Top 100 Seahawks Countdown: No. 50-41

Our latest installation showcases one of Seattle’s best playoff performers and two stars out of the backfield.

Throughout the course of the 2019 season, the NFL will be celebrating its 100th year anniversary with a variety of events and programs honoring players and coaches of the past and present.

To take part in the festivities, Seahawk Maven writers Corbin Smith, Dan Viens, Nick Lee, and Ryan Fountain have assembled their own rankings for the top 100 players in Seahawks franchise history.

Who made the final cut? Continuing our countdown, here’s players No. 50 through 41 with analysis and commentary courtesy of our writing staff.

50. Sam Adams, DT

Career Stats: 214 tackles, 23.0 sacks, 4 forced fumbles

Writer’s Take: Though he didn’t make the Pro Bowl while playing in Seattle, Adams performed at a high level during six seasons with the organization after being selected in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft. As we’ve discussed many times on this channel, the 90s were a tough decade for the Seahawks despite having a lot of talented players on defense. Playing on mediocre teams that struggled to surpass the .500 mark, Adams thrived as a run stuff in the middle and averaged nearly 35 tackles and 4.0 sacks per season. After leaving in free agency, he finally earned a Pro Bowl nod with the Ravens in 2000 and was selected two more times in his career. However, arguably his best season came in 1997 while with the Seahawks, when he amassed 52 tackles and 7.0 sacks, his highest totals in both categories during a stellar 14-year NFL career. -Ryan Fountain

49. Cliff Avril, DE

Career Stats: 143 tackles, 34.5 sacks, 88 quarterback hits

Writer’s Take: Avril came to the Seahawks on a one-year deal in 2013 after a successful five-year stint with the Lions. Teaming with Michael Bennett, they were the final pieces necessary to push Seattle over the hump, helping the team capture its first-ever Super Bowl title in his first season. Avril brought excellent speed off of the edge and maintained his productivity throughout his time in Seattle. As an underrated part of Pete Carroll’s defense, he recorded at least 8.0 sacks three times with the Seahawks and brought his A game in the playoffs, registering 24 tackles and 6.5 sacks in 10 postseason contests. After years of being overlooked, he finally made a long deserved Pro Bowl in 2016, when he finished with a career-high 11.5 sacks and forced five fumbles. Unfortunately, an awkward tackle attempt on Jacoby Brissett resulted in a career-ending neck injury in Week 4 of the 2017 season. He would retire as a key defensive cog during Seattle’s most successful period of football. -Ryan Fountain

48. Darryl Williams, S

Career Stats: 348 tackles, 20 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns

Writer’s Take: Williams only played four seasons with the Seahawks, but he put up prolific numbers across the board during his brief tenure with the organization. Reunited with his former college coach Dennis Erickson, the 198-pound safety quickly acclimated to his new team after signing as a free agent, recording 80 tackles and five interceptions in 1996. He made his first and only Pro Bowl and earned Second-Team All-Pro honors the ensuing season, intercepting a career-high eight passes and adding 93 tackles. Averaging five interceptions and 88 tackles per season as a Seahawk, he also scored two defensive touchdowns and forced four fumbles, showing off his versatile all-around game in the secondary. -Corbin Smith

47. Jeff Bryant, DE

Career Stats: 63.0 sacks, 11 fumble recoveries

Writer’s Take: Boasting several top-10 scoring defenses in the mid-1980s, Seattle had plenty of stars on the defensive side of the football during the first sustained period of success in franchise history. Kenny Easley, Dave Brown, and Jacob Green were the big-name stars, but Bryant deserved far more credit than he received for his productivity, reliability, and durability. He started 167 games in 12 seasons with the Seahawks, and while we don’t have any tackle numbers to work with since it wasn’t an officially recorded statistic at the time, the 276-pound defender consistently performed well against the run. He also found moderate success as a pass rusher during the early stages of his career, including racking up a career-high 14.5 sacks during Seattle’s 12-win 1984 campaign. Though his sack production tailed off substantially after his first four seasons, he remained stout against the run up until his retirement after the 1993 season, putting together one of the finest all-around careers by a defensive lineman in franchise history. -Corbin Smith

46. Bryan Millard, G

Career Stats: 121 games with 99 starts

Writer’s Take: Millard serves as a reminder that the game of football was much different during his era, when offensive linemen got by more on technique, balance and quickness rather than brute strength. A vital cog in the physical, run-first offenses that were so successful under coach Chuck Knox during the mid-to-late eighties, Millard played right guard at under 290 pounds. Today’s starter at right guard for the Seahawks, D.J. Fluker, tips the scales at 340 pounds, sometimes a bit more! On a team loaded with name-brand stars, Millard was one of those blue-collar workers who never made a Pro Bowl but played at a high level and did earn UPI Second-Team All-NFL recognition in 1988. After biding his time as a backup in 1984, he seized the starting job and held it down for most of the next seven seasons, playing his entire NFL career in Seattle. Not bad for a guy who went undrafted out of Texas and had to prove himself in the USFL before the Seahawks gave him a chance. -Dan Viens

