Yahoo! Sports is counting down the players taken in the 2011 draft that impressed the most last season. The column is now on players taken in the third day of the draft, and the Seahawks scored high marks for taking linebacker K.J. Wright in the 4th Round and cornerback Richard Sherman in the 5th Round.
Wright was tasked with replacing fourth-overall pick Aaron Curry and did quite the solid job at it, racking up 65 tackles and 2.0 sacks. Yahoo! Sports ranked Wright as the best of the third-day picks.
His ability to pick up the defensive playbook allowed him to perform at a preternatural level, and Pete Carroll sees him as a potential inside linebacker in the future. Wright could develop into that rarest of linebackers -- capable of playing inside and outside in multiple fronts, and doing so at a very high level all around.
Sherman originally played wide receiver at Stanford but was converted to cornerback for the 2009 and 2010 season. Last year he registered 55 tackles and 4 interceptions, averaging 11 yards run back on each. Yahoo! Sports ranked him number five and had this to say:
Sherman fit the Seahawks' profile when it comes to defensive backs -- big, physical, and aggressive -- but few expected the rookie season he had. Replacing injured cornerback Walter Thurmond, Sherman showed early flashes when he did a fine job against Cincinnati's A.J. Green in late October, and he finished his initial campaign with four interceptions - including three in his last six games.