5. DE Jacob Green
Green was the Seahawks’ first pick of the 1980s and was their best pick so far in their brief history at that point. Drafted in the first round of the 1980 Draft out of Texas A&M, Green was an anchoring stalwart along the defensive line right from the get-go, becoming a regular starter his rookie year and starting most every game during the 1980s and into the early 90s. Green became known as one of the most feared pass rushers in the AFC at that time; he registered at least 9 sacks in 7of a possible 10 seasons (sacks weren’t kept as an official record until 1982). Green was a two-time Pro Bowl selection (1986-1987), an All-Pro (1983), and at the time of his retirement, 3rd on the All-Time sack list, behind only Reggie White and Lawrence Taylor. His unofficial sack total of 116 is currently still good enough to make the top 15 career sacks list.
4. S Kenny Easley
Outside of Cortez Kennedy, Easley is often mentioned as the best defensive player to ever wear a Seahawks uniform. Drafted out of UCLA as the fourth overall pick in the 1981 Draft, Easley was a starter at the Strong Safety position for Seattle right from the start of his rookie season. While tackles weren’t kept as an official stat for the duration of Easley’s career, he was considered one of the team’s best tacklers during that time and always was around the ball. Easley was the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1981, was the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1983, a Pro Bowl selection from 1982-1985 and again in 1987, and was an All-Pro from 1982-1985. Easley was named to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team; unfortunately his career was cut short by a kidney disease diagnosis in 1987. Had he continued his strong play for a few more years, he likely would have been a Hall of Famer.
3. RB Shaun Alexander
Alexander was drafted in the first round of the 2000 Draft out of the University of Alabama and is considered the best Seahawks’ draft pick of the 2000s, hands down. Backing up Ricky Watters his rookie year, it wasn’t until 2001 that Alexander got his shot as a starting NFL running back, and never looked back. From 2001-2005, Alexander never had fewer than 353 touches, fewer than 1,645 total yards, or fewer than 16 touchdowns, making for one of the most prolific five-year runs for a running back in NFL history. Alexander’s many accolades include 3 Pro Bowls (2003-2005), 2 All Pro seasons (2004-2005), 2-time NFL rushing champion (2004-2005), NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2005), NFL MVP (2005), and former single-season touchdown record holder (28 TDs – 2005). Alexander ended his run with the Seahawks as their all-time leading rusher, with 10,940 total yards, and 112 total TDs.
2. LT Walter Jones
For all the success that Shaun Alexander had, he arguably wouldn’t be anywhere near as high on this list as he is without the play of one of the best left tackles in recent league history, Walter Jones. Jones was drafted sixth overall in the 1997 draft out of Florida State, and remarkably started every game he ever played in, starting with the first game of his rookie season. Jones not only was a crushing road grader on running plays, but he was a superb technician in the pass protection game as well. Jones is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer as one of the most decorated linemen in NFL history. Jones was a 9-time Pro Bowl selection (1999, 2001-2008), a 7-time All-Pro (2001, 2002, 2004-2008), NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year (2005), First Team All-Rookie (1997), and was named to the NFL’s 2000’s All-Decade Team. When Jones retired in 2010, his #71 jersey was retired by the team; only the second player to receive that honor (#80, Steve Largent).
1. DT Cortez Kennedy
As decorated as Jones was during his Seahawks career, there is one Seahawk who’s resume shines just a little bit brighter; Cortez Kennedy. Drafted out of the University of Miami as the third overall pick of the 1990 NFL Draft, Kennedy was the most formidable interior defensive lineman of his era. He was an instant force for Seattle, becoming a regular part of the defensive rotation his rookie year, and then a starter for every single game from 1991-1996. Keep in mind, this was one of the worst eras in Seattle history, going 36-60 with a revolving door of head coaches. Even though he played on terrible teams, Kennedy was a perennial Pro-Bowler; in fact, in 1992 Kennedy was selected as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, even though the Seahawks were a league worst 2-14. Kennedy ended his tenure with the Seahawks having played his entire career with the team, collecting 668 tackles, 58 sacks, and 3 INTs.
Kennedy was an 8-time Pro Bowl selection (1991-1999), was a 3-time All Pro (1992-1994), was the 1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, was named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team, and was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.