Ozzie Newsome

The Seahawks have had some pretty bad draft picks in their history, starting with the first player they ever drafted, Steve Niehaus.

The Seahawks didn’t even draft the best player in team history.  Steve Largent was actually drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1976 and then traded to the Seahawks in the preseason.

Other bad picks include the entire 1977, 1978, 1999 and 2004 drafts.   In 1977, the Seahawks traded the number two overall pick in the draft to the Dallas Cowboys.  The Cowboys then drafted Tony Dorsett.  Seattle wouldn’t have a relevant running back until they drafted Penn State’s Curt Warner in 1983.

Some of the most notable bad picks where quarterbacks Dan McGwire in 1991 and Rick Mirer just two years later in 1993.  Brian Bosworth was considered a bust as well, but he was selected in the 1997 Supplemental Draft, so I will not include him in this story.

The Seahawks draft I would redo more than any other one is 1978.  Why might you ask? 

In 1978 the Seattle Seahawks had 10 picks in the draft.  I will list each pick and who I would’ve picked knowing what we all know now.  It’s hard to believe that in 12 rounds, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history was passed over and he was sitting in the Seahawks back yard the whole time.

1978 Seahawks Draft Picks and Re-picks 

Round 1, Pick 9: Keith Simpson, DB, Memphis State.  Should have picked:  Ozzie Newsome, TE, Alabama.  Ozzie Newsome ended up being a Hall of Famer in Cleveland.

Round 2, Pick 36: Keith Butler, LB, Memphis State.  Should have picked: Al Baker, DE, Colorado State.  For some reason, the Seahawks really liked guys named Keith from Memphis State in 1978.  Al Baker was named the 1978 Defensive Rookie of the Year, went to three Pro Bowls and had 65.5 career sacks.

Round 3, Pick 63: Bob Jury, DB, Pittsburgh.  Should have picked:  Dwight Hicks, DB, Michigan.                Hicks was a four time Pro Bowler and a two time All-Pro and picked 32 passes in his career.

Round 5, Pick 119: Louis Bullard, OT, Jackson State.  Should have picked: Doug Smith, OL. Bowling Green.  Doug Smith went to six Pro Bowls.

Round 6, Pick 146: Glen Starks, WR, Texas A&I.  Should have picked: J.T. Smith, WT, North Texas.                 J.T. Smith was a three time All-Pro and a two time Pro Bowler.

Round 7, Pick 173: John Harris, DB, Arizona State.  Should have picked: Mosi Tatupu, RB, USC.  Tatupu is the father of former Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu.  Mosi was one of the greatest players in New England Patriots history and was one of the first special teams stars.

Round 9, Pick 231: Rich Grimmett, OT, Illinois.  Should have picked: Tom Pridemore, DB, West Virginia.  Pridemore played eight seasons in the NFL.

Round 10, Pick 258: Rob Stewart, WR, Lafayette.  Should have picked:  Dennis Thurman, DB, USC.               Thurman played nine seasons.

Round 11, Pick 301: George Halas, LB, Miami.  Should have picked: The same player.  Seriously, look at this guy’s name.  Need I say more?  Halas was completely worth a wasted 11th round pick.

Round 12, Pick 316: Jeff Bergeron, RB, Lamar.  Should have picked: Warren Moon, QB, Washington.                  Duh!  That's all I have to say with this choice.  

Moon KingdomeWhat if the Seahawks took a chance on Warren Moon?

Obviously Warren Moon could have warranted a first round pick.  However, the close mindedness of teams at this time was a big factor.  Moon wasn’t drafted because he wasn’t a good quarterback.  He wasn’t picked because he was an African American quarterback, plain and simple fact.

Moon played in the Seahawks back yard at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington.  In 1977 during his senior year, Moon led the Huskies to a 10-2 record, a Pac-8 championship and was named Rose Bowl MVP after beating Michigan 27-20. 

Moon would end up playing for the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL before getting a shot with the Houston Oilers in 1984.

I could only imagine if Warren Moon had received a shot with the Seahawks.  I think he would have beaten out Jim Zorn for the starting job within a year or two, maybe even as a rookie.  Warren Moon would end up playing the 1997 and 1998 seasons with the Seahawks.

Biggest draft day regret in Seahawks history: Not drafting Warren Moon in 1978.  Drafting him would have saved the Seahawks the agony of drafting Dan McGwire and Rick Mirer in the early 1990s.