WHEN DRAFTED: 2010, fifth round, 133rd overall
COLLEGE: Virginia Tech.
SEAHAWKS CAREER: 2010-present
WHY HE’S ON THE LIST: The 2010 draft will go down as one of the best in Seahawks’ history, already yielding three Pro Bowlers in Russell Okung, Earl Thomas and Chancellor.
But while Okung and Thomas were first-round picks, whom few are really surprised have hit those kinds of heights, Chancellor is another story. He’s where Seattle’s reputation for finding late-round talent began, when the Seahawks — in the first year of the John Schneider/Pete Carroll regime — plucked him in the fifth round.
His selection wasn’t widely noted in the immediate post-draft analysis, Seattle appearing simply to take a chance on a guy whose position seemed unclear — was he a linebacker or a safety?
Schneider on draft day hinted at what the future would become while acknowledging just a little uncertainty:
“We just saw him as a big physical presence. Smart guy, all football. He’s played free safety, but he can play strong safety, too. I’m not sure where the staff will be wanting to start him out, but if you were just looking at our draft in general, you can say that you’ve added a strong safety, in Kam, and Earl [Thomas] would be a natural free safety. But we’ll see how all that stuff plays out.”
It’s also interesting re-reading Chancellor’s post-draft press conference quotes, a session that didn’t last long, and which mostly revolved around his position.
Here are a few excerpts:
On his versatility: “I think I’m very versatile. I played a little cornerback my freshman year at [Virginia] Tech. I moved to strong safety, and I played free, so I’m very versatile. In order to do that, coaches have to see versatility. ”
On whether he has always been a big defensive back: “Yes. When I played corner I weighed about 214. At strong safety I was about 220.”
On whether he was recruited as a quarterback: “Yes.”
On what he weighs now: “About 227-228.”
He’s now listed at 232, firmly entrenched as one of the best strong safeties in the NFL, having made the Pro Bowl the last two seasons and with a reputation for delivering game-altering hits (like the one above in 2012 against the 49ers’ Vernon Davis) and for being one of the best draft picks in Seattle history.