Seattle Seahawks: 15 best first-round draft picks of all-time

Cortez Kennedy, Seattle Seahawks. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
Cortez Kennedy, Seattle Seahawks. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport /
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Cortez Kennedy, Seattle Seahawks
Cortez Kennedy, Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

. Defensive Tackle. 1990-00. Cortez Kennedy. 2. player. 36

Cortez Kennedy was the No. 3 overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. He played on some awful teams while with the Seahawks, but he never disappointed with his play on the field.

In fact, given that Kennedy was in Seattle his entire career probably hurt his value to the average football fan. If Kennedy had played in a major media market like New York or Dallas, the defensive tackle may not only be remembered as one of the best defensive tackles in the history of football, but the best.

For instance, Kennedy won the Associated Press’ NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992, possibly his best season. That was in a year when Seattle went 2-14. Had Kennedy had any help at all, Seattle could have made the playoffs and Kennedy would have been a disruptor in the postseason.

In 1992, Kennedy had 14 sacks, 92 tackles and forced four fumbles. This would have been an incredible year for any interior defensive lineman, but for one on a 2-14 team where the opposing offense knew they only had him to block makes it look even more impressive decades later.

In Kennedy’s 11 seasons in Seattle, the Seahawks had a winning record in just two years. And both of those season – 1990 and 1999 – saw Seattle go just 9-7. Mostly, Kennedy’s talent was wasted as a member of the Seahawks.

Kennedy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, the second full-time Seahawk to make it into Canton after wide receiver Steve Largent. Sadly, Kennedy died of a heart condition in his home in 2017.