Seahawks have to do a better job with their first draft pick

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Russell Okung of the Seahawks

SEATTLE, WA – OCTOBER 14: Russell Okung #76 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

I doubt this will come as a shock to many 12s, but the Seahawks haven’t been stellar when it comes to their first draft picks. This simply can’t continue.

If you’re just a casual fan of the Seahawks, the following information may come as a surprise to you. Believe me, it won’t be as surprising to you as your existence is to me. I’ve never even heard of a casual fan of the men in navy and gray (and occasional action green). It is a stone-cold lock-of-the-week fact that Pete Carroll and John Schneider have pulled off some amazing steals in the NFL draft. You just have to look at players like DK Metcalf, Chris Carson, even Russell Wilson for your proof. Lately, they don’t have much to show for their first picks. That has to change for the Hawks to take the next step and win it all.

Let’s take a quick trip in the way-back machine. Not too far back, just to 2010, Pete and John’s first season in Seattle. I don’t think anyone would argue that left tackle Russell Okung wasn’t worth a first-round pick. For one thing, he’s still a starter in the league. I’d argue that any player that has ten seasons of starts in the NFL was definitely worth a first-round selection. He’s had some injury problems, but 124 games in ten seasons – all starts – is a pretty good record, along with two Pro Bowl seasons. Not a Hall of Famer, but definitely a man who delivered value.

It’s worth noting that the Seahawks nabbed a pretty decent player just eight picks later in the first round that year. You may remember him; Earl Thomas? Kind of quirky guy, played good defense though. Seattle picked up another decent player that year in the fifth round, a kid named Kam Chancellor. But this isn’t about how well they do in late rounds, it’s about bombing in the first.

2011 was another good year for Carroll and Schneider. They addressed the offensive line again with guard James Carpenter. His career has been very similar to Okung’s, although not at the same level. Like Okung, he’s still starting in the league, although he did have one stretch in 2013 when he started 10 of his 16 games. He’s had some solid years, although he’s definitely declining. But hey, who among us isn’t? Seriously, a guy with 114 games and 108 starts in nine seasons, that’s a solid pick. Not great, but solid.

Bruce Irvin was another solid first-rounder for the Hawks in 2012. He may not have been as great as the two guys Seattle draft after him, one named Bobby, the other Russell, but Irvin has been a quality NFL player. He’s still dropping quarterbacks after eight seasons in the NFL. In fact, he recorded the most sacks in his career last season with the Panthers (8.5). Again, we see the Carroll-Schneider pattern of absolutely nailing the later picks, but Irvin was a solid choice.

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