The 2022 draft, the Seahawks and what’s next

Florida’s Dameon Pierce — underused and underrated

There are going to be two parts to this article. Firstly, I’m going to separate the 2022 draft prospects I have studied by grade. Then I’m going to analyse what this class means for the Seahawks and their potential future.

Grading the 2022 draft

These grades will change and adjust following the Senior Bowl and combine.

Here are some general thoughts on the class before I get started:

1. There is depth and value to be had in the middle rounds but I can’t recall a draft where there were so few obvious players deserving of a top-15 grade.

2. The Senior Bowl and combine is going to have a bigger impact than ever. With so little clarity on who deserves to be a first round pick this year, the week in Mobile and testing in Indianapolis will be a king maker.

3. We may see a record low number of players given legit first round grades. Expect this to be a draft where the player taken at #12 might have a similar grade to the player going at #50.

Legit top-10 picks (3)

Kayvon Thibodeaux (DE, Oregon)
Aidan Hutchinson (DE, Michigan)
Derek Stingley Jr (CB, LSU)

These three players arguably would warrant a top-10 pick in most drafts. They combine college production with superb athleticism and upside.

Thibodeaux is long, quick and explosive off the edge. He’s a prototype — with seven sacks in 11 games this season barely telling the whole story of how dynamic he is. He ran a 4.30 short shuttle at SPARQ but appears capable of testing even better — combining balance, lean, change of direction and acceleration.

Hutchinson has been a terror for a long time at Michigan with a relentless, rounded game. He’s reportedly capable of a 4.07 short shuttle which would be elite-level agility for the position. He’s also managed a 36 inch vertical jump at Michigan and a 4.64 forty. He has 14 sacks for the season and will compete with Thibodeaux to be the first player taken.

Derek Stingley has battled injuries recently but he exploded onto the scene as a freshman during LSU’s Championship run. He has ideal size but his testing at SPARQ was remarkable. He ran a 4.30 forty, jumped a 42 inch vertical and achieved a sensational 142.74 overall score. Teams will want to dig deep on some perceived minor character concerns but he is a blue-chip talent at a premium position.

Likely first round prospects (7)

Kyle Hamilton (S, Notre Dame)
Jordan Davis (DT, Georgia)
Trevor Penning (T, Northern Iowa)
Evan Neal (G, Alabama)
Bernhard Raimann (T, Central Michigan)
Abraham Lucas (T, Washington State)
David Ojabo (DE, Michigan)

This group are a tier below the ‘big three’. In other drafts they might struggle to justify going in the top-15. However, due to the limited top-end talent in this draft, they could all find themselves elevated as high as the top-10.

Kyle Hamilton is a gliding, silky smooth safety. Despite being listed at 6-4 and 220lbs — he isn’t a thumper. He covers ground superbly, has better than expected range for his size and a nose for the football. Hamilton is reportedly capable of a 42 inch vertical and a 10-8 broad jump.

Jordan Davis is 6-6 and 340lbs but he will be one of the stars of the combine. He will run quicker than anyone expects and make headlines. He is a classic nose-tackle who absorbs blocks and controls the interior yet he’s equally capable of shooting gaps and impacting the passing game. He’s not as good as Vita Vea but he’s not miles behind.

Trevor Penning is an outstanding left tackle who doesn’t just pass and run block well — he’ll demolish you by judo-tossing you to the turf. Penning squats 625lbs and cleans 385lbs. He’s projected to run a 5.00 forty. He sets the tone up front and the only question mark will be the level of competition he faced at Northern Iowa.

Evan Neal plays left tackle for Alabama but he has a frame that looks ideally suited to guard. He’s incredibly strong and powerful at the POA but might have issues dealing with the speed rush at the next level. He can bench press 475lbs and squat 650lbs. There’s no reason not to try him at left tackle first — but he just looks tailor made to switch inside and be a terrific interior lineman.

Bernhard Raimann is originally from Austria. He has an ideal left tackle frame and all of the expected testing numbers for a high draft pick — 9-8 broad jump, 1.56 10-yard split, 450lbs bench press. Penning, Raimann and the next name on the list all delivered ‘wow’ moments on tape. They play with attitude and a high level of athleticism.

Abraham Lucas looks like the most athletic, agile and mobile right tackle to play in college football since Tyron Smith. It shouldn’t be a surprise — he ran a 4.30 short shuttle at SPARQ and a 5.03 forty. He can handle 1v1’s off the edge and looks like a candidate to switch over to left tackle.

David Ojabo has had a sensational season, combining with Aidan Hutchinson to help guide Michigan to the Big-10 title. He has great quickness off the edge, provides a solid counter when engaged and he can threaten with a great get-off and burst. The question throughout the process will be how much Ojabo and Hutchinson benefitted each other. For Ojabo — can he be ‘the guy’?

