The Seattle Seahawks are the odds-on favourite to win the NFC.
They’ve won 10 of their last 11 games dating back to last year.
Before a recent rash off offensive line injuries, they were the rare NFL team with no glaring weaknesses. Depending on which stats you want to use, they have a top-five pass rush, secondary, and passing game.
While they’ve made some great free agent signings in recent years, a number of home run draft picks — especially in the 2012 draft — is the biggest reason why they’ve become a juggernaut.
Look at the 2012 draft alone:
- Bruce Irvin, LB (1st round): He’s suspended for the first four games of this year. But he had nine sacks as a rookie last year.
- Bobby Wagner, LB (2nd round): One of the best linebackers in the league, according to the advanced stats from Pro Football Focus.
- Russell Wilson, QB (3rd round): The steal of the draft. He’s now one of the more stable QBs in the league.
- Robert Turbin, RB (4th round): A completely serviceable second-string running back.
- J.R. Sweezy, OL (7th round): He came in as a defensive end, Seattle moved him to guard, and now he’s a starter.
So they got a franchise quarterback, an elite linebacker, two other starters, and a back-up running back in the 2012 draft alone.
At the time, no one thought that it’d work out like that. In fact, most NFL draft experts HATED what they did.
Mel Kiper Jr. gave them a “C-” grade, which was dead last in the league. He wrote, “The needs were met outside of wide receiver, but in terms of maximizing value, there are huge questions.”
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated gave them a “C” grade, writing, “LB Bobby Wagner (47) and RB Robert Turbin (106), both from Utah State, will help, and QB Russell Wilson (74) has a bright future, even if Seattle didn’t really need him. Everything else was … very … blah.”
NFL Network hated it too. They gave them a “C.”
The lesson is to take all NFL draft grades with a grain of salt, because sometimes even a “terrible” draft can turn you into the best team in the conference.
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