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12 Thoughts after Day Two of the 2022 NFL Draft

A collection of FTR thoughts that weren’t turned into their own articles ...

On Thursday night, Seattle took a Left Tackle that specializes in pass-protection with the 9th pick in the first round. The Seahawks followed that up by grabbing his bookend companion on Day 2. In between the 2 Tackle selections, JSPC selected a well-regarded pass rusher and one of the top two running backs in the draft.

So far, so good, right?

Answer: Yes!

(Even if the folks over at CBS Sports don’t necessarily agree: Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3.)

The 2022 NFL Draft wraps up today, but I’ve got some thoughts to share before then ...

Let’s dive in!


Thought #1

There have been a lot of comments (and tweets) the last two days about how ironic it is that the Seahawks decided to rebuild their offensive line after trading Russell Wilson.

If you really want some (potential) irony though, try this:

Our new Left Tackle, Charles Cross, spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons playing for Mike Leach at Mississippi State. Before that, Mike Leach spent 8 seasons at Washington State (2012-2019) which means that he recruited and coached our new Right Tackle, Abraham Lucas, as well.

What if that’s not a coincidence?

Can you imagine how many heads would explode, including RW3’s, if the Seahawks were to adopt some elements of Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” offense and suddenly started throwing the ball on 75% of their offensive plays?

THAT would be ironic!


Thought #2

Guess who else played for Mike Leach in college ...

NCAA Football: San Jose State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the stat line from #16’s single season with Mike Leach: 468 of 662 (70.7%) for 4,779 yards with 38 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, and a passer rating of 147.6. The Cougars went 11-2 that year and ranked 10th in the final AP poll of the season.


Thought #3

Speaking of quarterbacks, North Carolina’s Sam Howell has long been my dark horse candidate for Seattle’s QB competition this summer.

Capital One Orange Bowl - Texas A&M v North Carolina Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Heading into Day 3, he’s the last of the top-5 QBs on the board. Will Seattle select him at #109? If they don’t, will he last until pick #145 (or #153)?

We’ll know soon enough.


Thought #4

I don’t know what’s more surprising ... (A) The fact that there have been twenty-one trades through the first 2 days of the draft; or (B) the fact that the Seahawks haven’t been involved in any of them.

Yeah, it’s definitely (B).


Thought #5

Seattle’s current regime has a well-documented aversion to selecting cornerbacks during the first two days of the draft.

I honestly thought they might buck the trend this year.

Unfortunately, Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner went off the board at #4 (with Derek Stingley Jr. going off the board one pick before him). That meant there were no “worthy” CB candidates when the Seahawks went on the clock at #9.

In Round 2, I thought JSPC might covet the local corner -slash- freakish athlete, Kyler Gordon. And maybe they did. Gordon, however, was plucked off the board at #39 which left the Seahawks empty-handed at corner yet again.

In Round 3, Martin Emerson practically screamed “Seahawks”, what with his height (6-2), his arms (33.5”), and his hands (10-1/8”). Yeah ... he was scooped up at by the Cleveland Browns at #68.

Bottom line: We’ve now had 13 drafts during the reign of JSPC and Shaquill Griffin (#90, 2017) remains the only cornerback selected within the first 100 picks in any of them.


Thought #6

For those that think Abraham Lucas “fell” to the Seahawks at #72, I suggest looking at the Consensus Big Board. You may also want to look there if you think Seattle “reached” for KW3 at #41.

Here are the consensus rankings for each of Seattle’s picks thus far:

  • Charles Cross: #9
  • Boye Mafe: #37
  • Kenneth Walker III: #46
  • Abraham Lucas: #71

Let’s compare that to ... oh, I don’t know ... Darth Hoodie’s selections through the first three rounds:

  • Cole Strange: #86 (selected at #29)
  • Tyquan Thornton: #146 (selected at #50)
  • Marcus Jones: #89 (selected at #85)

And, for good measure, how about if we look at the Los Angeles Rams’ draft thus far (since Les Snead and Sean McVay had a good laugh at Bill Belichick’s expense on Friday night):

  • Logan Bruss: #169 (selected at #104)

Thought #7

One of the more surprising storylines from the first 2 days of the 2022 NFL Draft is the Minnesota Vikings’ newfound willingness to consummate trades with their division rivals - and not small trades either.

On Day 1, the Vikings helped the Detroit Lions jump 20 spots (from #32 to #12) so the Lions could draft Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams. Then, on Day 2, they helped the Green Bay Packers move up 19 spots (from #53 to #34) to grab North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson.

And here’s where it really gets interesting ...

If you use the Jimmy Johnson Trade Value Chart, the Vikings gave up 230 points of value in the trade with the Lions (1,410 in; 1,640 out). Ouch! They came out on the plus side in the trade with the Packers (+120), but ended up helping 2 division rivals improve for a net gain of MINUS-110 points.

Sort of reminded me of Jeff Carson, down in Jacksonville, trading the #6 pick for 3 second-rounders.


Thought #8

Remember all the speculation about this year’s quarterback class being “weak”? Turns out that it wasn’t just scuttlebutt.