Potential top-40 picks (15)

Logan Hall (DL, Houston)
Daxton Hill (S, Michigan)
Jalen Catalon (S, Arkansas)
Jameson Williams (WR, Alabama)
George Karlaftis (DE, Purdue)
Tyler Linderbaum (C, Iowa)
Jermaine Johnson (DE Florida State)
Treylon Burks (WR, Arkansas)
Jalen Wydermyer (TE, Texas A&M)
Trey McBride (TE, Colorado State)
DeMarvin Leal (DL, Texas A&M)
Bryan Cook (S, Cincinnati)
Devin Lloyd (LB, Utah)
Drake London (WR, USC)
Devonte Wyatt (DT, Georgia)

This group will be a mix. Some of these players will be first rounders. Some will likely be available later and provide good value.

I was very close to including Logan Hall in the second tier. His ability to win with power or speed is exciting. There are series’ in games where he takes over. You can line him up inside and he can push lineman back into the pocket to disrupt the run or pass. He can kick outside and work off the edge. I really like him.

Daxton Hill has the potential to be special. He ran a 4.30 forty at SPARQ and a 4.13 short shuttle. He jumped a 44 inch vertical (!!!). His overall score was 143.76. His play is coming along — he had two interceptions and 4.5 TFL’s this season. He has star potential and just needs the right guidance.

Jalen Catalon has missed time with injury but when he was on the field for Arkansas he was a dynamic playmaker. He can play deep safety, he can come up to the LOS and make plays against the run. I can imagine him collecting picks at the next level. He plays a lot like Quandre Diggs.

Jameson Williams is the top receiver in this draft. Suddenness and quickness is king at the next level and he has that natural ability to separate downfield and stretch a defense, while also being able to create early separation on shorter routes. He has 1445 yards and 17 total touchdowns this year.

I’m torn on George Karlaftis. There are flashes on tape where he wins off the edge with great quickness and you see speed-to-power too. Yet he drifts in and out of games and his production is extremely average. He has only five sacks this season in 12 games. Yet he’s 6-4 and 275lbs, he can jump a 10-1 broad and a 37 inch vertical. He’s been timed running a 4.69. Those numbers get him into round one comfortably.

Tyler Linderbaum is a very good prospect — he’s just not as good as some of the people on the internet are suggesting. He’s not a top-10 pick and there are examples on tape where he can be knocked back by power and he’s undersized (approx 295lbs). Yet he’s extremely agile and has been timed running an outstanding 4.22 short shuttle. He’s also a top wrestler and even beat Tristan Wirfs in a key High-School match.

Jermaine Johnson transferred from Georgia to Florida State and looked every bit a NFL EDGE. He recorded 11.5 sacks, 17.5 TFL’s, 12 quarterback hurries and he returned a fumble for a touchdown. Length, a lean frame, get-off and speed.

Treylon Burks is a bit of a freak of nature. He has 10.75 inch hands. He’s a bigger receiver (6-3, 225lbs) but he plays smaller than that. He can burn-off defenders on downfield routes and he does a tremendous job tracking the football, contorting his body and making high-pointed catches. How he runs at the combine will determine how early he goes.

Jalen Wydermyer had a surprisingly quiet start to the season but then exploded to help Texas A&M defeat Alabama. He is very athletic and well sized, providing the kind of mismatches teams crave in the modern NFL. He can break the seam, get up on linebackers and safeties to exploit opportunities and he can be a red zone threat.

Trey McBride’s agility testing will determine how early he goes because everything on tape is superb. He loves to block and he’s good at it. He’s a YAC machine. He attacks the seam with long-striding acceleration but can also run corner routes and he challenges defenders with a competitive spirit when the ball’s in the air. He’s a sure-handed and reliable catcher even in traffic.

DeMarvin Leal is a player you want to love but end up only liking. He has 8.5 sacks this year and he has an intriguing physical profile. He’s 6-4 and 290lbs and plays inside/out. When he kicks inside he can be forceful and slip gaps to break into the backfield. But he’s inconsistent. You’re always left wanting more.

I loved watching Bryan Cook. He’s an animal. His hard hitting, great instincts and ability to play either as a big nickel or at strong safety make him a player to covet. Testing will be big for him but there’s a lot to like here, including his size (6-1, 210lbs).

Devin Lloyd is slightly undersized (235lbs) but that’s the modern game. His frame lacks definition and he could maybe add a bit of size without impacting his game. However — he is just a pure playmaker. Four interceptions, 22 TFL’s, eight sacks, six pass breakups. He’s had an incredible 2021 season.

Drake London has missed time through injury but when he was healthy, he made a real impression as a bigger receiver who can dominate defenders with his size and ball-tracking. He can jump a 38 inch vertical and played basketball as well as football at USC. If he runs well, he could be a first rounder. It won’t be a surprise if he lasts into round two and provides tremendous value for someone.

