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Enemy Reaction Special Edition: The Seahawks draft Earl Thomas

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San Diego Chargers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The 2010 Seattle Seahawks entered that year’s NFL Draft with a new head coach and a new general manager, after Jim Mora and Tim Ruskell were ousted. One good thing to come out of the 2009 campaign was Ruskell engineering a draft-day trade which sent Seattle’s 37th overall pick to the Denver Broncos for their 2010 1st rounder. Denver collapsed after a 6-0 start and finished 8-8, giving John Schneider two top-15 picks in his first year with the team.

Seattle unsurprisingly used the #6 pick to draft Russell Okung at left tackle, then chose free safety Earl Thomas with pick #14. Thomas is arguably the best safety in the NFL, and judging by how the end of last season went, he’s absolutely the most important player on the Seahawks defense.

Let’s dive into this latest NFL Draft edition of Enemy Reaction by starting off with ... well ... ourselves! Put yourself in the frame of mind of a Seahawks fan in 2010. Matt Hasselbeck was in decline, Charlie Whitehurst was acquired but otherwise was just a preseason warrior, and there were quarterbacks available to choose. One of those QBs was Jimmy Clausen, and some of us (including myself) at Field Gulls definitely wanted him.

When Thomas was actually chosen, there was a combination of jubilation from some and disappointment from others.

Clausen dropped all the way to the Panthers in the second round. He would throw a pick-6 to Lofa Tatupu later that year, so at least Clausen did end up throwing a touchdown to the Seahawks.

Let’s get to our division rivals now...

San Francisco 49ers (Niners Nation)

“Remember Michael Crabtree? I thought so.”

Here’s a quick check of Michael Crabtree’s stats against the Seahawks in the Earl Thomas era.

BEASTLY!

Arizona Cardinals (Revenge of the Birds)

“Still not enough for them to be able to stop Fitz and Crew!”

Yeah. Sure.

The artists formerly known as the St. Louis Rams (Turf Show Times)

Yeah, about “Bradford and our WRs will shred ‘em...”

My favorite reaction came from (who else?) the Philadelphia Eagles fans on Bleeding Green Nation. In case you don’t remember, the Eagles traded up from #24 to #13, exactly one pick before Seattle’s turn. BGN had interest in Thomas, Derrick Morgan, and Kyle Wilson.

In a dramatic turn of events, Philadelphia chose defensive end Brandon Graham, who was a serious reach at #13, never mind giving up both of your third-round choices to go up and get him.

...Then for the final insult, Seattle snagged Earl Thomas.

An Eagles friend of mine sent me this email literally the minute after Thomas went off the board.

Hey, Graham isn’t a bust or anything, and had a very productive 2016, but he’s definitely no ETIII.

Thomas is a Texas kid through and through, having played at West Orange-Stark High School before starring at the University of Texas. Here’s how the NFL’s two Lone Star State teams reacted to the local kid becoming a Seattle Seahawk, with a bonus shot from the Dallas Cowboys blog once they saw that Philly opted for Graham.

Houston Texans (Battle Red Blog)

Dallas Cowboys (Blogging the Boys)

Thomas wasn’t the first safety taken in the draft. That honor belonged to the outstanding Eric Berry, who was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the fifth overall pick. Arrowhead Pride was a fan of Seattle’s choice, and also made fun of Taylor Mays’ stock falling.

The first CB taken in 2010 was Joe Haden, who has fallen off considerably in recent seasons but has otherwise been one of the few good draft picks for the Cleveland Browns. One guy at Dawgs by Nature wanted Thomas at #7, though.

Meanwhile, over at Hogs Haven, commenters there knew that Pete Carroll was starting something special in the Pacific Northwest.

And finally, we go back to Niners Nation for just this one comment. youALREADYknow how this is going to turn out...

Glad the Seahawks could be of help!

That’s two Enemy Reaction draft specials down, and the reactions are not nearly as volatile as I was hoping expecting. I think we need to switch things up a bit and see how much other teams mocked the Seahawks for choosing Bruce Irvin with the 14th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Be on the lookout for that on Wednesday.