensive contributor in 2016. KPL has not been able to stay healthy. Glowinski ascended to a starting role in 2016, but it remains to be seen whether he keeps it. The team added a DB in this round for the first time since 2010; Thompson was part of a four-player DB class that is expected to reinforce the secondary.
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.
Summary: The fifth round is never a sure thing, but Sherman and Chancellor have been the best fifth-round duo in the NFL this decade. 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 has been a capable No. 2 tight end and was brought back for another year in 2017. Smith was with the team for only a year, even though he seemed like he fit in. Jefferson spent his rookie year on IR, but the team traded a 2017 fourth for him with the idea that he could help the inside rush. Collins was the fourth running back for most of his rookie year and figures to be a bubble player in 2017.
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.
Summary: Maxwell earned a big contract after starting 17 games and the playoffs in 2013 and 2014. McCoy has missed the past three seasons with injuries after showing some promise as a rookie. Lane has been a special-teams dynamo and solid nickel back when healthy. Guy flamed out fast, aided by a suspension in his rookie year. Ware couldn’t stay healthy and also had a DUI — he has played well for Kansas City though. 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 was the backup center in 2016 and could remain so. Of the 2017 picks, Tyson could displace Lane, but Senior looks like a wasted pick.
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.
Summary: The seventh round is such a crap shoot, but Schneider has about a 25 percent success rate — with Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, Sweezy, Scruggs and Bowie contributing to varying degrees.
GRADES BY POSITION
QB (Picks: 1. Grade: A): The Hawks traded picks to get Charlie Whitehurst, but Wilson is the only pure draft pick at the position, and everyone knows how that has gone so far.
RB (Picks: 8. 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 spent the year hurt. Collins came on late as a rookie, when all the other backs were injured.
WR (Picks: 9. Grade: B-): The big star who brings this grade up is Lockett, who has been stellar. 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 and turned in some awesome plays when he got his chances.
TE (Picks: 4. Grade: B): McCoy was inconsistent and then injured a lot until the Hawks gave up on him. Willson has been a solid fifth-round backup who has been forced into the starter’s role a lot. Vannett figures to have a bigger role in 2017.
OL (Picks: 17. Grade: C-): The Seahawks just haven’t had much luck (or skill) at this spot. Okung was a no-brainer as the sixth pick in the 2010 draft, but he had all kinds of injury issues. Sweezy was a successful conversion project, and Britt finally found a spot (center) where he played well. Glowinski became a starter in 2016, but he has work to do to stay one. The rest — Carpenter, Moffitt, et al. — were subpar or worse.
DL (Picks: 15. Grade: D+): The Seahawks were horrible at drafting defensive linemen until they decided to start using high picks — second-rounders on Clark and Reed the past two years. Clark didn’t play much as a rookie, but he had 10 sacks in his second season. Reed, meanwhile, contributed from the start. As for the other picks, only Hill showed any promise, but the Hawks finally got tired of all of his injuries. Jefferson needs to avoid that problem by coming back from his IR rookie season.
LB (Picks: 7. Grade: B+): Wagner has emerged as a Pro Bowl talent, and the always steady Wright finally made it in 2016, too. Irvin converted from pass rusher and turned into a decent linebacker before moving on to Oakland.
DB (Picks: 16. 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. But they haven’t added a contributor in the secondary since 2012, going 0 for 4 over the past four drafts.