Jordan Davis has received a lot of attention at Georgia (and rightly so) but Devonte Wyatt is the forgotten man. He has 7.5 TFL’s in 12 games and is capable of running in the 4.8’s while jumping a 9-3 broad and a 31 inch vertical. He can shoot gaps but at 6-3 and 315lbs he can be on the field for any down/distance.

Potential second rounders (22)

Andrew Booth (CB, Clemson)
Sauce Gardner (CB, Cincinnati)
Ikem Ekonwu (G, NC State)
Charles Cross (T, Mississippi State)
Trent McDuffie (CB, Washington)
Kyler Gordon (CB, Washington)
Carson Strong (QB, Nevada)
Kenny Pickett (QB, Pittsburgh)
Desmond Ridder (QB, Cincinnati)
Drake Jackson (DE, USC)
Channing Tindall (LB, Georgia)
Derrick Deese Jr (TE, San Jose State)
Zach Charbonnet (RB, UCLA)
Dameon Pierce (RB, Florida)
Kenneth Walker (RB, Michigan State)
Chris Olave (WR, Ohio State)
Garrett Wilson (WR, Ohio State)
Rasheed Walker (T, Penn State)
Phidarian Mathis (DT, Alabama)
Kingsley Enagbare (DE, South Carolina)
Cameron Thomas (DE, San Diego State)
Brian Asamoah (LB, Oklahoma)
Nakobe Dean (LB, Georgia)

Some of these players, in my opinion, are overrated by draft media. They may well find their way into round one due to the class but their natural home would be day two. That’s the pre-combine grade I’ve given them.

Some highlights from this group…

— Carson Strong is the most talented quarterback in terms of mechanics, arm strength and general talent. However, there are serious concerns about a long-standing knee issue that has lingered since High School. Kenny Pickett has, reportedly, 8 1/4 inch hands. He throws in gloves. He’s a talented gunslinger and he showed at the weekend he’s more athletic than people realise. That hand size though. Desmond Ridder might end up providing the best combination of value and talent. He has delivered ‘wow’ throws this season, can create and extend plays with his legs and has elevated Cincinnati to a new level.

— You won’t see many draft analysts putting Dameon Pierce in round two. However, he has ideal size (5-10, 215-220lbs), he’s explosive (37 inch vertical) he can run (4.50 forty) and he is an absolute BAMF. The Seahawks badly need a tone-setter like this. Florida didn’t use him anywhere near enough. He won’t go this early but he’ll provide tremendous value later on for a smart team. Pierce is my RB2 behind only Zach Charbonnet — a complete running back who drives through contact, catches the ball nicely and is better in pass pro than any other back I’ve seen this year.

— Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are lower than most other website have them listed for one reason only — I need to see them run. I am not convinced either will run as well as some think. Anyone running slower than a 4.50 runs the risk of dropping down the board.

— Not enough people talk about Channing Tindall. He flies around the field, hits like a sledgehammer and has a big future in the NFL. Likewise Derrick Deese is a catching machine at San Diego State with good size. He doesn’t get anywhere near enough attention.

— A lot of people love Charles Cross and Ikem Ekonwu. I was a bit underwhelmed watching Cross. He looks the part but didn’t excite me. Eknowu might be playing tackle but he’s a pure guard. I like his physical playing style and like a lot of NC State linemen (OL and DL) he’ll test well. I just think this range suits him and he’s being elevated because people are struggling to fill out their mocks.

Potential third rounders (26)

Kaiir Elam (CB, Florida)
Matt Bedford (T, Indiana)
Greg Dulcich (TE, UCLA)
David Bell (WR, Purdue)
Jahan Dotson (WR, Penn State)
Jake Ferguson (TE, Wisconsin)
Brian Robinson (RB, Alabama)
Kenyon Green (G, Texas A&M)
Darian Kinnard (T, Kentucky)
Sean Rhyan (G, UCLA)
Matt Corrall (QB, Ole Miss)
Rachaad White (RB, Arizona State)
Jeremy Ruckert (TE, Ohio State)
Sam LaPorta (TE, Iowa)
John Metchie (WR, Alabama)
Haskell Garrett (DT, Ohio State)
Travon Walker (DE, Georgia)
Alex Forsyth (C, Oregon)
Jaquan Brisker (S, Penn State)
Nicholas Petit-Frere (T, Ohio State)
Christian Harris (LB, Alabama)
Roger McCreary (CB, Auburn)
Nate Landman (LB, Colorado)
Jerome Ford (RB, Cincinnati)
Breece Hall (RB, Iowa State)
Josh Vann (WR, South Carolina)

This is a group mixed with some of the more overrated members of this draft class and a collection of players where testing will have a big influence on their stock.

