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Seahawks’ recent drafts have come back to haunt them

Seattle Seahawks v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are not what a wise person would call competitive at the moment. Nothing was more clear than Monday night, with Russell Wilson struggling his pants right off, that Seattle accomplished absolutely nothing in the run game.

This roster has a very adequate offensive line, except at whatever spot they put Kyle Fuller. They have adequate running backs, when used so sparingly its unnoticeable. When counted on, neither unit has done anything special this year.

Though the problems this season undoubtedly start with Russell Wilson, they don’t end there.

What if the Seahawks drafted better?

Obviously this is an exercise every team could do every single year, but Seattle looks like it would be in serious contention for Russell Wilson + one of the least talented rosters were it not for John Schneider’s trades.

Here are some of the biggest misses, for all who would still be on their rookie contracts at the moment.

2021

Pick 56: Dee Eskridge

Pick 63: Creed Humphrey

Kyle Fuller was once again the team’s lowest-rated player by PFF against Washington Football Team, playing left guard this time. His pass block grade was 0. He’s the guy that beat Ethan Pocic in camp, in whom (Pocic) the coaches felt confident enough to pass on a Humphrey who shouldn’t have even been available to them.

Meanwhile Creed Humphrey will make this year’s all-rookie team at center, and it sucks a bunch.

Pick 208: Stone Forsythe

Pick 194: Elijah Mitchell

Yes, this one’s earlier. But Seattle traded up to get Stone Forsythe, whom you might have already forgotten. Elijah Mitchell is a running back now with the San Francisco 49ers, who has 693 yards this season on a 4.8 yard per carry rookie season. Here’s a fun little quote from John Schneider about the Forsythe pick:

“It seemed like forever we waited for Stone, we tried trading up forever to get him,” Schneider revealed. “I wanna say it was in the 190s that we tried. ... It literally seemed like two hours, forever—it seemed like forever.”

To have traded up for a running back that late would not have been a stretch for a team that takes late-round backs with impunity and can’t figure out how to run with them.

2020:

Pick 27: Jordyn Brooks

Pick 41: Jonathan Taylor

Brooks seems fine, not stellar yet, but good at what he does with plenty of hope for improvement. While there’s not a ton wrong with the pick besides the inevitable departure of K.J. Wright, Jonathan Taylor is a freak stud and is the type of talent that would have been a better pick if Seattle had taken anyone else in the draft. Drafting a RB that high is not bad if they are that good.

Pick 133: Colby Parkinson

Pick 182: Michael Onwenu, interior offensive line

It was an overreaction pick at the time, and remains one if the team is going to sign a TE1 every free agency. Unfortunately for Parkinson, now they’ve actually signed a very good one in Gerald Everett, whom I badly want the team to re-sign. Parkinson doesn’t do anything for the team, while Onwenu started 16 games his rookie season for the New England Patriots, committing one penalty all year.

2019

Pick 29: L.J. Collier

Pick instead: literally anybody else.
But seriously, available immediately following were T Kaleb McGary, T Jawaan Taylor, and WR Deebo Samuel. For those who don’t follow the tackle market, McGary and Taylor are both solid, while the Seahawks have been searching for a right tackle for seven years.

Pick 47: Marquise Blair

Pick 51: A.J. Brown

It might be the most fortunate thing to happen to this franchise outside of Russell Wilson in the third that this team made two failed selections and still landed D.K. Metcalf at 64 that year. Obviously if they had been high on Brown and taken him instead, Metcalf becomes far less likely, but just imagine if they had. Because imagination is what we have to work with this year.

Pick 88: Cody Barton

Pick 106: Maxx Crosby

Crosby already has 22 sacks, and forced four fumbles his rookie season! He’s a total stud and let’s see...was the team in the market for defensive end help this year I can’t remember.

2018

Pick 27: Rashaad Penny

Available within 15 selections: Lamar Jackson, Nick Chubb, Pro Bowl LB Darius Leonard, WR Courtland Sutton, OLB Harold Landry, and TE Mike Gesicki.

Pick 79: Rasheem Green

His most incredible special teams play from MNF notwithstanding, he’s been a mostly-quiet draft pick. Some options might be at pick 83: T Orlando Brown Jr. Another might be TE Mark Andrews at 86. Both selected by Baltimore Ravens, Brown was a two-time Pro Bowl tackle, while Andrews has been a very successful tight end.

What fascinated me about this study is that was the positional breakdown. In general, within a short distance of where the Seahawks actually picked, most of the best players (by Approximate Value, media top rookie lists, or Pro Bowl votes) were linemen or running backs.

Obviously the team wasn’t going to draft Lamar Jackson in 2018. I would have said the team obviously wouldn’t have drafted yet another linebacker in Darius Leonard, but Seattle did exactly that and worse by drafting Barton and Brooks in consecutive seasons with Wright and Bobby Wagner still on the roster.

Yet right tackle has been a sore spot since Germain Ifedi committed 16 penalties in 2017. The team has never had a truly interesting running back behind Chris Carson. On the defensive side, Collier, Darrell Taylor, Alton Robinson, DeMarcus Christmas, Rasheem Green, and Jacob Martin were all drafted from 2018-2021. This proves that the team isn’t useless at identifying defensive line talent, but have not hit on a true lead rusher in a long time. Crosby and Leonard’s combined 37 sacks point to the fact that even the elusive pass rusher can be found outside the top-10.

The Seahawks problem’s this year are compounded, impossibly so. Even in this reflection, it’s not just that the picks were missed, in many cases it’s that they took another frigging linebacker or safety, to put them....third on the depth chart?

I don’t know.

Wilson’s broken right now and the team was clearly not going places in 2021. But a few more draft picks certainly would have made us all feel better about the future.