A few people have asked about this and after a further tweet today, I thought I’d address it in a quick article…
Let’s say these guys are all gone at 9: the four pass rushers, Neal & Ickey, and Sauce & Stingley. Who would you take then? I fear the answer could be Penning or…gulp…Kyle Hamilton.
— Rational Fandom (@RationalFandom) March 27, 2022
The chances of this happening, in my opinion, are extremely remote. It would likely require the top two cornerbacks going very early — but I don’t see the Giants, for example, taking Derek Stingley over a pass rusher.
I actually think it’s more likely both Stingley and Sauce Gardner are there at #9. The Giants potentially trading James Bradbury pre-draft might change that. I’m going to publish a mock draft tomorrow that runs through a scenario that will flesh out why a ‘worst case scenario’ such as the one above isn’t very likely.
If it did happen, here’s what I think the options are…
Personally, I would consider pivoting to the Georgia duo of Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis. The Seahawks have added bodies to their defensive front but the key should be to add difference making talent. The pair have Geno Atkins and Haloti Ngata-level potential.
The only offensive tackle they’d probably consider is Trevor Penning. He has the size, mentality and explosive traits they like. I’ve written a few times why I’d rather not go in this direction (I don’t think he or Charles Cross are worth a top-10 pick) but it would be an option to them.
They could also trade down. I’ll run down a few potential targets in that scenario in a moment.
I do think, however, that some Seahawks fans at the moment are too eager to look for a looming crisis.
I understand why. I’ve been a vocal critic of Pete Carroll and John Schneider over the last two years and unquestionably they botched the reset from 2018-onwards.
However, I also think this situation suits them better. I don’t think they were ever comfortable building around an expensive franchise quarterback. Neither was Russell Wilson comfortable being forced to work within a structure he had little faith in.
It created a dynamic where the team was pulling in different directions — with three individuals having their own vision for the future and all three trying to keep things together.
Now, it’s a clean break. I think Carroll and Schneider are better builders than maintainers. The only evidence I have to back that up is what happened between 2010 and 2013 — but it’s a pretty good example.
I’m going to let this play out, enjoy the draft, not worry too much about what may or may not happen and just go with the flow. This next month, in anticipation of a crucial draft, might be the most fun you get out of the Seahawks in 2022 (well, unless they beat the Niners twice again).
There’s plenty of time to critique and judge what they decide to do. If they get this wrong, having traded Wilson away, you won’t need a draft blog to drum up critical analysis of the Seattle braintrust. They know they need to get this right.
For now, let’s talk about possibilities, not issues that aren’t here yet.
So who would they look at if they did move down?
I suppose you could extend this out to who they’ll look at if they acquire extra stock. It’s at least plausible, I suppose, Philadelphia might be a team that enters any D.K. Metcalf chatter if the Seahawks decide they don’t want to pay $22-25m for a receiver. That would mean an extra first in the late teens.
The names already mentioned above would be in the equation if they were still available.
I think the Seahawks would give strong consideration to someone like Zion Johnson. I thought his Senior Bowl performance was overrated but the simple fact is he ticks all the boxes for Seattle. He has great size and length (34 inch arms). He’s one of the most explosive testers in the last decade of the combine — scoring a 3.33 in TEF and 103.4 in weighted TEF. If they want quickness and agility in their new blocking scheme — he also ran a 4.46 short shuttle at 312lbs.
A player with Johnson’s profile gets drafted early. Don’t be surprised if he goes in the teens. I think New England at #21 will be his floor.
If the Seahawks find themselves picking in that range, they might decide to take a chance on his physical talent and upside. Then they could try him at guard or center.
It’s not a huge need but it’s a pick that fits based on their trends. They had a presence at Boston College’s pro-day and I think they’ll be extremely high on Johnson, possibly considering him one of the top prospects in the draft.
There are numerous pass rushers they could consider. I suspect two likely options would be Arnold Ebiketie and Sam Williams because they have the length and traits they covet. I am a huge Boye Mafe fan but he did measure with sub-33 inch arms. It’s a shame because there’s a lot to like with Mafe and he could remain on their radar.
Depending on how far they trade back, Abraham Lucas could be another possibility. I also think Trent McDuffie could have some appeal.
The more I think about it — if they ended up with a pick in the teens, I think Johnson and Mafe might be the two names to focus on (if arm length isn’t seen as an issue with Mafe).
It’s all a moot point though and a discussion we can return to if Metcalf is dealt. I think the options at #9 will be enticing. Either one of the pass rushers will last to #9 (Jermaine Johnson is the most likely) or they will be able to pivot to a great cornerback.
Check out my article yesterday on the cornerback position for more. What I would say is don’t underestimate Carroll’s interest in players who were once top recruits.
It’s something he’s made reference to many times. Even when they added Jacob Eason he spoke about how highly he was recruited. Talent is talent.
I can well imagine Carroll looking at a former #1 recruit in the country in Derek Stingley and thinking — ‘I want to help him achieve greatness’.
I think he’ll feel the same about Kayvon Thibodeaux for similar reasons.
I suspect the Seahawks are going to shoot for the stars with their top pick and if an opportunity falls to them — just as it did in 2010 with Earl Thomas — they won’t hesitate to make the call.
They didn’t trade down that year, when they were starting their build, because they knew what they’d be passing up at #6 and #14.
They added quality.
I think that will be the aim again this year.
And if you want to generate some buzz and excitement for your team in 2022 — the prospect of Derek Stingley Jr facing off against D.K. Metcalf in training camp is pure box-office.
A quick note to finish — PFN are reporting that Percy Butler will take an official-30 visit to Seattle. It’s the second confirmed official visit, along with Sauce Gardner.
Butler is a player I’ve mocked to the Seahawks in the later rounds. He’s a fearless special teams gunner. Keep him on your radar as an option. We know they put a lot of emphasis on special teams.
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