Mike Teel in 2009
The Seattle Seahawks’ draft history as a whole is unremarkable at best. While there have been some shining exceptions—Shaun Alexander and Walter Jones to name names—as a whole, the group is disheartening to hopeful fans.
Yet every April as the draft rolls around, Seattle diehards put their entire faith in a ritual that has almost never worked for their favorite franchise (except in 2005—obviously Seattle’s front office did something right there).
This April, with the lockout leaving veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck unsigned and the Seahawks largely leaderless, the headlining position to be drafted by Seattle is quarterback.
Most expect Seattle to use its 25th-overall pick on one of a group of quarterbacks classified as “good but not great” by ESPN’s Todd McShay (specifically, Washington’s Jake Locker).
Sadly, the quarterbacks taken by Seattle in previous drafts do not offer any more confidence than McShay’s prognosis. In fact, Seattle’s most prolific quarterbacks weren’t acquired by Seattle in the draft at all. Matt Hasselbeck was traded from Green Bay and both Jim Zorn and Dave Krieg were signed as undrafted free agents.
Of the 15 quarterbacks Seattle has drafted since 1976, here are the top 10.
David Greene, preseason, 2005
Pick: Round 3, 85th overall
School: University of Georgia
Though he never took a snap in the regular season, David Greene makes this list because he spent more years in the NFL than the five lesser selections.
Greene served as the third-string quarterback for Seattle for his first two seasons. In 2007, he was expected to compete for Seneca Wallace’s No. 2 slot, but instead, he incited vocal disappointment from then-head coach Mike Holmgren after a poor preseason performance.
Seattle released Greene shortly afterwards, and he bounced to the Patriots, Chiefs—briefly being signed to the active roster in Kansas City—and Colts before he retired to co-found an insurance firm.
Quarterbacks Kyle Orton, Derek Anderson and Matt Cassel were all taken later in that same draft.
Steve Young, with the USFL team LA Express, 1984
School: University of Kansas
Frank Seurer was a product of the 1984 supplemental draft, selected by the Seahawks in the third round, 76th overall.
He eventually landed on the Kansas City Chiefs roster for the 1986 and 1987 seasons. Seurer had two starts following the 1987 NFLPA strike and ended his unimpressive career shortly afterwards.
Steve Young was selected from this same pool of USFL players.
Pick: Round 11, 291st overall
David Norrie ended up playing just two games in the NFL as a replacement player for the New York Jets during the 1987 NFLPA strike. His stats over the two starts were negligible (1 TD, 4 INT, 376 YDS) and the Jets lost both games.
Norrie, once a top-10 high school prospect and Pac-10 passing leader, now announces college games for ESPN and ABC.
Pick: Round 8, 216th overall
School: University of Texas-El Paso
Though Sammy Garza was originally drafted by the Seahawks, they cut him almost immediately, and he ended up serving as a replacement player for the St. Louis Cardinals. He appeared in only two games (one start) before getting cut and finishing his career in the Canadian Football League.
Dave Krieg would eventually usurp Sam Adkins in Seattle
Pick: Round 10, 254th overall
School: Wichita State University
Sam Adkins served as a backup quarterback to Jim Zorn and fell to third string in Dave Krieg’s second season. That second season (1981) turned out to be Adkins’ last.
Over his career, Adkins played in eight games with no starts. He was able to connect on one of his four pass attempts combined in the two Seattle wins he appeared in. He was able to complete more than 50 percent of his pass attempts in just two other outings, and on one occasion (in a 51-7 blowout at Dallas in 1980) went 1-for-8 with two interceptions and no touchdown.
Adkins is now a broadcaster in the Seattle area.
Steve Myer was once Jim Zorn's backup when Zorn played in Seattle
Pick: Round 4, 93rd overall
School: New Mexico
Steve Myer was a part of Seattle’s inaugural draft and he was given the opportunity to compete for the starting job. He ended up serving as Jim Zorn’s backup, though.
Myer got his first start in 1977 when Zorn was sidelined with a knee injury. Myer started all four of those games and got his first win in Week 5 against expansion-team Tampa Bay. He finished those four games with a completion percentage of 54.4, six touchdowns and a whopping 10 interceptions.
After that run, Myer stayed on the roster through 1979 performing in a relief capacity.
Pick: Round 1, 16th overall
School: Iowa and San Diego State
Dave Krieg was struggling to be consistent on a team racked with injuries. Seattle had given up on him and looked to the draft for the quarterback of the future.
Dan McGwire was that quarterback. Unfortunately, McGwire would turn out to be a bust.
In his four seasons with Seattle, he had five starts and appeared in 12 total games. His completion percentage was just barely over 50 percent on 147 attempts, and he only threw two touchdowns (six interceptions).
McGwire didn’t seem to be any better on his feet (or maybe the offensive line hated him)—he was sacked 20 times in those four years.
In fact, on his only attempt in Miami during the 1995 season (his fifth and last season in the NFL), he was sacked for a seven-yard loss.
The most heartbreaking part is Brett Favre was drafted in the second round that year.
Pick: Round 3, 77th overall
Brock Huard—hailing from Jake Locker’s alma mater—was a decent backup, especially as Seattle quarterbacks go. He played as a backup to Jon Kitna in 2000 and behind Matt Hasselbeck in 2001. He finished those two years with a QB rating of 80.1 before going to Indianapolis.
Huard came back to the Seahawks in 2004, but he spent the entire season on injured reserve.
Pick: Round 1, Second overall
School: Notre Dame
Rick Mirer was the second franchise-quarterback attempt by Seattle in as many years. The Seahawks had just finished their season with a 2-14 record and were granted the second overall pick in the draft (behind New England, which took Drew Bledsoe).
Mirer was a smart pick. He was touted as the next Joe Montana and had set records at Notre Dame.
His rookie season in the NFL was no different. He set the NFL rookie records for attempts, completions and yards and really looked to be (with a little growth) Seattle’s quarterback of the future.
After that, Mirer’s contributions slid steadily and his negative stats (INTs, sacks, completion percentage, etc) never improved. Pro Football Reference employs a complicated formula to get to the conclusion that Rick Mirer is the worst quarterback in league history.
In 1997, Mirer was traded to the Chicago Bears, and he continued through the remainder of his eight-year career as the ultimate journeyman.
By the time it was all over, he had thrown nearly 12,000 yards for 50 TDs and had accumulated 76 interceptions and been sacked 199 times (loss of 1,038 yards).
Pick: Round 4, 110th overall
School: Iowa State
Seneca Wallace spent five years as a backup to Matt Hasselbeck, under both Mike Holmgren and Jim Mora Jr.
He has shown versatility, playing wide receiver at times in Holmgren’s scheme.
With Hasselbeck suffering multiple injuries over the last six years, Wallace also had an opportunity to exhibit his quarterback skills, but he was never consistent enough to be a true starter.
He does, though, hold the franchise record for the longest touchdown pass with a 90-yard completion to Koren Robinson in 2008.
Wallace eventually joined former head coach Mike Holmgren in Cleveland and he has recently been re-signed to a three-year, $9 million contract as a backup to second-year star Colt McCoy.