Analysis: Breaking Down Seahawks Fourth Round Hit Rate From Positional Perspective

In 11 seasons at the helm, John Schneider has made 19 fourth round selections for the Seahawks. Set to pick No. 129 overall later this month, which positions have yielded the highest hit rate in that round and which ones haven't been as successful?
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Holding the fewest picks of any NFL team, the Seahawks currently are slated to make three selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Only one of those picks, No. 56 overall in the second round, comes in the first 100 picks.

Given general manager John Schneider's background, Seattle will likely look to trade down at least twice to recoup additional picks on day three. This opens the door for the team to make more than one selection in the fourth round, depending on the compensation received in return.

Looking back at Schneider's previous 11 drafts, which position groups have yielded the best results in the fourth round? And which ones haven't been as successful?

Roaring Success

Linebacker

In terms of star power, Schneider hasn't unearthed many gems in the fourth round. But K.J. Wright stands out as the most notable exception, as he's enjoyed a far more successful career than his single Pro Bowl selection would attest. A starter since early in his rookie season, he has amassed 941 combined tackles in his 10-year career, the third-most in franchise history. Beyond his gaudy tackle numbers, he's proven to be a reliable defender in coverage as well, registering 54 passes defensed and six interceptions in 144 career games. Renowned for his leadership both in the locker room and in the community, he will be remembered long after he hangs up his cleats as a Seahawks icon. The other linebacker drafted by Schneider in the fourth round - Kevin Pierre-Louis - only produced 43 tackles in three seasons with the team but remains in the league and started 11 games for Washington in 2020.

Hit and Miss

Defensive Backs

None of the cornerbacks or safeties drafted by Schneider in the fourth round have turned into stars. But at least two of them proved to be reliable slot cornerbacks, including Walter Thurmond, whose impact would have been even more significant if not for constant injuries. Coming out of Oregon, he produced a solid rookie season with 37 tackles and seven passes defensed. Then, after two injury-marred seasons, he played a key role as a slot corner for Seattle's Super Bowl championship squad in 2013, returning an interception for a touchdown and registering six passes defensed. 2019 draft choice Ugo Amadi has also flashed at the position in his first two NFL seasons, generating 71 tackles, seven passes defensed, and a forced fumble in 30 games. The one glaring miss from this group was Tedric Thompson, who struggled mightily replacing Earl Thomas at free safety and was released before the 2020 season.

Running Backs

Seattle hasn't necessarily drafted game-changing runners in the fourth round under Schneider, but Robert Turbin was a valuable third down back behind Marshawn Lynch for several seasons after being drafted out of Utah State in 2012. He rushed for 938 yards on 231 carries while adding 43 receptions for 427 yards and a pair of touchdowns as a receiver in three seasons. Most recently, the Seahawks snagged DeeJay Dallas as a fourth round selection out of Miami in 2020 and he showed some promise as a rookie. Appearing in 12 games, including a pair of starts, the receiver-turned-running back rushed 34 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns while also contributing 17 receptions for 111 yards and a score. Along with factoring in on special teams, he could remain a factor as a third down back moving into 2021 and beyond.

Big Whiffs

Receiver

If there's a position group in a specific round that appears to be cursed for Schneider, it's receiver in the fourth round. Since 2010, he has used four fourth round picks on wideouts and the four players have registered a combined 12 receptions with the Seahawks. Kris Durham, a 6-foot-5 receiver out of Georgia, caught three passes for 30 yards as a rookie in 2011 and was released prior to the start of the 2012 season. Two years later, Kansas State standout Chris Harper didn't even make the team out of his first training camp and never played a single regular season down in Seattle. The same fate was suffered by 2019 fourth round pick Gary Jennings, who endured a horrific preseason and was cut out of training camp. 2014 draftee Kevin Norwood stands out as the "best" fourth round pick of this group and he contributed nine receptions for 102 yards before being traded to the Panthers after just one season.

Offensive Line

Throughout his career under center, Russell Wilson has dealt with poor offensive line play and the inability for Schneider to hit on any of his fourth round picks in the trenches has played a role in this chronic issue. He has used three fourth round picks on offensive linemen and only one of them - 2015 selection Mark Glowinski - started a single game for the Seahawks. Terry Poole, who was picked four selections before Glowinski in the same draft, never made the 53-man roster and eventually washed out of the league without playing in a single regular season game. 2019 draft choice Phil Haynes performed admirably when thrust into a playoff game against the Packers during his rookie season, but he has played in only two regular season games in two years due to hernia and hip-related injuries. Making matters even worse, since being released midway through the 2017 season, Glowinski has become a viable starting guard for a quality Colts offensive line.