With Pete Carroll coming to replace fired head coach Jim Mora, 2010 was the start of a new era in Seattle. Carroll left his head coaching job at USC at the perfect time. We all know that he did a few illegal things at USC and the college ended up paying for them, but as a Seahawks fan those things don't really bother me. Whether or not he ignored NCAA regulations, Carroll is a good coach with a with a great eye for talent.
Even so, there was no way Paul Allen was going to forget what happened the last time he let a coach have full control of a team, so he decided to bring in a general manager also (although Carroll did have a say in who got the job). Enter John Schneider, who came from another great organization, the Green Bay Packers, and had a eye for talent to match Carroll's. The two men have very similar personalities, and they both use the same criteria in building a talented roster. I believe Carroll and Schneider working together can turn the Seahawks franchise around and return us to the caliber of team we were used to seeing just a few years ago.
This was a great first draft for Carroll and Scheider. They entered the draft with 8 picks and left with 12 players, including two veteran running backs and a veteran defensive tackle. That number rises to 13 if you count QB Charlie Whitehurst, who was acquired prior to the draft for a swap of second round picks along with a 2011 third rounder.
Round 1 (#6 overall), OT Russell Okung
The Seahawks were very lucky to have Russell Okung slip down to them, which happened thanks in large part to the Redskins selecting OT Trent Williams instead. Okung had some injury problems last season, but when healthy he looks the part and he should anchor Seattle's left tackle position for the next ten years. He's definitely a future pro bowler.
Round 1 (#14 overall), FS Earl Thomas
This could perhaps be the best draft pick that Tim Ruskell never got to make, as Ruskell landed this pick in return for Seattle's second round choice to Denver in the 2009 draft.
When it came to the choice itself, once again the Seahawks got lucky. When the Eagles traded up to pick just ahead of Seattle it looked as though their selection would be Thomas, but instead they chose DE Brandon Graham. Thomas went on to play every game last year, making 5 interceptions in the process. He had some rookie lapses, but looks like another future pro bowler for the Seahawks.
Round 2, WR Golden Tate
Projected as a possible first round pick, the Seahawks were very happy to see Tate fall to them near the bottom of the second round. Although he didn't have much of an impact as a wideout last season, he did look pretty good as a punt returner. If he works on his fundamentals, he could turn into a great wide receiver. Tate has speed, explosiveness, and very strong hands, leading some to compare him to a young Hines Ward.
Round 4, CB Walter Thurmond
On Day 3, the Hawks decided to trade for RB LenDale White and DT Kevin Vickerson, giving up almost nothing to Tennessee in exchange for them -- which is good, since both ended up being cut before the season even began.
After moving down seven spots in the fourth round in the trade with the Titans, the Hawks found Walter Thurmond, who was rehabbing from a torn ACL. If not for the knee injury, Thurmond figured to be a second round pick. He could end up being a great selection for the Seahawks, who are hoping that he can become a starting cornerback once his knee is completely healed.
Round 4, DE E.J. Wilson
A three-year starter for North Carolina, Wilson isn't much of a pass rusher but figured to be a factor in run support, mainly as depth behind Red Bryant. Wilson ended up being cut in late November and is now with the Buccaneers.
Round 5, SS Kam Chancellor
With the draft pick they acquired from Detroit by trading OG Rob Sims, the Hawks added a clone of Taylor Mays (minus the speed and coverage skills). At 6'3", 231 lbs, Kam Chancellor gives the Seahawks a potential heir apparent for Lawyer Milloy. Chancellor is strong in run support, but weak in pass defense; however, if he can improve against the pass this selection could become a great draft steal.
Round 6, TE Anthony McCoy
McCoy was rated a third round prospect by many, but he slipped all the way to the sixth after testing positive for marijuana at the Combine. As with Chancellor, the Seahawks may have gotten a steal. McCoy is an athletic, sizeable tight end (6'4", 259 lbs) who may very well turn into a dependable option for the Seahawks' offense.
Round 7, DE Dexter Davis
Davis is an athletic freak who was worth taking a chance on in the seventh round. He is very raw and needs to work on his fundamentals before being considered a future contributor for the team.
Round 7, WR Jameson Konz
At 6'3" and 227 lbs, Konz is a big, athletic player with great speed and agility who got drafted because of his size and a great showing at his pro day. He needs a lot of work, but was definitely worth taking a shot on at the bottom of the seventh.
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At first it looked like Carroll and Schneider might have been in over their heads, but with a little luck (and some help from Ruskell's trade with Denver) they played their first draft together just right and made some great moves. They didl make some mistakes, especially when they traded QB Seneca Wallace to Cleveland and Rob Sims to Detroit for little in return, but they were able to restrain themselves in free agency by passing on the high prices of both Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jacskon. Carroll and Schneider put together a great draft in 2010 and filled some major needs on the roster.