It’s draft month in the NFL, in just under four weeks the new rookie class will begin to be selected to their teams. For the first time in twelve years Seattle is slated to draft in the top ten. With the Seahawks having Denver Bronco’s ninth overall pick thanks to the Russell Wilson deal. Seattle could trade back like usual if they have a plethora of options available at nine. Maybe they think they found their blue-chip player they haven’t been able to reach in the first round since 2010. With two second round picks at 40 and 41 maybe they trade up back into the first round and take two firsts this year.
There are a lot of questions for Seattle this year and that makes this draft for Hawks fans beyond exciting. With that in mind lets narrow possible fits for Seattle at nine. Keep in mind possible fallers, scheme fits and special talents Seattle’s front office has gravitated to in the past. If the Seahawks keep their ninth overall selection, there are five likely selections. It’s a dangerous game to play trying to predict this unpredictable front office.
Kayvon Thibodeaux – Edge – Oregon (JR, 6’4″, 254 pounds)
There was a time when Thibodeaux was arguably the best edge prospect in this draft. The sense as we enter draft month is that Kayvon is falling down boards. It could be typical draft smoke screens where teams are acting disinterested to hide their true intentions. It could just be overanalyzing their picks being in the top ten too. There is so much research to hit on a prospect and turn their franchise around. But there’s worry that Thibodeaux is a risky top five pick.
Todd McShay in February was quoted reporting the NFL team’s interest on Thibodeaux.
“His ceiling is high, but the floor is lower than what you want for a top-five pick,” McShay said.
Pair that up with a banged-up year in 2021 leaving lower production then normal for Thibodeaux he may slide out of top ten. However, for Seattle I see the 4.58 speed and the 27-bench press-reps (most of the position group at the combine) as a unique combination of speed and strength for Seattle’s pass rush. Clint Hurtt will want to pressure the opposing QBs, and Pete Caroll wants turnovers. An impact rusher in the top ten may be where Seattle goes.
Charles Cross – OT – Mississippi State (RS SO, 6’5″, 307 pounds)
The consensuses number three tackle in this draft is the athletic left tackle, Charles Cross. In former Washington State’s coach Mike Leach’s air raid offense at Mississippi State, Charles Cross has had his share of pass protection reps. Seattle’s biggest need at the time of this article’s writing is offensive tackle. Both Seattle’s left and right tackles are still free agents. Seattle currently has Duane Brown, 37, but would be a considerable cost to re-sign. Drafting a tackle at ninth makes perfect sense.
Cross is by far the most popular choice to mock to the Seattle Seahawks in recent years. One reason it makes sense that isn’t mentioned is that Seattle’s new offensive line coach is Andy Dickerson. The former Rams assistant line coach came over with Shane Waldron in 2021 to help run their scheme. With Russell Wilson gone and Dickerson promoted, it looks like Seattle will be a Waldron scheme heavy offense in 2022.
Derek Stingley Jr. – CB – LSU (JR, 6’0″, 190 pounds)
It’s obvious Seattle needs to find a number one cornerback. But the popular choice among Seattle fans is Sauce (Ahmad) Gardner from Cincinnati. Gardner is 6’3” with 33 ½” arms and is the prototypical build for Seattle’s corners. That was the old Seahawks, don’t be surprised if that doesn’t matter much. In 2021 Seattle drafted 5’ 10” Tre Brown with only 30” arms and played him next to 5’ 9” D.J. Reed. Seattle is switching to a 3-4 cover three scheme with Sean Desai, and Karl Scott added to help Clint Hurtt on defense. The secondary has new voices and new perspectives.
In this new scheme Seattle will want man coverage corners that can take the ball away. Stingley Jr. had the best season of any corner in this class in his freshman year (2019). Being able to lock down receivers with amazing ball skills to go and make a play on an island. Stingley Jr. had six picks in 2019 at age 18. LSU, the school with the moniker DB university, produces elite defensive backs. Stingley Jr. had a Lisfranc injury and has only played ten games the last two years.
But with Gardner stock rising to top-five territory, Stingley Jr. will be available and looks to be exactly what Seattle needs at cornerback.
Jordan Davis – IDL -Georgia (SR, 6’6″, 341 pounds)
With the defense shifting their scheme in 2022, Seattle has filled the defense quickly. Resigning their own, adding Uchenna Nwosu to pair with Darrell Taylor at outside linebackers. The defensive line is set up to be the most invested position in this draft. With starters of Poona Ford, Al Woods, Shelby Harris on the line. The line has two starters over thirty years of age. Jordan Davis would be an impact inside force to pair with Al Woods.
Davis is a unique force that is athletic on top of his massive size. At 341lbs Davis ran a 4.78 forty yard dash. The ultimate run stuffer with his size, long arms, and speed, Davis could be much more than a two down player his floor is projected to be. Georgia had the luxury to rotate endless talent on the line. That could be why Davis was so dominant with constant rest, or why he doesn’t have the pass rush numbers he could have rushing the inside. He has all the tools to develop pass rushing with a ceiling of being one of the most feared defensive lineman, with a safe floor as a monster run stuffer.
Travon Walker -edge – Georgia (JR, 6’5″, 272 pounds)
Walker has been rocketing up the draft boards lately, latest mock drafts have him going top three depending on who is putting them together. If Walker is there at nine, the Seahawks should take him over whoever is there. Honestly it would be best for Seattle if quarterbacks go early because I see them staying away from an early first round QB. If Seattle plays it right, they might have supreme talent fall to them and get a QB later in the draft or even in next year’s draft.
Travon Walker is a monster on the stat sheet. At 6’ 5” 272 lbs he ran a 4.51 fourty yard dash with 35 ½ arms, Walker can pressure the QB and get his hands up and bat down a lot of throws. Another newly acquired Seahawk Shelby Harris has had 18 passes defended the last 3 years. Walker with the versatility to move inside and outside, could move all over the line and add a bigger pass rush presence, with the speed edge rushers of Taylor and Nwosu.
Walker is aggressive all game, has explosive hands, and sets the edge with amazing reach. This is the guy to get in a scheme switch this offseason. A unique body that sets the edge, stops the run, and can disrupt the pass game.
Seattle wants to rebuild their defense and dominate the line. Don’t be surprised if they don’t go offense early.