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Seahawks boast number one ranked rookie class for 2022

New York Jets v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks were praised for their draft process last April, and the early results have been perhaps even beyond Seahawks fans’ biggest expectations.

Tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, running back Kenneth Walker III, defensive backs Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant, and edge rusher Boye Mafe all played significant snaps (in Cross’ case 100% of the offensive snaps). Towards the end of the season we even saw Dareke Young get a few receptions and line up as a fullback. Walker and Woolen are up for Rookie of the Year awards, as they were major factors in Seattle’s playoff push.

Football Outsiders and Sports Info Solutions teamed up to rank the 2022 Draft classes, and the Seahawks come away on top over the New York Jets. The ESPN+ article is behind a paywall so I can’t share everything, but the rankings methodology is based on SIS’ Total Points Metric in conjunction with adjusting for positional importance, ESPN’s tracking metrics, and FO’s DVOA.

Here’s the Seahawks blurb!

The Seahawks came out of the 2022 draft with four starters and some useful depth on top of that. Their best rookie was fifth-round pick Tariq Woolen, who tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions. He finished with 16 passes defended and allowed a completion rate of just 47% in coverage. Left tackle Charles Cross and right tackle Abraham Lucas started 17 and 16 games, respectively. Cross was eighth at his position in SIS total points, while Lucas ranked 13th at his position.

The fourth starter was running back Kenneth Walker III. Walker had over 1,000 rushing yards with 10 rushing touchdowns, but advanced stats were less impressed by his performance because he combined a few highlight runs with a lot of runs where he got stuffed for minimal gains. He finished 41st out of 42 qualifying running backs in success rate and also had very little receiving value.

If you count nickelback as a starter — and you should in the modern NFL — the Seahawks also got a lot of value out of fourth-round pick Coby Bryant, who allowed a moderate 7.5 yards per target. In addition, edge rusher Boye Mafe started three games and racked up three sacks.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider badly needed a golden draft class given the mixed results of previous drafts, and they found productivity from Day 1 through Day 3, just like the good old days.

This upcoming NFL Draft sees the Seahawks with four picks in the top-60, and off the unexpected trip to the postseason, it stands to reason that this is an even bigger draft for determining whether or not the franchise is on the track back to Super Bowl contention.