We continue our countdown with the player who is the lowest-round pick to make this list — cornerback Dwayne Harper.
CORNERBACK DWAYNE HARPER
WHEN DRAFTED: 1988, 11th round, 299th overall
COLLEGE: South Carolina State
SEAHAWKS CAREER: 1988-1993
WHY HE’S ON THE LIST: As mentioned above, no player on this list was drafted later than Harper, taken in the 11th round of what was then a 12-round draft out of FCS (or then Division I-AA) South Carolina State.
Harper, though, defied the odds to become a full-time starter by his second season, holding that spot for four more years for the Seahawks, eventually making 76 starts for Seattle before moving on to San Diego as a free agent in 1994.
Harper may not be well remembered today since the period in which he played was sort of the dark ages of Seahawks football.
But often during that era, the only bright spot was a defense that ranked among the NFL’s best, despite a team that didn’t, with Harper a fixture at one cornerback spot.
With San Diego he played in the Super Bowl against the 49ers following the 1994 season and then later played in the one and only season of the XFL.
He also helps somewhat salvage a 1988 draft that was among the worst in team history, and which didn’t help the decline of the late Chuck Knox era. Here’s the list. Only three of the 11 players did much. Two, granted, did a lot — Harper and Brian Blades, who remains second-all-time in most team receiving categories behind Steve Largent. Third-round pick receiver Tommy Kane also, at least, played three seasons, though he didn’t quite live up to the hype and never played again after the disastrous 2-14 season when the Seahawks had one of the worst offenses ever, scoring only 140 points, the lowest of the 16-game era.
The rest either barely played or never played.
Harper, though, played and played well, deserving status as one of the best draft picks in team history.