Carroll & Schneider kicked off their Seahawks drafts in style
Hey, we made it to the Pete Carroll – John Schneider era! They kicked off their tenure with four solid picks – make that one solid pick and three great ones. Their first selection was the sixth pick in the 2010 draft, left tackle Russell Okung. He anchored the Hawks line for six stellar seasons. With the 14th pick, Pete and John hit the jackpot with free safety Earl Thomas. He didn’t exactly leave Seattle on the – ahem – best of terms, but he is a seven-time Pro Bowler and one of the prime architects of the LOB.
The Hawks doubled down in the fifth round and picked up the Enforcer, Kam Chancellor. Kam may not have gotten quite the same accolades as his partner in the defensive backfield, but for most 12s, he was the better of the two. I can’t omit that Seattle added a solid receiver in Golden Tate right after they drafted Thomas. Not a bad way to kick off your draft record.
Seattle didn’t exactly strike the same vein of gold in 2011, but it was still a great draft. They selected O-lineman James Carpenter with the third overall pick, then landed two of their biggest steals ever. The vastly underrated K.J. Wright landed in their collective laps in the fourth round.
People outside of Seattle might not know, but all 12s are well aware of just how good number 50 was. The Hawks then picked up one of their top players ever in the fifth round, Richard Sherman. The man talked an incredible amount of trash, but he ranks fourth in interceptions and second in pass defenses. He earned the right to speak his mind.
2012 saw another jackpot draft by Seattle, as they landed two no-doubt Hall of Fame players. They bookended those picks with their first selection, linebacker Bruce Irvin. Had he stayed in Seattle, his 52 sacks would place him fifth all-time, and his 120 QB hits would be first. The next-to-last player they picked up was guard J.R. Sweezy.
The real story, though, was what they did with their second and third picks. Spoiler alert: I’m talking about the great Bobby Wagner and the DangeRuss one, Russell Wilson. If you need Cliff Notes on these guys, you’re on the wrong website. This was certainly the draft that cemented the reputations of Pete Carroll and John Schneider as draft gurus.
Then 2013 arrived. Seattle had 11 picks, and the best player they found was TE Luke Willson. Now, I love the Techno Tuesday king as much as anyone, but no one will ever mistake him for Travis Kelce. 2014 was a small improvement, but all they really picked up was offensive lineman Justin Britt.
After starting out with inarguably three of the best drafts in Seahawks history, the momentum crashed. They picked up several of their best ever, but overall they picked up 11 solid contributors out of 48. No, I’m not counting Willson or Britt among the 11. That’s after they had 11 top picks out of 28 in their first three years. That uncomfortable pattern would sadly continue.