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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Curt Warner, Seattle Seahawks
Curt Warner, Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Running back. 1983-90. Curt Warner. 8. player. 36.

Curt Warner was specifically drafted to transform the Seahawks offense. He was the No. 3 overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft out of Penn State University. When Warner was drafted, Seattle’s head coach was Chuck Knox. Knox was known for his “Ground Chuck” offense that was designed to eat clock and help the defense. Warner was to be the centerpiece of Knox’ offensive scheme.

And to a great degree early in Warner’s career, he was every bit as good as expected. In 1983, Warner led the AFC in rushing with 1,449 yards and had 13 touchdowns. He had 1,774 yards from scrimmage in his rookie season.

Then, the world ended. Warner tore his ACL in the first game of the 1984 season. At the time, this type of injury may have ended a player’s career or made him much less productive. It did take Warner some time to come back, but by 1986 Warner had returned to his rookie-level self.

In 1986, Warner rushed for 1,481 yards and 13 touchdowns. The following year, a strike-shortened season, Warner ran for 985 yards and 8 touchdowns in 12 games. Warner made the Pro Bowl in 1983, 1986 and again in 1987.

Warner ranks third in all-time rushing yards for the Seahawks with 6,705. If not for his injury in 1984, Warner likely would have had many more yards and could have been a Pro Football Hall of Fame level player.