Sherman Smith. Terry Beeson. Keith Butler. Brian Blades. Terry Wooden. Kevin Mawae. Lofa Tatupu. John Carlson.
Each was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Seahawks. Each delivered results befitting a first-round pick. But which player was the best second-round pick in franchise history?
Smith, a quarterback at Miami of Ohio, was a member of the team’s initial draft class in 1976. After switching to running back in his rookie training camp, all he did was lead the team in rushing five times, including the Seahawks’ first four seasons. Beeson, a middle linebacker, came in the second draft in 1977 and led the team in tackles in each of his first three seasons – including a still franchise-record 153 in 1978. The following year delivered Butler, another linebacker who was the team’s all-time leading tackler when he left after the 1987 season.
In 1988, Blades was the team’s top draft choice because the Seahawks had used their first-round pick to select linebacker Brian Bosworth in the 1987 supplemental draft. But Blades led the team in receiving five times, remains No. 2 on the team’s all-time list in receptions (581) and receiving yards (7,620) behind Hall of Famer Steve Largent, was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1989 and elected to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team.
Wooden, an outside linebacker, was part of the 1990 draft that was headlined by the trade to acquire Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy with the third pick overall and also included running back Chris Warren and strong safety Robert Blackmon – aka “The Rookie Club.” Wooden started 87 games in seven seasons, led the team in tackles in 1991 and 1995 and also finished second twice. Mawae started at guard as a rookie in 1994 and also 1995 before moving to center in 1996 and 1997.
Carlson, a tight end who arrived in 2008, holds the franchise single-season records for the position receptions (55 in ’08), receiving yards (627 in ’08) and TD catches (seven in 2009).
But the best-of pick has to be Tatupu, who arrived in 2005 – just in time to help lead the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl. The middle linebacker is the only player in franchise history to lead the team in tackles four consecutive seasons (2005-08) and also was voted to three Pro Bowls.
Tatupu was released last year, Carlson spent the season on injured reserve and each is with a new team – the Falcons and Vikings, respectively. But their impact is undeniable, as each was voted to the 35th Anniversary team.
And Steve Raible definitely deserves honorable mention. A second-round pick in 1976, an injury ended Raible’s career after only six seasons, but he has remained with the Seahawks as first the analyst and now play-by-play man for team’s radio broadcasts.