Players selected in the seventh round of the NFL Draft have been very, very good to the Seahawks.
It began in 1977, when they selected Georgia Tech running David Sims, who scored 15 touchdowns and averaged 4.3 yards per carry in 1978 before a neck injury ended his career. The 1983 draft brought Sam Merriman, a linebacker from Idaho who led the team with 21 coverage tackles in 1984 and was a special teams standout until a knee injury ended his career in 1987.
In 1993, they selected Michael McCrary, a defensive end from Wake Forrest who would lead the AFC with 13.5 sacks in 1996 and team with Michael Sinclair to give the defense a potent pass-rush tandem off the edges. The 2003 draft delivered Josh Brown, who would score 100-plus points for five seasons before losing major points with the team’s fans by jumping to the rival Rams as a free agent in 2008. In 2006, they selected Ben Obomanu, who this week was labeled “one of the more underrated wide receivers in the league” by GM John Schneider.
But of the 45 players the Seahawks have selected in the seventh round of the past 36 drafts, none was better than John Harris.
The safety from Arizona State was the 173rd player selected in the 1978 draft. But he started 112 games over the next eight seasons, intercepting a conference-leading 10 passes in 1981. Harris still ranks third all-time in career interceptions (41), fourth in return yards (425) and ninth in tackles (649).
With Harris at free safety and Kenny Easley at strong safety, the Seahawks had a last line of defense that helped carry them to the AFC Championship game in 1983 and a 12-4 record in 1984.
Monday night proved to be all right – and then some – for the Seahawks in 1986.
We examined that uneven path to a 10-6 as part of our series recapping the franchise’s first 35 seasons. But two milestones that happened on “Monday Night Football” deserve a closer look.
In Week 5 – on Oct. 6 – Steve Largent caught a pass in the 128th consecutive game in which he played to break the NFL record that had been held by former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Harold Carmichael.
Largent’s record-breaker came, appropriately enough, on a third-and-2 play in the second quarter of a 33-7 romp over the San Diego Chargers at the Kingdome. Just as appropriately, it came on a quick slant.
But it didn’t come easily, as three of Dave Krieg’s first four throws to Largent were incomplete, and the other was intercepted. But on the fifth try, Largent beat cornerback Wayne Davis to take the throw from Krieg and turned it into a 17-yard gain.
Largent was mobbed by his teammates at midfield.
His consecutive-game reception streak would eventually reach 177. No. 2 on the Seahawks’ all-time list is 71, by Joey Galloway from 1995-99.
The other Monday night effort of note came in Week 14 – on Dec. 8 – also at the Kingdome. In a 37-0 shutout of the Los Angeles Raiders, the Seahawks registered 11 sacks. It remains the club single-game record.
Eight different defenders got to Raiders’ starter Jim Plunkett six times, backup Marc Wilson four time and third-stringer Rusty Hilger once.
Even more boggling, Jacob Green, who led the team with 12 sacks in his first Pro Bowl season, also was shutout. But nose tackle Joe Nash and linebackers Sam Merriman and Greg Gaines each had two; while linemen Randy Edwards and Alonzo Mitz, linebackers Bruce Scholtz and Fredd Young and defensive back Greggory Johnson each had one.
Those were the Seahawks’ only Monday nighters that season, and they prevailed by a combined score of 70-7.