Five draft picks the Seahawks should have made. If we only had time travel!

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers makes a reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers makes a reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

If only the Seahawks could go back in time and change some draft picks, their history might look for different. Let’s look at five world changers.

Time travel is all the rage. We just sent Pete Carroll back to bolster the 2018 team with an all-time great. So why not really change things up, and change some Seahawks draft picks? In this case, we’ll only make changes that will effect the 2018 team. So no drafting Joe Montana instead of Michael Jackson. Although that’s pretty fun to think about, isn’t it? I mean, Jackson couldn’t even moonwalk.

Alright, this is pretty heavy duty stuff, so we’ll use Mr. Peabody’s WABAC machine. Do yourself a favor, google it. So let’s see who Seattle could have had, instead of who they got. As you’ll see, the impact on the team in 2018 might not be a big one, but in every case, the player is still active. And their impact on the Seahawks would be much better than the guy we took.

Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks /

Seattle Seahawks

Offense instead of defense? Are you crazy?

5. Jordy Nelson, wide receiver, 2008. The Seahawks drafted linebacker Lawrence Jackson in the first round, and wound up trading him to the Detroit Lions after just two seasons for a sixth round pick in 2011. Nelson went nine picks later. But Seattle drafted Byron Maxwell with that pick, so sometimes your mistakes work out after all. Regardless, the Seahawks likely would have gotten  Maxwell anyway. Nelson is on the downside of his career, but those huge seasons he had in Green Bay could have been at CenturyLink. He has 550 catches with 69 touchdowns, and counting.

Seattle featured Bobby Engram and Deion Branch that year, but Engram was 35 and would be gone in 2009. Branch would be traded early in 2010, and the Seattle receiving corps was a revolving door of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Mike Williams, Brandon Stokely and less successful guys. It took Nelson a few years to establish himself in Green Bay, but even then, nine years of his production certainly  outweighs Jackson’s two seasons in Seattle.

4. Antonio Brown, wide receiver, 2010. I’ll admit this is more than a little unfair, because everyone passed on Brown. The Steelers didn’t draft him until the sixth round with the 195th overall pick. Yes, 194 players were selected ahead of one of the league’s best receivers ever. Even Pittsburgh thought there were eight guys they needed more than Brown.

Listen, the Seahawks had a great draft in 2010. I mean, Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Golden Tate and Kam Chancellor is an absolute haul. But just how great would that draft look if Seattle had added Brown instead of, oh, Dexter Davis? In three years Davis had zero starts and a grand total of 10 tackles. That isn’t quite as good as 9,910 yards and 59 touchdowns, now is it?

Malcolm Jenkins could have been with the Seahawks
ARLINGTON, TX – NOVEMBER 19: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on November 19, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Swap defense for better defense. That works too.

3. Malcolm Jenkins, defensive back, 2009. Seattle drafted, you guessed it, a linebacker in the first round again. This time it was linebacker Aaron Curry, the fourth overall pick in draft. Curry played 35 games for the Seahawks before he was shipped to the Raiders for a seventh round pick. Seattle turned that pick into J.R. Sweezy, so that isn’t bad. Not bad, other than you turned the fourth pick in the draft into two mediocre seasons and a decent guard you got in the seventh round.

Jenkins was the 14th pick overall, and has played both corner and safety in his nine year career. He was just named to the Pro Bowl for the second time, so he’s hardly slowing down. Hmmm… seems Seattle could use some depth in the defensive backfield, right?

2. Malik Jackson, defensive line, 2012. Jackson is another player from the late rounds, in his case, the fifth. The Seahawks took defensive tackle Jaye Howard in the fourth round, and just one year later he was in Kansas City. They could have traded down – I heard Seattle likes to do that – and gotten a player with more immediate impact and more upside, too. Jackson has 29 sacks in his career, and is coming off his first Pro Bowl season.

Yes, hindsight is 20-20. If evaluating talent was easy, we’d all be general managers, too. I’m not saying Carroll and Schneider made the wrong pick at the time. That’s the whole point of the time machine motif. If they had a WABAC, I’m pretty sure they’d use it.

The number one priority of the WABAC Draft Mission

1. The Seahawks 2013 draft. Yes, I flipped the script, I didn’t lead with the one guy Seattle should have taken. We’ll get to that in a moment. 2013 is far enough back to have a good picture of the talent. Not too many NFL players blossom after five years. Yes, I know the Seahawks Dion Jordan is one player we hope proves the exception. I’ll just refer you to the great Bob Condotta once more, who wrote this piece on that misbegotten draft nearly three years ago. Bob, take it away…

"In their first three years in Seattle, the Carroll/Schneider duo drafted at least one player in the third round or later who either made the Pro Bowl or was named a first-team All-Pro selection by their second season….The 2013 draft appears increasingly likely to go down as one of the worst in recent league history. Of the top 10 picks, only three can be considered successful (or, at least, worth being picked where they were)…When the Seahawks traded running back Christine Michael to Dallas last weekend, the 2013 draft became unquestionably the worst of the Carroll/Schneider era."

It was a bad year, as Condotta said. But as of last season, Luke Willson was the only player of the 11 draftees still with Seattle. And now he’s gone, of course. When you have zero players left after five years, that is not a successful draft. Of course, the Seahawks didn’t pick until the second round, when they drafted Christine Michael with the 62nd overall pick.

Travis Kelce could have been with the Seahawks
KANSAS CITY, MO – JANUARY 6: Tight end Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches the games first touchdown pass behind inside linebacker Avery Williamson #54 of the Tennessee Titans during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 6, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

So the Seahawks could have had…

Who could Seattle have taken instead? How about tight end Travis Kelce, who went to Kansas City on the very next pick? 307 catches, 3,900 yards, and 22 touchdowns. For those keeping track, in his last three seasons Kelce has 70 more catches, 990 more yards and one less touchdown than Jimmy Graham had in his stretch with Seattle. And Seattle would have not traded Max Unger to get Kelce, either.

Not feeling sick yet? Seattle could have traded down a few spots and drafted the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu. He hasn’t been the most consistent player, but he’s been much better than almost anyone Seattle picked up that year. Almost anyone. Luke Willson will always be the man.

I’m pretty sure Russell Wilson would be okay with throwing to Keenan Allen. He has over 300 catches for more than 4,000 yards, and that’s with a long stint on injured reserve. Allen went in the third round too. I’m not saying Seattle could have had all of these guys. But certainly any one of them would have been a major improvement over who Seattle drafted in 2013.

Next: The offensive line has found its guru

There’s a funny twist to this story, though. As it turns out, Dion Jordan isn’t the only refugee of the 2013 draft in Seattle. Both Barkevious Mingo and D.J. Fluker were first round picks in that same draft. It’s a shame the Seahawks couldn’t keep 2013 draftee Sheldon Richardson on the team too. Now if Seattle would just sign Eric Reid, they’d have four of the top eighteen picks of that draft. And if Luke Joeckel had panned out, Seattle would have had almost the whole draft in their locker room. As it is, the Seahawks have three of the top eleven picks. So maybe Seattle just took the long way around to get that draft to pay off.