Some highlights from this group…

— Kaair Elam and Kenyon Green are regularly mocked early in round one but I just don’t see it. Elam takes too many chances and looks more of a great athlete than a competent cornerback. With Green, I feel like I’m watching a different player to everyone else. At right guard he was… fine. But not at the level Damien Lewis showed at LSU. Some people are projecting him in the top-10 and that is mind-blowing to me. He’s not a dominant physical talent, he doesn’t have great feet or agility.

— Matt Bedford played right tackle for Indiana and I think he’s very much a player to keep an eye on. People project him to guard but I think he has the footwork, length and agility to make it work at tackle. Greg Dulcich is a highly talented tight end with major upside.

— One or two big names fall into this range due to physical issues. Brian Robinson at Alabama is high-cut in his frame. Roger McCreary has short arms. There are question marks about Josh Vann’s speed. All of the tight ends are good players but they have to show they can test well in the key areas (agility — short shuttle, three cone).

— Matt Corrall is a difficult one for me. He’s 6-0 and 200lbs and playing in a spread system that makes life as easy as possible for him. He does flash arm talent but his mistakes, when they happen, are glaring. I fear he’ll end up like a lot of the old Oklahoma State quarterbacks — hyped up in college, nondescript at the next level.

What does all this mean for the Seahawks?

There are three scenarios — a future with or without Russell Wilson, plus a situation where Wilson is replaced with a big name veteran.

The future with Wilson makes a lot of this article moot, short of finding value later on. They won’t acquire extra first round stock without making a different big trade (eg — D.K. Metcalf). They would have some money to spend but a lot of holes to fill — including both tackle spots.

It’s impossible to justify Bobby Wagner’s $20m salary in 2022. They should make a difficult but necessary decision to shift that investment to the lines — making a big push for someone such as Terron Armstead or a proven quality pass rusher.

If you’re going to spend a first round pick in 2020 on a player who played middle linebacker in college, you might as well start him there and add a cheaper WILL.

Such a scenario would likely see big changes in terms of coaching and possibly the front office. I recently wrote that this would be a model similar to the one devised by Green Bay when they moved on from Mike McCarthy. Or perhaps the Seahawks could make a bold move to pair Wilson with Sean Payton— only in Seattle, rather than New Orleans.

The second scenario is Wilson departs via trade and the Seahawks acquire major draft stock — potentially two top-10 picks and another high pick in 2023 from one of the Giants or Eagles.

If they went down this road, it would be a ground-zero rebuild. You might as well see what else you can get for players such as Metcalf. Paying a receiver between $20-30m a year might be viable given the reduced cost at other positions (particularly quarterback) but it’d arguably be a waste of money if you spend the next three years chasing your tail looking for a new QB.

In this situation, it’s tempting to want to fix every problem immediately. That’s not possible. There should be a plan formed to work on specific areas year-by-year — meshing what is available in the draft with priority planning.

The first priority should be to improve the trenches. That would be possible here.

One option would be to hope to be in a position to draft Evan Neal early, either to play left tackle or, his better position in my opinion, left guard. I don’t think Tyler Linderbaum is going to go as early as many people think. You could, potentially, trade back into the late first using your second rounder to select him.

That could create a situation where you have a young interior core and a foundation to build from. Perhaps Duane Brown could be retained to offer veteran leadership, with your other first rounder used on one of these impressive tackles (Trevor Penning, Bernhard Raimann or Abraham Lucas — although Penning could easily be the first lineman off the board).

That would establish an offensive line that is highly athletic, tough and plays with a brutality the Seahawks currently lack. Add a good running back in the middle rounds (Charbonnet? Pierce?) and you’d be creating the foundation to run the ball with greater consistency, if nothing else.

The thing is, I get the sense the current Seahawks regime prefer veteran linemen. They’ve certainly moved towards that in recent years. Installing three rookies into your O-line could be a recipe for disaster and could impact future careers if rookie seasons leave scars.

If there was an opportunity to select either Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aidan Hutchinson it should be taken. You could even build a case for trading up for one of them. Yet as they’re likely the #1 and #2 picks — they probably won’t be in reach, given the Lions and Texans (two places Wilson won’t go anywhere near) are slated to ‘earn’ the first two picks.

If the focus was to go D-line early, there are options beyond these two. Jordan Davis could anchor the line but the Seahawks have traditionally gone cheap up front (and had a degree of success adding bigger defensive tackles at a tiny cost). Logan Hall is an incredibly exciting player. David Ojabo playing across from Darrell Taylor would challenge opposing tackles.

You could also mix and match. A first rounder on both lines, complemented by some bold free agent moves with the extra cap space created. Either way — fix the trenches and deliver a consistent running game. That’s your starting point.

This would be a similar situation to the one in New England. They spent brilliantly in free agency, splashing out on Matt Judon who has 11.5 sacks. They’ve done a good job complementing draft picks with veteran additions. They also found a quarterback they can build around. Of course, things are always easier when you have Bill Belichick, ably supported by Josh McDaniels.

