Did Seahawks pick "Best Player" every time in 2022?
Reviewing Seattle's picks a year ago and how that could translate to next Thursday, on a very sepcial episode of Seaside Joe 1512
Seahawks general manager John Schneider made his final pre-draft appearance on Wyman & Bob this week, but also had his press conference with Pete Carroll and a short five-minute sitdown with King 5 Seattle. I think as fans we can all appreciate the additional content, even if we’re not going to get the enlightenment to plans that we’re hopelessly expecting, but I must admit that these press tours by football executives (and they happen for all 32 teams) feel a little strange.
I can understand why Taylor Swift does it, or why Matt Damon and Ben Affleck go “full court press” to promote Air (go see Beau is Afraid instead, even if Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t do promotional tours), but what is the benefit to all this for Schneider, I wonder? Is this out of the kindness of his heart or are NFL general managers contractually obligated to do X amount of hours of press per year?
I suppose he does get to promote his foundation Ben’s Fund, to which I say…Come on down to Seaside Joe and do ‘3 Questions’ with me, John! I’ll add the link to Ben’s Fund right here!
One throughline that I think I’ve traced in all of Pete and/or John’s interviews in the pre-draft process is this idea that they feel their draft mistakes mostly originate from addressing “needs” over taking the “best player available”. Classic draft conundrum!
It makes me wonder just how true that was of the Seahawks 2022 draft class. Did Pete and John *clearly* pick the best player available over needs, at least in those first five or six relevant selections? (The last couple of rounds usually have different priorities, i.e. special teams or wild swings on traits like Tariq Woolen.)
LT Charles Cross — Need
John could argue that Cross was the best player on the Seahawks board at #9, but it’s not just convenient or coincidence that Seattle didn’t have a left tackle going into the draft. Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, Jordan Davis, Kyle Hamilton, Tyler Linderbaum, Trent McDuffie…there were some highly-rated football players left on the board. I’m NOT CRITICIZING the pick—we’re just running “BPA or Need” and I’m forcing myself into choosing between those two—Charles Cross fit the Seahawks’ biggest need and he probably wasn’t higher than some of those players on most “big boards” for whatever those are worth.
EDGE Boye Mafe — Best Player
Highly-regarded traits and a borderline late first round prospect, I don’t believe anyone who went after Mafe jumps off the page as a better player at #40. You could make arguments for David Ojabo (injury) or George Pickens and Andrew Booth, but giving the benefit of the doubt I am okay with calling Mafe a BPA at #40 even though he did also slide right into a major area of need.
RB Ken Walker III - Best Player
Though Twitter scoffed at the pick because of Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson and the certified guarantee that they would definitely play 17 games in 2022 (seriously, analytics is considered ‘the smart nerds’?), I do think Walker filleda definitive need for a Pete Carroll football team. But he was also the best player on the board and I think you could have said that within the top-20 picks too.
RT Abraham Lucas - Best Player
He could have been the pick at #41 and nobody would have pancaked an eyelash. Incredible traits for an offensive tackle or guard, and though right tackle wasn’t as pressing as some other positions, he did start as a rookie for a reason: It was him, Jake Curhan, or Stone Forsythe, if I recall correctly. So need? Kind of, yes. But Abe was a verified steal at #72.
CB Coby Bryant - Best Player
It turns out that Seattle did need Bryant right away, but at the time of the draft the Seahawks had seven cornerbacks, mostly veterans who expected to start in Week 1. Unfortunately for Sidney Jones, Artie Burns, Ugo Amadi, Justin Coleman, and John Reid, that was hardly the case. Bryant was an award-winning cornerback at Cincinnati and ranked 65th on the consensus big board, definitely fitting him into a BPA at #109.
I’ll cut it off here because as I said, teams kind of change the gameplan towards the end of the draft, but Woolen, Tyreke Smith, Bo Melton, and Dareke Young round out the class. Lots of traits there, some special teams ability in the seventh round, certainly an argument that they fit a type of BPA too.
The thing about picking in the top-10 is that John and Pete should have the ability to fit a need while getting an incredible prospect, which is what Charles Cross was to the team in 2022. This year with pick #5, Jalen Carter would do both. Will Anderson would do both. Devon Witherspoon may not hit one of Seattle’s top-three positional needs, but he definitely fits a need for situational pass defense, run defense, attitude, and young leadership.
Do the Seahawks “need” a QB upgrade? Yes. Do I see that as a likely outcome with the third or fourth quarterback in the 2023 draft class? Personally, I do not. Historically, it has rarely happened. These prospect may fit in the “best traits” available, but “best player”? Not close.
Five more days.
Ade Ade = Anthony Richardson of DL?
In the most recent episode of Moving the Sticks, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah posted the audio from his annual media call ahead of the draft. You can listen to it here. Transcript here. Seven takeaways here. I think for most of us a lot of it is rehashed information that we’ve heard over and over again, which is perfectly fine because Jeremiah is simply answering questions and knows that most people reading those articles are coming into the draft with fresh eyes, but I’ll point out one thing that stood out to me.
Jeremiah notes that Adetomiwa Adebawore could be one example of a player who’s recent draft stock rise doesn’t make sense to him. That scouts and teams and draft analysts have known for a long time that Adebawore is a freak athlete, but prior to the combine was getting third or fourth round grades. Now those same people have bumped him in their first round mocks because of elite athleticism despite the tape being the same and his measurables being as freakish as expected. Why?
It’s why I personally drew that line to Richardson because we’ve always known he could break combine records for the quarterback position. It’s whether he can actually play the quarterback position that has been a question.
We’ve seen Adebawore connected to the Seahawks a lot, including here at Seaside Joe, but now I have to soften my stance a little bit and wonder if he’s a better option between picks #52 and #83 than within the first 40 picks.
Get your post-draft commentary predictions and media grades in here!
of Honor is on her!
A Seaside Joe announcement…Those of you who have been subscribed since the earliest days of the newsletter know that I used to talk about my own life a lot more than I have in the last couple of years. That’s mostly because I felt the best thing for a Seahawks newsletter that was attempting to attract more Seahawks fans was to spend everyday talking about the Seahawks. I believe that is a wise move. I’ve also probably become a bit more shy and reserved because of that. But for the readers who remember those days and sometimes inquire “What’s new with you, Joe?! We miss the updates!” here’s one:
Seaside Joe and Seaside Jay are staying side-by-side…forever!
My life has changed so much since the first day I sent out the newsletter. In March of 2019, I was single and did not know Seaside Jay and now we are getting married. I’ve also adopted Clark, got a new job (and I didn’t really have a job when this started), gone sober, and picked up a new skill that I have yet to share with you. Craziest and most impactful of all, Russell Wilson was traded!
I also want to make this announcement so in the future when I reference “my wife” (as in, “my wife says that I spend too much time watching Grayson McCall highlights”) that it won’t catch you completely offguard.
For many of you, we’ve shared a DAILY moment together for years. I didn’t expect that to happen when Seaside Joe started either, but I’m grateful to have shared this much time together whether it’s been a two-way or one-way relationship. Thanks for letting me into your lives, if not at least your inboxes.
(And thank you to Seaside Jay for never saying that I watch too many highlights. You are the best.)
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