Dear Seattle Seahawks Fan,
Are you still in the dumpsters and stressed out because of the Russell Wilson trade?
Well, if so, maybe this mock draft article is for you.
In this scenario, I got the Seattle Seahawks telling the hoard of DK Metcalf suiting teams to bugger off, as they plan to sign him to a gigantic extension. Their plan of attack is to pair him with a young quarterback on a rookie contract for the next four to five years.
In last weeks mock draft, I highlighted a scenario where Seattle trades for Baker Mayfield. I think that scenario is still on the table for the team, but I also think it’s possible that it might be a backup plan, if there is a quarterback in this class that they love, and they just want to get ‘their guy” now. This mock draft represents just that.
So, here we go.
With the 9th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks trade with the Pittsburg Steelers.
The Seattle Seahawks trade back (shocking, I know). In this scenario, the Steelers want to get their guy in quarterback Malik Willis, and they aggressively offer picks 20, 52, 84 and 208 to get their man. Seattle, recognizing that this is an especially deep draft at multiple positions of need, oblige. In my trade value calculator, Seattle actually comes out slightly ahead with this move back to 20.
With the 20th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Matt Corral, Quarterback, Ole Miss.
With this pick, Seattle gets their guy. Matt Corral is a mobile passer with a good enough arm to make every NFL throw. He probably has the best throwing mechanics out of any QB in this class. His release is next level fast, and that’s going to be a big plus for him in Seattle’s offense under Shane Waldron, which now relies, ideally, on a quick passing game. There might be quarterbacks in this draft with higher upside, but he might be the best system fit for what Seattle wants to do now, and that’s why they jump on him here.
With the 40th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Tyler Linderbaum, Center, Iowa
This is an ideal value pick for Seattle. Linderbaum has been thought of as a first round talent, but his measurables are on the smaller side, and because of that, there’s thought he could slide out of the round. I think he’s an ideal fit for their new zone blocking scheme, and he also fits the mold of the tough guys they’ve liked at center before with Justin Britt and Max Unger. If he ends up sliding to 40, I think Seattle would move very quickly to snatch him up, and have Austin Blythe move over to compete at one of the guard spots.
With the 41st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Kenneth Walker III, Running Back, Michigan State
Pete Carroll trolls hoards of Twelves by taking a running back early, but here, Seattle views Walker as too talented to pass up, and the chance to get a pro bowl caliber running back on a rookie contract to mix in with Corral feels too good to pass up, especially considering the injury histories to Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson. Walker’s a sturdy compact runner who bounces and contorts through contact like a pinball. Seattle can use him anyway they want. They can run him inside, and he has the high end athleticism to hit the outside zones. This is an exciting pick, I think.
With the 52nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Kyler Gordon, Cornerback, Washington
Seahawks get a corner they are high on, as they have been watching Gordon closely at Washington for years. They will love his twitchy athleticism, aggressive coverage style, and his closing burst against the run. In Hurtt’s defense modeled after Vic Fangio’s style, aggressive corners are key, and Gordon fits just that. This is a solid, high floor, day one starter pick.
With the 72nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Leo Chenal, Linebacker, Wisconsin
Chenal is a fascinating athlete who looks like a big throwback thumper. Athletically, he’s a high ceiling guy who’s monster against the run, and an intimidating blitzer. He’s probably a middle linebacker, but at 6-2 250 lbs, it’s not outside the realm of possibilities that he could also see time as an edge rusher on occasion. When I think of this guy, I think of long time Seattle great Chad Brown, who was used as an outside backer, rush end, and a middle linebacker. This guy could be just that, and I love the idea of using him as a blitzer with Jamal Adams in exotic looks, and forcing quarterbacks into a lot of guessing games.
With the 84th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Arnold Ebiketie, Edge rusher, Penn State
Seattle watched all the premier edge rushers leave the boards in the top six picks of the draft, but felt confident that they could still find some value later on. Ebiketie is just that. He’s got good bend as a rusher and looks like he can convert speed to power with relative ease. He can backup Darrell Taylor and Uchenna Nwosu at the LEO and SAM spots with a decent possibility of working his way into a starting role within a year of two. As a Seahawk fan, I dig the prospects of Taylor, Nwosu, Ebiketie, and Alton Robinson being the young edge rushing rotation for this team.
