Ten notable items about Class of 2022 Hall of Famer Richard Seymour.
- Seymour had a chance to stay in the NFL after his playing career with the Raiders, for whom he played four seasons after spending eight years in New England.
Seymour shared this with The Canton Repository:
"In Oakland, I was a liaison between players and coaches and management, to the point the late, great Al Davis said, 'Hey, Richard, once you're done, we want you to be the GM of the team one day.'
"I was ready to transition out. It just wasn't the right time."
- Al Davis died on Oct. 11, 2011, when Seymour was in his third season with the Raiders. Seymour, who maintains a relationship with Davis' son, Mark, endorsed the choice of Josh McDaniels as the Raiders' new head coach.
"I told Mark I think it's a great hire," Seymour said. "I told him I think Josh will be coach of the year here soon."
- Since the Browns came back in 1999, they have had four No. 1 overall draft picks, a No. 2 they wound up trading, and four No. 3s and a No. 4.
At. No. 6 overall (2001), Richard Seymour was the highest pick the Patriots have had since 1999. Otherwise, their highest picks in the last 24 drafts were linebacker Jerod Mayo (No. 10, 2008), defensive tackle Ty Warren (No. 13, 2003), and quarterback Mack Jones (No. 15 , 2021).
The Patriots' last crack at drafting first overall came in 1993, when they took quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Tom Brady, a No. 199 overall pick in 2000, replaced an injured Bledsoe in the third game of Seymour's rookie season of 2001 and started the next 112 regular-season games before getting hurt in the 2008 opener.
Seymour played 111 of his 164 regular-season games for New England. All 15 of his postseason games (12-3 record) were with the Patriots. Brady started all 15 of those postseason battles but left the 2001 AFC championship game at Pittsburgh with an injury and was relieved by Bledsoe.
- Seymour made the Hall of Fame in his fifth year of eligibility. Only six defensive front-seven players were enshrined in the four years he had to wait.
Robert Brazile, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher — all linebackers — made it in 2018. None got the nod in 2019. In the expanded, 100th-anniversary class of 2020, Alex Karras, Duke Slater and Ed Sprinkle went in. Again in 2021, no defensive front seven player got tapped.
There was a run on defensive backs in the Hall's Classes of 2018-21. Cornerbacks and safeties who went in during those four years were Brian Dawkins, Champ Bailey, Ty Law, Ed Reed, Bobby Dillon, Steve Atwater, Cliff Harris, Troy Polamalu, Donnie Shell, John Lynch and Charles Woodson.
- Pittsburgh's "Mean Joe" Greene set the bar for defensive lineman winning Super Bowls, getting four rings in a span of six seasons in the 1970s ('74, '75, '78, '79).
Seymour collected three Super Bowl rings (2001, '03, '04) in his first four seasons and had a good chance at a fourth ring in his sixth season.
The Patriots had a 21-6 halftime lead in the AFC championship game in Indianapolis on Jan. 21, 2007. New England nursed a late lead until Peyton Manning drove the Colts 80 yards to a touchdown with a minute left, handing the Patriots a 38-34 defeat.
- Seymour is the sixth Patriots draft pick to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the first selected by Bill Belichick. The list:
John Hannah, No. 4 overall, 1973; Mike Haynes, No. 5 overall, 1976; Andre Tippett, No. 41 overall, 1982; Ty Law, No. 23 overall, 1995; Curtis Martin, No. 74 overall, 1995; Seymour, No. 6 overall, 2011.
- Seymour played for one head coach (Bill Belichick) in eight seasons with the Patriots. He had three head coaches (Tom Cable, Hue Jackson, Dennis Allen) in his four seasons with the Raiders.
Belichick appreciated Seymour's knack for filling assorted roles, including on special teams. Typical of Belichick, he recalled a long-ago Seymour role on a punt return.
"On Troy Brown's punt return at Cleveland, Richard had a huge block," Belichick said.
The game was tied 10-all late in the first half when Brown brought one back 85 yards. The Browns could have improved to 7-5 had they won that game. Instead, it became part of a nine-game Patriots win streak that got them into Belichick's first postseason with New England.
- Seymour played on a loaded front seven line at Georgia. Marcus Stroud was drafted 13th overall in the 2001 draft. Charles Grant got picked 25th overall in 2002. Johnathan Sullivan was a No. 6 overall pick in 2003, as Seymour had been in 2001.
Stroud made three Pro Bowls with the Jaguars. Grant had two 10-sack seasons with the Saints. Sullivan lasted only three NFL seasons, all in New Orleans.
Linebacker Kendrell Bell, who like Seymour played his last season at Georgia in 2000, was NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2001, with the Steelers.
- Georgia's offense was not of the same caliber as the defense during Seymour's time as a Bulldog. That left the Bulldogs as a good, but not great team in his three years as a starter, as they went 16-7 in SEC play from 1998-2000. A loss to Georgia Tech in Seymour's final home game left the Bulldogs at 7-4 overall and cost fifth-year head coach Jim Donnan his job.
- Georgia finished 8-4 in Seymour's last two college seasons. Since Donnan, the Bulldogs have had only two head coaches (Mark Richt, Kirby Smart).
Smart led the Bulldogs to a national championship in 2021, after which defensive end Travon Walker became the No. 1 pick of the draft.
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This article originally appeared on The Repository: Richard Seymour is Bill Belichick's first draft pick in Hall of Fame