10 most valuable Seahawks draft selections of the last decade
By Geoff Shull
4th best Seahawks draft selection of the 2010s: Earl Thomas, FS
Earl Thomas is the second-highest draft selection in the Pete Carroll and John Schneider era. He is one of those players that is as athletically gifted, as he is cerebral. He just understands what he needs to do to succeed and has the athleticism to make it happen.
Over Earl Thomas’s 9-year career in Seattle, he compiled 6 Pro-Bowls, including 3 All-Pro nods. Over his first 6 seasons, he didn’t miss a single game. His place on this list goes far beyond his availability. He has truly been the best single high safety in the game over the last decade.
Rank amongst defensive backs (2010-2018):
Stat: Career Total Rank
Tackles 664 9th
Interceptions 28 2nd
Passes Defended 67 8th
Forced Fumbles 11 T-5th
Whenever the team needed a big play, he made it happen. I can’t tell you how many times he punched the ball out at the one-yard line to create a turnover. I can’t tell you how many big hits he had. What I can tell you is he is one of the most gifted overall players in the game of football.
What made Earl Thomas so great, is his ferocity and competitiveness. Let me recall a story for you from the 2014 season, as told by ESPN.
"“Everybody in the room seemed to be relaxing except for one person: free safety Earl Thomas. He sat quietly at his locker, headphones strapped to his ears, a black mouthpiece stuffed between his lips, fully dressed in practice jersey and sweatpants. Thomas stared straight ahead, displaying so much intensity that nobody dared enter his space. Richard Sherman gets the publicity, but Earl Thomas might be the most crucial piece in Seattle’s defense. ‘I’ll probably talk to him in 10 minutes,’ Sherman said. ‘But not before that.’”"
This wasn’t a big game or anything special. This was simply the laser focus and preparedness that Thomas displayed daily. He didn’t rise to the top through talent alone. No, he wanted to be the greatest safety in the NFL. He worked night and day to make sure he got there.
If a big play were going to happen on defense, he wanted to be the guy to do it. He put the hours of work in, he put his blood, sweat and tears in. He lived for this and nothing was going to stop him.
It was this type of precision that made him one of the best safeties to play the game, and a potential Hall-of-Fame player one day. Don’t let the bitter end of his Seattle days distract you from his greatness on the field while he was on the team. After all, he helped bring the Seahawks to two Superbowl’s, including securing the franchise’s first championship.