4 Don'ts for 2022 Seahawks draft
Seaside Joe 1135: Don't!
I never want to make it seem like I believe that MY OPINIONS should be YOUR OPINIONS. That was never how “this” writer-reader relationship was ever meant to work, but it seems like in the era of social media putting literal valuations on opinions (i.e., here’s fave, a retweet, a comment, a share) that many content creators fear a world where there’s disagreement.
At least, a world in which the numbers are not in favor of what they believe. Many would agree that it’s all copacetic as long as you fall in line with what they’re selling you—I would rather that you simply hear me out.
a) I know that my opinions are often unpopular
b) I know that my opinions will sometimes be proven wrong
c) A life without being challenged is not a life worth living
Imagine if when the season ended, I submitted to you a list of players who the Seahawks would draft, then right after that the Seahawks drafted said class, then I gave you my grades for the draft class, and over the course of the next 11 years, it turned out that I was exactly right. And imagine if you knew all along that my predictions were always proven to be exactly right.
If I knew what was going to happen in the NFL, I would probably find something else to be interested in. (After making billions of dollars gambling, of course.)
These are four things that I don’t think the Seahawks should do or would do during the 2022 NFL Draft. I don’t expect to be right. But I’ll defend my right to be wrong.
Don’t draft a quarterback in the first two rounds
I made this point on March 8th, right after the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson. I made it again on March 26th. I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to make it 100 more times before April 25th: Don’t draft a quarterback with anything remotely close to a valuable pick.
It seems to me that few Seahawks fans were prepared for the possibility that Seattle would need a quarterback this year and that since the Wilson trade, some are scrambling with this class to find answers.
But long-time Seaside Joe readers know that this substack was specifically created over a year ago just to track the quarterbacks (and other prospects, but most QBs) in the 2022 and 2023 NFL Draft.
So for as try-hard as the efforts have been to make Malik Willis or Desmond Ridder fit into a “Seahawks” box, the plain and simple truth for anyone who has been following this class is that there isn’t anyone better than a “QB2 with some upside” in the 2022 draft. Period. Done. Not even the most ardent “Draft Willis” supporters are able to give Willis, Ridder, or Kenny Pickett better than a second round grade. Isn’t that odd?
So the Seahawks should definitely not reach on a QB with their first pick. That’s easy enough. But they also are in no position to draft a QB with their second or third pick either, because Seattle has no offensive tackles, are lacking in pass rushing talent, cornerbacks, interior offensive linemen, running backs, linebackers, defensive tackles, and wide receivers signed past 2022.
I’ve noticed that a lot of mock drafts suddenly have Seattle trading into the backend of the first round so that they can pick Matt Corral. Why? I think I know: because when you’re creating a mock draft this year, you end up getting to pick 26 or so and realizing “Hey, there’s a couple of decent QBs left on the board, which team at the top of the second round wants a QB?” and then Daniel Jeremiah or Peter Schrager simply make a Seahawks trade up.
Even though trading up for a QB flies completely in the face of Carroll’s (very long) history and track record… not only as a drafter, but as a head coach who is obsessed with a run-first offense. Now Seahawks fans and outside media members want to put Carroll in a box that fits what they want… because it’s more exciting?
I can’t completely exclude a QB because you simply can’t tell whether or not interest in a player at that position is a) real and b) serious enough to bypass a prospect at another position for him. Russell Wilson in 2012 was a major surprise.
But drafting a QB doesn’t make sense. Not for practical purposes or when creating a mock draft.
Don’t draft a RB, LB, C, or run-stuffing DT in the second round
I think the Seahawks probably will draft a running back in the second round, but it might be equally possible that Carroll targets Dameon Pierce in round three. Unless he targets him in round two.
I have nothing bad to say about Tyler Linderbaum, Nakobe Dean, Channing Tindall, Zion Johnson, or Breece Hall. I’m simply of the mind that the Seahawks might want to “go big or go home” and swing for the fences at premium positions: LT, EDGE, CB, and WR.
