Undervalued players finding success with Seahawks

Undervalued players finding success with Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks' Doug Baldwin celebrates after the NFL football NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 23-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After a full day of waiting, the announcement finally came: "With the 75th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Russell Wilson."

It's hard to believe 74 players -- including five quarterbacks -- were selected in the draft before Russell Wilson, but it's true. Told he was too small to play quarterback in the NFL, Wilson slipped to the Seahawks in the third round.

"I guess I'm an intense guy," Wilson said. "I'm one of those guys that's always in the moment, always trying to focus on what I need to do to be successful, and how I can help other people be successful."

There's no doubt Wilson has helped Doug Baldwin shine for the Seahawks. Baldwin never heard his name called in the NFL Draft. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Seattle in 2011, and now he's one of the Seahawks leading receivers.

"Everybody says, 'Doug has a chip on his shoulder, that's why he's angry,'" said Baldwin. "I don't have a chip on my shoulder; I have a boulder on my shoulder. Every negative comment that comes out, I just put it there."

"I go back and look at the negative stuff, because it's not so much about what you've done, it's what you haven't done, and what opportunities you're going to have in the future to prove yourself right."

Richard Sherman knows exactly what it's like to be undervalued out of Stanford. He wasn't drafted until the fifth round in 2011. He was told he didn't have ball skills, he played too stiff and he didn't have enough instinct to play cornerback. He's been in the league for three seasons and he's already a two-time All-Pro.

"A lot of people were like, 'Man, don't read your news clippings,'" said Sherman. "I read them every day. Anything negative said about me, I find it. I use it as fuel to make the chip a little bit bigger, so things like All-Pro, Pro Bowls and all these awards don't mean as much. You're focused on the chip and you're staying hungry."

It's not a coincidence Wilson, Baldwin, and Sherman are all playing for the Seahawks at the same time. Head coach Pete Carroll searches for players with a chip on their shoulder. He calls it grit.

"I've come to believe it's the key factor in deciding success," Carroll said. "Overcoming shortcomings, abilities, and stuff like that -- the guys who have grit -- they're the ones you're looking for."