The final scenario would see the Seahawks trade Wilson and replace him with another veteran. Jason La Canfora speculated Seattle might have interest in Aaron Rodgers, due to John Schneider’s connections in Green Bay. It’s fanciful but an option.

Rodgers clearly remains a genius on the field and shows no signs of slowing down. However, his price tag would likely match Wilson’s. He’s just turned 38, so it’s an extreme short-term move.

That said, you could still move Wagner to create cap space to shift investment to your lines. And Rodgers would likely enjoy throwing to the weapons in Seattle.

If Pete Carroll departs — I still think he will after this season — and Schneider picks, say, Nathaniel Hackett the Green Bay offensive coordinator to replace him — that could set the table for a wild quarterback double deal, where Wilson is dealt to someone like the Saints, Giants, Eagles or Broncos before the Seahawks strike a deal with the Packers.

There’s a lot to digest here and we’ll flesh out these scenarios more in the coming weeks. The only certainty, though, is we’re less than a month away from the end of the season. And that’s when change of some form will occur and a new era of Seahawks football — one way or another — will begin.

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  1. Peter

    First. Absolutely stunning list to start digging into.

    Second. I’ve fretted about this. But realistically a trade for Rodgers. What do you feel would be the cost after the team trades away Wilson? Say we get two firsts, a third, and next year’s first?

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’d cost whatever Wilson cost

      They would ask for it and you’d have to pay it

      • Poli

        Would you rather them make a push for Deshaun Watson instead of Rodgers if Wilson demands a trade?

        • Rob Staton

          That’s a difficult question to answer given the situation with Watson

    • Palatypus

      I think if you trade Wilson for three #1’s you could probably get Rodgers for two because of the age difference. Plus, Rodgers might just threaten to retire, then they get nothing.

  2. TJ

    Just posted this to the previous thread. Interesting comments about Jody Allen at the end of this video.

    • 12th chuck

      I wonder if pc stays, if he would lose personnel control. that way he can stay focused on coaching

  3. BobbyK

    There’s so many things to consider and we aren’t going to get answers for over a month yet. The team is going to win again this weekend and some of the sunshine and lollipop people are going to start to come back out of the woodwork with “See, they’re still good” statements. They won’t factor that beating the Texans really shouldn’t count and it’s nowhere near a ‘quality’ win.

    My hope is Wilson is retained and Brown is resigned. Although a small sample size, Stone Forsyth looked good in limited action yesterday. I’m not sure how you accidentally look good against a Bosa, even in limited snaps. If he can get extensive time and play well in the next month, that really alleviates some issues moving forward at offensive tackle. Am I counting on him? No. Absolutely not. But he has a chance to claim a tackle spot if he can play like he did yesterday. If not, oh well, back at the original square one of potentially needing two tackles.

    Regardless of what they do at RB, I hope they add a legit RB early. Not a veteran either. They have that. Lets say Penny impresses and they bring him back and decide to bring Carson back… I don’t want to go through more scenarios where you’ve got guys with proven injury histories to be counted on the way they did this past year. If you go with Carson-Penny, you’d better get a RB in the 2nd or 3rd round too. It would be unforgivable to do what they did this past season. Again.

    I’ve never seen a WR with a massive contract be part of a Super Bowl winner. We’ve seen greats like Randy Moss, Megatron, Julio Jones, T.O., Larry Fitzgerald… all guys paid a ridiculous amount of money, never win a Super Bowl. For all the talk complaining about a QB getting $35 million per year, I think it’s 10X dumber to give a WR well north of $20 million/year. If Lockett gets a bit under $18 million per year at his age, the next DK contract is going to be mind boggling.

  4. Denver Hawker

    I’ve seen/heard a few Schefter comments on various radio stations about Eagles QB plans. Today, he specifically stated Hurts was the Eagles QB (not Minshew), but with their 3 first round picks he expects they’ll look to upgrade QB in the off-season. Very direct comment. He also said Wilson would waive his no trade clause.

    I don’t think Schefter is a Wilson insider, but he is an NFL reporter and speaks based on what conversations are happening.

    Again, it’s not my preference to trade Wilson, but worth an investigation into what we might do in a trade with the Eagles if he forces it.

  5. Paul Cook

    Great write up and early stab at the 2022 draft Rob. I read it while chowing down a good meal. Good things. It was especially nice for me because I watched more college football this year than I can remember, watched a bunch of the players mentioned, and just generally have a decent feel for things this year. At first I thought you accidentally left Will Anderson off your list, only to realize he was a true sophomore. My Lord that guy’s got a man’s body for his age.

    Putting the QB and DK situation aside for the moment, absolutely build up the trenches with draft capital and free agents, and get a potential quality RB in the draft. Don’t eff this up. Don’t effing surprise me on draft day by making a safety or linebacker with your top picks.

