Best Draft Picks in Seattle Seahawks History by Position
Will this be the draft where Seattle finally gets a great pass rusher like Cortez Kennedy?
With the draft about 24 hours away, Seattle is focused on getting that next big star that can complete the puzzle and make them a contender.
The Seattle Seahawks have probably taken more than their fair share of hits during the course of their 36 years. The inconsistency that seems to be a hallmark of the Seahawks throughout their history is no better represented than in the results of their drafting through the years.
But there have been bright spots through years of drafting. They have drafted several gems that gave the Seahawks happy times throughout their existence.
Here, I have compiled my take on the best draft picks at each position (QB,RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, K) for the Seattle Seahawks.
Quarterback: Rick Mirer, Pick No. 2, Notre Dame
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The Seahawks never had much success drafting play-callers in their history, usually getting their quarterbacks via trades and free agency. The only quarterback that made a decent impact on the team was Rick Mirer.
Mirer was selected with the second overall pick in the 1993 draft by the Seattle Seahawks, where he signed a five-year, $15 million contract. His rookie year was very promising, in which he set NFL rookie records for attempts, completions and yards, and became only the third rookie quarterback since 1970 to start all of his team's games.
He finished his rookie season fifth in the AFC with 274 completions and 2,833 yards. He was also runner up in the offensive rookie of the year voting, finishing behind his former backfield teammate from Notre Dame, Jerome Bettis.
Mirer never made a Pro Bowl and bounced around the league after his four years with the Seahawks, but he outplayed all of the other quarterbacks drafted by Seattle. He may never be known as the best quarterback in Seattle's history, and he is probably the worst player on this list, but Mirer did make a sizable impact on the Seattle Seahawks.
Running Back: Shaun Alexander, Pick No. 19, Alabama
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Alexander was the Seahawks first pick in 2000, drafted 19th out of the University of Alabama. He is considered the best Seahawks draft pick of the 2000s, and arguably of all time (see Cortez Kennedy).
Alexander didn't start off a star, backing up Ricky Watters his rookie year. It wasn’t until 2001 that Alexander got his shot as a starting NFL running back, and never looked back.
From 2001 to 2005, Alexander never had fewer than 353 touches, fewer than 1,645 total yards, or fewer than 16 touchdowns, making for one of the most prolific five-year runs for a running back in NFL history.
He was a true star, and has many accolades including three Pro Bowls (2003-2005), two All-Pro seasons (2004-2005), two-time NFL rushing champion (2004-2005), NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2005), NFL MVP (2005) and former single-season touchdown record holder (28 TDs—2005, later broken by LaDainian Tomlinson).
Alexander ended his run with the Seahawks as their all-time leading rusher, with 10,940 total yards, and 112 total TDs. He was the biggest factor in the Seahawks' only Super Bowl appearance, and will go down as one of the best Seahawks of all time.
Wide Receiver: Brian Blades, Pick No. 49, University of Miami
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Blades was one of the few good choices the Seahawks made in the 1980s in terms of drafting, as he still stands as the second-leading receiver in Seahawks history behind Steve Largent.
Drafted in the second round of the 1988 NFL draft out of the University of Miami, Blades quickly made his presence known in the offense, pulling down eight TDs in his rookie season as a part-time starter and collecting the first of his four 1,000-yard seasons in his second year.
Blades was an All-Pro during his only Pro Bowl season, 1989, ending all 11 seasons of his NFL career with Seattle, totaling 581 receptions and 7,620 yards.
Seattle have many good receivers that may be on this list in five to 10 years, but Blades is by far the best wide receiver to ever be taken by the Seahawks, not to mention having a very cool name.
Tigh End: John Carlson, Pick No. 38, Notre Dame
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John Carlson only had a few years of magic for the Seahawks, but he did make a large impact on the Seahawks, so much that he made the 35th Anniversary Team.
Carlson was drafted by the Seahawks in the second round (38th overall) of the 2008 NFL draft.
He scored his first NFL touchdown on a pass from Charlie Frye in Week 6 of his rookie year. 2008 was a season marred by injuries for the Seahawks, particularly at wide receiver, and Carlson proved to be a reliable target throughout the season.
He led the team in receptions (55) and receiving yards (627) for the 2008 season, a feat not accomplished in franchise history by a rookie since Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent.
Carlson had a notable performance in the Seahawks' 2010 playoffs. In a matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, he had two touchdown catches, but he was overshadowed by the historic run by Marshawn Lynch.
Offensive Line: Walter Jones, Pick No. 6, Florida State
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This pick was one of the hardest to make, but I felt Walter Jones did more for the Seahawks than Steve Hutchinson. For all the success that Shaun Alexander had, he arguably wouldn’t be close to the Hall of Fame career he had without the play of one of the best left tackles in recent league history, Walter Jones.
