Seahawks loom large over the first round

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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.

45 responses to “Seahawks loom large over the first round

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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”?

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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…..

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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……?

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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….

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