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Seahawks Drafts from the Past: Luke Willson tops the 2013 class

The 2013 NFL Draft class was not strong overall, and the Seattle Seahawks selections reflect that. 

NFL: OCT 03 Rams at Seahawks Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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. In this final article of the series, we hop back 10 years to the magical 2013 season. Just looking at the Seahawks draft class from that year, however, you’d never guess the success the team would see.

Round 2, Pick #62 – Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M

The Seahawks didn’t have a first-round selection in 2013 because they traded #25 overall along with a seventh-round pick and a conditional 2014 pick to the Minnesota Vikings for mercurial wide receiver Percy Harvin. Never forget that kickoff return in Super Bowl XLVIII!

Seattle also slid back from their native pick #56 overall, trading it to the Baltimore Ravens for #62 and two additional picks – which were then traded to move up in the fifth round. Calm down, Schneider!

Anyway, when the Seahawks finally made a selection, they surprised many fans and media alike by selecting running back Christine Michael from Texas A&M to pair with prime Marshawn Lynch. Michael had been the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2009 and finished his Aggies career with 34 rushing TDs.

Fun fact: I attended the Seahawks preseason game in 2013 in Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers when Michael busted loose for a 43 yard rushing TD. I was convinced that he was going to be a stud as the change-of-pace back for Beast Mode. Spoiler: I was wrong.

Michael only played 14 games in 2013-2014 for Seattle, gaining a paltry 254 yards rushing without a TD before the Seahawks released him after signing Fred Jackson. He wouldn’t last as a Dallas Cowboy and made his way back to Seattle at the end of 2015 when both Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls were injured. CMike had a comparatively good end to the season with 192 yards rushing over the final three regular season games. That earned him another chance in Seattle in 2016 when he posted 469 yards rushing with 6 rushing TDs over nine games. Despite starting seven of those nine games, the Seahawks waived Michael, ending his tumultuous run in Seattle. He finished the 2016 season with Green Bay and appeared in one game for the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 before his NFL career was over.

Round 3, Pick #87 – Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State

Seattle went defense with their next pick, selecting 2012 First Team-All-Big Ten defensive tackle Jordan Hill from Penn State. He only played in four games as a rookie and recorded 1.5 sacks. There was a stretch in 2014 after Brandon Mebane was put on IR where Hill kind of went nuts. Over the final six games of the season, he broke out with 5.5 sacks. Unfortunately, he was injured in the last game and missed the playoffs. Hill played 10 games in 2015 for Seattle with zero sacks and finished his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016.

Round 4, Pick #123 – Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State

You know that fourth round wide receiver curse that people talk about for the Seahawks? Harper was part of it. He was waived during final roster cuts in his rookie training camp. Harper eventually played in four games on special teams for the Green Bay Packers in 2013, but that would be the last time he appeared in an NFL game. Good thing he didn’t scare Schneider away from other Kansas State receivers.

Round 5, Pick #137 – Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

The Seahawks took a chance on “Tha Monstar” Jesse Williams, a two-time national champion at the University of Alabama. He was a starter on both of those championship teams yet fell in the draft due to worries about his knee. Turns out, those were warranted since he never appeared in a game for the Seahawks – or anyone else in the NFL.

Round 5, Pick #138 – Tharold Simon, CB, LSU

Seattle stayed in the SEC for the second pick in a row selecting cornerback Tharold Simon out of LSU. He was supposed to hold down the side opposite Richard Sherman and give the Seahawks a pair of lockdown corners. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and Simon’s lasting memory is getting roasted by the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX after Jeremy Lane was injured. He finished his career in 2016 with the Arizona Cardinals.

Round 5, Pick #158 – Luke Willson, TE, Rice

Finally, a good pick to write about! The Seahawks picked future fan favorite Canadian-born tight end Luke Willson out of Rice. Interestingly, he was the second TE drafted from Rice in 2013 behind 49ers second-round pick Vance McDonald. Willson never put up huge numbers in the NFL with 1,307 total yards receiving and 11 TDs, but he was definitely a “glue guy.” He also caught that crucial two-point conversion against the Green Bay Packers in the 2014 NFC Championship game.

Techno Thursday wouldn’t have been the same – or may not have even existed – without him.

Round 6, Pick #194 – Spencer Ware, RB, LSU

Here’s an interesting one. Ware only played in three games for the Seahawks as a rookie and was released during training camp in 2014. He popped up with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015-2016 appearing in 25 games with 1,324 rushing yards and 9 TDs. Ware was injured in a 2017 preseason game against our very own Seahawks and missed the entire season. He played in 16 more games for the Chiefs in 2018-2019 before exiting the NFL with two Super Bowl Rings – one with Seattle in 2013 and the other with the Chiefs in 2019.

Round 7, Pick #220 – Ryan Seymour, G, Vanderbilt

Seymour never played a down for Seattle but started three games for the Cleveland Browns in 2014. His last (and final) appearance was for one game only as a Dallas Cowboy in 2016.

Round 7, Pick #224 – Ty Powell, DE, Harding

Like the previous pick, Powell never played for the Seahawks. The Buffalo Bills gave him a shot and he played in 19 games for them from 2013-2014.

Round 7, Pick #241 – Jared Smith, DT, New Hampshire

A Tom Cable special, Seattle drafted defensive tackle Jared Smith with the intention of moving him to offensive line. “Fat Rabbit” – yes, that was his real nickname at UNH – never played a regular season snap after bouncing around on various practice squads through 2016.

Round 7, Pick #224 – Michael Bowie, OT, Northeastern State

Bowie started eight games in 2013 at right tackle for the Seahawks because of a rash of injuries along the offensive line. That’s the apex of his career as he was waived in 2014 and never played another down in the NFL.

So there you have it, a pretty disappointing way to end the series. The Seahawks 2013 draft class featured a LOT of picks, but none of them were very good. That didn’t stop John Schneider from at some point acquiring seven of the first thirteen picks from the 2013 draft. None of them were very good either.

I don’t want to end this series on a sour note, so here’s a CMike TD from the 2020 edition of the XFL. Enjoy.