With the 109th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Rasheed Walker, Offensive Tackle, Penn State
Seahawks go with back to back Nittany Lions by taking Walker, who they think might have potential as a starting left tackle. Walker is a long armed 6-5, 313 pound mauler who plays with bend and leverage as a run blocker and shows up enough as a pass blocker as well. If they like second year player Stone Forsythe’s potential at left tackle more, Walker might be a nice candidate for the starting right tackle position. His play through the whistle style might actually make him a natural guard, as well.
With the 152nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Eyioma Uwazurike, Defensive Tackle, Iowa State
Seahawks think they hit gold on a massive interior defensive lineman who they will say that they had a second round grade on. Uwazurike is 6-6 316 lbs of length and strength and has enough athletic traits to play all three interior spots on the DL. He can play 3 technique, Nose, and 5 tech. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to make him into a Red Byrant as a 5 technique strong side end. This guy has definite two down starter potential. Maybe even more.
With the 153rd pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Cole Strange, Offensive Guard, Chattanooga
Strange is another mid round gem with starter potential. He spent a lot of time at the senior bowl mixing in at center and got better as the week progressed. That shows coach-ability. With Linderbaum drafted to be the starting center, though, expect Strange to perhaps compete at left guard with Gabe Jackson and Phil Haynes, or backup Damien Lewis at right guard.
With the 208th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Amare Barno, Edge Rusher, Virginia Tech
Barno is a freaky combine tester who has a rawness to his game, but is a dude Seattle could see as very much worth the gamble on in later rounds. He could slip onto the final roster if he shows up on special teams, and he could see himself on the field in this defense as a rotational pass rush specialist because he’s so lighting quick.
With the 229th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Jalen Nailor, Wide Receiver, Michigan State
Seahawks jump on a speedy receiver with the last pick of their draft in Nailor who averaged 17 yards per catch in college, and took carries out of the backfield, as well. He could be viewed as valuable depth behind Dee Eskridge as a guy who can stretch the field and also see carries on sweep plays that Waldron will likely want to use more of in his second year as a play caller. This is a smart value pick.
My thoughts on taking Matt Corral with the first pick
Let me say it first off that I’m not a big fan of taking a quarterback in round one. In fact, I’m not a fan at all.
As a Gen X Twelve, I’ve got PTSD residuals from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when this club spent first round picks on quarterbacks and whiffed on all of them. I watched them trade a first round pick in 1989 for unproven former 6th overall pick Kelly Stouffer, when they still had Dave Krieg in his prime, and Souffer couldn’t beat him out. I then saw them waste a first round pick on Dan McGwire in 1991, and he did jack squat all. I also saw them use the third overall pick in 1993 on Rick Mirer, and he flamed out very quickly.
I have been a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan since 1983. The best quarterbacks, guys who played here for long durations as pro bowl starters, are Dave Krieg who was an un-drafted free agent, Matt Hasselbeck who was a former sixth round pick that the team traded for by swapping first round picks with Green Bay, and Russell Wilson who we all know was a third round pick because nobody really believed that a 5-10 quarterback would ever play to the level that he did in Seattle.
This is our Big Three, and the 1990’s was pretty much a wasted decade of Seahawks football in large part because the team blew first round picks on quarterbacks who ultimately never measured.
If you spend a first round pick on a quarterback who doesn’t pan out, it’s two steps back for your club, and if you are to look at the history of the last decade of NFL football at the percentage of hits on first round quarterbacks versus misses, the misses are overwhelmingly higher than the hits. It’s actually very stunning.
For these reasons, this is why I remain in favor of Seattle trading for Baker Mayfield, and seeing what they would have with him by extending him to a reasonable two year deal. He’s young enough, has had a couple good seasons in this league when healthy, and I am willing to give his 2021 season a mulligan because the torn shoulder injury he gutted through. In 2020, he was a top ten quarterback in efficiency, and was the sixth best deep ball passer by the league’s own advanced metrics.
Therefore, Mayfield has shown an ability to play in this league in ways that would appeal to Pete Carroll, I would think. If the price to acquire him isn’t steep, I think he’s worth a shot here to see if he can be the guy moving forward. That’s my own personal view.
