As you may have seen, this month NBCSN is running the Prime Numbers Series in which the all-time best player ever to wear each possible jersey number is named. What would a Seahawks version of the series look like?
This is actually a project I started in my head some time ago, independent of the NBCSN project. It was born out of boredom. On weekends I take my dog out to play fetch and try to count 100 throws each time. To keep myself occupied, I started thinking which Seahawk player had worn the number for each throw. Over time I came up with someone for probably two-thirds of the numbers; having made it thus far, I sat down with historic rosters and filled in the rest. I’m not really a jersey-number maven but you can probably say I’m a fairly obsessive type, once I get my mind thinking about something.
Once I finished the list, I figured I should share it with someone, so here it is: the greatest Seahawk to wear each jersey number – with discussion where I felt like it.
Just to be clear (and to avoid a silly discussion I had in a thread): this has nothing to do with actual prime numbers; that’s just the name that NBCSN chose to give to this series.
1 Warren Moon
3 Russell Wilson
5 Ruben Rodriguez
6 Charlie Whitehurst
8 Matt Hasselbeck
9 Norm Johnson. Apologies to the many Jon Ryan fans out there.
10 Jim Zorn
11 Deion Butler
12 Sam Adkins. One of the most likely people to stay on this list forever.
13 Keary Colbert. He is one of three Seahawks to wear this number, along with Gino Torretta and Ken Walter; Colbert is the only one to have had meaningful playing time. It’s not like he asked Tim Ruskell to acquire him in an ill-advised panic move.
14 Rick Tuten
16 Tom Rouen
17 Dave Krieg
18 Sidney Rice
19 James McKnight. He only wore this number for one season before changing to 82. But his body of work with this number still outshines those of Fabien Bownes and Logan Payne.
20 Terry Taylor. Very close race here between Taylor, Kerry Justin, Maurice Morris, Justin Forsett and Jay Bellamy, who all had their moments for this franchise. Taylor didn’t quite live up to his first-round status but was a starting cornerback for the Hawks for four years.
21 Ken Lucas
22 Dave Brown
24 Marshawn Lynch. Sorry, Shawn Springs – not yours.
25 Richard Sherman. Previous holder: Robert Blackmon.
26 Ken Hamlin. You could make an argument for Mike Rob or Josh Wilson.
27 Patrick Hunter
28 Curt Warner
29 Earl Thomas. Previous holder: Dwayne Harper.
30 Bobby Joe Edmonds. If only the team hadn’t prematurely traded Ahman Green.
32 John L. Williams. Apologies to Ricky Watters.
33 Leon Washington. Apologies to Dan Doornink and Darryl Williams.
34 Terreal Bierria. What, you wanted Franco Harris?
35 Steve Smith. No, not that Steve Smith. No, not that Steve Smith either. This one was a longtime Raider fullback who finished his career with the Seahawks in 1994-1995.
36 Lamar Smith
37 Shaun Alexander
38 Mack Strong
39 Brandon Browner
40 Kerry Joseph
41 Eugene Robinson
42 Chris Warren
43 Leonard Weaver. Apologies to Randall Morris.
44 John Harris
45 Ken Easley
46 David Hughes. Quick: name the leading rusher on the 1984 team that went 12-4.
47 Sherman Smith
48 Keith Simpson. Simpson is better known for wearing #42, but he wore #48 as a rookie in 1978. Simpson, Carlester Crumpler and Mike Morgan are the only Seahawks ever to wear #48; all three of them wore the number as rookies and then changed to different numbers starting with their second seasons. Frankly I have no idea who was best while wearing this number, which should be the relevant inquiry, but Simpson had the most distinguished career.
50 Fredd Young. K.J., you have some distance to go, including a contract extension, before we give you this.
51 Lofa Tatupu. Forgotten contender: Anthony Simmons
52 Kevin Mawae
53 Keith Butler
54 Bobby Wagner. Previous holder: Art Kuehn.
55 Michael Jackson. The blue wave is on a roll!
56 Leroy Hill
57 Tony Woods. By a nose over Shelton Robinson.
58 Bruce Scholtz
59 Julian Peterson. If you want to say Blair Bush, that’s cool too.
60 Max Unger
62 Chris Gray
63 Nick Bebout. One of the most difficult numbers to find anyone; Bebout was the starting left tackle for the first four years of the Seahawks’ existence.
64 Ron Essink
65 Edwin Bailey
66 Andy Heck. You can also go with Pete Kendall, who profiles very similarly to Heck: a lineman picked in the first round who played respectably and then bolted after hitting free agency.
67 Reggie McKenzie
68 Breno Giacomini
69 Clinton McDonald. Before 2013, the honor likely would have gone to Jeff Blackshear, a part-time starting lineman for a few years in the mid-90s. Floyd Wedderburn also wore this number.
70 Michael Sinclair
71 Walter Jones
72 Joe Nash
73 Ray Roberts
74 Manu Tuiasosopo
75 Howard "House" Ballard. Sean Locklear seemed destined to take it from him, but didn’t.
76 Steve Hutchinson. As much as I’d like Russell Okung to take this honor, he’s not close.
77 Jeff Bryant
78 Bob Cryder
79 Jacob Green
80 Jerry Rice. Just kidding.
81 Golden Tate. Really tough choice here between players who were #1 receivers for a short period but didn’t have that great a body of work: Tate, Koren Robinson and Sean Dawkins. Daryl Turner, Tommy Kane and Nate Burleson also had their moments. But only one of these guys has a ring.
82 Darrell Jackson
83 Deion Branch
84 Bobby Engram. 399 catches for 4,859 yards and 18 TD (eight seasons) vs. 283-4,457-37 (five seasons) for Joey Galloway. You make the call.
85 Mike Pritchard. You can go with the Pro Bowler Alex Bannister, but Pritchard had four very productive years as a receiver. Sentimental choice: Paul Johns.
86 Zach Miller. Just about every notable Seahawk tight end has worn this number: Mike Tice, Christian Fauria, Jerramy Stevens. But only one of these guys has a ring.
87 Ben Obomanu
88 Pete Metzelaars
89 Brian Blades
90 Terry Wooden
91 Chris Clemons
93 John Randle
94 Chad Brown
96 Cortez Kennedy
97 Rufus Porter. Patrick Kerney had a higher peak value and played on a better team, but Porter was a key part of an underrated defense for six years and a special teams stud.
98 Grant Wistrom. By a nose over Sam Adams.
99 Michael McCrary