Seattle Seahawks: Best and worst draft picks

In the days leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft, NFL.com will allow users to determine the best and worst draft picks for every team. The series continues with the Seattle Seahawks.

Best picks

Walter Jones -- 1997 (No. 6)
Reasons abound for Jones to top this list. His nine Pro Bowl selections are the most in Seahawks history. (Yes, Pro Bowls don't mean what they used to, having morphed into inflated barometers of career success and popularity contests.) Still, Jones was a rare species of NFL player. The offensive tackle started all 180 career games played and spent each of his 12 seasons in Seattle, a rock of consistency and durability who is revered by Seahawks fans. A man you'll see later on this list owes much of his success to Jones, a four-time first-team All-Pro widely regarded as one of the top offensive linemen ever to suit up. They might as well start fitting Big Walt for a gold jacket now.
» 1997 NFL Draft

Cortez Kennedy -- 1990 (No. 3)
For much of his NFL career, Kennedy was a lone bright spot on some atrocious Seahawks teams. He was a run-stuffing, havoc-wreaking force from his right defensive tackle position. A lifelong Seahawk who racked up 668 tackles in 167 career games, Kennedy's ability to get behind the line of scrimmage and pressure the ball carrier forced offenses to alter game plans -- often using designed run plays away from him -- and account for him on each snap. After knocking on the door of the Hall of Fame a few times, Kennedy finally earned his rightful spot as a 2012 inductee. With eight Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pro nods and one NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, Kennedy's bust in Canton is deserved.
» 1990 NFL Draft | Photos: Kennedy through the years

Shaun Alexander -- 2000 (No. 19)
Who can forget Alexander's 2005 season? He set the NFL on fire that season, running his way to league MVP honors and the record for single-season touchdowns (later broken by LaDainian Tomlinson.) A three-time Pro Bowl back and the owner of several team rushing records, Alexander was most responsible for Seattle making it to Super Bowl XL. The Seahawks rewarded him with a lucrative, long-term extension in March of 2006, but Alexander never came close to matching his 2005 performance. A broken foot and the continuation of the "Madden curse" followed the big contract, and Alexander faded quickly out of the NFL consciousness. He benefited from stellar blocking by a couple offensive linemen on this list. Still, his eight years in Seattle assure him a place among the franchise's all-time greats.
» 2000 NFL Draft

Steve Hutchinson -- 2001 (No. 17)
The knock on Hutchinson's tenure in the Pacific Northwest is that it was too short-lived. He played only five years in Seattle, from 2001 to 2005. You could argue that Hutchinson is known better as a Minnesota Viking than as a Seattle Seahawk. But when he was on the 'Hawks, Hutch went to three Pro Bowls and was a two-time first-team All-Pro choice. He paved the way for Alexander from his guard position, establishing himself as the cream of the crop of NFL guards. Hutchinson and Jones could have gone down as the top tackle-guard tandem in league annals had Hutchinson not decided to depart for Minnesota in free agency before the 2006 season.
» 2001 NFL Draft

Curt Warner -- 1983 (No. 3)
I didn't really want to put Warner on this list, but let's be honest -- it's slim pickings when you're talking about the very best draft picks in Seattle Seahawks history. Warner burst onto the scene in 1983, leading the AFC (remember when the Seahawks were in the AFC?) in rushing yards as a rookie. Some Seahawks fans still wonder how productive Warner could have been had he not torn his ACL the following season. With three double-digit rushing touchdown seasons, Warner's career, on the whole, is defined more by steadiness than by greatness. He did make it to three Pro Bowls, though, so his body of work earns him a spot rounding out the list. Still, it might not be long until Russell Wilson bumps him out.
» 1983 NFL Draft

