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No Tim Ruskell first-round picks remain in Seattle

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders passes to teammate Hines Ward over coverage by Seattle Seahawks Aaron Curry Reuters

Drafting poorly is the quickest way to sink a franchise.

There is little debate over whether Tim Ruskell drafted poorly while he was team president of the Seahawks.  Only nine players remain from the 2005-2009 drafts when Ruskell was in charge.  The best player among them? Probably Brandon Mebane.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times notes that no first-round picks are left from the Ruskell years. Cornerback Kelly Jennings was traded for a roast beef sandwich before the season. Aaron Curry, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 draft, is on his way out.  Center Chris Spencer is now with the Bears after underwhelming in Seattle.  Lawrence Jackson is in Detroit.

If you miss that often in the first round, your franchise is going to take a big step back.

The positive for Seahawks fans: The Pete Carroll regime has done better with first round picks.

Earl Thomas is already one of the best safeties in football. Tackle Russell Okung is a solid starter at worst when he’s healthy.  The jury remains out on this year’s first round pick James Carpenter.

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36 Responses to “No Tim Ruskell first-round picks remain in Seattle”
  1. purpleguy says: Oct 13, 2011 11:13 AM

    Hey, they’ve got T-jack — he was a Vikes’ second rounder!

  2. chwtom says: Oct 13, 2011 11:23 AM

    Bears fan here…

    Glad our incompetent GM Angelo hired the only guy in football with a worse record on first round picks to be his assistant.

    Someday Bears fans will get their wish and Angelo will be fired. Please don’t let this be his in-house replacement.

  3. silverdeer says: Oct 13, 2011 11:26 AM

    He didn’t miss on Lawrence Jackson, it just took him a bit longer than normal to adjust to the pro game. He is a solid part of the rotation at DE.

  4. dccsphil says: Oct 13, 2011 11:27 AM

    Really…at least T-Jack is getting a look and as for James Carpenter….get DIRECTV and see a seattle game….one word “BEAST”!!!!!!

  5. asublimeday says: Oct 13, 2011 11:31 AM

    If one of the players is on the lions, then surely ruskell drafted a hall of famer, as the lions are a dynasty the likes of which has never been seen.

  6. sweetnlow44 says: Oct 13, 2011 11:32 AM

    Good luck, Chicago! How Ruskell got another job in football after what he did to the Seahawks is baffling.

  7. 4evrnyt says: Oct 13, 2011 11:36 AM

    To be fair you cant really fault Seattle for Aaron Curry because he was considered by “everyone” as the top defensive pick in the draft. Everyone and their mother was comparing Curry to Willis and Curry was considered a no brainer instant starter. If Seattle hadn’t taken him at #4 it would have only been another pick or two before he went anyway.

  8. southpaw2k says: Oct 13, 2011 11:39 AM

    I still can’t quite figure out why the Seahawks didn’t draft a quarterback in the last draft. I’m sure they’ll be in the hunt for Luck after this season, but if someone else grabs him or he opts to stay in school for one more year, what else do they do? Go after Landry Jones?

  9. ajknox88 says: Oct 13, 2011 11:40 AM

    Lawrence Jackson is producing in Detroit. Perhaps coaching is the answer.

  10. joetoronto says: Oct 13, 2011 11:51 AM

    What a joke.

    By comparison, 26 of the last 29 players drafted by the Raiders are with the team.

  11. 6ball says: Oct 13, 2011 11:56 AM

    .

    If your first round picks under perform on a regular basis, then you will find it very difficult to be competitive in the NFL .

    Show me a team with a poor record and the chances are they’ve drafted poorly .

    .

  12. zeckwreck says: Oct 13, 2011 12:06 PM

    To all the Lions fans with their “But, but Lawrence Jackson is awesome on our team!” comments:

    There is an article I read a while back from a Detroit paper where he describes the environment for him before he left. He admitted that he fell asleep during mandatory meeting with all coaches, and didn’t work hard when given the opportunity.

    If a change of scenery is what he needed, then so be it. But a guy that admits he didn’t care or give it his all isn’t someone I want on my team. And along with Suh and Fairley on that line, I could probably look halfway decent lining up. As of now, “BUST” is easier said than “legitimate first rounder.”

    Tim Ruskell is the worst football mind I’ve seen come into this organization. Curry just got outplayed by a 4th round rookie. Good job Carroll and Schneider in weeding them out!

  13. kylexitron says: Oct 13, 2011 12:36 PM

    As a seahawks fan these are bitter sweet numbers.

