Anyone can look back and point their finger at a team's past draft classes and ask "what were you thinking?" Every single team has selected a player who they were convinced would be a star for their team, but that player falls flat on their face and the organization winds up with egg on theirs. No one is immune to the occasional draft blunder.
In Seattle's case, 2019 is a draft that is full of satisfaction, as well as regret. Let's take a look back at that draft class for Seattle and see what they could have had instead. These will be players that were still on the board and were selected soon after. We will also determine if the player they actually selected is worth selecting again.
Round 1, Pick No. 29: Elgton Jenkins, OL, Mississippi State
Original selection: L.J. Collier, DE, TCU
L.J. Collier utterly disappointed in his rookie season, playing just 14 percent of Seattle's defensive snaps and accounting for just three tackles. After an entire offseason to get healthy and get acclimated in the system, Collier had a more solid 2020, with 22 tackles, four for a loss, seven quarterback hits, and 3.0 sacks while sliding into different alignments along the defensive line.
However, to this point, he has not produced like a first-round defensive end. Washington selected Montez Sweat three spots ahead of Collier and he posted 9.0 sacks and 12 tackles for loss last season—numbers that look much more worthy of a first-round pick.
Elgton Jenkins came out of Mississippi State as a center but displayed his versatility right away in the NFL. He was selected early in the second round by the Packers and immediately became the starting left guard. In 2020, he earned his first Pro Bowl bid and received a solid 67.7 grade from Pro Football Focus.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks had the aging Mike Iupati at left guard and Justin Britt at center, who would only play eight games before tearing his ACL. It's easy to have perfect hindsight now, but having Jenkins waiting in the wings at any of the three interior line spots would have been a luxury. He could have stepped in and taken the center role after Britt went down and stayed there for the future, or replaced Iupati at left guard.
Round 2, Pick No. 47: Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
Original selection: Marquise Blair, S, Utah
Marquise Blair came into Seattle a fierce tackler who was raw as a true safety in coverage. He made an impact on special teams in 2019, with 32 tackles and two forced fumbles while appearing in 14 games.
He was named the starting nickel corner for the 2020 season before suffering a torn ACL in Week 2. He has a long road back and may still make an impact on Seattle's defense, but there was another player on the board who could have made an even quicker impact.
Dre'Mont Jones plugged right into the defensive line rotation in Denver and showed he belonged. In 14 games, he played 27 percent of Denver's snaps and collected 14 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and an interception. He broke out in 2020, with 41 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, and seven tackles for loss for the Broncos.
Given where Seattle stands now with their defensive line - having parted ways with Jarran Reed and filled the void with the aging Al Woods - Jones would have been a feature player along Seattle's defensive line. He displays pass rushing abilities that Seattle desperately needs in its front line.
Round 2, Pick No. 64: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Original selection: Metcalf
Let's not overthink this. This was a no-brainer then and it is now. DK Metcalf is now a top-10 receiver in the NFL and broke Steve Largent's franchise single-season receiving yards record in 2020. He was a steal at this spot and props should go to general manager John Schneider and company for pulling the trigger here.
Round 3, Pick No. 88: Maxx Crosby, DE, Eastern Michigan
Original selection: Cody Barton, LB, Utah
Cody Barton has had moments in Seattle that displayed his value as a linebacker and special teams player. In two seasons thus far, he appeared in all 32 regular season games and started four total at linebacker. In his variety of roles, he collected 58 tackles and two forced fumbles. Certainly, he is a respectable special teams role player. However, there was still a player on the board who could have given Seattle's pass rush a real boost.
Maxx Crosby should have made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in Oakland after posting 10.0 sacks, four forced fumbles, 16 tackles for loss, and 14 quarterback hits. He backed that up in 2020 with 7.0 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and 13 quarterback hits. Certainly, the Seahawks would have loved to have Crosby rushing the passer off the edge. Instead, they got very little production out of the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Ezekiel Ansah, and Rasheem Green in 2019.
Crosby would have been the feature defensive end in Seattle going into 2020 and could have challenged Benson Mayowa's production, who led Seattle edge rushers with 6.0 sacks.
Round 4, Pick No. 120: Tony Pollard, RB, Memphis
Originial selection: Gary Jennings, WR, West Virginia
Quite frankly, Gary Jennings was a swing-and-a-miss for Seattle. He was never able to fully grasp the playbook and failed to play a snap in a regular season game for the Seahawks.
