Another sad Seahawks alumni report compliments of former tight end Jerramy Stevens.
Given the series of legal issues that have accompanied Stevens over the years, that he should have another is hardly surprising. But the involvement of soccer gold-medalist Hope Solo adds to the sensationalism of this arrest.
Stevens’ poor citizenship is mucky ground we’ve slogged through for years, so let’s veer away from the sordid details and allow the legalities to be adjudicated by more qualified authorities. More relevant to our interest is to look back at Stevens as a spectacularly wasted first-round draft pick in 2002 by the Seahawks.
The River Ridge High and University of Washington product was appealing because of his 6-foot-7 size and his unusual speed and athleticism. But by draft time, he’d already had so many troubling legal issues that teams were backing off. The Seahawks, with Mike Holmgren in the dual role of head coach and general manager, came into the draft with the 20th pick in the first round. Holmgren traded down with Green Bay, though, giving up the 20th and 156th for the 28th and 60th pick. With 28, they took Stevens. In his years with the Niners and Packers, Holmgren had effectively incorporated the tight end as a receiving threat in his West Coast scheme.
Asked at the time about Stevens’ off-field issues, Holmgren stressed that he interviewed Stevens at length, and the team had done extensive background checks. He decided Stevens’ talents were worth the investment, and there had been contractual incentives to keep him on the right side of the law. As we discovered, those incentives were ineffective. Stevens would play five seasons with the Hawks and finish with 15 touchdown receptions. His three drops in Super Bowl XL, however, stand as perhaps the most lasting memory of his contributions.
What could the Seahawks have done with that 20th pick? Well, safety Ed Reed was still available (taken at 24 by Baltimore). That season, they would start Reggie Tongue and Marcus Robertson at safeties, so it clearly was a position of need. Reed has gone to eight Pro Bowls in the interim. Green Bay decided with that pick, though, to take receiver Javon Walker, who would make the 2004 Pro Bowl before running into diverting off-field issues as well.
With the 60th pick, from Green Bay, the Hawks took UNLV defensive end Anton Palepoi, although he was very lightly regarded by most scouts. Palepoi had only one start in three seasons. To further rub it in, the Packers used the Hawks’ pick at 156 on linebacker Aaron Kampman, who went to two Pro Bowls.
With their own pick in the second round, they took Maurice Morris of Oregon, who would score a modest nine touchdowns in seven seasons. The only other significant contributor they drafted was Rocky Bernard in the fifth round, who turned into a valuable starter in the latter part of his seven-season stay in Seattle.
At the end of that season, Holmgren was forced to relinquish his role as GM.
The TNT’s John McGrath looks at similarities between the Seahawks and Huskies.
Seahawks.com’s Clare Farnsworth looks at the contributions of three key Seahawks rookies.
The New York Daily News offers this story, which most who watched the Hawks-Jets game can attest. The gist is that Tim Tebow isn’t an option as a starter because “He’s terrible.”