Mocking The 2022 Seahawks Draft Part I: Commitment To The Trenches

Getting bigger and nastier on the line of scrimmage starts with this guy

Dear Emotionally Battered Seattle Seahawk Fan,

You’ve seen Russell Wilson traded to the Denver Broncos for five draft picks, and three players. For many of you, that probably blew.

You’ve seen Bobby Wagner cut from the team in a publicity nightmarish scenario, and then sign up with the younger prettier looking Los Angeles Rams a few week later. Ouch!

You’ve seen the team overpay for Will Dissly (although the true cap dollars aren’t nearly what the contract suggests), and you thought to yourself “what exactly is the plan, here?”

Outside of a few nice signings (edge rusher Uchenna Nwosa looks like a good one), it’s probably not a stretch to say that this off-season has been putting you through the ringer a bit.

Well, I’m here to tell you that all is not done yet with this off-season, and I’m going to lend some optimism. The NFL Draft is a few weeks away, and this draft class looks loaded at positions that our Seattle Seahawks desperately need to get younger, stronger, and better at.

I’m hopeful that after a little bit more dipping in the toes in free agency, I think these Seahawks can be a surprisingly fun team for us still in 2022. I’m hopeful, anyways.

This is my first mock draft to help get your juices flowing a bit. Seahawks have some nice receivers, safeties, tight ends, and interior defensive linemen, but they are currently scary thin at offensive tackle, and quarterback. They also need more edge rush, linebacker, and corner help.

Basically, they need a lot, but enough of that. Let’s get mocking.

With the 9th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks Trade with the Minnesota Vikings

Massive freak of nature defensive tackle Jordan Davis falls to pick 9 for the Seahawks, and Minnesota wants him. They trade picks 12 and 46 to the Seahawks for 9. Seattle now has four top fifty picks to fill roster needs. Wowza. This will help.

With the 12th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Trevor Penning, Offensive Tackle, Northern Iowa

Penning fills an obvious need, getting a long term solution at left tackle. He is 6-7 and 325 pounds of freakish strength and athletic ability who plays with an edge, loves the game, and is a tireless worker. He’s a bit rough round the edges as a pass blocker, though, but Pete Carroll will love the intensity he plays with. It’s worthwhile to note that the Rams system that Seattle is now embracing tends to prefer offensive tackle to be 6-7 or taller. Last year, Seattle to a late round flyer on Florida tackle Stone Forsythe who is 6-8. For these reasons, I think Penning is a player to watch for the Seahawks, and if they want him, they will have to take him early. I actually have him taken over Ole Miss tackle Charlie Cross because Seattle wants to go with upside.

With the 40th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Abraham Lucas, Offensive Tackle, Washington State

Like Trevor Penning, Lucas is another tall athletic tackle who plays the game with an edge. Lucas might even be the better pass protector out of the two thus far, however, but since he plays on the right side, he might not be as heavily in demand. He’s reportedly a big Seahawks fan, and has met with the team at the NFL combine. Taking him here gives Seattle the chance to have bookend offensive tackles for the next decade. This is a no brainer pick, IMO.

With the 41st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Sam Williams, Edge Rusher, Mississippi

Just like Darrell Taylor a couple years ago, the Seahawks take an explosive 6-4 260 pound edge rusher who they think they can mold into a great one. Williams comes in with freakish speed, but a rawness to his game, especially against the run. His testing numbers are insane, and Seattle hit gold a few years back when they took a very raw Frank Clark in the bottom of the second round. He comes in to start off as a pure pass rush specialist with a chance to evolve as top end every down edge player.

With the 46th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Perrion Winfrey, Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma

Pete Carroll’s stated big mission at the end of the season was to fix Seattle pass rush, they changed scheme to more of a 3-4 pressure front and promoted DL coach Clint Hurtt to coordinator. He’s going to want to put more emphasis on big men rushing forward in this scheme. This is a luxury pick because Seattle has depth at DT, but Winfrey might be one of the better pure interior pass rushers in this class, and that’s too much to pass up. I love the idea of him working inside with newly acquired DT from Denver Shelby Harris, and returning Seahawk interior rusher from years past, Quinton Jefferson. Winfrey can afford to learn from Harris and Q Jeff to become the 3 technique of the future while being a part of the interior pass rush rotation now.

With the 72nd pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Martin Emerson, Cornerback, Mississippi State

Here’s where the Seahawks take a shot at a starting outside corner. Emerson is long and agressive in his physicality. Adding him to a CB room that includes Sidney Jones, Artie Burns, Justin Coleman, and Tre Brown suddenly gives Seattle a sense of security at this position that they maybe haven’t had in a while. This is a good pick here.

With the 109th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Troy Andersen, Linebacker, Montana State

Seahawks hit gold in the early portion of the fourth round getting a big, physical fast inside backer to work in with Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, and Ben Burr-Kirven. Linebacker is especially looking deep with this draft class, and that’s probably a big reason why Seattle felt that they could comfortably move on from Bobby Wanger. This is a great value pick.

With the 152nd pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Zamir White, Running back, Georgia

Three things are certain. Death, taxes, and so long as Pete Carroll is coaching in the NFL, he is always going to be looking at adding another explosive running back to his roster. Like linebacker, running back is deep in this class, and I think Seattle can be patient finding another one. I think Zamir White looks like an NFL starting running back and he’s worth a shot here.

