In the lead-up to the 2023 NFL Draft, let’s take a look back on the Seattle Seahawks draft classes from 40, 30, 20, and 10 years ago. I’ll list each draft pick and give a short summary of their career achievements – if applicable. The 2003 draft class is under the microscope this time and it’s the first for new general manager Bob Ferguson as Mike Holmgren was stripped of his GM duties following the 2002 season.
Round 1, Pick #11 – Marcus Trufant, CB, Washington State
The most notable part of the 2003 NFL Draft ahead of the Seattle Seahawks first selection was when the Minnesota Vikings failed to make their selection at No. 7 overall before the clock ran out, allowing both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers to make their selections ahead of Minnesota. If you’re curious, it worked out pretty well for the Vikings as they still selected future Seahawks legend Kevin Williams at No. 9.
Okay, on to the Seahawks! Seattle selected Tacoma-native cornerback Marcus Trufant out of Washington State. Trufant starred in football, track, and basketball in high school before attending WSU. He was an All-Pac-10 selection as a freshman and started all four years.
Trufant wasn’t just a “homer” pick as he went on to have a productive Seahawks career including a Pro-Bowl selection in 2007. He appeared in 136 games, starting 125 from 2003-2012 with 646 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 21 INTs, 5 FF, 6 FR and 2 defensive TDs. Trufant was a fan-favorite and was very well respected as evidenced by the team signing him to a one-day contract in 2014 so he could retire as a Seattle Seahawk.
Round 2, Pick #42 – Ken Hamlin, DB, Arkansas
Seattle dipped into the secondary pool again with their next draft pick, choosing safety Ken Hamlin out of Arkansas. Hamlin stuffed the stat sheet in his three-year Razorbacks career with 381 tackles (third all-time), 9 INTs, 8 FF and 5 FR. In 2002, he was nominated for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy which is given to the best defensive player in the nation.
Hamlin’s career in Seattle started off hot with 178 tackles, 5 INTs, 3 FF, 1 FR, and 2.0 sacks over his first two seasons displaying a penchant for bone-crunching tackles. Sadly, Hamlin only played six games in the 2005 Super Bowl season as he was involved in an altercation at a nightclub and suffered a fractured skull, sidelining him for that magical run. It’s not like his absence would come back to bite the Seahawks, right? RIGHT??
Hamlin returned in 2006 and played a full season adding another 3 INTs. He left for the Dallas Cowboys in 2007 and made the Pro Bowl before tailing off over the following seasons and finishing his career with the Baltimore Ravens in 2010.
Round 3, Pick #73 – Wayne Hunter, T, Hawaii
Hunter didn’t make much of an impact in Seattle, appearing in two games from 2004-2005. He played one game for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2006 before reappearing in 2008 with the New York Jets. Hunter played in 60 games between 2008-2011 for the Jets and replaced newly-retired Damien Woody as the starting right tackle for all 16 games in 2011. He finished his career with the St. Louis Rams in 2012.
Round 4, Pick #110 – Seneca Wallace, QB, Iowa State
With their first pick of the fourth round, Seattle took a chance on a sub-6 foot quarterback whose last name starts with a “W” from a Midwest school. Of course, I’m talking about Iowa State’s Seneca Wallace! His college highlight with the Cyclones was a ridiculous play known as “The Run” where it’s estimated that Wallace ran 135 yards in order to score a 12 yard rushing TD. It’s rumored that Wallace fell in the draft because he insisted on playing QB in the NFL instead of moving to wide receiver.
During his seven years as a Seahawk, Wallace compiled a 5-9 record as a starter with a 25/14 TD/INT ratio. He then went to the Cleveland Browns in 2010-2011 and finished his career with the Green Bay Packers in 2013. My favorite Seneca Wallace memory by far is the over-the-shoulder catch against former Seahawks Legend Ken Lucas and the Carolina Panthers in the 2005 NFC Championship game.
Championship week coming @Hasselbeck Great ball, but better route and catch lol. pic.twitter.com/q6Wmb7DnVD— Seneca Wallace (@wallace_seneca) January 23, 2023
Round 4, Pick #135 – Solomon Bates, LB, Arizona State
Bates played in 17 games over two seasons with the Seahawks, starting three. He was out of the NFL by 2005.
Round 5, Pick #165 – Chris Davis, FB, Syracuse
Davis had a heck of a pre-draft workout, running a 4.49 second 40-yard dash with a 37 ½ inch vertical at 5’11, 235 lbs. This enticed the Seahawks despite the fact that they already had franchise icon Mack Strong and fellow fullback Heath Evans on the roster. If Davis had any luck at all, it was bad luck as he tore the ACL in his left knee during the 2003 regular season opener. After returning in training camp in 2004, he tore the ACL in his right knee during a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. Davis never got another shot in the NFL.
Round 6, Pick #183 – Rashad Moore, DT, Tennessee
Moore started 18 of 30 games for the Seahawks in 2003-2004, compiling 76 tackles, 3.0 sacks, and 3 FR. He played in 13 games for the New York Jets in 2006 and finished his career with a single appearance for the New England Patriots in 2007.
Round 7, Pick #222 – Josh Brown, K, Nebraska
Brown played all 80 games for Seattle from 2003-2007 making 116/145 field goals (80%) and 223/224 (99.6%) of his extra points. He bolted for the St. Louis Rams in 2008 to become the NFL’s highest paid kicker. Brown kicked there through 2011 before stops with the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and New York Giants – where he made the Pro Bowl in 2015 at the spry age of 36. Brown was released by the Giants in 2016 after domestic violence charges and never played the NFL again.
Round 7, Pick #224 – Taco Wallace, WR, Kansas State
Taco (nominated for best Seahawks draft pick name), played in three games for the Seahawks from 2003-2004. He appeared in one game for the Green Bay Packers in 2005 before exiting the NFL. Taco’s supremely short career was a disappointment for all of us.
In a draft class featuring four of the nine picks from a “State” school and two different Wallaces, the homegrown first-round pick Marcus Trufant is the clear standout of the group. Hamlin and Brown are notable as well, but their Pro-Bowl nods both came with other teams. Seneca Wallace is a nostalgic favorite for me, so let’s finish this out with a look at “The Run.”
FF - 2002 Seneca, THE run pic.twitter.com/WOTNT9u9PC— Cyclones.tv (@CyclonesTV) August 26, 2016