With Seattle selecting Travis Homer later on in the draft, it was clear they were looking for depth at running back and wanted a player who could be dynamic in the passing game as well. Tony Pollard became that player for the Cowboys. He rushed for 455 yards behind Ezekiel Elliott and totaled 562 yards from scrimmage.
In 2020, he played in all 16 games and racked up 628 yards from scrimmage along with five touchdowns. Seattle struggled at times having a healthy backfield led by Chris Carson in 2020 and Pollard would have been a nice insurance policy.
Round 4, Pick No. 124: Wes Martin, G, Indiana
Original selection: Phil Haynes, G, Wake Forest
Seattle selected Phil Haynes to be a depth piece along the interior offensive line. Unfortunately, he hasn't found a way to get on the field consistently. Between inconsistent play and poor health, Haynes has disappointed in his first two seasons.
Wes Martin would be a selection from a similar strategy. You're unlikely to get a Pro Bowl-caliber guard late in the fourth round but Martin looks to be a solid depth lineman in Washington. In two seasons thus far, he has started 10 games, spending time at each guard spot. The Seahawks could have used his versatility along the interior offensive line over the last two seasons.
Round 4, Pick No. 132: Ugo Amadi, DB, Oregon
Original selection: Amadi
Ugo Amadi could still turn into something valuable for the Seahawks. He started a handful of games at the slot corner position in 2020 and performed admirably, allowing just an 86.8 passer rating in the process while making 54 tackles.
There is still plenty of time for Amadi to blossom even further and Seattle shouldn't give up on him quite yet.
Round 5, Pick No. 142: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson
Original selection: Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington
Fans were excited when Seattle selected local defensive hero Ben Burr-Kirven, who led the NCAA in tackles in 2018. While he has played in every game thus far, primarily on special teams, this just comes down to a player who became more valuable for the team who selected him and Seattle should have jumped on him before the Raiders did.
Hunter Renfrow has carved out a solid career with the Raiders thus far as a mid-level receiver. In each of his first two seasons, he eclipsed 600 receiving yards. In 2020, he caught 56 passes for 656 yards and two touchdowns.
With Renfrow as the tertiary receiving option in the Seahawks' offense, it's hard not to wonder how such a considerable upgrade at the spot would have helped them over the past two years.
Round 6, Pick No. 204: Donovan Wilson, S, Texas A&M
Original selection: Travis Homer, RB, Miami
Now that Seattle has selected Pollard in this scenario, there is no need for Travis Homer's services. Donovan Wilson has proven to be valuable in Dallas. He started 10 games for the Cowboys in 2020 as their strong safety, collecting 71 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and two interceptions.
While Jamal Adams now fills a similar role for the Seahawks, Wilson could slide in to where the Seahawks had Blair. Remember: we opted not to re-draft Blair in this exercise, so he doesn't factor into this equation anymore. Wilson is an explosive tackler who is a force inside the tackle box. He also has favorable numbers in limited action against the pass, allowing an 87.7 passer rating and 66.7 percent completion rate.
Round 6, Pick No. 209: Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison
Original selection: Demarcus Christmas, DT, Florida State
Demarcus Christmas was another miss for the Seahawks, never playing a down in an NFL game.
Jimmy Moreland, on the other hand, has appeared in 30 games over his first two seasons in Washington, mostly as a special teams player. However, he has made 10 starts and collected his first career interception last season.
With Seattle's lack of depth at cornerback, Moreland would prove valuable right now. In his first two seasons, he accumulated 86 tackles and five passes defended.
Round 7, Pick No. 236: Carl Granderson, DE, Wyoming
Original selection: John Ursua, WR, Hawaii
John Ursua still just has one catch to his name in the NFL. While he is still on the Seahawks' roster, time may be running out for him to stick with the team.
Carl Granderson went undrafted before signing with the Saints in 2019. While it took some time for him to get his "sea legs" in the NFL, he ended up playing in 15 games as a rotational defensive end in 2020. The result was 14 tackles, 9 quarterback hits, and 5.0 sacks in 2020.
As mentioned, Seattle could have used a host of pass rushers in the last two seasons along the defensive line. Granderson would have been a nice surprise in the seventh round.