A deep look at the best NFL Draft class ever by the Seahawks

(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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Seahawks RB Sherman Smith
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images) /

Seahawks drafts started off slowly in 1976

The only player of any note in the inaugural draft was RB Sherman Smith. He’s one of the Hawks all-time best, but he’s also the only player out of 25 that anyone remembers for their play. 48 years after he was drafted, he still ranks ninth all-time on the Hawks rushing list. He’s also fifth in rushing touchdowns, an even more remarkable feat. Smith eventually returned to Seattle as their running backs coach from 2010 through 2017. Nice hire, Pete!

Another notable player is Steve Raible, who’s been either the analyst or play-by-play radio voice for the Seahawks for the past 40 years. Yes, four-zero. The only other name that may pop out at you is Andy Reid, but nope, he’s not that Andy Reid. Oh, and I’m sure most of you know this, but the Oilers actually drafted Steve Largent.

That Largent was actually drafted by another organization, yet never played a single regular-season snap with them is a bit incredible, isn’t it? Talk about the heist of the century… but we’re here to talk about the draft, not trades. Undrafted free agents that went on to star for Seattle like Doug Baldwin and Michael Bennett don’t count either. Yes, the Hawks signed Bennett out of college, then waived him in 2009. That’s a different category altogether. Okay, on with the ’70s.

Tackle Steve August was drafted in 1977. Linebacker Keith Butler and safety John Harris joined the Hawks in ’78. Defensive tackle Manu Tuiasosopo was drafted in ’79 and that wraps the ’70s for Seattle’s draft picks. That’s five players that truly made an impact out of 59 total selections.

You may want to add players like center John Yarno or guard Tom Lynch, but I’m talking about players that were widely regarded as among the league’s best. As it is, I think I’m being pretty generous with my selections. Smith and Tuiasosopo are the only Hawks in this group to win any awards in their careers.