Condolences & Congratulations: Seahawks predictions for 2022
Seaside Joe 1282: To Abe Lucas, Geno Smith, Drew Lock, and Kenneth Walker III haters we say...Congrats and condolences to you!
Since Tuesday’s bonus post on NFL predictions was so popular with Regular Joes, it is time to turn my attention back to the Seattle Seahawks for condolences and congratulations.
There is still time left to get your votes in for the Seahawks fan prediction survey, as results will be posted ON FRIDAY. Sneak peek: The percentage of Seahawks fans who felt the team could go 6-11 or worse went from 2-percent before the Russell Wilson trade to 46-percent(!!!) after the deal.
Now as for Seaside Joe’s predictions, let’s give out some “flowers” as Brandon Marshall likes to say because he heard a Gen Z use that term in 2020, as well as some condolences. Come to think of it, flowers are popular for all events, good and bad. Two hugely important ways you can help support this little Seahawks engine that could: Share seasidejoe.com so we can reach 1,100 subscribers by MNF and/or throw $5 in the bucket. Thank you!
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Congratulations to Abraham Lucas!
Why: All-Rookie selection at right tackle
Though an offensive lineman is not likely to ever win the award outright, did you know that Creed Humphrey and Rashawn Slater finished third and fourth respectively in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting last season? Well, the Seahawks legitimately have two candidates to rank in the top-10 on their offensive line alone, while Kenneth Walker III deserves decent odds to win the award himself.
But maybe Lucas is in the best position right now to stand out as a rookie offensive starter in Seattle.
With considerable pressure on Charles Cross to pan out as a top-10 pick, and potentially facing off against some of the NFL’s best pass rushers, Lucas may be in a slightly better position (literally and figuratively) to have a “successful” rookie campaign. We’ve already seen this play out somewhat in the preseason as Lucas, not Cross, has drawn a little more praise from fans/media through training camp thanks to his pancake blocks and surprising rise over the competition to earn a starting gig.
Maybe that’s also part of the reason for thinking that Lucas has jumped ahead slightly: Cross was guaranteed a job (rightfully so) and Lucas had to earn his. So by definition, he looks to have advanced more over the last two months. That doesn’t mean that Cross isn’t the more valuable tackle right now, it just means that Lucas has been more impressive in the early going because he’s one of the rare third round or later tackles to become a Week 1 rookie starter.
It was only six months ago that he was the sixth or seventh tackle off the board. There’s no reason to think he can’t reach the upside that had some analysts rating him as a first rounder.
Condolences to Geno Smith!
Why: Benched for Drew Lock in Week 3
Hesitant to set a date to it, Seaside Joe opts to make a bold prediction because I did say there was no point in making safe picks! If you’re gonna try to tell the future, tell it all the way. So why pick Week 3?
It’s hard to avoid the feeling that Seattle’s offense is going to feel unbearable over the first two games of the season given how consistently inept they’ve been when Geno Smith is under center. While I have total confidence in Geno’s ability to lead one or two impressive drives per game, it’s the negative drives, the sacks taken, the third-and-long situations, and the low percentage of drives that have at least one first down (including his three preseason appearances) that concern me more than any lack of a downfield passing presence.
Against the Broncos and 49ers, that could be acceptable. Against the Falcons in Week 3, a must-win game if Pete Carroll wants to prove that the Seahawks are not one of the basement-dwellers, it will become unacceptable.
Given a situation where the Seahawks could be 0-2 and facing a halftime deficit to the Falcons, one of the worst teams in the NFL based on….everything I think I know about football….what other choice would Pete have but to give Drew Lock a chance?
Of course, a victory like the one that Seattle had over the Jaguars with Geno Smith last year would keep his hope alive beyond Week 3. But then the exact same sort of test comes up in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions. I think those two games are more important to Geno’s future than the first two games.
Lose to Denver and San Francisco? Sure, we get it. Lose to Atlanta and Detroit? You get pulled.
Once a reader emailed me directly and asked how he could give someone a gift subscription, so ever since then I’ve been adding this button sometimes and yet nobody has ever purchased one so my question is…WHERE DID YOU GO, GUY WHO ASKED FOR THIS?!
Condolences to Drew Lock also!
Why: It’s a short reign
The Broncos replaced Joe Flacco with Lock with five games remaining in 2019. The Broncos also replaced Teddy Bridgewater with Lock when there were three games left in 2021. I don’t think that Pete will have to wait that long in 2022, but I do think Lock’s time is as inevitable as it is sure to be a short stint on top.
Call me a negative curmudgeon if you must, I just can’t recall many quarterbacks who figured out how to compete at the NFL level after turning 26.
Ryan Tannehill was much better with the Dolphins than people give him credit. Kurt Warner didn’t even get a real opportunity until 1999. Steve Young likely had it in him well before Joe Montana finally stepped aside.
But this is not Lock’s first chance, not even close to that, and he’s had people supporting him and giving him those opportunities—because of his immense arm talent—since he was a freshman at Mizzou. Despite that, Lock didn’t elevate his prospect status enough to force any team to draft him in the first round, didn’t blow the Broncos away as a rookie in camp like Wilson did with the Seahawks in 2012, and didn’t beat out Bridgewater or Smith for starting opportunities.
I wish him luck. Better yet, I wish him Lock.
But even if he gets 10 or more starts with the Seahawks this season, I don’t expect Drew Lock to start 17 games for any team in the NFL in 2023.
Congratulations to Jordyn Brooks!
Why: Earns his first Pro Bowl nod
There is no more controversial Pro Bowl selection than the off-ball linebacker. It seems every year there is at least one name on that list who most fans have no awareness of, not even after they make the Pro Bowl.
