Why do NFL teams treat late-round picks like gold even if just a small percentage pan out?
The best secondary of its generation features a Defensive Player of the Year candidate (Richard Sherman, fifth round), two-time Pro Bowl pick (Kam Chancellor, fifth round), top-tier cornerback (Byron Maxwell, sixth round), premier nickelback (Walter Thurmond, fourth round) and special-teams dynamo (Jeremy Lane, sixth round).
It's more rare to hear about the luxury of devoting such a minuscule portion of the salary cap to the backbone of the league's top defense. This is an organization that spent nearly $20 million more on offense than defense while building a Super Bowl champion.
Not every franchise has the scouting acumen and developmental program to turn the late rounds of the draft into a bonanza. The Seahawks represent the best-case scenario that other front offices envision when they hoard draft picks at the expense of acquiring high-dollar stars.