It's really surprising to think that the Seahawks won with many guys who were drafted relatively late in the draft, if drafted at all. Their 53 man roster is composed of later round draft picks and 21 undrafted players, and they are the champions.
Richard Sherman: Round 5
Kam Chancellor: Round 5
Byron Maxwell: Round 6
Malcolm Smith: Round 7
Chris Clemons: UDFA
Michael Bennett: UDFA
Doug Baldwin: UDFA
Jermaine Kearse: UDFA
These players played key roles for the Seahawks this year. If you look at the PFF grade for Baldwin (and Kearse to some degree) in the Super Bowl, you may be surprised.
I mean, guys...we need to let this sink in. Every pick, though perceived as insignificant or not, can reap great rewards. Of course there is more than one way to win it all, but to think that the Seahawks only needed FOUR first round picks on their squad to take it all (Russell Okung, T; Earl Thomas, S; James Carpenter, G; Bruce Irvin, DE). They also had second rounders, Earl Thomas and Golden Tate, and a third rounder in Cliff Avril whom they picked up in FA, but by and large they did damage with overlooked guys like TE Luke Wilson (another fifth rounder).
Moreover, look at their receivers. They aren't the tallest or biggest guys in the league, but I will laugh at anyone who says that they aren't smart, tough and effective, particularly during money time.
And to think, their QB has received plenty of "shade" for his lack of size (5'11", ~205), and he's basically bigger than his receivers. But, you know, Wilson is smart as a whip also who plays big during money time.
All I am saying is that these things are worth thinking about when it comes time for free agency and the draft. I know that many of us are thinking size, size, size, but this doesn't necessarily make champions. Brandin Cooks and Marquise Lee may lead their future teams to the promised land. Moreover, and probably more importantly, we should not take any player or draft pick for granted. The later round guys and the UDFAs can get it done too. Don't get me wrong, I love a star, but there is something to be said for the guys that most people overlooked---most GMs and coaches overlooked. The good thing is that our GM and coaching staff seems to be on the same road as the Seahawks, but I'm looking for a lot more in the future from our GM who toots his own horn for being able to root out talent, and a coaching staff that teaches its players to maximize their talent (if you listen to G-man). Thinking about the Seahawks, and what we have, I am guardedly raising my expectations. I also will be paying that much closer attention to what we do on days two and three (including what phone calls we make after the draft is over).
Sure I want potential beasts after it's all said and done, but I am going to put a premium on guys who are cerebral about the game---or at least smart---who play with passion and have a stellar work ethic. I believe that we did that pretty much last year, but that our cap condition has lead to a certain amount of instability as compared to the Seahawks. So I'll look forward to some key---a little bit longer term--re-signings. I also suspect that the Seahawks coaching staff may be a little more liberal when it comes to getting their potential talent on the field as opposed to sitting on the sidelines out of some conservative sense of loyalty or old school philosophy. I mean, if a guy can get it done, let him get it done. If he can't, don't wait too late to sit him in favor of a guy who may be a little more raw, but may eventually do better. Not saying that the benching has to be abrupt, but gradually increase a player's reps while working things out. But, like I said, I really believe we're onto something, and I'm looking forward to being a consistent top-tier team within the next couple of years.