    Great stuff.

    • Rob Staton


  6. Hawks4life

    The Patriots just beat the Bills while only throwing 3 passed the entire game lmfao only Bill could pull that off

    • Palatypus

      That’s offensive ROY numbers right there. Ja’marr Chase had better watch his back!

      But, for what it’s worth. Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry rushed for a record-breaking 304 yards and two touchdowns against Army in 2019…AND DID NOT THROW A FORWARD PASS.

      He did, however, receive one.

    • Ashish

      Patriots defense is top class either pass rush get there or coverage is excellent. This team will go deep in post season.

    • Rob Staton

      Belichick — a genius

  7. hobro

    This is impressive even by the high standard you (and cha) have set for the site.

    One question: If the Seahawks don’t trade Wilson, or if they de facto swap him for Rodgers, do you think they will have enough draft capital to secure a quality left tackle and center? (I agree with BobbyK that Forsyth looked good on Sunday, and PFF gave him good grades, but I’m not convinced he’s the answer.)

    • BobbyK

      The positives are that with Shell being injured, we may actually see Forsyth. A month of NFL film would show us if he can be good.

      I have a former student who is a scout for the Cowboys and he was with Forsyth at Florida for one year. He said he has all the talent in the world to be a good starting NFL tackle. He said his main problem is that he is such a nice person that it’s hard for him to want to demolish people. He wants to effectively block you and then help you up to make sure you’re okay, whereas a guy like Quenten Nelson wants to kill you and leave you for dead (not literally).

    • Rob Staton

      I think it will be difficult.

      You could, however, shift resource from Wagner to the O-line via the veteran market

  8. Sea Mode

    Incredible content, both on the draft and the Seahawks front. It bears repeating how truly blessed we are to have you and this community, especially now facing major changes in the direction of the franchise.

    Thank you.

    • swedenhawk


    • Big Mike

      Ditto from me too. Great piece and thank heavens there’s this place. Otherwise, I’d have nowhere to talk Hawks.

      • Big Mike

        ,,,,,and my knowledge of draft eligible players has gone way up thanks to Rob’s efforts.

        • Rob Staton

          Thanks guys. The support is really appreciated

  9. Seahawk fan


    I am curious why you seem fixated on Sean Payton as a possible coach to pair with Russel if we do keep Russel and move on from Pete Carrol. Why aren’t we looking at other coaches? Eric Bieniemy has been waiting for a head coaching shot for a while, and has done great things in KC. I assume that he would be a coach that Russel would be interested in playing for, given that KC’s offense has been more modern, and Patrick Mahomes can do similar things to Russel. Both are skilled at improv, ex baseball players will to throw the ball at different angles, and both teams have been able to scheme well for talented WR corps.

    • Rob Staton

      ‘Fixated’ is an interesting way to describe one article, offering up a talking point and giving some reasons why it isn’t as far-fetched as people might think, then referring back to the topic on a couple of occasions. You make it sound like I’m leading a one-man campaign.

      You then ask why we aren’t looking at other coaches. We have. In this very article I mentioned Nathaniel Hackett. In our live stream on Sunday I brought up Josh McDaniels. Recently we talked about Doug Pederson. At the start of the season we talked about Brian Darboll and Joe Brady.

      Maybe you’re new to the blog — but this accusation that I’m ‘fixated’ on Payton and haven’t talked about other coaches isn’t rooted in reality.

      Eric Bienemy is a candidate worth discussing. However, I also think there are a few questions to ask. Firstly, you say he’s done ‘great things’ in Kansas City. Has he? How responsible is he for their offensive success? And how much is down to Andy Reid and/or Patrick Mahomes? After all, Bienemy replaced Matt Nagy as offensive coordinator. How is he fairing in Chicago? There’s an argument to be made that if you appoint an offensive coordinator somewhere else as your new Head Coach, they should at least have full control of the unit at their current team. Bienemy does not — he works with Reid on the offense and we all know Reid is a well established, superb offensive-minded Head Coach. He doesn’t get to come with Bienemy to Seattle.

      On top of that, a question does need to be raised about his Head Coaching credentials. Several teams have interviewed him and passed. It’s plausible that while he might be a strong offensive coordinator supporting Reid, he hasn’t been able to convince anyone that he can lead an entire team or that he has the vision that warrants being a top man in a franchise. Usually when this is pointed out people fire back that many other unsuitable coaches get opportunities to prove they’re incapable. That is true. But dumb decisions by other teams can’t be a reason to give someone a shot who perhaps isn’t a convincing candidate to be a Head Coach.

      Finally, there are reported character flags from Bienemy’s past which are somewhat concerning and teams will have their own positions on his credentials with a full picture of what that all means.

