Walter Jones Seattle Seahawks
"You learn in the game to be accountable and I think for my kids just teaching them how to be accountable. And maybe they won’t play the game of football but just being accountable for things in life.”
The Seattle Seahawks traded up in the 1997 NFL Draft in order to select Florida State tackle Walter Jones as the sixth overall pick. The move paid off over the next 12 seasons as he solidified himself as the cornerstone of the Seahawks offensive line while becoming one of the finest tackles in the NFL.
His ability on the football field was evident from the start. He earned the starting left tackle spot during his rookie training camp, was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month in October, and selected as a consensus pick for multiple all-rookie teams that year. Jones provided blindside protection for quarterback Warren Moon as the Seahawks topped the NFL in total passing yards that season.
Following the 1999 season, Jones became the first offensive linemen in Seahawks history to be elected to the Pro Bowl. It marked the first of a team-record nine All-Star nods he received in his career.
His level of play continued to escalate and in 2001 he was recognized with his first selection as a first-team All-Pro. Highlights that season included Jones and his line mates opening holes for Shaun Alexander’s 266-yard day that, at the time, was the fourth highest single-game rushing total in league history. Jones earned first-team All-Pro honors five more times (2002, 2004-07).
Seattle possessed what was arguably the NFL’s finest left side at the time with Jones entrenched at tackle alongside perennial Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson. A team leader, Jones was an integral part of Alexander’s MVP season in 2005. Jones helped his running back chalk up a franchise-record and league-high 1,880 yards while establishing the then NFL mark for touchdowns in a season (28) as Seattle led the NFL in scoring with 452 points.
Jones’ team-record 10 playoff starts included the 2005 NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XL. In all, he played in 180 regular season games during his career. He was a first-team selection of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.