Address the offensive tackle positions asap
I don’t want the Seahawks to feel like they’ve got to draft a left tackle at #9. I’m not as high on Charles Cross as many others and while Trevor Penning has intriguing physical qualities, I don’t think he has the potential to be special — unlike the defenders available in the same range.
Find a way to bring in Duane & Trent Brown. Or pivot to Eric Fisher if needs be.
Solidify the offensive line to create the flexibility to approach the draft with a BPA mindset.
After spending so much on the safety position and more recently at tight end and running back — the team really needs to get the left and right tackle positions sorted.
Accept the situation for what it is at quarterback
Let’s just be honest here. Players like Baker Mayfield and Tyler Huntley are not taking you to the Super Bowl in the future. If you trade for either, they will play on essentially one-year prove-it contracts.
If they perform well, they’ll cost a fortune to keep. If they struggle — you’ve wasted a pick.
Seattle should be setting out to find a great young signal caller and they should accept that it might take a year or two.
Give yourself a chance to hit the jackpot which is a cheap quarterback on a rookie contract — freeing up cap space to build around them.
You’ve just got to take your lumps in 2022. That means a competition involving Drew Lock, Jacob Eason, probably Geno Smith and a rookie.
That rookie shouldn’t be a high pick either. Jack Coan isn’t that much worse than the top players. Take him at the start of day three and let him compete.
The chances are you’ll then be well placed to draft someone like Will Levis next year.
I don’t think they’ll do this by the way, as I’ll note at the end of this piece.
Create a fearsome front seven
This should be the #1 priority for the Seahawks. This draft class is set up to create a terrorising defense.
Speed, violence and pass rush. That should be the aim.
Plan A for me would be to draft Jermaine Johnson or Kayvon Thibodeaux at #9 to partner Darrell Taylor. If they are off the board I would do one of two things.
Firstly, I would check out what offers are available to move down. Recent reports have linked the Chargers with interest in moving up to select Jordan Davis. Can you get a high-ish pick next year and LA’s third rounder (#79) this year? That #79 pick will be extremely valuable in this draft.
If you can move down, I would do so with the aim of selecting another edge rusher (Boye Mafe, Arnold Ebiketie, George Karlaftis) or — my preference — you draft Devonte Wyatt.
If the offers to move down from #9 were not attractive, I would draft Wyatt with the #9 pick or Derek Stingley Jr.
I want the Seahawks to try and draft a special talent. Not a ‘decent’ player or someone who’s raw and needs a lot of work. I want special.
Stingley has shown elite potential at LSU — even if he’s struggled to show it after LSU collapsed in 2020. In 2019 he looked like he was on a pathway to becoming the best cornerback in the world. At SPARQ he ran a 4.30 at the same weight he’s at now. He also jumped a 42 inch vertical. He has the potential for greatness.
Wyatt is the closest thing the Seahawks are going to get to a special interior pass rusher — the rarest of things. There simply aren’t many people who are 6-3, 304lbs and can run a 4.77 with a 1.66 10-yard split.
His arm length (32.5 inches) is below what Seattle has looked for in the past. However, Geno Atkins (who I’d compare Wyatt to) and Aaron Donald also had the same issue and they coped well enough. Much in the way Russell Wilson had everything except height — I’d argue Wyatt has everything except ideal arm length.
People question his production (2.5 sacks in 2021). I wouldn’t worry about it. He had 26 pressures last season. He had a 14.5% pass rush win rate which is superior to Jermaine Johnson (14.2%) and Travon Walker (10.8%).
On top of that his run-stop win-rate is 11.4%. Compare that to Perrion Winfrey (6.1%) and Travis Jones (7.8%).
In five years we might be wondering why Wyatt wasn’t a top-10 lock. He dominated at the Senior Bowl and he combines supreme quickness and excellent hand-use to penetrate as a pass rusher. He can play stout at the point and won’t be a liability against the run. He can play any down and distance.
The Seahawks want a game-wrecker and he could be it. They’ve needed interior rush for years. Wyatt can provide that.
If they took him at #9 I would celebrate that pick. If they can get him after trading down — so be it.
Aim for greatness, not simply a player who could be pretty good or needs serious development. Try and find a star. For me that means looking at players like Wyatt and Stingley with unique skill-sets and rare traits.
