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Seahawks loom large over the first round

Clowney Getty Images

They ultimately didn’t make a pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, but the team that blew out the Broncos three months ago had a huge influence over the process.

The Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII by dramatically reversing the pass-happy trend of the NFL and playing stout defense, particularly in the secondary and in the pass rush.  As a result, last night’s haul included a record nine defensive backs, including four safeties.  Six pass rushers came off the board as well, led by Jadeveon Clowney.

Clowney becomes the first defensive player taken No. 1 overall since the last time the Texans held the first overall pick in 2006, when they selected Mario Williams.  Houston also becomes only the fourth franchise to make a defensive player the first overall selection, joining the Colts (Bubba Smith in 1967 and Steve Emtman in 1992), the Bills (Walt Patulski in 1972 and Bruce Smith in 1985), and the Cowboys (Ed Jones in 1974 and Russell Maryland in 1991).

That’s good news for the remaining defensive players, specifically the remaining defensive backs and pass rushers.  As teams turn to the final six rounds to fill needs, fewer of the players they need are still available.  Which means that plenty of defensive backs and pass rushers will be drafted higher than they otherwise would have been.

Especially if the push continues for more and more and more pass rushers and defensive backs.

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45 Responses to “Seahawks loom large over the first round”
  1. floratiotime says: May 9, 2014 7:30 AM

    All of that is insignificant next to the fact that they aren’t paying $20,000,000 off the cap to a QB. Add to it critical players on rookie deals and you’ve pretty much solved the puzzle. The rest is just hubris.

  2. jakescott13 says: May 9, 2014 7:31 AM

    Seahawks just invested a large chunk of ca$h into a crazy DB. They need to start figuring out how to get out of they deal when he goes over the edge…

  3. fafaflunky says: May 9, 2014 7:49 AM

    this is nothing new..bears giants steelers to name a few..
    people just caight up in the mannings and bradys of the world..running and a great D wins rings..

  4. mdpickles says: May 9, 2014 8:04 AM

    Seahawks will take Marqise Lee.

  5. jprcox says: May 9, 2014 8:12 AM

    The saying that defense wins championships has been around for a while.

  6. cptnystrdy says: May 9, 2014 8:13 AM

    2000 NFL Draft The Browns took Courtney Brown DE 1st over all… Should it read “Houston also becomes only the fourth franchise to make a defensive player the first overall selection 2 times”?

  7. footballtalk1 says: May 9, 2014 8:20 AM

    Give seattle too much credit. Teams picked for need.

  8. jeffesky says: May 9, 2014 8:33 AM

    The NFC West is out of control.

  9. chc4 says: May 9, 2014 8:37 AM

    Nonsense. Pass rush has always been a critical part of the game. That the Seahawks were really good at it last year isn’t some eye opener.

  10. rukkus1 says: May 9, 2014 8:38 AM

    Imitation is the highest form of flattery

  11. therealbrettfavre says: May 9, 2014 8:38 AM

    Houston also becomes only the fourth franchise to TWICE make a defensive player the first overall selection, joining the Colts (Bubba Smith in 1967 and Steve Emtman in 1992), the Bills (Walt Patulski in 1972 and Bruce Smith in 1985), and the Cowboys (Ed Jones in 1974 and Russell Maryland in 1991).

  12. whatjusthapped says: May 9, 2014 8:42 AM

    And yet the Vikings reached for a developmental hybrid DE/LB that used to be a running back and a bust of a QB, apparently they didn’t get the memo.

  13. nativeraider says: May 9, 2014 8:55 AM

    Its not the Seahawks, its more the way the NFL changed. It all started from the increasing of penaltys in the offenses favor. Also with RBs life span getting shorter. The change was when Brees passed for 5,000 yards, around that time teams changed philosophies.

  14. jnks10 says: May 9, 2014 8:55 AM

    I heard that the Seahawks were actually the first team ever to win a superbowl with a good defense. Thank god they were able to show the NFL how to win championships because there has never been a good defense ever to win a championship….. give me a break.

  15. jm91rs says: May 9, 2014 8:55 AM

    The Seahawks were great and all but it’s not like they reinvented football last year. The more pass happy the league becomes the more important DBs become.

  16. higheriqthanyou says: May 9, 2014 8:56 AM

    Hawks playing chess; rest of the league playing checkers.

  17. xplicitpits says: May 9, 2014 8:57 AM

    Couldn’t be a more correct article written! All I kept thinking was how many Corners, especially large rangey corners where going in the first round! A lot of wide receivers dropped!