    On one hand it sucks so bad that this team whom we finally saw make it to the superbowl was basically dismantled and destroyed by idiot Ruskell, beginning with letting Hutchinson go, basically saying “Well we have the best left side of an O-line perhaps in the history of the NFL, but that’s okay – you can walk, we’ll be alright”.

    On the other hand at least now I feel a little smart and validated for all the drafts I sat around in anticipation of my seahawks picks, only to be completely confused, disappointed, and a little angry when they drafted some undersized reach in the first round trying to be clever.

    I can’t really fault them for Curry though, he should be a better player.

    The Raiders got a good deal – for a 7th round pick and a conditional in ’13, they at least have a decent LB. Aaron Curry was never ‘good’ here but being ‘good’ as a 4th round pick is a lot different than being a ‘good’ 7th round pick; if Curry had been with another team, i would have been happy to make the same trade to bring him here, but the situation here became untenable.

    Hopefully he’s happy in oak-town, because we now see in seattle what happens when he gets crappy pants – he goes and cries and mopes on twitter about it until he loses any confidence from his coaches, teammates, and from watching the giants game, himself.

  14. kylexitron says: Oct 13, 2011 12:37 PM

    *4th overall pick

  15. trollhammer20 says: Oct 13, 2011 12:40 PM

    Oh, yeah. It was also Ruskell’s brilliant idea to sign T.J. Houshmanzadeh, who I believe was 32 at the time, to a five-year, $40 million contract.

    Carroll erased that mistake when he dumped Housh, in spite of the money the team had invested in him. They paid him not to play last year, and in his absence, Mike Williams stepped up and revived his career.

  16. pthompson1187 says: Oct 13, 2011 12:42 PM

    Seattle Seahawks equal west coast browns when it comes to drafts 2005-2009.

  17. deepseabreeze says: Oct 13, 2011 12:51 PM

    kylexitron says:
    Oct 13, 2011 12:36 PM
    As a seahawks fan these are bitter sweet numbers.

    On one hand it sucks so bad that this team whom we finally saw make it to the superbowl was basically dismantled and destroyed by idiot Ruskell, beginning with letting Hutchinson go, basically saying “Well we have the best left side of an O-line perhaps in the history of the NFL, but that’s okay – you can walk, we’ll be alright”.

    __________________________________________

    typical idiot seahawks fan. you do realize there was virtually no way the hawks could have resigned hutchinson right? the vikings signed him to a poison pill contract where it specified if he wasn’t the highest paid offensive lineman on the team then the entire length/money of the contract becomes guaranteed. now, the hawks had recently signed walter jones to a bigger deal than the 7/49 that hutchinson got. thus, there was no way they could match the vikings offer. and you do NOT pay a LG more than a future HOF anchor left tackle. no team in the NFL would have resigned hutchinson under those provisions.

  18. packchampxlv says: Oct 13, 2011 12:57 PM

    Thank god this guy is making picks down in Chicago

  19. biglebronski says: Oct 13, 2011 1:11 PM

    Hilarious to think of all the Holmgren haters now. Holmgren got to the Super Bowl after having his GM duties stripped, but still had the players he brought in while he had those GM duties. Maybe people will finally understand that Ruskell, not Holmgren, was responsible for the teams failures and the setback it is still facing.

  20. bunjy96 says: Oct 13, 2011 1:16 PM

    Who is worse Ruskell or Millen?

    Or does it really matter?

  21. uwsptke says: Oct 13, 2011 1:17 PM

    Everyone likes to harp on how the 49er’s passed on Rodgers and picked Smith. How about the bigger blunder by the Seahawks to grant the Packers permission to speak to Ted Thompson about their GM opening? Just look at the talent that he’s acquired through the draft.

    2005 – Seahawks had #23 pick, traded back with Oakland. Thompson selects Aaron Rodgers at #24. Seahawks take Chris Spencer. Thompson also takes little-known Nick Collins in the 2nd. His first two picks as Packers GM yield two All-Pros. And the roster is set up for years to come.

  22. shackdelrio says: Oct 13, 2011 1:21 PM

    “pthompson1187 says:
    Oct 13, 2011 12:42 PM
    Seattle Seahawks equal west coast browns when it comes to drafts 2005-2009″

    Check the Jags out during that time under Shack Harris.

