(Editor’s note: Everyone please welcome Devin Csigi to the Field Gulls staff! Expect more scouting reports and analysis from him in the months to come)
As a result of the Russell Wilson trade, the Seattle Seahawks own both the 40th and 41st picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Picks this high in the second round are expected to be key starters during the course of their career, as multiple players with first round talent often slip into this range. In the last two years alone, impact players such as Asante Samuel Jr., Rondale Moore, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and Jonathan Taylor have been drafted in this part of the second round. Hitting on these picks is imperative for Seattle to both continue to rebuild the roster, whilst also giving 70-year-old head coach Pete Carroll a chance to compete again before he decides to hang it up. There is a possibility Seattle takes one player for each side of the ball with these two picks and we are going to examine some of the players that could opt to go with.
Matt Corral - Ole Miss - QB - 6’2 - 205
After the Russell Wilson trade, Seattle is in desperate need of a quarterback. Drew Lock, who Seattle acquired in the Wilson trade, is likely not the long-term solution at the position. Corral, who’s a project as a quarterback is unlikely to make an impact in his rookie season as he needs seasoning in multiple areas. Although, he is the raw, high ceiling quarterback that teams love to target in this part of the draft. From a schematic standpoint Corral brings some of the athleticism and ability to throw on the run that Wilson brought to the table.
Quick scouting report
- Struggles with his accuracy at all three levels, often causing receivers to slow down or stop completely on in breaking routes and his deep ball consistently floats. He struggles with forcing his receiver to slow down to protect them from a linebacker or flatten out the route to prevent the deep third safety from making a play on the ball.
- Has the arm talent to make any throw in the playbook whether that be a seam throw against cover two or something down the sideline in between a deep third safety and a cloud defender. He can zip a ball into tight windows over the middle of the field with ease and can throw off of any platform which is an important trait to possess in today’s NFL.
- Corral’s footwork needs improvement; he is often flat footed when making his throws, completely relying on his overall arm strength and his hips to generate his power. At times this causes his front shoulder to drop or back foot to shoot up, impacting his overall accuracy.
- When facing pressure, Corral’s eyes often drop immediately causing him to leave the pocket. He needs to show a willingness to stay and slide in the pocket rather than immediately trying to tuck and run once he smells danger.
- He is not overly careless with the ball and is willing to take his check down. He keeps his eyes down the field as long as possible when not pressured to both keep the possibility of the big play open as well as forcing backers to move back, opening up the check down.
- Corral does a good job of not staring down receivers, rather surveying the defense going from read to read. He also shows the necessary eye discipline to look off a deep safety to open up something away from them.
- Corral is a threat to keep the ball on read options as well as also being able to tuck the ball and run with it anytime the play breaks down. Corral does carry enough athleticism to where he can make a defender miss in the open field with a jump cut, although he will not be able to do that consistently at the NFL level against defensive backs and quicker backers.
Breece Hall - Iowa State - RB - 6’1 - 220
On the surface this looks like a surprising option with Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson on the roster. Although digging a little bit deeper, running back is a sneaky need for Seattle in this year’s draft. Both Penny and Carson are entering the final year of their respective deals. Paired with the fact Carson has only played in 16 games the last two seasons and Penny only 13 games over that span, Seattle needs some insurance at the position. Having Hall on his rookie deal as well as letting Penny and/or Carson walk next offseason would allow for more financial flexibility as the retooling of the roster continues. Hall comes from a zone running scheme at Iowa State, which would help his transition into Waldron’s system.
Quick scouting report
- Hall’s best attribute by far is his patient running style paired with his well above average vision. He is able to see small holes in the offensive line, as well as being able to get skinny and break arm tackles when hitting those holes, allowing him to pick up additional yards.
- He possesses good speed but will struggle to run away from athletic edges, backers and defensive backs at the next level, although he is able to make up for it due to his very quick acceleration.
- Not the most physical of runners as he very rarely trucks over defenders, nor does he seek out contact. He does have a strong enough lower body to where he is able to consistently break arm tackles at his hips or below without losing stride. He regularly runs through the first contact due to lower body strength and contact balance.
- Hall is not an overly upright runner as he runs with a bit of a bend in his legs and hips, although he struggles to gain leverage on defenders as he is unable to get below their pad level. Hall is a very shifty runner in the open field as he has to do very little to make a defender miss, opening up his hip one way to get the defender flatfooted and out of position to make a tackle.
- As a pass blocker Hall struggles — he looks lost at times not knowing who to block. When he does take on a blitzer he often presents a soft shoulder or has no ability to stand up to the defender and gets run through.
