WHEN DRAFTED: 1980, first round, 10th overall
COLLEGE: Texas A&M.
SEAHAWKS CAREER: 1980-91.
WHY HE’S ON THE LIST: Look through their history, and the Seahawks had a pretty, darn good run of hitting on first-round picks in their first decade. That includes defensive end Jacob Green (pictured above), the 10th overall pick of the 1980 draft, one spot behind University of Washington defensive tackle Doug Martin, who went to the Vikings.
The Seahawks at that time were known for an electric (if erratic) offense — they were fourth in the NFL in points scored in 1979 with 378, the same year they set a record with minus-seven yards in a 24-0 loss to the Rams — but an inconsistent, at best, defense.
So Green was a natural choice, and turned out to be one of the best defensive linemen in team history and an eventual member of the Ring of Honor.
A few years ago, Danny O’Neil named Green the ninth-best Seahawk of all time, writing:
“Sacks became an official statistic in 1982, Green’s third season with the Seahawks. Over the next 10 seasons only Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White totaled more sacks than Green.
Green set Seattle’s franchise record for sacks with 116. He had four in a single game and made the Pro Bowl twice.”
This Seahawks.com story from 2011 further detailed some of the exploits of Green, who to a later generation of fans may be best-known as the father-in-law of Red Bryant, writing:
“He also forced (28) and recovered (17) more fumbles than any player in club history, including a single-season record seven forced fumbles in 1985. His 718 tackles rank No. 5 on the club’s all-time list. He ranks fifth in games played (178) and third in games started (176).
Green led the team in sacks nine times, collecting a career-high 16 in 1983 and registering double-digit sacks five other times. He also scored four times – twice on interception returns and twice on fumble recoveries; and blocked four kicks – a pair of field goals and two PATs.”
Green ended up leading all players taken in the 1980 draft with those 97.5 sacks, with Chicago’s Steve McMichael next at 95 and no one else really close. And Pro Football Reference rates Green as the player from that draft who had the fourth-highest career value behind only Anthony Munoz, McMichael and Art Monk, and tied with Dwight Stephenson. Munoz, Monk and Stephenson are each in the NFL Hall of Fame,