And the best third-round pick is …

From Michael Jackson in 1979, to Darrell Jackson in 2000, to Brandon Mebane in 2007, the Seahawks have discovered players with first-round talent in the third round of the NFL Draft.

Just look at the contributions of these three:

Michael Jackson, a linebacker from the University of Washington, led the team in tackles three consecutive seasons (1980-82).

Darrell Jackson, a wide receiver from Florida, was the team’s leading receiver in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006 – including a then-franchise record 87 receptions in ’04.

Mebane, a defensive tackle from Cal, has started 69 games over the past five seasons, and last season led all NFC interior linemen in tackles.

But the honor for best fourth-round pick in franchise history goes to Fredd Young – a linebacker from New Mexico with the second “d” in his first name that he explained stood for defense.

Young was selected in 1984 and made the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons with the team – the first two as a special teams player, the last two as a linebacker. He led the team in tackles three consecutive seasons (1985-87), before being traded to the Colts for a pair of first-round draft choices.

So Young also was the draft choice that kept on giving, as the team used the first-round selections acquired for him to draft offensive lineman Andy Heck in 1989 and as part of the package to trade into the third spot in 1990 to take Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy.

Honorable mention among the team’s third-round picks goes to running back Lamar Smith (1994), who rushed for 680 yards and eight touchdowns in 1996; tackle Sean Locklear (2004), the right-side starter on the best line in franchise history in 2005, as well as 2006-08; and linebacker Leroy Hill (2005), who has started 77 games the past seven seasons.

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