45. Keith Butler, LB

Career Stats: 813 tackles, 8 interceptions

Writer’s Take: To younger fans, Butler may be better-known now as the Steelers defensive coordinator. But make no mistake about it, one of the franchise’s best tacklers will always belong on any list of all-time great Seahawks. A second round pick out of Memphis in 1978, Butler was everything you wanted in a defensive player: tough, physical, fast, and durable. He started every one of 118 games between 1979 and 1986, an incredible streak few NFL players have accomplished, especially at such a physically demanding position. Even back then, you could see the signs that Butler would one day make a very good coach, mentoring the likes of young players such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Scholtz, Greg Gaines, and Fredd Young while patrolling the middle of Seattle’s defense. -Dan Viens

44. Michael Sinclair, DE

Career Stats: 351 tackles, 73.5 sacks, 25 forced fumbles

Writer’s Take: Coming out of tiny Eastern New Mexico University, Sinclair entered the 1991 NFL Draft as an unheralded prospect and the Seahawks took a flier on him in the sixth round. During his first three seasons in Seattle, he was utilized as a rotational rusher and only started three games, but he flashed immense potential by producing 8.0 sacks in 1993. He finally became a full-time starter in 1995 and starting in 1996, he was named to the Pro Bowl three straight seasons, registering 41.5 sacks during that span. His finest season came in 1998, as he recorded a career-best 55 tackles and led the league with 16.5 sacks and six forced fumbles, capping off arguably the most dominant three-year stretch for any pass rusher in franchise history. Unfortunately, he fell off a cliff once he turned 30 years old and failed to record more than 6.0 sacks again in his final four NFL seasons. -Ryan Fountain

43. Bobby Engram, WR

Career Stats: 399 receptions, 4,859 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns

Writer’s Take: Engram was a controversial member of my Top 5 list of best Seahawks receivers last month (coming in at No. 4) but that kind of sums up his career - outstanding but sometimes underappreciated. When you look at the bulk of his tenure in Seattle, you see a solid No. 2 receiver who excelled at working the middle of the field and being Matt Hasselbeck’s safety blanket on third down. But in 2005, he was given the chance to be “the man” while Darrell Jackson was injured and showed what he was really capable of, catching 67 passes for 778 yards and three touchdowns. Two years later, with Jackson traded to the 49ers, he set a franchise single season record with 94 catches and also posted 1,147 receiving yards, six touchdowns, and a career-best 70.1 percent catch rate. Over his eight years as a Seahawk, Engram averaged 50 catches for over 600 yards a season. The only other Seattle wide receivers ever to do that were named Blades, Baldwin, and Largent. -Dan Viens

42. Ricky Watters, RB

Career Stats: 4,009 rushing yards, 1,480 receiving yards, 26 total touchdowns

Writer’s Take: Watters won a Super Bowl with San Francisco in 1994, played in five straight Pro Bowls to begin his career, and earned All-Pro honors three times in his first five seasons. But his best football may have happened in the Pacific Northwest following his 29th birthday. After signing with the Seahawks in 1998, the do-it-all back rushed for over 1,200 yards and averaged 51 receptions as a receiver in each of his first three seasons with the team. He also found the end zone frequently, scoring 25 total touchdowns during that span. He was off to another fast start in 2001 before a broken ankle ended his season after just five games, giving way to Shaun Alexander to become the team’s new feature back. When he hung up his cleats, he ranked fourth on the franchise’s all-time rushing list despite playing in just 53 games for the Seahawks and currently sits sixth all-time. Surly personality aside, even after reaching the dreaded 30 years old milestone, he managed to put together one of the most impressive stretches by any running back in franchise history. -Corbin Smith

41. John L. Williams, FB

Career Stats: 8,730 scrimmage yards, 33 touchdowns

Writer’s Take: Most teams don’t even carry a fullback in today’s NFL, but back in the 1980s, the position was far more important. Case in point? While fullbacks rarely get drafted nowadays, Seattle used a first-round pick on the 231-pound Williams in the 1986 NFL Draft. He immediately made an impact for coach Chuck Knox’s offense, starting all 16 games as a rookie while rushing for 528 yards and catching 33 passes. Over the next seven seasons, Williams emerged as a dynamic playmaker out of the backfield, producing nearly 8,000 total scrimmage yards and scoring 33 touchdowns for the Seahawks. By the time he left Seattle in 1994, he’d played in two Pro Bowls while running for over 4,500 yards and catching a ridiculous 471 passes, becoming the first and only player in franchise history to be in the top-10 for both rushing and receiving yardage. Even with fullbacks nearing extinction, if Williams suited up today, he’d be in high demand given his receiving skills and athleticism. -Corbin Smith

Comments (4)
No. 1-1

John L. Williams...seemingly always a whisker behind Thurman Thomas for offensive yards, I would have liked to have seen him higher but this may be about right