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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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August 13, 2008 9:39 AM

Picking the drafts apart

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The Seattle Times' Seahawks' coverage today focused upon the fate of recent first-round picks, noting that Marcus Tubbs becomes the latest to leave the team. Here's a link to the story.

An analysis on this sort of topic is usually applied to explain how things go wrong. Certainly, you could use that perspective to explain the struggles of the Rams and the 49ers. The recent failings resulted partly from the failure of first-round picks to pan out.

Now Seattle has only four of its previous 10 first-round picks still on the roster yet the Seahawks have made the playoffs five years running. That success has come in spite of watching those first-round picks depart in one way or another.

I had an E-mail this morning that made a very salient point. What about coaching? Doesn't that have something to do with the success? And yes, it certainly does. That's a very good point so I make a nod to Hackabout1 for his note this morning.

Here's a look at the teams with the highest attrition rate among first-round picks from 2000 to 2008 and the highest retention rates:

The best The worst
1st rd. picks
still on team
1st round
picks gone
1st rd. picks
still on team
1st round
picks gone
Dallas80 N.Y. Jets76
Pittsburgh81 San Francisco66
New England81 St. Louis56
San Diego81 Seattle46
Indianapolis71 Detroit55
Tampa Bay61 Arizona55


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Posted by bigmaq

10:09 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Way to early to determine if last three firsts aren't also busts. Given Spencer's history he at best rates a neutral grade - not a bust and not a star. Jennings is about the same and Jackson most likely will be too. Not a star among the bunch and very likely one more bust coming.

Posted by 12thmanforlife

10:12 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Coaching does have a big part in a team's success, but 1st round picks are often over-hyped and the players you pick in the 2nd and 3rd rounds often can be good contributors to your team. And then if you really do your scouting you might find some good players in later rounds or sign free agents. That's what the Hawks have been doing.

Posted by McDawg

10:32 AM, Aug 13, 2008

Who is the non Ruskell first rounder?? W Jones??

Posted by Danny O.

11:17 AM, Aug 13, 2008

There are two first-round picks currently on the Seahawks roster not drafted by president Tim Ruskell: LT Walter Jones (who was drafted before the time period in question) and CB Marcus Trufant.

Posted by hawk

12:19 PM, Aug 13, 2008

The Seahawks have been fortunate to play in a crappy division for most of the last decade. Notice that all four teams in the division are on "the worst" list. Eventually, the Tubbs' and Spencers' will catch up with this team.

Posted by Wilbur

12:32 PM, Aug 13, 2008

You have to be careful in characterizing a draft pick as a “bust” or wasted if they are no longer with the team. A closer look at the 10 first rounders SEA has had since 2000:

2000 S. Alexander
2001 S. Hutchinson
2001 K. Robinson
2002 J. Stevens
2003 M. Trufant
2004 M. Tubbs
2005 C. Spencer
2006 K. Jennings
2008 L. Jackson

We can all agree that it is too early to tell on Spencer, Jennings, or Jackson but the fact that they have been starters (Spencer/Jennings) or are projected to be a starter (Jackson) tells me they aren’t busts considering they were drafted near the end of the first round.

Hutch and Alexander are no longer with the team but no one would consider them busts. So really, they only really missed (badly) on the character of Robinson and Stevens, and the health of Tubbs.

By my count that is 7/10 for the good.

Posted by Wilbur

12:38 PM, Aug 13, 2008

Oops. Forgot McIntosh in 2000. Chalk another one up to health. 6/10 by my recount.

Posted by Naks8

1:15 PM, Aug 13, 2008

I think that many 1st round draft picks are overpaid and overhyped. roger goodell is correct in saying that they haven't proved anything yet, but are still getting lucrative contracts. but in order to do this, teams have to honor their lucrative contract extensions with veterans instead of just cutting them. if you're gonna reward someone with a contract, then reward them and handle it if you signed them for too long. unfortunately, that isn't the way it is. so many 1st rounders will continue to be 'busts' because they are given unproven money. a 2nd/3rd round guy will bust their butts way harder because they are trying to make the team. if we really want to look at the seahawks' picks, let see when they were drafted and what their contract looked like.

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Picking the drafts apart

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