- As a receiver Hall at times shows what seems to be a lack of interest on routes and almost takes the play off. Hall does possess inconsistent hands, at times making one hand catches, or catches with his hands away from his body, although he does have the occasional concentration drop.
David Ojabo - Michigan - Edge/OLB - 6’5 - 255
Ojabo is a prospect that does come with a significant injury tag, as he tore his Achilles tendon at his pro day in March. That’s the only reason Ojabo is being discussed as a possibility at this pick as prior to the injury he was a projected top ten to fifteen pick. A torn Achilles has historically been a very difficult injury to recover from, although that is starting to change. Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers recovered from his torn Achilles in roughly six months, returning late in the 2021 season. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, doctors are giving Ojabo the same timeline which would allow him to appear in games at some point this season. While he is not a surefire pick due to his rawness as well as his torn Achilles, this is the type of home run pick that teams should be making in the second round. He is a perfect fit in Clint Hurtt’s new 3-4 scheme which will be predicated on becoming more aggressive.
Quick scouting report
- Ojabo displays multiple moves in his pass rushing repertoire that could all grade out as well above average in a few seasons. His go-to move, which has the potential to be elite, is his rip where he uses his combination of power and speed to rip the lineman’s outside arm and then dips around him to create pressure. His next move is his spin, where his footwork is fantastic as he stays light on his toes allowing him to stay balanced throughout the move. He very rarely displays a speed move which is surprising given his first step quickness and overall athleticism.
- Ojabo does possess very little ankle bend which makes it difficult for him to gain the edge on blockers with a straight dip.
- Ojabo uses his loose athleticism to control the tempo of the pass rush. He is extremely quick off the ball which speeds the blocker up, although there are other times where he likes to slow it down and flash movement with his hips or feet to make the offensive lineman show which way they are leaning. In coverage Ojabo looks a bit lost, when tasked with taking a flat or hook zone as his footwork can get a bit choppy and his eyes dart from spot to spot.
- Uses his length really well in keeping blockers at a distance to where he can almost two gap in the run game. When facing bigger lineman he does a great job of gaining leverage on them preventing them from clearing him out of their gap.
- Ojabo has a disciplined approach in the run game as he holds the edge well rather than crashing down the line of scrimmage. He uses his high motor to chase down runs that are away from him as well as displaying an ability to work down the line of scrimmage to take away the cut back lane. Ojabo is a great tackler using his length and power to wrap up ball carriers as well as using his athleticism to stay in front of them.
George Karlaftis - Purdue - Edge/OLB - 6’4 - 268
Out of this bunch Karlaftis is the most unlikely to be on the board at 40, although there is a possibility he slips in the draft. According to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler:
“I am surprised by some of the low opinions around the league on Purdue pass rusher George Karlaftis. I’ve talked with several people in the league who believe he won’t be drafted until the second round.”
Early in the college football season Karlaftis was being mocked in the top ten in some expert mock drafts, although as the season and offseason progressed, he slipped down more and more. He’s not a flashy athlete, nor did he post the eye-popping numbers at Purdue, although like Ojabo he would be a great fit for Hurtt’s 3-4 defense, which he wants to be more aggressive.
Quick scouting report
- Karlaftis’ best tool as a pass rusher is far and away his hands. They are extremely heavy, setting lineman back almost immediately at the first point of contact. His hands are extremely quick, consistently using them for swim and swipe moves at any point in his blitz.
- Karlaftis’ speed off the line goes hand in hand with his hand usage as he is quick enough off of the line that by the time the lineman is trying to get back in their stance, he is already on top of them swiping their hands away before they can force him any which way.
- As a power rusher Karlaftis for the most part does a good job of getting his hands on the lineman’s chest plate knocking them off balance, making it difficult for them to establish any type of anchor on the play. He does occasionally get too upright on bull rushes, making it more difficult for him to gain leverage.
- Karlaftis’ struggles as a pass rusher come mainly because of his lack of bend to the outside as well as because of his lack of a true threat to their inside shoulder.
- In the run game, Karlaftis does a great job of using his length and power to allow him to two gap running plays. His hand placement does need a little work in these situations as they have a tendency to fade more towards the outside shoulders of the blocker.
- Karlaftis is quick enough out of his stance to where he can get across the face of a lineman on a reach block. He does a good job of keeping edge contain when not blocked, rather than sprinting right down the line to attack the running back he stays true.
- Karlaftis struggles with any type of tackle that is in space. He shows no ability to wrap up a ball carrier when he is placed on an island, often bouncing right off of them.