    First rounders: Matt Jones. Reggie Nelson, Derrick Harvey

    Second rounders: Khawhiff Barnes, Justin Durant, Quentin Groves

  23. lionsfanatic84 says: Oct 13, 2011 1:21 PM

    I think in the right atmosphere curry will have a decent career, obviously something is up with coaching in Seattle. Lawrence Jackson sucked in seattle and didnt really seem to care but now hes a steady role player in Detroit, it helps he has a solid d-line to play on, and Gunther Cunningham is a fiery d coordinator who doesn’t take any BS, but he definitely loves being a lion now. That just says something is going wrong in Seattle’s front office/coaching staff.
    I’m glad I was proved wrong when I was on the curry bandwagon when the lions had the first pick that year. Sure Stafford hasn’t made it thru a season healthy (yea our o line blows) but at least he still conttibutes and starts

  24. lionsfanatic84 says: Oct 13, 2011 1:24 PM

    Millen is worse, at the Seahawks made playoffs, and didn’t go 0-16, or draft 4 1st round wrs, man I could go on and on

  25. kylexitron says: Oct 13, 2011 1:24 PM

    @deepSeaJennifer-

    They could and should have franchised him, and were criticized for not doing so at the time because it was the keystone of that offense and the offense was the reason the team won. You say “they just for whatever reason I can’t really justify and i’m just making crap up, have possibly paid him that much!” the fact of the matter is that they could, and should, have paid him that much.

    Another horrible ruskell decision. Look what happened to the team when you let go a pro-bowl guard up next to your pro bowl tackle- effectively closed the door on the next couple years of having a shot to be back in the superbowl.

    Calling another fan an idiot though because their opinion differs from yours – classy move though!

  26. essentialsausage says: Oct 13, 2011 1:27 PM

    Love me some LoJack in Detroit!

  27. trollhammer20 says: Oct 13, 2011 1:42 PM

    Must give a FAIL to this article for not mentioning the fact Ruskell also traded a #1 pick to the Patriots for Deion Branch.

    I am not surprised at all the Bears are having offensive line problems. Seattle started having them the moment Ruskell slapped the transition tag on Steve Hutchinson and let the Vikings poison-pill him out of town.

    Ruskell did nothing to fix that. The offensive line was undermanned for years, especially at the tackle position. I think he drafted one OT in the first four rounds his entire time here. More often, it was left to bargain-bin veteran FA signees to shore things up, who invariably would get hurt. On multiple occasions, linemen were signed on Tuesday and suiting up on Sunday. This is the main reason Hasselbeck went from being one of the better QBs in the league to an often-nervous pick machine.

    The only reason Ruskell can be faulted for picking Curry, who was indeed unanimously regarded as the one “can’t miss” player in the 2009 draft, is that the offensive line was in serious trouble when he did it. I can remember some fans saying “We don’t need a LB, trade down, get extra picks, and draft a tackle.” But Ruskell was never one to trade down and stockpile picks. In fact, he would trade up regularly, and while the players he got were good (Tatupu and Carlson), it had to be wondered if they might not have been available 4-5 picks later and not cost a third or fourth rounder to move up.

    It is no accident that Carroll and Schneider have spent three of their five highest picks in their first two years on offensive linemen. Seattle’s offensive line is still struggling, but at least now, it’s with young players who have a chance to improve and grow, and not a bunch of over-the-hill stiffs.

  28. gmen1987 says: Oct 13, 2011 1:46 PM

    Aaron Curry was the guy who was called by draftniks the “safest pick” in the 2009 draft? This was the guy most Lion fans wanted rather than Matthew Stafford?

    Seattle could have had Mark Sanchez with that pick, but took Curry instead. Ouch.

  29. supesfan34 says: Oct 13, 2011 2:09 PM

    Lawrence Jackson was a decent role player in Seattle also. That would’ve been fine if he’d been a 4th round pick, but he was a 1st round pick. I call that a miss.

    To the person wondering why Seattle didn’t draft a QB last year. As a Seahawk fan, I sure didn’t want any of the QB’s coming out last year. I admit that Dalton is looking pretty decent so far, but I would rather get Jones or Barkley in this year’s draft.

    And then, of course, there is the person calling a Seahawk fan an idiot because they couldn’t resign Hutchinson. Have you ever heard of the “Franchise Tag”? Ruskell apparently hadn’t. He used the Transition tag to save $500,000, and let Hutch get away for that.

  30. themackstrong says: Oct 13, 2011 2:43 PM

    Lawrence Jackson was a role players with us as well. But Carroll switched the scheme so you needed to get to the passer or stop the run from the DE position. Jackson doesn’t neither very well. Just look up his sack total..Still sitting pretty at 0 with the Lions this year. We have Brock and Clemmons. Curry is soft..I have said it many times watch him play I have watched every game since he was drafted. Put him in coverage there is a sure first down.