Denzel Perryman was in the Pro Bowl last season!
Going back, you’ve got Eric Kendricks, Tremaine Edmunds, Jaylon Smith, Bernardrick McKinney, Telvin Smith, Joe Schobert, and my most favorite Brooks comparison, C.J. Mosley.
Taking nothing from their value, talent, or right to be named as Pro Bowlers, I think it’s agreeable that there’s a gap between those names and Bobby Wagner, Luke Kuechly, or Shaquille/Darius Leonard. (How long before fans are going to be used to Shaquille Leonard?)
Given the relative likelihood that he will lead the NFL in tackles, I think it is fair to say that Jordyn Brooks has some of the highest odds on the team to be named as a Pro Bowler, alongside Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Rashaad Penny, Tyler Lockett, and DK Metcalf. I would not go as far as to say that all of those players will make it, but perhaps two or three should be deserving.
Tell me your 2022 Seahawks Pro Bowlers:
Condolences to the Hawkbloggin’ Twitter Types!
Why: Seahawks fans choose Kenneth Walker III over lazy draft analysis
I’m gonna start a phrase around here: “Stolen opinions”
And there’s no better inaugural opinion to use as an example than “Running backs don’t matter” and “You don’t draft running backs until…” Well, honestly, that last phrase is so hard to even quantify because people keep moving the goal posts.
It was only a couple of years ago that teams weren’t supposed to draft running backs in the first round. Now suddenly it’s a sin to draft running backs in the second round? How soon until running backs are meant to get less draft coverage than punters and kickers? When will it satisfy these people who don’t know what to think until someone tells them what to think?
That’s essentially what happened when the running backs don’t matter phrase took off in 2018. Because I know for a fact that the purveying narrative in Seattle was the total opposite of that during the Marshawn Lynch era and no, football has not changed that much over the last five years.
Oh you’re just now noticing that running backs are behind offensive lines? Yikes. I’m pretty sure that football experts have understood that relationship since at least the 60’s.
So I think this whole over-correction of needing to place the entire position in a box of relatively little value (which is what people are doing when they tweet that they don’t even need to know a single fact about Kenneth Walker III to “know” that he was a bad second round pick) is not something that those fans/media are coming up with on their own. It’s not an idea that they had or even one that they’ve fact checked and explored.
It’s just an opinion that they heard from Ben Baldwin or a Ben Baldwin clone, they stole it, and now it’s “theirs”.
I recommend coming up with some of your own beliefs, you might not find it as scary as you think. Instead, be like Jacson Bevens, who does a much better job than I do of walking the line between the arguments and understanding that there are plenty of gray areas in football where all kinds of reasonable answers exist.
It’s okay to understand that the relationship between running back and surroundings is an important one, while also having a logical take that there are a few running backs who qualify as special. Kenneth Walker is one of the top prospects at the position over the last five years and has a top tier resume coming into the NFL.
Like any other blue chip prospect, he could fail. However, if he doesn’t, then Walker will become a fan favorite on the level of DK Metcalf and this tweet by @SeahawksBurner has it 100-percent correct: The stolen opinion havers will turn on themselves and eventually go back to doing what they do best. Which is forming their opinions based on what gets them clout, not based on what their actual beliefs are.
It’s not necessarily Walker himself who will change the anti-RB narrative on Seahawks Twitter; it will be the ratios that do that and the ratios have been pouring in since the pick was made.
Just wait until Walker breaks four tackles on a single play or scores from 70+ yards for the first time. Suddenly the reaction from those types will turn to, “I’ve actually always said that Kenneth Walker III is great.”
Congratulations to John Schneider!
Why: Phenomenal fucking offseason, bro
What he did:
Best trade return for a single player in NFL history
Re-set the franchise with a top-10 left tackle
JS/PC’s best-looking rookie class in years (conceding that they have yet to play a game, when is the last time a Seahawks rookie class had this strong of a training camp and preseason?)
Re-signed Quandre Diggs
Extended DK Metcalf
NO OVER-CORRECTION AT QB!!!!
Setup for most draft capital in the NFL in 2023
Additionally, give Seattle credit for low-risk/high-reward additions with Uchenna Nwosu, Austin Blythe, Shelby Harris, Noah Fant, Lock, Quinton Jefferson, and Artie Burns. We may yet see long-term pacts reached for Sidney Jones IV, Josh Jones, and Phil Haynes.
Even if the Seahawks win four games, the team’s true objective is already ahead of schedule: To build something special in the future and laying the bricks for a franchise quarterback to be added in 2023.
Love reading your articles Kenneth, you're a very entertaining writer. As someone who strongly believes in the value of a run game, I think your point about stolen opinions is spot on. Semantics as to true positional value can be debated until we are all blue in the face, but the thing is, running the football matters to the Seahawks. Success in football and life is determined by many things, but one of the most important is authenticity. Simply put, a person, or in this case a coach, should have a philosophy THEY believe in, and act on it. There is no repeatable formula for success, no way to copy and duplicate the success of others. As Josh McDaniels recently pointed out, he's not Bill Belichick, but him trying to act like him during his stint as the Broncos' HC definitely hampered his success. Pete Carroll believes in having a strong run game (so do Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay for what its worth), and he should do everything he can to execute that philosophy. There is no single way to win, and that is what the opinion thieves are missing.
I love all the hype about running backs not being worth a first round pick. It just means you can get the best guy for a 2nd instead of a first if you were going after running backs that year. This way we get Cross, Mafe and Walker instead of getting Cross and Mafe and a lesser RB at 41.