RENTON, Wash. — The 2022 NFL Draft is being held Thursday through Saturday and every Seattle Seahawks’ draft pick will be analyzed here.
The draft will be held in Las Vegas on the strip in the area adjacent to Caesars Forum two years after it was initially scheduled. The 2020 NFL draft was turned into a virtual event because of COVID-19.
Here’s a pick-by-pick look at how each Seattle player has selected will fit.
Round 1, No. 9 overall: charles crossOT, Mississippi State
My take: The Seahawks have often zigged when draft analysts expect them to zag, but Cross was both an unsurprising pick and one who shouldn’t produce any real objection. How could it? The Seahawks got one of the top prospects at one of the most valuable positions in football — assuming the plan is to keep him at left tackle — in a part of the draft where analysts generally projected him to be taken. And the Seahawks filled what was easily their biggest need. Last season’s starting tackles (Duane Brown and Brandon Shell), are unsigned, and there’s not much experience among the three tackles who were already on their roster in Jake Curhan, Stone Forsythe and Greg Eiland, as they are all entering their second seasons. Cross wasn’t quite a no-brainer because some good players were still on the board, but it’s hard to disagree with taking him at No. 9.
SEQ pedigree: Cross, who played left tackle in college, said he’s been training at both spots and that he feels comfortable on either side. He’s also been working at coming out of a three-point stance, which he didn’t do in Mike Leach’s pass-happy offense. Playing with his hand on the ground and firing off the ball in a system that aims to run the ball will be an adjustment for Cross. But there are fewer questions about his pass protection from him. Per Sports Info Solutions via ESPN Stats & Information, Cross allowed pressure on just 0.7% of his pass-blocking plays in 2021 (six pressures allowed and only one sack on 683 snaps). That’s incredible success in a conference that usually has the best pass-rushers in the country. Cross said his two best college games were the two times he faced Alabama. Per ESPN Stats & Info, he didn’t allow a pressure in 64 pass-blocking plays versus the Crimson Tide in 2021.
what’s Russell Wilson thinking? Probably something along the lines of, “You waited until I was gone to draft a star O-lineman?!” Wilson long yearned for the Seahawks to spend more resources on guys to protect him, so this pick surely caught his eye from Denver. But the Seahawks were in a position they never found themselves in during Wilson’s 10 seasons in Seattle. The last time they had a top-10 pick was 2010 (when they drafted left tackle Russell Okung at No. 6). As a perennial playoff team, they were routinely picking in the 20s. GM John Schneider has often talked about how few elite offensive lineman are being produced in college these days and, thus, how hard they are to find — especially late in the first round. The Seahawks don’t expect to be picking this high again anytime soon, so they probably viewed the chance to land a top tackle prospect as too good and too infrequent to pass up.
What’s next: The Seahawks have three picks on Day 2 and, thus, a chance to do some serious damage. They own the eighth and ninth picks in the second round (Nos. 40 and 41 overall), the former acquired from Denver in the Wilson trade. They have the eighth pick of the third round (No. 72 overall). That should put them in good position to cross off their remaining needs and trade up if they need to be. Cornerback and edge rusher seem like their biggest needs. They’ve talked about adding another quarterback to compete with Drew Lock and Gene Smith (and Jacob Eason), but do they like any of them enough to take on Day 2? They’re higher on Lock’s potential than you might think, so they probably don’t feel as though they have to force a quarterback pick.