  18. tvguy22 says: May 9, 2014 9:03 AM

    Steve Emtman – LOL

  19. 00otto says: May 9, 2014 9:14 AM

    yeah….all the offensive players taken were to combat the seahawks D and all the defensive players taken were to mimic the seahawks D…..right……if there was an elite QB in the draft then that guy would have been the #1 overall…..

  20. restorativejusticeprogram says: May 9, 2014 9:20 AM

    As long as you bribe the right refs you don’t need to worry about who you have on the field.

  21. snowdood163 says: May 9, 2014 9:22 AM

    Or maybe it’s because teams are getting destroyed by top level QB play. Case in point: SD, KC, & OAK picked two pass rushers and a corner.

  22. titansbro says: May 9, 2014 9:30 AM

    Pretty simple these days. Have a good passing attack or the ability to stop good passing attacks.

  23. hawkthunder says: May 9, 2014 9:32 AM

    That game was magical. We surgically slaughtered the Broncos. Our defense, offense and special teams. PM who usually throws up 40 points per game was held to a measly 8 points. But that’s nothing new to Hawk fans as we only allow 14.3 pts per game.

    Everyone’s beefing up their defense b/c the way to the SB will most likely be thru the NFC-West. Good luck boys!

  24. bspurloc says: May 9, 2014 9:51 AM

    Giants didnt smack the pats 2x because of the Giants supreme offense…
    The Ravens didnt massace teams because of a supreme offense.
    The Bears didnt smack the Pats in Super Bowl XX because of a supreme Offense.

  25. wimpyburgers says: May 9, 2014 9:51 AM

    And Gus Bradley, first year coach and former Seattle DC picks a QB, and not the one who most resembled the style of Russell Wilson

  26. seatownballers says: May 9, 2014 9:57 AM

    Hawks drafting Amaro or ASJ

  27. dcapettini says: May 9, 2014 10:12 AM

    All this proves is that just because you have a lot of money and are in a position of power, doesn’t mean you actually know anything. The Ravens won the previous Super Bowl. Should everyone emulate them too? Teams get hot for a while and beat everybody. It happens. The Ravens have done it twice in the last 15 years, the Giants twice, Tampa Bay, etc. The only team that seems to have any consistency is New England and we’ll see what happens when Brady is gone.

  28. alankelly2013 says: May 9, 2014 10:42 AM

    The Seahawks showed in the Superbowl that even with the NFLs focus on illegle hits and helmet to helmet penalties you can still play tough defense. While everyone else was complaining about how the defenses didn’t have chance anymore to stop the prolific offenses in the league now (Denver was the best of all time), the Seahawks just went out and learned how to tackle within the rules. The shut the Broncos down with something called “target tackling.” They run fast, hit hard, and they don’t miss tackles. Denver made a living all season on YAC and against the Seahawks there wasn’t any. None at all. The Saints were kind of shocked by that one too. They don’t give up big plays either, or at least very rarely. If you are going to score on the Seahawks you are going to have to drive it, and that doesn’t happen very often. Other teams around the league will be studying how the Seahawks play defense. We’ll see if any of them can figure it out. It’ll take some great athletes playing very smart football.

  29. denverwally says: May 9, 2014 10:48 AM

    The Patriots took Kenneth Sims – defensive tackle – 1st overall in 1982.

  30. praetorian12 says: May 9, 2014 10:49 AM

    NFC West = Windshield
    Rest of NFL = bug

  31. oreo51 says: May 9, 2014 10:57 AM

    While the rest of the league attempts to duplicate what the Hawks have done with their secondary, the Seahawks will load up on the offensive line. The next revolution in the NFL is going to be a dominate running game. Next year every team will be wanting to load up on big backs and a line that opens holes.

  32. Norseman says: May 9, 2014 10:58 AM

    The lesson from Seattle, and most successful teams in the NFL, is not necessarily drafting defense, but drafting well. Particularly a QB.

    49ers had excellent drafts leading up to their 80s dynasty.

    Patriots had excellent drafts leading up to their Super Bowl run.

    Packers used to draft well before their last Super Bowl too.

    In all those cases, however, their other picks would not have led them to a Super Bowl (or Super Bowl appearance) if they had not got lucky drafting a QB that fell in the draft.

    With that in mind, many thanks to those purveyors of misinformation and doubt that allowed Teddy Bridgewater to fall so the Vikings could take him #32.

