Life without Russell Wilson is in full swing for the Seahawks. Now comes their first big opportunity to lay the groundwork for the next era of their organization as the 2022 NFL Draft kicks off in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The three-day event will be pivotal for General Manager John Schneider, Head Coach Pete Carroll and the rest of their staff after essentially betting on themselves to course-correct following a worst-in-7 effort -10 a year ago. That put Seattle last in the NFC West for the first time since joining the division in 2002, further reinforcing the need for a big change this offseason.
With $26 million of Wilson’s contract still on the books for 2022, accounting for the majority of the team’s $44.5 million dead money, Schneider and company haven’t been able to accomplish much in agency. free this spring. Instead of rebuilding their roster from scratch, the Seahawks have focused most of their energy on retaining their own free agents and have been successful in that endeavor more often than not. But major needs, including the quarterback position, are still littered throughout this list.
Some will be completed via the draft this weekend and Seattle is already in motion making its first of eight scheduled selections at the No. 9 pick on Thursday night. At the end of each game in the event, this page will be updated with the ratings of all Seahawks picks.
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Round 1, Pick No. 9: Charles Cross, T, Mississippi State
Cross is arguably the best pass protector coming out of this class and should be able to take away any concerns about his skills in the running game soon enough. To say it survived the gauntlet of competition from the SEC would be selling it way too short; he’s thrived there, allowing just 2.0 sacks on 16 meager pressures in 2021. There’s a legitimate All-Pro upside here and he won’t turn 22 until Thanksgiving, giving the Seahawks a potential cornerstone for more. many years to come.
Round 2, Pick No. 40: Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
The Seahawks are quietly building an interesting stable of young pass rushers, pairing the highly athletic Mafe with the budding talents of Darrell Taylor and newcomer Uchenna Nwosu. Mafe was one of the best testers in his position group and came to the Senior Bowl after a breakout season with the Golden Gophers. It’s still a bit raw and may have been Seattle’s fallback option after Arnold Ebiketie left for Atlanta, but the tools are loud and fun to dream about.
Round 2, Pick No. 41: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
The decision to come back so high is undoubtedly bizarre, but it’s not as inexplicable or unwarranted as some make it out to be. Chris Carson’s recovery from neck surgery is a legitimate concern for the Seahawks, as is Rashaad Penny’s injury history. Walker was electric out of the Michigan State backfield in his lone season at East Lansing, earning virtually every accolade a college running back could ever hope for. He’s a unique talent who thinks well on his toes, packs a punch, and runs with rockets strapped to his heels. But with all of that, considering the state of Seattle’s roster and what was left on the board at the time, it’s hard to think his selection was the best use of resources in that particular location.
Round 3, Pick No. 72: Abraham Lucas, T, Washington State
Catching their second tackle in as many days, the Seahawks booked their offensive line of the future. Lucas was widely considered a second-round talent after testing the charts during the pre-draft process, but he ended up slipping in favor of Seattle. Landing that kind of talent as late as the No. 72 pick is great value, especially for one of the top pass protectors in the draft. He and Cross should keep a lot of clean pockets together.