We’re just hours away from the 2022 NFL Draft, and for the first time since 2010 the Seattle Seahawks are scheduled to pick in the top-10. Could they go quarterback? Could
On a couple of occasions I’ve rounded up mock drafts from as many reputable sites as possible, and see who ends up correctly predicting what the Seahawks do with their first round pick. Nobody got Jordyn Brooks correct out of a sample of 20 in 2020, and only Rob Rang out of a sample of 25 mock drafters even had Seattle taking a running back in 2018... I’m glad it wasn’t Derrius Guice.
Doing the mock draft round-up again is time consuming and probably not as interesting as reading what the Field Gulls staff thinks the Seahawks will do! Typical mock drafts tend to keep teams in their spot and not complicate things with trades, so what we’ve done is a two-fold prediction:
1.) Will the Seahawks trade up or down or stay at No. 9?
2.) Who will they take?
There’s a wide variety of answers! Let’s look at them.
Offensive line has to be the pick, right? Okay maybe defensive line so they can go along the edge, but they actually semi-addressed the pass rush this offseason by trading for Shelby Harris, signing Uchenna Nwosu, and bringing back Quinton Jefferson. They did nothing about the tackles so I’m thinking that Carroll and Schneider make like 2010 and go OL first. I want the Seahawks to take Ikem Ekwonu but he probably won’t be someone Seattle will trade up for and he’s unlikely to be available at 9. I might as well stick to my gut feeling from the SB Nation Mock Draft that the Seahawks take one of the best run-blocking linemen of the draft: Trevor Penning of Northern Iowa. Seattle will trade down and take him somewhere in the 15-20 range.
Contrary to conventional PC/JS wisdom, I think the Seahawks will stay put at No. 9. If they could take anyone in the draft, I think it would be the tall, rangy corner Sauce Gardner, but he will likely be off of the board at this point in the draft. With him off the table, I think the Seahawks will go for a tackle to try to kickstart the offense, just like they did when they took Russell Okung sixth overall in 2010. Regardless of how you may see them ranked, I think all of the tackles are fairly even talent-wise, but possess vastly different skill sets: the Seahawks will go for the best run-blocker among the trio if they can, and that would be Ikem Ekwonu of N.C. State.
I believe Seattle wants to trade back out of nine but I do not see anyone making it worth their while, especially if the Giants or Panthers move back. They will likely take one of the top three tackles if they slip down to this pick although I think some combinations of the Texans, Jets Giants, Panthers or a trade up team will scoop them up. As a result I think they go with corner Derek Stingley Jr. out of LSU. He has all the traits necessary to be an All-Pro caliber cornerback and showed them during his freshman year. He has battled some injuries over the past two seasons which has hurt his overall production. However he is too good to pass up on at nine and when looking back on this class in five years there is a very good chance he is the best player from it.
Frank T. Raines:
While it is not what I would do, there is a certain poetry to my prediction: In a Draft Day stunner, the Seahawks send #9 + #40 to the New York Giants for #5 + #81 and then . . . draft Russell Wilson’s replacement (aka Malik Willis from Liberty). Enjoy the draft, everyone! And GO HAWKS!
The general sense seems to be that trading down may be difficult this year; but given Carroll and Schneider’s recent comments about “two-point stance” offensive linemen in their last press conference, I don’t think the organization sees its tackle of the future, and instead elects to find a trade down partner who desperately wants to take Charles Cross at number 9. Dropping down a few picks and picking up something like a 2023 2nd rounder along the way, they select Auburn’s Jordan Davis, the hard nosed nose tackle from Georgia to anchor Clint Hurtt’s defensive front.
The last time John Schneider had a pick this high, he took it. While you can earnestly believe Schneider doesn’t know what to do with the first round, both high picks from 2010 were good. Russell Okung and Earl Thomas. I think he’s bad in the 20s and 30s, where they’ve always been. This time, they pick. They will pick Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson because they’re sick and tired of having no pass rush and because he’s 23, the perfect Seattle candidate.
In an unconventional year when the Seahawks actually have a selection in the top 10 of the draft, my prediction is a trade up with the Carolina Panthers at pick 6. Scott Fitterer, former Seahawks co-director of player personnel, is now the general manager for the Panthers and does not have a second or a third round pick. Seattle could offer up their third rounder and a pick swap in the fourth to move up those three spots. Kayvon Thibodeaux falls out of the top 5 and that motivates John Schneider to make the trade up for the Oregon pass rusher.
The amount I want the Seahawks to trade down from 9, and it is an uncomfortably large amount, is a surefire way to ensure they stay put and make a selection at 9, or trade up. It is the way.
There’s a pretty decent chance the Giants will part with 1.5 or 1.7 at the right price. Makes sense they’d want to trade one and make one pick. Officially, since it breaks every mold, I predict the Seahawks will acquire one of the Giants’ selections and nab Derek Stingley Jr.. Yes, the LSU cornerback. Yes, the position they haven’t gone above the third round for. Yes, in a year they desperately need pass rush and offensive line help. Pete and John like their young tackles – Stone Forsythe and Jake Curhan – more than fans anticipate. So they’ll wait until the second round to address the trenches.
Also, what Frank said feels right. Go Frank.
John P. Gilbert
The front office trades down in what fans view as an underwhelming haul for the ninth overall pick, and then move down a second time bringing in yet another underwhelming haul. Then, when they are finally on the clock they take whichever EDGE has fallen, perhaps Jermaine Johnson or Arnold Ebiketie. Then they use the underwhelming hauls they got in return for moving down to move up from 40 to the end of the first to pick their quarterback of the future.
The obvious first thought that comes to mind, given their track record, suggests that the Seahawks will trade back. But with this being their first top ten pick in over a decade with a roster that needs foundational pieces to build their way back up, along with a lack of teams possessing a desire to trade up this year, I see them staying at nine. I believe if one of the top three offensive tackles are on the board (Ekwonu, Neal, Cross) Seattle will jump on the opportunity to select them. If they are gone, I think they select defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, giving them the explosive pass rusher that they have been lacking since they traded away Frank Clark.
So we’ve got two going for Kayvon Thibodeaux, two for Derek Stingley Jr, one for Jordan Davis, two for Jermaine Johnson (or 1.5 since Gilbert hedged and guessed two players), one for Malik Willis, one for Ikem Ekwonu, and yours truly is sticking with Trevor Penning. Samuel Gold went with Charles Cross in a video you can see here.
Let’s see which one of us is right... or how wrong we end up being! Make your predictions in the comments and don’t forget you still have time to enter the Armchair GM challenge!