      Nevertheless — he should be part of any conversation about what the future of Seattle’s HC role is. But let’s not start accusing people of being ‘fixated’ with Sean Payton because we’ve actually had a conversation about whether he is more available than people realise.

    • BobbyK

      Eric Bieniemy has Patrick Mahomes. I see nothing special about being handed a generational franchise QB and a plethora of offensive talent around him. Of course he’s going to have a good offense. I think there’s a reason nobody has hired him yet. I’d much rather give a Todd Bowles a second chance or get a guy like Payton that you know Russ would want to play for if there’s going to be a change at HC next season.

  10. Peter

    So many names still to get through.

    I’m only doing a cursory glance at the QB’s but very fascinated to see Ridder against Alabama. The rest…I don’t know to me it feels like the time Christian Ponder was a first round pick, broadly.

    Rob and community what positional group do you think is most in need of an upgrade? The vocal consensus seems oline but maybe it’s dline?

    A lot of us our sour on the never ending picks in defensive backs but with Diggs set to leave (maybe? Can the team really have two very expensive safeties?) And lackluster CB play maybe it’s the backfield.

    I’m torn. I’m leaning find the best Center and guard you can for either Wilson or whomever. But i also miss the days of a defense who punched teams in the face and kind of want to go best d tackle, end, or LB who can snuff out the short game.

  11. cha

    This is a brilliant overview Rob. Thank you so much for all the hard work on this.

    You’ve carved out a fantastic corner of the internet where forward-thinking fans can get educated on the myriad of difficult topics the Seahawks are facing.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks man 👍🏻

  12. Trevor

    Absolutely fantastic article Rob and love both the player evaluations and your ideas with the various scenarios. I could not agree more with the idea to rebuild the trenches first if the go the rebuild route while they look for a QB.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Trevor

  13. Matt

    Great stuff Rob. Amazing how much quality content you put out there.

    Some of my thoughts – I really, really love Aaron Rodgers…but I just don’t see any reason to spend any capital trying to obtain hm to replace RW. This is a bad team…if rebuilding is the route, I’m honestly fine with sucking at QB for a year or two if it means it gets us closer to finding a long term solution.

    I made a long post yesterday, but if RW is traded, you have to trade DK as well. He is absolutely not worth $20-30M. He’s just not reliable. Combine this with the attitude problems and I just think that’s a ticking time bomb if you have a replacements level QB throwing the ball to him.

    I know the upcoming QBs are underwhelming, but I do think you have a potential star in Bryce Young. What I’d love to see is Seattle building a roster that would allow Young to step into and be able to do what Mac Jones is doing in NE. I think Young is good enough that you expend the capital it takes to get him. His size doesn’t bother me at all – in fact I think he shares a lot of qualities with Mac Jones, just a better athlete and a better arm.

    Go ham sandwich in the trenches. Build a dominant run game. Then be aggressive about getting your future QB and hope by 2024 – you are a serious playoff contender (not necessarily a SB contender).

    Cheers and great work Rob.

    • Peter

      I’m with you on Rodgers. Absolute all timer. But imagine being so self unaware to think the problems with this team are just a switch to a slightly better, five year older qb who Rob has written extensively about getting better with the addition of Matt lefluer?

      Additionally i get the Rams are in overdrive in win now mode. With Rodgers you’d have realistically two years maybe to get a ring while still being draft capital poor and then the whole team including QB would have to be upgraded.

      If they trade Wilson i’d rather see a slight trade for Mond or draft Ridder while using the high picks to fatten up the trenches. Few teams are worse off for having made their lines dominant.

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks Matt

  14. Roy Batty

    Rob, what are your extended thoughts on Jordan Davis after the Alabama game?

    The Tide Oline held up well, making it the rare time this year that Georgia’s offense was forced to play from behind.

    • Rob Staton

      Will study him specifically tomorrow in this game

    • Rob Staton

      Ok I’ve watched the OL vs DL.

      Jordan Davis played like a top-12 pick I thought. Absolutely superb.

      Devonte Wyatt justified the grade I gave him here too. Top-40 pick.

      Even in a losing effort.

  15. Don

    On Madden 22, I traded Adams, Wagner & Carson and ended up with 2 first round picks. Drafted Leal & Linderbaum. Also picked up RB Sincere McCormick in a later round. All I can say is I’m 4-0 in 2022 season and these guys are studs. This is my venture into pro scouting. I’m sure it’s pretty scientific, right?

    • Rob Staton

      You’re hired

  16. cha

    The great reality show that is pro sports…

    I had tickets for both the Seahawks game Sunday and the Kraken game vs Pittsburgh last night.

    Expected to be underwhelmed by a drifting Seahawks team. Witnessed a thriller of a win against a hated division rival.

    Expected the Kraken to play well against Pittsburgh since they beat Edmonton Friday night and had won 5 of their last 7. The Penguins spanked them and sent them to bed without their dinner.

