3 things the Seahawks SHOULD NOT DO with their 1st round pick in 2022
Seaside Joe 1118: The biggest mistakes that Pete Carroll and John Schneider could make with the number nine pick next month
The 2022 NFL Draft has become the Seattle Seahawks’ most important draft since their historic class in 2012. It wasn’t just about luck that year—though landing Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson on day two will be rivaled by very few draft day moments by any team in NFL history—it was also about how to best use an early first round pick.
The Seahawks held the 12th overall pick, significantly higher than their pick in 2011 by way of defeating the Saints with a 7-9 team in the previous playoffs, and they had so many apparent needs left to fill.
Andrew Luck and RGIII were out of reach. Would Ryan Tannehill have been a consideration? He went eighth anyway. There were a number of key position players who would fall to the middle of the first round and Pete Carroll’s decision when Seattle was on the clock was the move we’ve come to expect of the team every year.
The Seahawks could have drafted Fletcher Cox or Michael Brockers to fit the defensive line, or receiver Michael Floyd was a popular prospect at the time, but instead traded down three spots with the Philadelphia Eagles. They took Cox, Floyd went to the Cardinals, and Brockers to the Rams. Seattle instead selected Bruce Irvin and though he was a welcome addition to the roster, fans haven’t stopped second guessing the decision to pass on Cox, nor the selection of Irvin over Melvin Ingram and Chandler Jones.
Not that it matters, since Carroll’s second choice might have really been Quinton Coples.
The Seahawks are so desperate for talent this year that it’s imperative they don’t do anything that they’ll be regretting in a couple seasons. That may be obvious for every team, every year, but these opportunities haven’t come around for Seattle every year.
Here are three things that the Seahawks could do in the first round that they might be second-guessing in the near and long-term future.
1. Don’t draft Tyler Linderbaum
I know, I didn’t expect this either. I compared him to Aaron Donald, after all. But there are at least three good reasons why the Seahawks should not use their first round pick to draft center Tyler Linderbaum out of Iowa. Before you hear me out, hear what Rob Staton had to say about Linderbaum on our draft podcast this week:
With that, I think it becomes easy to list out three reasons that Seattle should not draft Linderbaum in the first round:
It’s the center position. The Chiefs went into the 2021 NFL Draft as a franchise that had been to the last two Super Bowls and the last three AFC Championships, then they picked center Creed Humphrey… at the end of the second round. We all knew that K.C. needed to rebuild its offensive line in 2021 and even they held off a “luxury pick” at center until pick 63 in the draft! And what happened? Many called Humphrey the best center in the NFL last year. If the Seahawks pick a center at nine, when they have so many holes to fix on the roster compared to the Chiefs (or compared to anybody), I think Kansas City will be legally obligated to laugh at Seattle.
He’s undersized. Not only would the Seahawks be selecting a center higher than any team during this century (the last top-10 center I can find was Bob Hyland in 1967!) but they’d be doing so on potentially the smallest center in the NFL next season. Though the Vikings picked similar-sized Garrett Bradbury 18th overall in 2019, he’s been a huge disappointment in Minnesota. Linderbaum will be compared to Jason Kelce because of their similar sizes, but Kelce was a sixth round pick in 2011. Shouldn’t we at least be splitting the difference somehow between pick 18 and the sixth round when it comes to Linderbaum’s “draft value”?
Linderbaum may not even be the best center prospect in 2022. As Rob points out in our chat, Nebraska’s Cam Jurgens may offer everything that Linderbaum offers but without any size concerns. Take a look at a relative Size Score comparison between Linderbaum and other 2022 draft center prospects from SteelersDepot:
That’s REALLY low for Linderbaum. Though he didn’t test at the combine, we can at least say that his relatively diminutive stature was confirmed. Jurgens is not the biggest guy (6’3, 303 lbs) but he’s got maybe at least 10 lbs on Linderbaum, his arms are more than 2” longer than Linderbaum’s, and while straight-line speed should not be that notable to us at center, Jurgens was the fastest (4.92) center at the combine.
But the BIG takeaway here is that if Seattle doesn’t draft Linderbaum, there’s still Cam Jurgens, Boston College’s Alec Lindstrom, or Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Cole Strange, another center with more to offer in size and length who could potentially be available to the Seahawks later in the draft.
Don’t take Tyler Linderbaum in the first round when there’s an outside chance you could take Linderbaum—or Jurgens or Strange—in the second round.
Watch the full draft conversation on YouTube or here at Substack. I’ll be posting more clips at the Seaside Joe Twitter, so follow me there.
2. Don’t trade up for Aidan Hutchinson or another player
This may sound like a crazy, off-the-wall “don’t” given that NOBODY expects the Seahawks to trade up, but it was a thought I had this morning while watching a mock draft by the Boom or Bust YouTube channel.
