By: Joe Harris/Oregon Sports News
The Seattle Seahawks are busy adding to a roster that feels depleted after the loss of some fan-favorite players like Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner. The Hawks drafted exceptionally well in the early 2010s and have had some big splashes in the last four years or so, but the success rate isn’t nearly as high as it once was.
With a chance for a big refresh, Pete Carroll and the Hawks front office doesn’t want to screw this one up. Let’s break down Seattle’s 2022 draft picks.
Round 1, Pick 9: Charles Cross – T – Mississippi State
We suggested that the Hawks might go with an offensive lineman and grab the best of the rest at number nine. Cross was a name we threw out there, and maybe the front office was listening because they cashed in their pick with Charles Cross.
Cross was considered one of the top pass protectors in this draft and allowed just two sacks over the 2021 season. He is just 21 and still very raw, but he gives Seattle a legitimate anchor on their offensive line that this team has been craving. This guy will be a mighty force to mess with and will keep the pocket clean. Drew Lock can breathe a sigh of relief that this pick wasn’t a QB and was also used to help give him some time. Grade: A+
Round 2, Pick 40: Boye Mafe – EDGE – Minnesota
Boye Mafe was PFF’s 47th best overall prospect, and as we have seen with this draft, teams aren’t waiting around to grab guys; they are drafting well above position ranking, so they don’t miss out. Mafe was a productive rusher at Minnesota, with seven sacks and ten tackles for a loss in his final season.
Mafe gained a whole lot of attention after the Senior Bowl and started to fly up draft boards. Carroll’s bread and butter is defense, and it hasn’t been all that in the last few years, so grabbing a guy who can get to the QB that can be paired with young starters Darrell Taylor and Uchenna Nwosu is a big plus for the Hawks. Grade: B
Round 2, Pick 41: Kenneth Walker III – RB – Michigan State
Seattle had back-to-back picks and decided to take Chris Carson’s successor with their third overall pick. Rashaad Penny is still on the roster, and this was a deep running back class, so some fans were not thrilled with the pick solely because of other talent on the board. They could have gone with linebacker and defensive back here but chose the best talent on the board.
There is no doubt that Walker III can be a productive back for the Hawks; the question becomes where in a crowded backfield. He racked up 35 rushing touchdowns in 32 college games and well over 2700 yards. Positional value wasn’t great with this pick, and that’s why it will be dinged by media pundits. Walker III is a stud, but they didn’t have an immediate need here in the running game. Andrew Booth Jr. from Clemson might have been a better look here. Grade: D+
Round 3, Pick 72: Abraham Lucas- T – Washington State
The Hawks weren’t letting Cross come into the building as the lone offensive lineman in this year’s draft. They took a big man from nearby Washington State with their first pick in the third round. He did not allow a sack in 477 snaps last season and is a giant on the offensive line.
May saw Lucas as a second-round guy, so the Hawks got fantastic value with him. PFF had him ranked as the 49th best prospect in this draft. Maybe the best part about Lucas is that he is experienced as a redshirt senior, playing 2,195 blocking snaps at Washington State. He has a great chance to start on Day 1, a value that can’t be understated in the third round. Grade: A
Round 4, Pick 109: Coby Bryant – CB – Cincinnati
Yes, Cincy DB Coby Bryant is, in fact, named after the late, great Kobe Bryant. This was a slam-dunk pick for the Hawks, who need help in the secondary and get just that with Bryant. He was named the Jim Thorpe Award winner as the best defensive back in the nation last year. How he fell this far is a bit of a surprise, but it is incredible value for Seattle.
His teammate Ahmad Gardner was drafted in the top five picks but had better size than Bryant. Still, the Bearcat racked up nine interceptions and 170 tackles in 43 career games in college. He has a ton of experience and will immediately add to this defense. Grade: A
Round 5, Pick 153 – Tariq Woolen – CB – UTSA
The Hawks followed up one defensive back pick with another one. Woolen was highly regarded amongst draft experts, and it was a surprise that he fell this far. The obvious knock on him was playing at UTSA against smaller schools, but this is excellent value for the Hawks.
He is 6’4 and 205 pounds, reminding us a little of Richard Sherman. He is big and lanky and fast and will likely be seen as more of a developmental corner. There were other guys available here who might contribute quicker, but the ceiling on Woolen is 100 stories high. Grade: B
Round 5, Pick 158 – Tyreke Smith – DE – Ohio State
Grabbing a name-brand school defensive end is never a bad flier pick in late rounds. He had eight sacks in 39 career games and will be added as a depth piece here for Seattle. They needed pass rushers, and Smith can grade out like that. Grade: C
Round 7, Pick 229: Bo Melton – WR – Rutgers
I really like seventh-round picks on lineman and skill players. You never know what kind of gem you can find lying around this late. Melton ran one of the fastest 40s, and the Hawks should be able to utilize his speed if he makes the final roster. He never fully developed in college and doesn’t have a ton of stats to back it up. Grade: B-
Round 7, Pick 233: Dareke Young – WR -Lenoir-Rhyne
The Hawks opted for another receiver here, this time going with small school receiver Dareke Young. He is a big receiver who can also add speed. Kyle Dugger came from this school a few years back. He will have an uphill battle to make a roster. Grade: C
Overall Grade: B
This was a solid draft for a Seahawks team that needed a young refresh. They have an O-lineman that will anchor their unit for the next five years, at least, and plenty of defensive upgrades. While I like Walker III, I didn’t like the spot. That’s not to say he won’t be a valuable asset to this team moving forward.