    • Big Mike

      Good memories in a few years time regardless.

    • GerryG

      You got to see Sydney Crosby play though.

  17. Jordan

    I lean heavily towards keeping Russ in a McCarthy-Lafluer type transition as Rob mentioned.

    In part, because of how Russell looked throwing the ball on Sunday, was very reassuring. Coincidently looking his best at the time of the initial projection of when he should be back, as opposed to how he looked coming off of a rushed return.

    But also, as Rob mentioned in his first part of this article, 1st round picks in this draft don’t seem nearly as valuable as they do in other drafts. For example, a hypothetical trade with the Eagles – those two 1st rounders (let’s say, a solid non-blue chip prospect for each line) shouldn’t come close to moving the needle in terms of compensation for Russ.

    Lean in to the strengths that already exist – Russ, DK, Tyler. And re-tool on the fly with a new staff, rather than a tear it down rebuild. Russ is mid-career right now with the way modern QBs age these days.

    • AlaskaHawk

      If we could have that version of Russell Wilson every game, and build up the running backs and offensive line, this would be an awesome offense. Lets see how he finishes the season.

  18. Gaux Hawks

    Considering it’s probably widely acknowledged that the prospects in the first round are slim in 2022, doesn’t this simply drive up the cost for RW3?

    3 x Round 1
    2 x Round 2
    1 x Round 3


    • Rob Staton

      Depends how he finishes the season

  19. Ashish

    Excellent article Rob, amazing focus to get this article out. I say this is the time when you create an optimism with new talent discovery, and in April Pete/JS will screw up again as they did in past 5 years.

  20. cha

    911 I’d like to report a MURDER

    Why can’t Joe Buck be this fun calling a game?

    • TomLPDX

      Ha! That was a great retort!

    • Big Mike

      A shot across the bow……….absolutely hysterical

      BTW, I don’t dislike Buck as much as other people do. Now Aikman and Romo, those are a different story.

      • TomLPDX

        I hear ya about Aikman but what’s wrong with Tony? I like his commentary. He gets a little windy sometimes but he does give insight into the game.

        • GerryG

          Love Romo. He’s my favorite guy since peak Madden, not the Madden we got his last 10 years, but the Madden I had in High School/College in the 90s.

          • BobbyK

            Complaining about Romo announcing is like saying Tom Brady has sucked at QB most of his career.

            • BobbyK

              When you’re good at something, you’re good. When you suck, you suck. That’s it.

              • Big Mike

                Well I’ve been shot down. The guy bugs me and I’m not sure why. Next game of his I watch I’ll see if I can figure out why and post the reason(s).

  21. TomLPDX

    Excellent work here, Rob!

    Will you be doing a position by position breakdown with commentary like your big board spreadsheet? I realize it will probably be after the combine but I’m really looking forward to that. Also the resigning of upcoming Seattle free agents like Diggs, Dissly, Brown and Reed (just to name a few). I know we can’t keep them all but we need to prioritize who the keepers are. Then you’ve got the potential FAs that you bring in…

    Man, you really spoil us! Thanks my friend!

    • Rob Staton

      Thanks — and yes I will do, after the combine

  22. Blitzy the Clown

    I love this article. I’ve read it a couple of times already and I’m sure I’ll reread it a few more. Learned some names today. Always love that. There are players to like here; there are players I like here.

    It strikes me as ironic that this is shaping up to be an excellent draft for the PC/JS strategy of trading down/up to select several times in the 50-100 range, but they don’t have the draft capital to do that this year.

  23. Trevor

    Way to early forecast for 2023 Draft

    Top 2 picks are both from Alabama
    #1 Bryce Young – Would have gone #1 this year I think.
    #2 Will Anderson -This kids is a flat out baller with both the physical and mental attitude to truly lead a defence.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not sure anyone will be able to stop Will Anderson going #1 overall

  24. Gross MaToast

    Great stuff here, Rob – tremendous amount of info for getting up to speed on who’s who.

    If Pete is still around in April ’22, it would be interesting to see a mock draft predicting what a well-run organization might do in a given slot, versus what Pete might do in that same slot. We’ve got almost a decade of data on the players he selects in lieu of, you know, better players.

    Also, I like the suggestion and think Nathaniel Hackett should be a serious HC candidate with or without JS surviving the purge, should it occur. He’s an interesting guy who might not be open minded enough to do it the way they’ve been doing it.

  25. UkAlex6674

    Adams out for the season. Now we will see if he is going to be missed or not…..

    • Rob Staton


      “He wasn’t”

      • Peter

        Actual lol!!

  26. Big Mike

    I just heard on the radio that Jamal Adams has a torn labrum and is done for the season. I guess the question is will he be missed?

    • TomLPDX

      I’m going to go out on a limb here…NO!

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