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Sports >  Seattle Seahawks

Analysis: Reviewing the history of the three draft picks the Seahawks hold in 2021

UPDATED: Wed., April 21, 2021

Seattle Seahawks executive vice president and general manager John Schneider speaks during a February 2020 press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis.   (Associated Press)
Seattle Seahawks executive vice president and general manager John Schneider speaks during a February 2020 press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis.  (Associated Press)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

SEATTLE – With the NFL draft suddenly on the horizon, what we know about the Seattle Seahawks is that they hold the fewest picks in their history – three.

Of course, few think Seattle will make just three picks when the draft is held April 29-May 1.

General manager John Schneider has made an art form out of trading down to accumulate more picks since coming to Seattle in 2010, and it’s a safe bet he’ll do it again.

So, thinking too much about exactly what Seattle will get with the three picks it holds might turn out to be wasted energy.

Still, it’s a fun exercise to guess what those picks might bring.

One way to inform opinion about what Seattle might get where it picks is to review the players who have been selected in previous years at the spots where Seattle has selections entering the 2021 draft.

Seattle’s three picks are Nos. 56 in the second round, 129 in the fourth and 250 in the seventh.

Seattle has never made a pick at any of those three spots.

56th pick

While Seattle has never picked at 56, it did once hold this spot heading into the 2013 draft.

That year, the Seahawks – surprise, surprise – traded down, pulling off a deal with the Ravens to move to 62 while getting picks 165 and 199 in return (Seattle used those picks to trade up to get Jesse Williams, a defensive tackle out of Alabama). With No. 62, Seattle drafted none other than Christine Michael (who was infamously picked in between Eddie Lacy and Travis Kelce).

With the 56th pick, the Ravens took linebacker Arthur Brown, who never started a game in four NFL seasons and ended his career with the Seahawks. He was signed as a free agent in 2017 and cut before training camp began, never to be on an NFL roster again.

That typifies the spotty history of the 56th pick, though a history that is in line with just about every spot in the draft once you get past the late first round.

Of the 91 players taken at this spot, one has made the Hall of Fame – linebacker Bobby Bell, drafted by Kansas City in 1963 and who was a key part of the Chiefs’ 1970 Super Bowl winners.

Sixteen have made a Pro Bowl, according to research gained using the Pro Football Reference draft finder.

But showing how quickly the draft can become a crapshoot, only three of the players taken at this spot who went on to earn Pro Bowl nods at least once have come since 1995 – former Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora (picked in 2003), Bears guard Cody Whitehair (2016) and Chiefs receiver Mecole Hardman (2019), though as a returner.

The last few years have dealt really mixed results.

Of the last nine players taken at 56, five did not play last season, with four essentially done with football, including cornerback Senquez Golson, picked here in 2015 by the Steelers who never played a down in the NFL, due in part to two serious injuries suffered his first two years in the league.

But the player picked here last year – defensive tackle Raekwon Davis by Miami – has shown some potential, starting 12 games for the Dolphins last year. That, though, already is more starts than six other players taken here since 2008 made in their NFL careers.

129th pick

Illustrating how quickly the draft can run dry, only five players picked at this spot have made even one Pro Bowl, and only one since 1990 – former Denver tight end Julius Thomas out of Portland State

Two became Hall of Famers, but one comes with a big asterisk – Roger Staubach, who Dallas took at this spot in 1964, which was then in the 10th round of the draft, knowing he had a five-year commitment to the Navy before he could play.

The other is tight end Jackie Smith, selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1963 (and in a weird confluence of events, might be best remembered for dropping a touchdown pass from Staubach in Super Bowl XIII).

But some decent values can be found here. Defensive end John Simon, taken 129th by the Ravens in 2011 out of Ohio State , has started 52 games in his career, including all 16 last year with the Patriots.

As noted earlier, Thomas became a two-time Pro Bowler and had 65 catches for the Denver team that reached the Super Bowl in 2013 (a game you might recall), helping him earn a five-year, $46 million contract a few years later from Jacksonville.

But at basically the midpoint of the draft, which this year has 259 picks, NFL teams already reach the point of often taking reaches, gambles and little-known players and hoping for the best. Last year, the Jets drafted offensive lineman Cameron Clark of Charlotte at 129, a player generally projected to go a round or so later. Clark saw no action last year, though, while battling a few injuries.

250th pick

Count the Seahawks as one of the best exhibits that you can still find good players this deep in the draft. Running back Chris Carson was taken with the 249th overall pick in 2017.

But had Carson been taken a pick later, he would stand as one of the most successful 250th picks in NFL history.

Only three players taken at 250 have earned a Pro Bowl nod, and none since 1977 (linebacker Scott Studwell of the Minnesota Vikings). Only five have been starters for more than three seasons – the number that Carson already has to his name.

One of those is quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, drafted at this spot in 2005 by the Rams and whose 10 seasons as a starter is the second most of anyone taken here behind only Studwell, showing some magic can still be unearthed near the bottom of the draft.

Not much has come lately, though. Only two players taken here since 2010 have started more than two games – quarterback Trevor Siemian (2015, Denver) and tight end Ryan Izzo (2018, Patriots).

A year ago at this spot the Rams selected guard Tremayne Anchrum out of Clemson. He played just three offensive snaps all season.

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