That all said, I think there are a lot of things about Matt Corral that would appeal to Carroll, as well, and on the NFL’s own site, they actually comp him to none other than Baker Mayfield. He’s got a feisty playing style like Mayfield, for sure, and has a similar physical stature (although he’s slightly taller), but I also think he’s different.
I think he’s an overall better athlete than Mayfield, and that lighting quick release of his is crazy good. I envision that he would excel with running back screens, and hitting DK Metcalf on quick slants over the middle (two things that Russell Wilson, in ten seasons, never quite mastered).
If I were to comp him to any NFL quarterback, it would be to Jimmy Garoppolo, if Jimmy G was a much better athlete with a stronger arm. That’s actually not a terrible quarterback to have.
Like Mayfield, Carroll will love Corral’s competitive fire, but I think what he will love more is his how committed he is with his footwork and throwing mechanics. Corral has said that the quarterback he emulates the most is Aaron Rodgers and has studied closely how he throws accurately from different angles, getting the ball off quickly. This shows up in Corral’s tape.
He plays the position just like a point guard, and that is going to be a HUGE PLUS for Pete Carroll. This could be the single biggest reason to believe that he could be QB1 for this team.
So, with all that, I get why Seattle might be inclined to draft this guy with their first pick, and while I am not in favor of taking a quarterback with the first pick, if John Schneider believes in one of these quarterbacks enough to take them with that pick, I kinda feel inclined to trust him a bit more. I think one of Schneider’s best traits as a GM is identifying quarterback talent.
I would also say that, if they do hang onto DK Metcalf, and draft one of these guys, that quarterback is going to come into Seattle with some pretty awesome targets to throw at with DK, Tyler Lockett, and Noah Fant. That’s a signifcantly better situation than Zach Wilson had with the Jets, and Trevor Lawrence had with the Jaguars last year, and if Seattle brings back Duane Brown and Brandon Shell for another year, the offensive line, at the very least, should serve as functional.
Many people are saying how Seattle is going to be a miserable team in 2022, but will they, if they make these moves?
Can this actually be a situation more ideally set up for a rookie quarterback than folks are giving credit?
In my mind, it’s not the craziest thought that Matt Corral could actually be walking into a situation in Seattle where he exceeds expectations faster than people are thinking, if he wins the starting job outright. Just some food for thought.
Thoughts about the rest of this draft.
This mock, if anything, is a good exercise to see how the draft might land for Seattle if they traded back from 9, grabbed enough picks to make it feel justified, and actually did take a quarterback they believe in with the first selection.
It feels like there is potential for some really good things to happen down the line. Everything I read says this is an especially deep draft, and the eleven players drafted in this mock feels like the right number that Seattle would love to come out with to fill out their roster.
A good player like Tyler Linderbaum could land in their lap at 40, and if he’s not there, a really good guard or tackle prospect could be there. Seattle could get a really good offensive linemen at 40 and they could probably also grab one at 41, as well, if they wanted to get greedy. Maybe instead of a quality center, they land a really good guard prospect and a right tackle one, as well.
I think that this is also a really good running back and linebacker draft, and I can practically guarantee that Seattle will be drafting both positions out of this class because it’s so loaded.
At 72, I had a choice of many linebackers in the draft simulator I used, and I chose a guy who I thought brought a unique style to his game. Leno Chenal feels like an enforcer, and I think this defense needs a guy (or two) who will play nasty like that. In a shift towards more 3-4, you want bad asses playing middle linebacker, and guys who will mash it up with guards. Chenal feels like that style of player. He’s a total throwback in that way.
I also think that Kyler Gordon is a guy that they will be interested in at corner, and they might feel compelled to take a guy like Eyioma Uwazurike much earlier than I projected with this mock. He’s a big physical DT type that Carroll has always been drawn towards and could have immediate impact on the DL.
Overall, I really dig this mock. If Seattle took Corral early and they walked away with these players, I’d consider it an impressive haul. This feels like a draft that a solid new foundation can be built on, and next year, Seattle will have two first round picks where they could address left tackle and pass rush again, if they wanted.
When I look at it this way, I can warm more towards taking a quarterback early, even though that still scares the absolute living crap out of me.