Seahawks: Winners and losers following the 2022 NFL draft

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

With a few exceptions, the Seattle Seahawks are mostly getting great reviews for their work in the 2022 NFL draft.

While the new strategy we saw the front office use in the draft is a positive development for the franchise overall, some people now have good cause to be nervous about their job security. Here are a few winners and losers around the organization following the influx of young talent.

Winners: QBs Drew Lock and Geno Smith

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest winners of this past weekend were the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart after the Russell Wilson trade.

Veteran Geno Smith and 25-year old Drew Lock will now have a two-man battle over the summer for the starting job without having to worry about a draft pick giving them the Matt Flynn treatment. The team did sign a rookie QB in undrafted free agent Levi Lewis, but he’s likely more of a threat to third-stringer Jacob Eason. We expect Smith to win the competition. If he struggles or gets injured, Lock is pretty much guaranteed to be next up.

In addition to not having to compete with a Desmond Ridder or a Malik Willis, Seattle’s QB1 should also be better protected than their last starter. First-round pick Charles Cross and third-rounder Abraham Lucas are both expected to be high-quality pass blockers in the NFL.

Losers: OTs Stone Forsythe, Jake Curhan

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas joining the roster is undeniably good news for the quarterbacks, but very bad news for the offensive tackles that were projected to start in the absence of Duane Brown and Brandon Shell – who are both still free agents.

2021 sixth-round pick Stone Forsythe showed some promise as a run blocker last preseason. August may be the only month he sees action this year, though. Teams don’t use a top-10 overall pick on an elite left tackle prospect and then not start him. Forsythe should be considered a distant No. 2 option on the depth chart at this position beneath Cross.

Meanwhile, at right tackle Jake Curhan also shined as a run blocker last year after Shell’s shoulder injury. However, Lucas has a far superior athletic profile and the extra resources the team has invested in him virtually guarantees he’ll be the long-term starter at this spot barring injury.

Losers: CBs Artie Burns, Sidney Jones

Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The fallout from Seattle’s new-found commitment to not being thoroughly stupid in the draft was perhaps felt strongest at cornerback. After allowing D.J. Reed to sign with the Jets, it was imperative for the Seahawks to add more young talent along the boundary. They did that and more by doubling down at this position on Day 3 by taking Coby Bryant in the fourth round and Tariq Woolen in the fifth.

Assuming his knee is alright, we expect 2021 second-round pick Tre Brown to start at LCB this coming season. All of the other outside corners on the roster are now on notice, though. The two who are most likely to suffer are Artie Burns – who now has a Jim Thorpe Award winner behind him – and Sidney Jones – who has to deal with an alien-level athlete gunning for his job.

Winners: MLB Cody Barton, C Austin Blythe

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

We were pleasantly surprised that the Seahawks decided to double down at four premium positions rather than scatter their picks around, mostly on spots that primarily impact the running game. Going into the draft, we fully expected them to reach for both a middle linebacker prospect and a center at some point. In the end they did neither.

That’s a positive development for Cody Barton and Austin Blythe, who are now locked in as the team’s starters at MLB and C respectively. Both only have one year on their contracts but at least they won’t have to fret about losing their job to a rookie in 2022. If they perform well this year they could sign a long-term deal next offseason, either in Seattle or elsewhere.

Losers: WRs Freddie Swain, Penny Hart

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle also used two draft picks at wide receiver – which is one spot they’ve always had the good sense to invest in and have usually gotten right.

Seventh-round picks Bo Melton and Dareke Young represent no threat to D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett or Dee Eskridge. That doesn’t apply to the rest of the receivers on the team, though. Freddie Swain and Penny Hart are next up on the depth chart around these parts but that state of affairs could change fast if Melton and Young have a quick learning curve. Melton was an excellent slot receiver in college, while the dual-threat Young has an RAS comparable to Metcalf.

Loser: RB Rashaad Penny

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Some fellas have all the luck. It seems Rashaad Penny is not one of them. Not only has Seattle’s former first-round pick had to deal with numerous injuries in his career, Penny was only able to cash in on a one-year contract after suddenly turning into Jim Brown down the stretch of the 2021 season.

The next challenge Penny faces will come in the form of former Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III, one of the team’s two second-round picks. While it’s generally not a good idea to use early selections on this position, Walker is a special athlete and his production last season makes it clear he has more than enough potential to succeed at the next level.

Penny will start in Week 1. However, if he regresses back to the level we saw from 2018 through most of 2021 or he gets injured again, Walker might just take the reins of this running game and never give them back.

Winners: Pete Carroll, John Schneider

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The highly-inadvisable trades involving Russell Wilson and Jamal Adams may eventually bring this regime down no matter what, but Pete Carroll and John Schneider at least bought themselves some time and breathing room with this draft class.

By investing multiple picks at four premium positions they proved that they’re capable of learning and altering their approach to adapt to a game that’s constantly evolving and had been steadily leaving them behind. They also seem to finally understand that they can’t keep using the same defensive scheme and remain competitive in the long run.

If PC/JS keep this same energy in the draft going forward and they find their next franchise QB in 2023, they may have their jobs as long as they want them, or at least until they decide it’s Sean Desai’s time.

[listicle id=88950]

1

1