So far, only 4 quarterbacks have been selected and this is where they went:

Round 1:

Round 2:

  • (crickets)

Round 3:


Thought #9

Here are some players that I hope the Seahawks consider on Day Three:

OFFENSE

  • QB Sam Howell (obviously - see Thought #3)
  • OC Alec Lindstrom (6’3”, 296; 7 pressures on 368 pass-block snaps in 2021)
  • OC Dohnovan West (6’3”, 296; 5 total pressures on 372 pass-block snaps last year)
  • OT Daniel Faalele (draft crushes die hard when a guy’s 6’8”, 384 + has 11” hands)
  • TE Cade Otton (we can never have too many Huskies)
  • WR Calvin Austin III (4.32 forty, 74 catches for 1,145 yards + 8 TDs in 2021)
  • WR Justyn Ross (6’4”, 205; led the nation in yards per route as a true freshman)

DEFENSE

  • EDGE Amare Barno (6’4”, 246; runs a 4.36 forty with a 1.49 10-yard split)
  • EDGE Jeffrey Gunter (Raw Athletic Score of 9.74 !!!)
  • EDGE Kingsley Enagbare (25.9% pass rush win-rate in 2021)
  • DT Neil Farrell Jr. (6’4”, 330; 89.9 run-defense grade in 2021)
  • LB Damone Clark (projected as an R2/R3 pick but will likely “redshirt” in 2022)
  • CB Tariq Woolen (6’4”, 205 with 33-5/8” arms; runs a 4.26 forty)
  • CB Zyon McCollum (6’2”, 199, 4.33 forty, 54 PBUs + 13 INTs in college)

Thought #10

In addition to the Seahawks, here are the teams whose draft classes I like thus far:

Atlanta Falcons

  • R1.8: WR Drake London, USC
  • R2.38: DE Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State
  • R2.58: LB Troy Anderson, Montana State
  • R3.74: QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
  • R3.82: LB DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky

FTR’s take: London, Ebiketie, and Ridder highlight their class so far, but both linebackers are sneaky good.

__________

Baltimore Ravens

  • R1.14: S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
  • R1.25: OC Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
  • R2.45: DE David Ojabo, Michigan
  • R3.76: DT Travis Jones, Connecticut

FTR’s take: Hamilton was in the top 5 on a lot of Draft Boards while Linderbaum, Ojabo, and Jones are players I hoped Seattle might draft.

__________

Carolina Panthers

  • R1.6: OT Ikemefuna “Ickey” Ekwonu, NC State
  • R3.94: QB Matt Corral, Mississippi

FTR’s take: Quality over quantity, right? I mean, Ekwonu is a solid selection at #6 and even if you’re not sold on Corral, it’s hard to argue that he was a bad pick at #94 when Carolina’s QB1 before Friday night was Sam Darnold.

__________

Detroit Lions

  • R1.2: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
  • R1.12: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama
  • R2.46: DE Josh Paschal, Kentucky
  • R3.97: S Kerby Joseph, Illinois

FTR’s take: My second-favorite team is giving me a reason to watch more of their games this year than I have in the past 3-years combined.

__________

New York Jets

  • R1.4: CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati
  • R1.10: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
  • R1.26: DE Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State
  • R2.36: RB Breece Hall, Iowa State
  • R3.101: TE Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State

FTR’s take: Home-freakin’-run so far. These aren’t the Jets we’ve gotten used to the last couple decades.

__________

Philadelphia Eagles

  • R1.13: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
  • R2.51: OC Cam Jurgens, Nebraska
  • R3.83: LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

FTR’s take: In and of themselves, those 3 picks are HUGE for the Eagles; but let’s not forget that they sent an R1 (#18) and an R3 (#101) to the Tennessee Titans for WR A.J. Brown. If I were an Eagles fan, I’d be doing cartwheels in the middle of the street.


Thought #11

When Round 1 ended, Georgia Linebacker Nakobe Dean was the proverbial “Best Player Available” and ESPN’s commentators were certain that he’d fly off the board at the top of Round 2.

Did. Not. Happen.

Fifty picks into Day 2, Dean was still the BPA. The Eagles finally put him out of his misery by selecting him with the 83rd overall pick ... 53 picks behind where he was on the Consensus Big Board.

Why did Dean fall so far?

Reports are indicating that teams were concerned about his decision to not have surgery after suffering a pectoral strain while training for the draft.

Was that the right call? Sure? Maybe?. But if Nakobe Dean made the right decision and the injury doesn’t affect his performance or his availability in 2022 then he may turn out to be the STEAL of the draft.


Thought #12

For a little while on Friday night, it looked like I might be a contender in the 2022 Field Gulls Armchair GM Challenge. I had only lost a third of my players on Day 1 (7 of the 20, to be exact) and the Seahawks took my 15-pointer at #40 (Go, Boye Mafe!). Even better, my 30-point player was sliding down the board and looked like he’d be there at #72. He was. But the Seahawks didn’t take him. Instead, JSPC grabbed another Tackle (which I’m happy about) and the Atlanta Falcons grabbed my point-tripler 2 picks later.

I still have two prospects in play so it’s not over yet. But what are the chances that JSPC are going to grab both Sam Howell (21 points) and Damone Clark (13 points) on Day 3? And would that even be enough for me to win a year’s worth of bragging rights?

No worries though; I’m pretty sure that I already scored more points than I did last year so I’m gonna consider that a win and vow to do better next year.

Go Hawks!


Bonus Coverage

Thinking about Mike Leach made me think of one of my most-favoritest football quotes ever so I thought I’d share. The part I bolded is the quote I love, the rest provides context.

October 1st, 2018: When asked about what he considers a “balanced” offense, Mike Leach said:

“I want all the positions to touch it. There’s nothing balanced about 50 percent run and 50 percent pass. Because that’s 50 percent stupid. Now what is balanced is when you have five skill positions and all five are contributing to the offensive effort in a somewhat equal fashion, then that’s balanced. But this notion that if you hand it to one guy 50 percent of the time and you throw it to a combination of two guys the other 50 percent of the time and you’re balanced and you proudly pat yourself on the back and tell yourself that — and people have been doing that for decades — well then you’re delusional.”

Here’s the full press conference. The quote above is around the 2-1/2-minute mark.

Another fun “Leach-ism” (from the same press conference):

“Passing yards have a funny way of spending just as well as rushing yards do.”