-- Khalil Garriott

Follow Khalil on Twitter @khalilgarriott

Worst picks

Dan McGwire -- 1991 (No. 16)
McGwire was drafted 16th overall in 1991 by the Seahawks to become the quarterback of the future. Which is unfortunate, because McGwire never even developed into a serviceable backup. He initially sat behind Dave Krieg, but failed to compete for the starting job, landing him consistently on the bench until the Seahawks drafted a new quarterback of the future in Rick Mirer (see below for more on Mirer). McGwire continued his epic run of mediocrity by backing up Mirer, and when an injury to Mirer allowed McGwire to step into the spotlight, he responded by completing 48 percent of his passes over three games, throwing one touchdown and two interceptions. McGwire was cut after only four seasons in Seattle, and was the first quarterback whiff in the first round by the 'Hawks in a span of three years. That's some painful drafting right there.
» 1991 NFL Draft

Aaron Curry -- 2009 (No. 4)
Curry was a Butkus Award winner (best collegiate linebacker) and All-American prospect out of Wake Forest who was all the rage in the 2009 draft. Many scouts figured him to be a cornerstone of one lucky team's defense for the next decade, the Seahawks included. Well, they all figured wrong. The Seahawks took Curry with the fourth overall selection, and signed him to the richest non-quarterback rookie contract in league history ($60 million, with $34 million guaranteed). Boy do they wish they had that money back. In three seasons in Seattle he started 30 games before being traded to Oakland, and recorded a measly 5.5 sacks. I'm not certain on how much of Curry's contract Seattle was able to pass off to Oakland or the exact salary cap numbers, but based on his rookie contract Curry was paid roughly $6.18 million dollars per sack during his career from his guaranteed money (he never registered a sack in Oakland). Sorry Seahawks fans. Sometimes, the truth hurts.
» 2009 NFL Draft

Koren Robinson -- 2001 (No. 9)
The 2001 draft was pretty stocked with wide receiver talent, featuring the likes of Reggie Wayne, Chad Johnson and Steve Smith to name a few. Yet, the Seahawks chose to take the risk-reward prospect of Koren Robinson out of North Carolina State. Robinson was loaded with potential as well as off-the-field issues. Robinson delivered on both. He had a breakout season in 2002, catching 78 passes for 1,240 yards and five touchdowns. Yet, he kept getting into trouble with the NFL's substance abuse policy and was repeatedly in hot water with the team for missing meetings. After being arrested for a DUI in 2005, the Seahawks finally cut ties with the talented and frustrating Robinson. He bounced around the league and eventually returned to the Seahawks in 2008 before retiring, but he carried his troubles with him everywhere he went and ultimately let his off-the-field issues ruin what could have been a great career.
» 2001 NFL Draft

Owen Gill -- 1985 (No. 53)
With their first pick in 1985, the Seahawks chose Gill, the then all-time leading rusher in Iowa football history. Gill was to be a bruising backfield force for the Seahawks only ... he didn't make the team. That's right, by the time the 1985 regular season started the Seahawks' first pick in the draft wasn't even on the team. That's devastating to a franchise and an embarassment for a scouting department when your top choice can't even make the roster. Gill stayed around the NFL for three years, landing with the Colts and Rams and rushing for a grand total of 490 yards before retiring from the league.
» 1985 NFL Draft

Rick Mirer -- 1993 (No. 2)
I originally had Rick Mirer off this list since the Seahawks were able to turn the debacle that was Mirer in a round-about way into future Hall of Famer Walter Jones. However, after much deliberation I had to bring Mirer back into the fold and bump Lamar King from the list. As the second overall pick, Mirer was expected to help turn around the franchise as the Dan McGwire experiment was going nowhere in a hurry. The future looked bright when Mirer played admirably as a rookie, but that light quickly went black as Mirer bumbled around in the backfield for the next three years. Mirer was a career 53 percent passer in Seattle, and threw 15 more interceptions than touchdowns before being shipped off to Chicago. The Mirer selection forced the Seahawks to keep bringing in outside talent like the aging (but still amazing) Warren Moon and Jon Kitna before they finally found stability with Matt Hasselbeck under center in the early 2000s. Since Mirer was the No. 2 overall selection and dramatically failed to live up to expectations, he makes the cut as one of the worst Seahawks picks of all time.
» 1993 NFL Draft

-- Alex Gelhar

Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar

Best and worst draft picks
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