If Hutchinson is the best overall prospect in this draft class, and it sure as hell is starting to look that way, then is there an argument to be made for Seattle or another team to lower their risk on the prospect they select by increasing their risk of sacrificing 2023 draft capital to land him?
I believe that there IS an argument to be made, but it’s not for the Seahawks.
The Jaguars might be willing to trade down from 1 because Jacksonville may feel like there isn’t a slam dunk number one pick in this draft like Myles Garrett and they have so many needs to fill already. I also think the Jags could be in some cap trouble down the line and number one picks can become expensive, believe it or not. For a team in Seattle’s range to consider moving up for Hutchinson—a potential day one star for his next franchise—they likely need to offer a 2023 first round pick and more.
I actually would not completely rule out the Seahawks considering a move up even though it completely goes against Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s history; that “history” goes out the window when we’re talking about top-10 picks that the duo hasn’t had in over 10 years. If you see a player a couple spots away who would tilt the field for the team, that’s not an option you can dismiss because of “philosophy”…
Here’s a philosophy: THE SEAHAWKS NEED GOOD PLAYERS.
But a blockbuster trade up to acquire Hutchinson or Travon Walker or Kayvon Thibodeaux is not something that Seattle should get involved with if it means sacrificing one of their two 2023 first round draft picks. A) The Seahawks need all the 2023 draft capital they can get and B) Teams would likely demand Seattle’s own first round pick instead of Denver’s and that’s likely to be in the top-10 again.
The Seattle Seahawks can’t trade up in the first round of this draft. If a team is asking for a day two pick to get up one or two spots, maybe that’s something that the Seahawks entertain, but they can’t exceed that limit. Leave the 2023 draft ALONE.
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3. Don’t draft a quarterback
We’ve covered this left and right. Over the next four weeks, more and more blogs, websites, podcasts, TV shows, Twitter accounts, NFL writers, broadcasters, media members, TikTokers, analysts, experts, players, coaches, YouTubers, Vine stars, MySpace accounts, major world banks, CEOs, Jack Dorsey, the original Harlem Globetrotters, senators, philanthropists, atheists, priests, fishermen, fisherwomen, puppeteers, and Daniel Jeremiah will be saying the same thing that I’ve been writing at Seaside Joe since last November:
There are no first round quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft class.
Even if three quarterbacks do get selected in the first round next month, which I find probable, I don’t believe any of them will have a first round grade from more than 30-percent of the league.
Some people seem desperate to “make first round quarterbacks happen” every year and I think what those people are only now starting to realize—the people who had never even heard of Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett until February—is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sit in the center of a Venn diagram that has a “I’m a smart football analyst” bubble and “Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, and Desmond Ridder are banger first round picks.”
It’s probably a great feeling to tweet out highlights of Malik Willis and to get a ton of positive feedback, reassuring you that your instincts are correct. But I think what we’re finding out is that there are a lot of people who did watch these quarterbacks week after week last season and that reassurance from them simply isn’t there like it was last year for Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields. Malik Willis had a “great combine” even though he didn’t participate in any drills. He had a “great pro day” even though there are few experts in football who believe QB pro days are anything more than opportunities to write news stories and send tweets.
At NFL Mock Draft Database, Willis has started to fall out of the top-10 in mocks again:
It’s the same trend for Kenny Pickett:
Matt Corral has fallen from top-10 in early February to out of the first round:
Desmond Ridder’s flirtation with the first round has hit a bump in the road:
When the argument for potentially drafting a quarterback is built around the phrase “Well, fuck it, can’t we just have fun?” MAYBE you should re-think drafting a quarterback. Maybe.
I would much rather see the Seahawks trade pick nine, pick 41, and a 2023 first round pick to draft Hutchinson or Thibodeaux than I would like to see Seattle draft any quarterback in the top-10 this year. They might as well burn their future first round picks if Seattle wastes one on a quarterback in 2022, adding him to a roster that has more needs than at least 90-percent of NFL teams today.
If the draft had a single QB in it that could change my mind, he certainly wouldn’t be available outside of the top-three picks. It’s a paradox to say that the Seahawks should draft a quarterback, and without wanting to insult anyone, I think it’s a very “amateurish” connection to make for Seattle with their first round pick this year—yet Willis to the Seahawks is the most popular mock draft decision on the internet right now.
That’s the biggest reason why NFL Mock Drafts may have officially eaten their last bullet for me this year.
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Alright, alright, alright! Your logic makes sense. I've always believed the Hawks would (once again) trade back from #9 to accumulate more picks. But I'm never correct and they zig when I Zag (painful wink there). I'm still probably ok, as long as they don't reach for either QB, RB, S or even WR. We've got too many holes to plug with young talent.
I was not following the draft the year they took Okung & Thomas, but I vaguely remember Thomas being a “reach” not sure how Okung was graded at that pick. That being caveated, if we know anything about the Seahawks it seems more than likely they will be selecting someone not being mentioned on many draft boards.