Jones was drafted sixth overall in the 1997 draft out of Florida State, and started every game he ever played in, starting from the beginning of his career. Jones was very versatile and could clear the way in the run game, and make a large pocket during pass plays.
Jones is a hands down first-ballot Hall of Famer, being a nine-time Pro Bowl selection (1999, 2001-2008), a seven-time All-Pro (2001, 2002, 2004-2008), First-Team All-Rookie (1997), NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year (2005) and was named to the NFL’s 2000’s All-Decade Team.
Jones is still celebrated by the Seahawk faithful, becoming only the second person in team history to have his jersey retired.
Defensive Linemen: Cortez Kennedy, Pick No. 3, University of Miami
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Jones may have been a star that was loved by the entire Pacific Northwest, but there is one Seahawk whose resume shines just a little bit brighter; Cortez Kennedy. A member of this year's Hall of Fame draft class, Cortez Kennedy is arguably the best player in the history of the Seattle Seahawks.
Drafted out of the University of Miami as the third overall pick of the 1990 NFL draft, Kennedy may have been the best inside force in the 1990s. He was an instant force for Seattle, becoming a regular part of the defensive rotation his rookie year, and then a starter for every single game from 1991 to 1996.
This may have been one of the worst eras in Seattle history, going 36-60 with coaches coming and going like it was a drive-through, but Kennedy was a bright spot in these dark days. Even though he played on terrible teams, Kennedy was a perennial Pro Bowler, best seen in 1992 when Kennedy was selected as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, even though the Seahawks were a league-worst 2-14.
Kennedy ended his tenure with the Seahawks having played his entire career with the team, collecting 668 tackles, 58 sacks and three INTs. Kennedy was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection (1991-1999), a three-time All-Pro (1992-1994), was named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team and the aforementioned 1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee this year.
Line Backer: Lofa Tatupu, Pick No. 45, USC
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He may only have six seasons with the Seahawks, but Lofa Tatupu is one of the most celebrated and well-known players in Seattle Seahawk history and may be the best linebacker in team history.
Tatupu was drafted in the second round of the 2005 draft, but he was criticized for being too small and too slow to be an effective linebacker at the pro level. Tatupu quickly showed the critics that you don't need elite measurables to be an effective player and proclaimed star.
Tatupu was a key in the Seahawks' 2005 Super Bowl season, also his rookie season, and he was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and was an All-Pro in 2007.
He is now on the Falcons and has died down a little bit, not getting as much love from Atlanta as he did in Seattle. He may not have spent his whole career with the team, but he will always be loved and appreciated by the Seahawk faithful.
Defensive Back: Kenny Easley, Pick No. 4, UCLA
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Outside of Cortez Kennedy, Easley is often mentioned as the best defensive player to ever wear a Seahawks uniform. His rare array of coverage skills puts him as a top 10 player in Seahawk history.
Drafted out of UCLA as the fourth overall pick in the 1981 draft, Easley was a starter at the strong safety position for Seattle right from the start. Easley was considered one of the best tacklers of his era, but tackles weren't a recorded stat during his career. Easley was the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1981, a Pro Bowl selection from 1982 to 1985 and again in 1987, was an All-Pro from 1982 to 1985 and was the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1983.
Easley was named to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team; unfortunately his career was cut short by a kidney disease diagnosis in 1987. Had he continued his strong play for a few more years, he likely would have been a Hall of Famer.
Kicker/Punter: Josh Brown, Pick No. 222, Nebraska
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This choice was very difficult due to the fact that the Seahawks also drafted John Kasay, who made a Pro Bowl. But Carlson was picked because of his involvement in the Super Bowl team and because Kasay's best years were in Carolina.
Brown was a solid Seahawk kicker for a while, having two great years in 2005 and 2006. In 2005 he had a fantastic year and helped the Seahawks get to the Super Bowl with signature 50-plus kicks and game winners.
In 2006, he kicked a 54-yard game-winning field goal while time ran out against the St. Louis Rams to win the game, 30-28. Later in the year, he tied his career best by kicking four field goals in a snowy Monday Night Football game against the Green Bay Packers, and amazingly, all four field goals were made in the first half. In the final month of the year, Brown kicked a 51-yard field goal to win the game against the Denver Broncos, making it his fourth game-winning kick in the last minute in the 2006 season.
He may have never been a Pro Bowler, but he was a solid contributor for the Seahawks and had several highlights, including his NFL career-long 58-yard field goal against the Green Bay Packers during his rookie season.