This 2022 NFL Draft was a critical time for the Seattle Seahawks as they are looking to rebound from their first losing season since 2011. The Seahawks are reloading at several key positions this off-season through free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft.
This off-season might be the last chance for general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll as they could be fired for one more bad season. They’ll need to overcome their team’s key departures, including having to trade nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. This was a chance for the Seahawks to get back a first-round selection, which was crucial to their rebuild going into the 2022 NFL season.
This was a huge NFL Draft for Schneider and the Seahawks as they felt the need to draft key players and position needs without over-drafting them. This has been an issue for over a decade, especially in the first round. The 2022 NFL Draft was the start of the Seahawks’ ability to rebuild and reload as they look to get back into the playoffs this 2022 NFL season.
Here are players the Seahawks drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft:
First round, 9th overall: Charles Cross, offensive tackle, Mississippi State
Second round, 40th overall: Boye Maye, outside linebacker, Minnesota
Second round, 41st overall: Kenneth Walker IV, running back, Michigan State
Third round, 72nd overall: Abraham Lucas, offensive tackle, Washington State
Fourth round, 109th overall: Coby Bryant, cornerback, Cincinnati
Fifth round, 153rd overall: Tariq Woolen, cornerback, UTSA
Fifth round, 158th overall: Tyreke Smith, outside linebacker, Ohio State
Seventh round, 229th overall: Bo Melton, wide receiver, Rutgers
Seventh round, 233rd overall: Dareke Young, wide receiver, Lenoir-Rhyne
Seattle Seahawks 2022 NFL Draft Grade: 9/10
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Seattle Seahawks 2022 Draft Review
The Best Player on Offense: Charles Cross
The Seahawks had an opportunity of their biggest position needed to address with the ninth overall pick. In the end, the Seahawks decided to draft an elite-caliber offensive tackle. This was a position that the Seahawks needed for several off-seasons, and they got an elite pass protector and run-blocker in the off-season when they traded Wilson. According to Pro Football Focus, Cross only gave up 16 quarterback pressures in 719 pass-blocking reps. Cross was an elite lineman for the air raid offense at Mississippi State, but he is an underrated run-blocker. After Duane Brown became a free agent, the Seahawks would have had former sixth-round pick Stone Forsythe starting at left tackle. With Cross now as the immediate projected starter at left tackle, the Seahawks are more prime to be efficient in their pass protection.
The Best Player on Defense: Boye Mafe
In this off-season, the Seahawks lost a lot of impact at the defensive end position, including Carlos Dunlap and Rasheem Green. The Seahawks only accounted for 34 sacks, tied for 22nd in the league, even with these veterans. The Seahawks need more impact at the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball. Last season, Seattle ranked 31st (second-to-last) in passing yards allowed per game (265.5). The Seahawks selecting Maye to be their main pass rusher will be the boost the defense needs. He will be one of their main run stoppers, opposite veteran Shelby Harris.
The Head-Scratcher: Kenneth Walker III
A pick that many Seahawks were surprised by was the addition of 2021 Doak Walker Award winner in Kenneth Walker III with the second pick in the second round. Many Seahawk fans were questioning the pick as Liberty’s Malik Willis was there for the pick. With the Seahawks set for a big competition for Drew Lock and Geno Smith, the team focused on other key positions. One of which includes an offensive skilled position. With the health of first-string running back Chris Carson (neck) still questionable, there is growing concern he might play again. With Rashaad Penny getting a new one-year contract, Seattle looks to keep a dynamic duo in the backfield, especially with two unproven quarterbacks competing daily.
The Surprise: No quarterback
As far as the lack of picking up a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seahawks had concerns over this weaker class. They also had other problems where they could address other position needs with more talented playmakers. The Seahawks picked up immediate starters at the offensive line, a solid edge rusher, a blue-collar running back, and two cornerbacks that can play efficiently in short-to-mid-range passing defense. Willis was projected to be a first-round pick but fell to the simplicity of Liberty’s offense. There were several questions regarding Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral, and Sam Howell. Seattle ended up getting two quarterbacks with completely different playstyles in undrafted rookies. Louisiana’s Levi Lewis is an RPO-style quarterback that can run and throw. Western Michigan’s Kaleb Eleby is a pro-style quarterback that can exploit matchups and pass the ball efficiently in the pocket.
The Steal on Offense: Abraham Lucas
This 2022 NFL Draft was a huge opportunity for the Seahawks to fix their offensive line. They decided to address their offensive tackles in the third round by drafting a local dominant tackle in Abraham Lucas from Washington State. Lucas accounted for a 91 pass-blocking grade by Pro Football Focus last season. Lucas is also a four-year starter along the offensive line for the Cougars, as he was voted as a second-team All-Pac-12 player in his first three years and a first-team All-Pac-12 player in his senior season. His experience and high-caliber efficiency as a pass-protection make him an instant starter as the Seahawks’ right tackle.
The new #Seahawks Tackle duo of Charles Cross and Abe Lucas only allowed two sacks last season 💪 pic.twitter.com/XePXkUyfGv
— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 1, 2022
The Steals on defense: Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen
It was no secret that the Seahawks to improve their secondary. Seattle was 31st in pass defense and most passing first downs allowed (240) all last season. The Seahawks picked up a stellar outside man and zone coverage cornerback in Coby Bryant, as he is highly efficient in reading the quarterback and recognizing routes. They made a similar pick for a key slot cornerback in Tariq Woolen one round later. The addition of Woolen will have the Seahawks more efficient in short-yardage passing plays. According to Warren Sharp, Woolen was the fourth most under-drafted prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Both Bryant and Woolen will be players that could impact the Seahawks early and often as they will try to become a starter when the 2022 season starts.
This 2022 NFL Draft was a testament that the Seahawks are determined to compete for the NFC West Divisional title and keep their core veterans such as D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The Seahawks were able to draft two more young, explosive playmakers at wide receiver with their last two picks. Bo Melton is a speedy and dynamic receiver who plays with passion in short-yardage and deep routes. Lenoir-Rhyne’s Dareke Young is another example of the Seahawks going for unique and physically gifted wide receivers. Young is a receiver that runs several distinctive routes and plays as a running back. At 6-3; 220 pounds, Young was clocked running a 4.40-second 40-yard dash by the team. The Seahawks added depth to their quarterback group with Kelby and Lewis as undrafted rookies.
The Seahawks needed to add as many efficient defensive players as possible. Ohio State outside linebacker Tyreke Smith added more depth and versatility to the front seven. Smith had been battling injuries and a loaded roster at Ohio State for several seasons. He is a player that can be developed over time and play as a strongside defensive end. The Seahawks also signed former Virginia Cavaliers safety Joey Blount as an undrafted free agent. In his five seasons at Virginia, Blount accumulated 303 total tackles, 184 solo tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 12 pass breakups, nine interceptions, and three forced fumbles.
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