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Getty Seattle Seahawks defenders Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman

The Seattle Seahawks have made eight picks in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2010. Some of these picks have become immediate contributors while others have struggled to perform well on the field. According to Pro Football Focus, Earl Thomas is the unquestioned best out of this group.

PFF released a list on Tuesday detailing the best and worst first-round picks of all 32 NFL teams since 2010. They based the rankings on WAR (Wins Above Replacement). This metric “combines how well a player performed in each facet of play (using PFF grades) and how valuable each facet is to winning football games.”

The Seahawks have found standout players in the first round, including tackle Russell Okung and defensive end Bruce Irvin. However, Thomas clearly performed the best during his nine-year tenure in the Pacific Northwest. He earned six Pro Bowl nominations, as well as three first-team All-Pro nominations.

“Thomas stands as their only selection with a WAR per season of at least +0.10,” Ian Hartitz states in the PFF article. “Part of this has been due to generally picking toward the bottom of the draft, although that didn’t stop the Seahawks from nailing later-round picks like Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and more over the years.”

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Thomas provided instant value for the Seahawks as a Rookie

GettyEarl Thomas celebrates during Super Bowl XLVIII.

The Seahawks selected two players during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. They picked Okung sixth overall and then took Thomas 14th. The former University of Texas defensive back became an immediate contributor during his rookie season, starting all 16 games, intercepting five passes, and forcing one fumble.

Thomas continued to be the top defender in the secondary through the end of the 2015 season. He started every game and tallied 21 interceptions. Thomas went to five straight Pro Bowls and helped the Seahawks defeat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks rewarded Thomas with a four-year, $40 million extension.

Throughout Thomas’ tenure with the Seahawks, he made up one part of the “Legion of Boom.” This secondary also featured Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, and Byron Maxwell. Walter Thurmond also played a key role.

Thomas’ time in Seattle ended in contentious fashion

GettyEarl Thomas leaves a game against the Cardinals after suffering an injury

Thomas may have started his career with six consecutive seasons of standout play, but he struggled to remain on the field during his remaining years in Seattle. He only played in 11 games in 2016 and then 14 in 2017. Though Thomas returned to his Pro Bowl form during this shortened campaign.

Heading into the 2018 season, Thomas wanted a new contract extension. This desire became a point of contention between him and the Seahawks, resulting in Thomas skipping practices and openly declaring that he wanted a trade.

Thomas played in the first four games of the 2018 season, recording two interceptions against the Dallas Cowboys and one against the Denver Broncos. However, he suffered a season-ending broken leg against the Arizona Cardinals. As the trainers carted Thomas from the field, he gave Seahawks coach Pete Carroll the middle finger.

“I don’t regret my decision,” Thomas said about the gesture, per ESPN. “If my teammates felt like it was toward them, I regret that part. But I don’t regret doing that to Pete…I gave Pete the middle finger because I felt like he wasn’t being honest with me.”

The Cardinals game was the final time that Thomas suited up for the Seahawks. He signed a four-year contract with the Ravens prior to the 2019 season and played in 15 regular-season games. Thomas earned a seventh Pro Bowl nomination while helping the Ravens reach the playoffs. However, the Ravens cut ties with Thomas after an altercation on the practice field where he punched fellow safety, Chuck Clark.

READ NEXT: Seahawks Star One-Ups Derrick Henry’s Workout [WATCH]

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Bears Widely Believed to Be Plotting a Move, Says Insider

(Getty) Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy

Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and right now, the Chicago Bears are smoldering when it comes to draft day rumors. With the NFL Draft approaching in less than two weeks, rumors continue to fly that GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy will be looking for a young quarterback to groom in the upcoming draft — with many analysts, including ESPN’s John Clayton and Jeff Hughes of DaBearsBlog — suggesting they may move up in the draft to do it.

Now, one of the team’s top insiders is adding more fuel to that fire. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has covered the team for the last two decades, and in his latest column, he has some revealing thoughts about what the team has planned.

“The Bears are in a challenging spot because they don’t pick until No. 20, and it would be super costly to trade up to No. 4 with the Atlanta Falcons, who are reportedly open to offers for the pick,” Biggs wrote. “Such a huge move would likely require three first-round picks — which the 49ers paid to swap spots with the Miami Dolphins — and it’s unknown if (Bears chairman George) McCaskey would provide his blessing for such a risky move for the fourth pick at the position. Maybe he would, but that would require extraordinary faith in Pace.”

And yet, Biggs says that faith may be there.

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Bears at Pro Days of Mac Jones, Trey Lance  & Justin Fields

Hughes suggested last week that Chicago was trying to move up to No. 4 in a potentially huge trade with the Falcons, and if that’s true, the team is certainly doing its homework. The Bears have been at the Pro Day performances of Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones — one of whom will still be available at No. 4

Biggs added that Chicago is likely hoping one young signal-caller slips slightly: “If Pace and Nagy are eyeing one of the top five quarterbacks — and both have been around the country getting close looks at the prospects, with Nagy photographed Wednesday at Fields’ second pro day in Columbus, Ohio…Pace and/or Nagy also have gone to see Jones and Lance.”

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League Expects Bears to Make Big Move, Biggs Says

Biggs has been one of the primary insiders for the Bears over the last several years, most recently breaking the news that Chicago was signing quarterback Andy Dalton, so his thoughts and opinions hold quite a bit of heft. He thinks the Bears may be trying to actively plan around which quarterback the San Francisco 49ers select at No. 3:

Like everyone else, the Bears are probably trying to figure out which quarterback the 49ers will select and how the board will fall so they can determine where they might be able to have a shot at the fourth or fifth quarterback. There has been sentiment around the NFL for a few weeks that the Bears are plotting a move for a quarterback, that Pace and Nagy view that as their best chance to spark a turnaround while also providing hope for the future. The Bears could continue with their plan to start Dalton while bringing along a rookie, hoping the veteran performs well enough that they don’t have to turn to a draft pick in an effort to try to save jobs.

Whether they trade up or not, the Bears will likely be drafting a quarterback for the first time since they traded up to pick Mitch Trubisky in 2017, so it’s safe to say that they’ll be one of the more fascinating teams to watch in the upcoming draft. Bears fans just hope they get it right this time.

READ NEXT: Bears ‘Competing With’ AFC Team for Franchise QB: Report

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