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Intriguing prospects Seahawks will miss without a 2022 first round pick

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks season has been pretty tumultuous through ten games, to say the least. Not only do they sit at a 3-7 record, facing potential uncertainty moving forward with their franchise quarterback, but they very clearly have several positional needs that need to be addressed.

The problem is, they don’t have a first round draft pick again in 2022. And to further the pain of this point, as of this moment, their 2022 first round selection would have been their highest draft pick since taking Russell Okung sixth overall in 2010.

The flip side is that the New York Jets are currently looking forward to a pair of picks within the top seven. With a selection that high in the draft there are a lot of names that could end up being called at the seven slot, all of whom will be nothing but wishful thinking for Seahawks fans at this point.

Thus, twisting the knife now that it’s been inserted, here are a look at some of the players the Seahawks won’t be drafting in that seventh spot.

Kyle Hamilton - Safety - Notre Dame

What may end up being a brutal pill to swallow for Seattle fans is that one of the most coveted players in this upcoming draft is, well... a safety. At 6’4, 220 lbs. Hamilton has an incredibly unique skillset compiled of great instincts and rare athleticism for his size. While he often plays in the box at a very high level, he might be even better in coverage, with the ability to routinely handle assignments on wide receivers. He lines up all over the field and will likely be the highest safety drafted since, well, Jamal Adams in 2017.

With Quandre Diggs set to become a free agent at the end of the year, this is a pick that could have made a lot of sense for Seattle. For the Jets it’s more of the same scenario with Marcus Maye also set to become a free agent after 2021.

Evan Neal - Offensive Tackle - Alabama

Neal has been a superstar since he was in high school. The 6’7, 360 lbs. behemoth offensive tackle came out as the No. 1 tackle in his high school class and has been the staple of Alabama’s offensive line for multiple years, including on the 2020 National Championship team. He is fantastic in pass protection and can play both right tackle and left tackle.

The Seahawks may need to replace Duane Brown sooner rather than later, and had they held this number seven pick, this would have been a more than logical fit. The Jets used their 2020 first round pick on Mekhi Becton, who has been effective when healthy, and if they want to protect Zach Wilson long term, Neal may fit into their plans opposite Becton. (Editor’s Note: George Fant will be a starter at one of the two tackle spots for the Jets, no matter who I have to Tonya Harding to make that happen. -JPG)

Derek Stingley - Cornerback - LSU

Stingley has been penciled in as the number one corner in this draft class since his eye-popping freshman year in which he picked off six passes, broke up an additional 15 and anchored a defensive backfield that helped a historic LSU team win the 2019 National Title. Stingley has been hampered with injuries the last couple of seasons, but the ceiling of Stingley, with his ball hawking skills and the physicality he imposes on opposing wide receivers, will have teams licking their chops.

The cornerback room has been Seattle’s biggest weak spot by far all season. Even with flashes of Tre Brown and DJ Reed throughout the year, they are missing that alpha, number one corner. The Jets could certainly use some help in their corner room as well.

Tyler Linderbaum - Center - Iowa

Linderbaum’s stock continues to rise up. By far the best center in the draft, and arguably the best offensive lineman in the draft, he is very athletic and quick off the line of scrimmage with plus body control. He has served as a brick wall on the Iowa offensive line.

Center is the one position across the line that Seattle didn’t address this past offseason (gulp... looks at Creed Humphrey) and as a result it has been a bit of a turnstile during 2021, thus making Linderbaum another logistical fit in this hypothetical exercise. Meanwhile, Connor McGovern’s contract with the Jets only runs through 2022, and if they want to upgrade or add a center of the future, Linderbaum will likely be available.

All of these names are incredibly fun to daydream about. When an NFL team is bad, especially at this point in the season, fanbases start to root for tanking and rattle off ideas about what players they could select and strike gold with come the draft in late April.

Seattle does not have that option. The best scenario they can dream on is for Adams to play at an All-Pro level and live up to the 4-year, $70 million extension that has him under contract with the Seahawks through 2025.