What Have Schneider’s Picks Done For You? A Study In The Production of The 2010-2012 Draft Classes

January 24, 2013; Honolulu, HI, USA; NFC free safety Earl Thomas of the Seattle Seahawks (29) runs with the ball during practice for the 2013 Pro Bowl at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With the upcoming draft dominating the NFL news landscape in recent weeks I started thinking over the last few Seahawks draft classes. On Monday I looked at John Schneider’s and Pete Carroll’s preferences and today I will examine the impact their draft picks have had over the last three years. Generally, I consider it too early to judge the quality of these drafts in their entirety. I do think it is fair to look at the production accumulated by unit for the classes under this regime and demonstrate the early impact they have had for the Seahawks. My initial assumption was that the draft classes of 2010-2012 have been very productive for Seattle and that proved to be entirely correct.

Let’s start with the very successful 2012 class:

Offense

Games

Games Started

Passing Yards

Pass TD’s

INT’s

Rushing Yards

Rush TD’s

Receptions

Receiving Yards

Rec TD’s

45

19

3118

26

10

843

4

19

181

0

In a defense-heavy draft these numbers were accumulated by, with the exception of J.R Sweezy’s playing time, Russell Wilson and Robert Turbin, both of whom were major contributors this year. Given the general success of Wilson’s rookie year, the number that really stands out here is the 843 rushing yards provided by these rookies. Those yards served as quite the compliment to Marshawn Lynch’s 1,590 yards as the feature back. The raw production is very good and probably trending upward for both players in the future.

Defense

Games

Games Started

Tackles

Assists

Sacks

INT’s

PD’s

FF

FR

TD

59

18

106

67

12

3

5

1

1

0

Despite the fact the Seahawks drafted seven defensive players in 2012 almost all of the defensive production comes from Bobby Wagner. That being said, the Seahawks’ defensive rookies proved valuable in situational roles. Most notably Bruce Irvin and Greg Scruggs rushing the passer and getting 10 combined sacks. Also of note were performances by rookies asked to move up the depth chart (e.g. Jeremy Lane starting during Brandon Browner’s four game suspension). These numbers are already respectable and figure to improve, especially if Bruce Irvin continues to grow as a player.

In the 2011 draft class, we see a group of players that have contributed a great deal, especially on defense.

Offense

Games

Games Started

Passing Yards

Pass TD’s

INT’s

Rushing Yards

Rush TD’s

Receptions

Receiving Yards

Rec TD’s

36

31

0

0

0

0

0

3

30

0

These measures of production don’t really include offensive line play and as a result this draft class looks a great deal worse than it is. Even so, the Seahawks’ top two picks in this draft have only combined for 31 of a possible 64 starts on the offensive line, which is far from ideal. James Carpenter has a chance to have a future as a starter in Seattle for years to come if he can stay healthy. John Moffit seems more likely to only provide depth on the line. The only other offensive player from this class, Kris Durham, has already moved on.

Defense

Games

Games Started

Tackles

Assists

Sacks

INT’s

PD’s

FF

FR

TD

109

56

231

78

5

13

53

8

5

2

The 2011 draft class was a gold mine in terms of defensive talent. Headlined by CB Richard Sherman and OLB K.J Wright the 2011 draftees have more than held their own in the NFL thus far. Wright and Sherman are both quality starters and Byron Maxwell and Malcolm Smith are excellent depth players who have made plays when called upon. Nothing to complain about here.

Lastly, let’s examine the production the Seahawks have gotten from Schneider’s and Carroll’s 2010 inaugural draft class.

Offense

Games

Games Started

Passing Yards

Passing TD’s

INT’s

Rushing Yards

Rush TD’s

Receptions

Receiving Yards

Rec TD’s

114

71

23

1

0

38

0

132

1734

13

Russell Okung and Golden Tate are both excellent picks and they make up most of the numbers seen here. Anthony McCoy has done more than most 6th round picks and Jameson Konz unfortunately never really delivered on his promise. It says something about the drafting acumen of Seattle’s front office when we actively contemplate 7th round draft picks that never amount to anything.

Defense

Games

Games Started

Tackles

Assists

Sacks

INT’s

PD’s

FF

FR

TD

135

82

365

124

3

14

47

8

8

1

These totals are compiled primarily by the safety duo of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor with contributions from Walter Thurmond III and Dexter Davis.

In the overall analysis there are a lot of numbers to chew on. Before I go further I’d like to point out the obvious flaws in them.

Firstly, the contributions of offensive lineman are downplayed because their on-field production is not quantified by the statistics I have used. This is especially unfortunate given the Seahawks have spent two of their last four first round picks on offensive linemen. Although their inclusion in terms of games and games started is significant, looking at these production charts does underplay the importance of players like Russell Okung or James Carpenter.

Secondly, although one could argue that in a way the number of games started by each draft class is the best way to measure their contribution to the franchise, it can be problematic because it prizes quantity over quality. Just because a player started or played in a game doesn’t mean they played well. On the other hand, if the player is terrible he is unlikely to play or start so there is some implication of effectiveness just by appearing in games consistently.

Lastly, by looking at draft picks only the contributions of undrafted free agent gems like Doug Baldwin and Brandon Browner are excluded.

Ultimately, I think the main idea to take from this is that Seattle’s front office has done a good job in selecting players that have provided significant, tangible, and quantifiable production for this franchise. The Seahawks roster has been turned over and completely remade during the Pete Carroll era and the primary vehicle for this overhaul has been the draft. In 2010, 7.7% of the starts made by Seahawks players were from draft picks of the current front office. In 2011 that number climbed to 28.4%, and last year is was 42.6%. More than player statistics, those numbers capture the impact of the last three draft classes. If John Schneider and Pete Carroll continue to have excellent drafts that number will continue growing. Give this duo another three years and we will be looking at a truly homegrown squad, and by and large those are the type of teams that win championships.

Topics: Earl Thomas, John Schneider, Pete Carroll, Richard Sherman, Robert Turbin, Russell Okung, Russell Wilson

Want more from 12th Man Rising?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • http://seattlesportscentral.com/ seattlesportscentral.com

    This front office has done a good job of selecting players that have provided significant production?

    I disagree. I don’t think any front office in the NFL has done as GREAT a job that Carroll and Schneider have done. I’d imagine that every GM would take the Seahawks past two or three draft classes and substitute it with their own if given the opportunity.

TEAMFeed More Seahawks news from the Fansided Network

Comments 1

Russell Wilson files for divorce, Seahawks release statement

Comments 2

Seahawks schedule predictions: 5 toughest games in 2014

Comments 2

Why did the Seahawks acquire Terrelle Pryor?

Hot on the Web From seahawks.com