Yes, I am 100-percent GOOD with Seattle picking a receiver in the second round. Tyler Lockett will be 30 in 2023 and he will cost $24 million in 2024. DK Metcalf isn’t signed for 2023 yet. Dee Eskridge hasn’t proven anything.
I would rather see Treylon Burks, Skyy Moore, Khalil Shakir, or Jameson Williams, for example, than Cam Jurgens and Tindall. Here’s my list of 30+ WR prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Chiefs drafted Creed Humphrey because he had nearly fallen into round three and Kansas City was a loaded football team that had a glaring need at center. The Seahawks don’t have a GLARING need at center because they have holes at nearly every other position on the field too. Linderbaum is an AWESOME center! It’s unfortunate that now is not the time.
Don’t draft a run-stopper in the top-10
I’m happy to sing the praises of Jordan Davis, but he is not a top-10 pick. He’s an exceptional athlete at 341 lbs, but he’s not some “big version of Aaron Donald” or even close to that. Donald, who weighs between 265 and 285 at this point, had 63 tackles for a loss and 27.5 sacks during his final three seasons at Pitt.
Davis had 11.5 tackles for a loss and seven sacks over four seasons with Georgia.
Aaron Donald averaged 1.65 TFL per game. Davis averaged 0.25 TFL per game.
We’re not just talking about different defenses facing different offenses with different supporting casts. We’re talking about whether or not you should draft a nose tackle in the top-10 even if he has zero track record for rushing the passer or tackling running backs in the backfield.
Ndamukong Suh had 36.5 TFL and 19.5 sacks in his last two seasons at Nebraska.
Gerald McCoy had 26.5 TFL and 12.5 sacks in his last two seasons at Oklahoma.
The position has wielded very little return as a top-20 pick, I don’t see why Jordan Davis is supposed to be a lock to change that because even if he becomes the player who most expect, which is a great run-stuffer in the mold of Brandon Williams, that’s not valuable enough to be taken in the first round. Let alone the top-10.
Similarly, I don’t think the Seahawks should mess around with a linebacker like Devin Lloyd or Dean or an edge player who isn’t a proven pass rusher like Travon Walker. There’s no need to take a “high floor” run-stopper when Seattle has a) a bad pass rush unit and b) there are good prospects on the board who impact the passing game.
Don’t overrate elite athletic traits
The short of it: Don’t draft Travon Walker or Jordan Davis.
I actually will not be upset if the Seahawks draft Walker because at least the intention is to turn him into a premium pass disruptor. But the issue is that Travon Walker was not a good football player at Georgia and he may never become a good football player. There’s a world where he at least becomes a good run defender… but you don’t want the Seahawks to end up with Solomon Thomas or Clelin Ferrell with their highest draft pick since Russell Okung in 2010.
When I look at the top-10 prospects for Seattle’s big board, I don’t see any reason to reach on a player who either wasn’t a good college football player or who won’t impact the passing game at the NFL level. Doing well at the combine is not going to change the past or the future. It’s just a very specific measurement of where a human being is at in their athleticism for literally one day of their lives.
I do think the combine is overall a waste of time, but I’m not here to pee on your party cake: Have your fun with the testing numbers, I am certainly using them to our advantage at Seaside Joe… It’s worth noting that doing poorly, like David Bell, or not being the best athlete at your position, like Charles Cross, should come into play.
But even if Christian Watson is the most insane athlete at the wide receiver position since Calvin Johnson, only one of those guys average 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns over three seasons at Georgia Tech and finished 10th in Heisman voting. What about the other parts of his resume? Do those fit in with being a second round pick?
What are your big DON’Ts for the Seahawks? Tell me in the comments!
I agree with Stu. DON'T trade down at #9! Unless everything goes wrong for us in the top 8, there should still be a DE/edge pick worth taking (several candidates), and maybe a OT (Ekwanu) or CB (Gardner). Don't get too cute with it. We fans haven't been able to drool over a top 10 pick in so long.
I agree with every point you make Kenneth. Not just saying that to agree with you. If I was P & J, I would follow your guidelines almost to a tee. Pick #9, if there is an excellent LT or Edge to pick at #9, DON'T trade down. Pick the game changing talent at one of those 2 positions.