    Joe Montana in 1979 – 3rd round
    Tom Brady in 2000 – 6th round
    Aaron Rodgers in 2005 – fell to bottom of 1st round
    Russell Wilson in 2012 – 3rd round
    Teddy Bridgewater in 2014 – fell to bottom of 1st round

  33. djalakas25 says: May 9, 2014 11:00 AM

    Lol no love for the Seahawks. If you look at their draft strategy it is pretty inventive. Their drafts can be judged by the rookie free agents that everyone passed on. Do some homework and look at how they recruit these kids. That’s how they create the chip on their shoulder mentality. Keep on hating. Lol. Don’t think they are going anywhere

  34. faultylogic29 says: May 9, 2014 11:27 AM

    Most of the picks made early on were offensive players. Then there was a run on defense. Most players were picked close to their perceived value. It’s a nice idea, but I don’t think it necessarily correlates.

  35. beastmode5150 says: May 9, 2014 11:53 AM

    Everyone hates the guys on top, if they like someone else. Hate makes you look childish.

  36. chawk12thman says: May 9, 2014 12:06 PM

    I also enjoy all the respect the Seahawks are getting from all the commenters and press. However, I suspect the teams are looking to improve their own teams based on evaluations of their own team needs. I think this draft is shaping up with the emphasis being on taking the better athletes in this given pool. If there were Franchise QB’s sitting there or elite athletes piled up in another specific group, there would have been a “run” on them.

  37. ariani1985 says: May 9, 2014 12:52 PM

    Ted Thompsons draft history, lol

    ##Whysomuchclownmusicinturdbay

  38. davefromwork says: May 9, 2014 12:57 PM

    Mike, you left out Lee Roy Selmon, who went 1st to Tampa Bay in 1976.

  39. floratiotime says: May 9, 2014 12:57 PM

    The Seahawks are/were positioned amazingly well against the cap, which is a major factor in their success. This is not hate … it’s math. They signed several players other teams could not afford. That’s not brilliance … it’s cap space.

  40. chefjayson says: May 9, 2014 1:00 PM

    Give me a break. Defenses have been winning championships as long as football has been around. The Seahawks did not reinvent football. Its well known the league is a passing league. How does one combat that? Pass rush and secondary. Get off the hawks jocks. They had a good season. Defense was great but soon to be broken up once contracts start pouring down. Especially if they think everyone is worth Sherman and thomas money. And don’t forget that they lost to Indy, with a injured team and a 5’9 hilton torching that very secondary, and arizona, with……?

  41. usdcoyotesfan says: May 9, 2014 1:47 PM

    In recent years, the Packers have a Super Bowl ring, and they’re coming off 3 straight division titles and 5 straight playoff appearances, including 6 in the last 7 years. Here are some notable draft picks who have contributed to this recent success:

    2007: Brandon Jackson, James Jones, Desmond Bishop, Mason Crosby.
    2008: Jordy Nelson, Matt Flynn, Jermichael Finley.
    2009: B.J. Raji, Clay Matthews.
    2010: Bryan Bulaga, James Starks.
    2011: Derek Sherrod, Randall Cobb, Alex Green.
    2012: Nick Perry, Casey Heyward.
    2013: Eddie Lacy, David Bakhtiari, Johnathan Franklin.

    I’d say Thompson has done a good job in the draft.

  42. justintuckrule says: May 9, 2014 2:09 PM

    LOL at the seahawks fans finally popping their cherries. Take it from fans of teams that have been there / done that multiple times (in my case within the last 7 years)….it’s much harder to repeat boys. When you’re the hunted, have the target on your backs every week from teams giving their A+ shot and don’t have the “fire” that is lost by human nature….trust me….. it’s more likely than not that you’ll have a <10 win team in 2014.

  43. djalakas25 says: May 9, 2014 2:30 PM

    First off… How did the Seahawks have so much cap space. Good drafting and smart business sense. How many other teams have had as much success with players that everyone passed up. That is the reason why they are positioned so well against the cap. Look at the teams that are always over the cap.
    I am not saying the Seahawks invented the wheel, but they don’t deserve to constantly diminished for going against common thinking. They spent big money on Matt Flynn and benched him for Wilson. They cut Aaron curry because he wasn’t pulling his weight for salary. In all reality the Seahawks haven’t drafted well in the first round it’s the later rounds. If I had to compare then to anyone I would have to compare them with the patriots with lucking into a great qb, but being gutsy enough to play him like brady

  44. praetorian12 says: May 9, 2014 2:33 PM

    Nine defensive backs in the first round for the first time ever? Yeah, I’d say Seattle and the Legion of Boom loomed large over the draft. And thanks for letting those offensive linemen, defensive edge players and WRs slide….

  45. alankelly2013 says: May 9, 2014 2:34 PM

    You can only hope that’s true.

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