  31. vahawker says: Oct 13, 2011 2:45 PM

    Kylexwhatever…you ever hear of the franchise tag? Noskill essentially told Holgren that he would franchise Hutch and instead put the transition tag on him. Viking fans are so completely lacking any football knowledge

    hey purple guy…TJack was doing better than your starting QB, but don’t let facts get in the way your idiocy.

    Oh…and Ruskell was worse than Millen

  32. spartaninnh says: Oct 13, 2011 3:52 PM

    Don’t understand the LoJack hate. He was injured early in Seattle, didn’t fit Carroll’s scheme and was dumped for a bag of chips into Detroit’s scheme, where he’s producing as the guy who replaces Kyle Vanden Bosch in the DL rotation. Not a starter, but seeing 50% of the snaps, easily.

    @themackstrong 0 sacks for LoJack? You missed Monday Night Football. He nailed Cutler for a sack once, hit him a bunch of times, and was in his grill the entire game.

    @zeckwreck I read the Detroit newspapers regularly. I’ve never read anything attributed to LoJack such as you describe, and I doubt he ever said it. Please provide a link to the story.

    LoJack is in a scheme where the DL attacks the QB now, and is producing. Detroit is glad Seattle had no room for someone with his talents. He may not have been the pick for that scheme, so go ahead and criticize Ruskell all you want for that, but his production in Detroit so far equates to a first-rounder.

    Re: the Ruskell v. Millen argument — only one was hired into a front office position following a disastrous stint as GM. Of course, that may say as much about Angelo as it does about Ruskell’s NFL talents…. :)

  33. deepseabreeze says: Oct 13, 2011 3:59 PM

    @deepSeaJennifer-

    They could and should have franchised him, and were criticized for not doing so at the time because it was the keystone of that offense and the offense was the reason the team won. You say “they just for whatever reason I can’t really justify and i’m just making crap up, have possibly paid him that much!” the fact of the matter is that they could, and should, have paid him that much.

    Another horrible ruskell decision. Look what happened to the team when you let go a pro-bowl guard up next to your pro bowl tackle- effectively closed the door on the next couple years of having a shot to be back in the superbowl.

    Calling another fan an idiot though because their opinion differs from yours – classy move though!

    ____________________________________

    i dont even want to bother looking it up but if the hawks would have franchised him it would have completely destroyed their salary cap. feel free to look it up. it was common knowledge at the time.

  34. hawkman84 says: Oct 13, 2011 4:20 PM

    Please to any and everybody who thought Matt Hasselbeck was washed up and wanted him out of Seattle: THIS is the sole reason why Matt Hasselbeck’s production fell off!!!

    Not because he was a bad QB!

    Ruskell is the SOLE reason why Matt’s run in Seattle was cut short!

  35. hawkman84 says: Oct 13, 2011 4:24 PM

    It’s just a shame what Ruskell did to this franchise!

    Talk about white-collar crime!

    All he did was get fat off Mr. Allen’s dime while tanking his very franchise.

    Football’s version of the economic situation right now.

    After we Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Ruskell’s Front Lawn!

  36. avr29 says: Oct 13, 2011 8:04 PM

    The reason Ruskell used the Transition Tag wasn’t because he didn’t want to pay him money. The Transition Tag was essentially a Restricted Free Agent tag that could be used on any player, but would not grant the team from whom the player was signed any compensation. Seattle had the right to match the offer of any team for that player.

    In this case, Ruskell used it to allow Hutch to find out how much he could get, and then get the maximum, with the team promising him that they’d match any offer. The Vikings, however, came up with an ingenious idea to prevent Seattle from being able to match that offer: the “poison pill” contract. The deal would be fully guaranteed if any other player had a larger contract than Hutch during any time, not just when Hutch would sign. Walter Jones restructured his contract so that the team could re-sign Hutch, with the team thinking that it would only be fully guaranteed if he wasn’t the highest payed player at any time during the duration that the contract would be signed. Unfortunately, because Walter Jones had been making more money than the 7/49 contract that was offered Hutch, the entire 7/49 money would have been guaranteed, preventing Seattle from being able to match the offer.

    I somewhat blame Hutch for the debacle. His over-greediness prevented the team from re-signing him, when it was likely that he would have seen all that money anyway, and had the opportunity to play in another Super Bowl or 2, depending. The team was acting in good faith, and he abused that.

    To whomever said we should have drafted Sanchez instead of Curry: Yeah, because Sanchez is doing so well with a better o-line than we have/had, a better defense than we’ve had, and a better running game than we’ve had. That pick would’ve been even worse.

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