With the 153rd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Tariq Castro-Fields, Cornerback, Penn State

This is a depth pick here. Seattle only has Sidney Jones and Artie Burns on one year deals. Getting two young cornerbacks that they feel good about out of this draft might be a big goal. Castro-Fields has good length and ability to play man coverage, which Seattle is shifting more towards in its aggressive scheme. if they can land him mid rounds, this feels like a smart get.

With the 229th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Jack Sanborn, Linebacker, Wisconsin

This is another pick for depth at linebacker. Sanborn isn’t a freak athlete but he played college ball with good intelligence and had a knack for making some plays on the ball. At this range in the draft, you’re probably looking for someone who shows some potential but also someone who might be really willing to show out on special teams. Sanborn feels like that sort of guy.

Thoughts On This Mock Draft

Seattle has many needs right now and I feel like was one small trade back from pick 9 to get an additional second round pick allowed Seattle to attack many of the more vital ones, outside of quarterback. This mock draft feels like a big hit to me in that way.

Seahawks landed two enormous and athletically gifted players to be bookend starting tackles on their offensive line for the next franchise quarterback to benefit from. This is a huge coupe, if it were to happen.

Penning has enormous physical talents but is raw as a pass blocker and played at a small school program. There will likely be growing pains for him, but getting him run blocking often will help. Lucas might look like the better player out of the two of them initially, but Penning probably has the much greater upside.

Seattle also added to two pass rushers who could evolve, in time, into impact starters. Again, this is awesome. This is how to start to build a nucleus for your new attack style defense.

Seattle takes advantage of the quality depth of this draft at corner, linebacker, and running back, and what strikes me about this draft is how they double dip at many of these positions, including offensive tackle. I have a sneaking suspicion that Seattle wants to trade back from 9 to fill out their roster with player from this class which looks especially rich with depth in later rounds.

Last year’s draft was beyond weird with only three picks. I think they want quite the opposite this time around. In this mock, Seattle came away with nine players, but in reality, they might want ten or eleven.

if I were to criticize this mock draft, however, it would be that maybe Seattle doesn’t land a true blue chip player (even with Penning), but they get a handful of players that can be good starters in this league for a long time. This might be their goal, given the amount of holes that they are facing with their roster. This looks like a draft where getting as many picks in the top 100 as you can might the preference for roster building.

Why No Quarterback Is Drafted And Other Matters

Pete Carroll stated recently that they want to bring back Geno Smith and they want to add a fourth quarterback who might be an important piece for the long term future of the club. This could easily imply that they have a quarterback (or two) in mind that they would like to take out of this draft class.

But in reality, it could also mean that they have an eye out for a younger quarterback that they would still like to trade for.

Therefore, in this first mock scenario, I’m working with the idea that there’s someone very specific that they want to trade for, and I’m going to run the Baker Mayfield speculation in this instance.

In this scenario, Seattle plans to trade for Mayfield after this draft concludes. Here, I have them wanting to use any many picks as they can in this particular draft to plug holes, and afterwards, they have a plan in place to bring in Baker Mayfield for a 2023 third round pick, and they extend his deal for an extra year to drop the costs against the 2022 salary cap.

This gives Baker and Seattle an opportunity for two years together to see if he can be the next long term quarterback in town. If he plays well within the Waldron system, it’s a low cost home run hit. If he doesn’t play well enough, well then it didn’t cost any more than the third round pick they sent to the Chargers in 2010 for Charlie Whitehurst to see if he could be their next answer.

This, frankly, feels like a no brainer decision on many levels, and while there is a distinct anti Baker vibe out there right now, I’d be willing to wager more towards the idea that, with a healthy shoulder again, he can quickly regain his 2020 form, where he was a top ten quarterback in the league that season in terms of passing efficiency, and was the sixth best deep ball passing quarterback according to the league’s Next Gen Stats. Passing efficiency and deep ball accuracy are probably the two most important things that Pete Carroll wants in his starting quarterback. Therefore, I would watch for this to happen. I think it’s likely.

With an added year to Mayfield’s current contract that drops his 2022 numbers down, Seattle could probably look to add his former center in JC Trotter, and they could look to add his current workout partner Cole Beasley, as well. Austin Blythe could move to guard to compete with Gabe Jackson.

Suddenly, at least on paper, the 2022 Seattle Seahawks look like a team that can compete in their division with the addition of Mayfield and these other two proposed moves. The offensive line looks younger and more physical, and the defensive front seven looks more filled out and deeper. Cornerback seems more fortified.

People can criticize that adding a Baker Mayfield will lessen the high end draft capital in 2023, but let’s think about that for a minute. If Baker Mayfield comes in and fits this offense well enough in 2022 where they (and he) exceed expectations, doesn’t he potentially then solve the quarterback dilemma, and if so, isn’t that a good thing?

Maybe he never becomes the dynamic player Russell Wilson was but what if he’s essentially Dave Krieg?

I get if that doesn’t register with Millennial Twelves, but for those not in the know, back before cell phones, Krieg wasn’t too shabby as a passer in the 206 leading this team regularly into the playoffs and earning multiple pro bowl honors. My Gen X’er self can live with that, anyways.

In my opinion, there is no setback for this club if they win more games than expected in 2022, and if Mayfield looks good, then maybe the QB problem is solved, and the two first round picks in 2023 could continue to go towards the offensive and defensive lines again. Continually adding to the trenches with high round capital will not be a bad thing, if that happens.

That’s really what this first mock of mine is about, just throwing down into the trenches. First four picks, all in the top fifty, all go to the offensive and defensive lines. That feels very Baltimore Ravens to me. I dig that approach.

Go Hawks.


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