They would be my Plan B if Johnson and Thibodeaux are gone.
Picks #40 and #41 should continue to build up the defense. It feels inevitable that one of the picks will go on a linebacker. My preference would be one of Channing Tindall, Leo Chenal, Damone Clark or Quay Walker.
If they take Wyatt in round one, I would use the #41 pick to select Sam Williams the Ole Miss pass rusher.
I think a front seven that includes Wyatt, Tindall, Williams, Darrell Taylor and Uchenna Nwosu can be special. You will be able to attack teams with speed, aggression and difference making ability. You would also have great depth.
Wyatt, Tindall and Williams in particular have also produced at the highest level in college football in the SEC. Two of them are from Georgia’s sensational National Championship team.
This would set you on a pathway to success on defense. With your investment in safety already secure, you would be a cornerback away from a potentially fantastic unit.
To me this is a plan nearly everyone can get behind. Who wouldn’t want to watch a front-seven like this?
Whether the Seahawks would be prepared to focus solely on one side of the ball in the first two rounds, I’m not sure.
But if they are able to bring in Duane and Trent Brown to play tackle — and if we accept the quarterback situation is what it is for 12 months — this would be an exciting start to the rebuild.
A final thought on Baker Mayfield
The Seahawks are being linked again today and I think the situation is becoming fairly obvious here.
This is how I see it…
The Browns have zero leverage because they have spent a fortune on Deshaun Watson and have no choice but to move Mayfield on. Leaking to ESPN that they ‘want an adult’ at quarterback was unprofessional by whoever said it and has turned this into a crisis for the Browns.
There is no way whatsoever Mayfield can enter the quarterbacks room in OTA’s or camp now. He’d be well within his rights to be a royal pain in the arse — which is not what Cleveland needs as they turn to Watson.
Neither can they afford to sit on an $18m guaranteed salary which they are on the hook for without a trade. If nobody makes Cleveland an offer — they will have to cut him and eat the whole salary. That’s where they’re at and teams know it.
Comparing this to the Carson Wentz situation is futile. The Colts chose to move on from Wentz. He could’ve returned and it would’ve been steady away. There’s no such option for the Browns after trading for Watson and insulting Mayfield.
The Colts and Seahawks are seen as potential suitors. Both immediately distanced themselves from Mayfield, amid reports the Browns were laughably asking for a day-two pick in a trade.
The Athletic and the Seattle Times both reported that each team ‘wasn’t pursuing’ Mayfield. I’m not sure Indianapolis will ever be interested. I suspect the Seahawks most definitely will be.
My feeling is that Pete Carroll will see this as a chance to make Mayfield the next Marshawn Lynch. A player who was seen as uncontrollable at his old team, acquired on the cheap who Carroll turns into a star.
Mayfield, to be fair, needs a coach like Carroll. It would be an ideal fit for him. He’d have plenty of room to be himself. Carroll will like his competitive spirit and channel it — rather than restrict it.
However, what we need to remember is the Seahawks badly wanted Lynch in 2010. They were extremely patient, not concluding a deal until after the season had begun.
They won’t have to wait that long this time but clearly it feels like they’re willing to take the same approach. Let the situation come to them.
In this case that means one of two things. It means Cleveland eating a whole chunk of his $18m salary (which the Seahawks can’t even afford right now) or it means the Browns basically giving him away — or even giving Seattle a late round pick to inherit the contract.
A fair deal is probably one of Seattle’s fifth rounders to get Mayfield for $10m. Plenty will scoff at that. I’ve seen many tweets claiming the Browns should be able to get second or third round picks. It isn’t happening.
They need rid of Mayfield. Everyone knows it. They’re going to have to facilitate his departure just to move on.
I would rather the Seahawks stick it out and just embrace what this — a rebuild where you aim to draft a quarterback to eventually start. For me that would mean a later pick this year on a Jack Coan type and a higher pick, if needed, in 2023.
However — I don’t think Carroll will see it like that. I think he and Schneider will fancy rolling the dice if the price is right.
It has to be a deal that speaks to the situation. Which in this case would be the Seahawks relieving Cleveland of a problem and inheriting what amounts to a one-year rental to have a look at a player who will be incredibly expensive to retain if he performs well.
If you missed it earlier today I conducted a live stream with Robbie Williams & Adam Nathan. You can watch via YouTube below or listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify:
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