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Thursday Round-Up: Ranking Draft Classes During The Pete Carroll-John Schneider Era

Corbin Smith of Sports Illustrated analyzed the 12 draft classes selected under the Carroll-Schneider regime to see which have been the most productive.


Good morning, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Thursday, March 31 — about your Seattle Seahawks.

Ranking Draft Classes During The Pete Carroll-John Schneider Era

Kam Chancellor. Richard Sherman. Bobby Wagner. Russell Wilson. Tyler Lockett. Earl Thomas. The list goes on, and on, and on.

In 12 years of drafting together, Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have discovered a massive amount of Hall of Fame, Super Bowl-winning talent. And with the 2022 NFL draft beginning in just a few weeks, the duo once again has the opportunity to turn some of the nation's less heard of players into household names.

Ahead of next month's draft, Corbin Smith of Sports Illustrated looked back on Schneider and Carroll’s 12 draft classes to see how they stack up against one another.

The Seahawks laid the foundation for their 2013 and 2014 Super Bowl teams early in the decade, with the 2010 draft grabbing the No. 2 spot in Smith's rankings. That year, the Seahawks came away with several building block multiple-year starters in Earl Thomas, Russell Okung, Golden Tate, and Kam Chancellor.

"Addressing the trenches first, they drafted Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung, who started 72 games over the next six seasons and earned one Pro Bowl selection despite persistent injury issues," Smith said. "Eight picks later, they snagged Thomas, who became an instant starter and quickly turned into [a] household name as one of the NFL's premier safeties … In terms of value, fifth-round safety Kam Chancellor stands out as the best pick from this outstanding class, as he became the unsung leader of the 'Legion of Boom' delivering bone-jarring hits to opponents and leading to substantial changes in how teams scouted the position."

The Seahawks' 2011 draft class was ranked third by Smith, headlined by K.J. Wright, Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, and Malcolm Smith. "Becoming a starter early in his rookie season, fourth-round pick K.J. Wright would spend the next decade with the Seahawks, racking up 941 tackles, 54 passes defensed, and 13.5 sacks starring alongside Wagner at linebacker," Smith said. "In the secondary, cornerback Richard Sherman emerged as one of the best fifth-round picks in NFL history, picking off 32 passes and earning All-Pro honors four times in seven seasons with the franchise."

Unsurprisingly, the Seahawks' 2012 draft class featuring Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner was ranked first by Smith. The Seahawks used their first pick in this draft on DE Bruce Irvin, though, who racked up 22.0 sacks and three interceptions in his first four-season stint with the Seahawks despite being viewed as a reach by many pundits.

The rest was history. "In the next two rounds, Schneider snagged a pair of future Hall of Famers picking Wagner and quarterback Russell Wilson, who combined to earn 17 Pro Bowl selections and led the team to eight playoff appearances in 10 seasons," Smith said. "Wagner owns the franchise's all-time tackles record and was named First-Team All-Pro six times, while Wilson owns every significant passing mark."

Click here to read Smith’s full rankings of Schneider and Carroll's draft classes with the Seahawks.

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