2022 NFL Offseason: Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks (Last Year: 7-10)

2022 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, DE Uchenna Nwosu, DT Shelby Harris, DT Quinton Jefferson, LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, CB Justin Coleman, CB Artie Burns.
Early Draft Picks:
OT Charles Cross, DE Boye Mafe, RB Kenneth Walker, OT Abraham Lucas, CB Coby Bryant, CB Tariq Woolen, DE Tyreke Smith. Seahawks Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Russell Wilson, RB Chris Carson, TE Gerald Everett, OT Duane Brown, OT Brandon Shell, C Ethan Pocic, DE Carlos Dunlap, DE Benson Mayowa, DE Rasheem Green, LB Bobby Wagner, CB D.J. Reed.

2022 Seattle Seahawks Offense:
For the first time since 2012, the Seahawks won’t enter the season with Russell Wilson as their starting quarterback. Wilson was traded to Denver this spring, so the Seahawks will have a competition between Drew Lock and Geno Smith to be Wilson’s replacement. Jimmy Garoppolo or Baker Mayfield could be obtained, but as of this writing, Seattle just has Lock and Smith battling for the job, which is an extremely underwhelming competition. Smith is a fine backup, but that’s all he is. Lock entered the NFL with some potential in the 2019 NFL Draft, but hasn’t come close to living up to it.

Whoever wins the starting quarterback job will have two big-name receivers at his disposal, though D.K. Metcalf could be traded at some point. Furthermore, it could be argued that Tyler Lockett was simply a byproduct of Wilson. There’s a good chance Lockett’s production will plummet, which is what happened for the most part when Smith stepped in for an injured Wilson last year. Metcalf, on the other hand, will be more immune to this change because he’s such a phenomenal athlete. There’s also Noah Fant, who was acquired in the Wilson trade. Lock is quite familiar with how potent Fant can be over the middle of the field.

The Seahawks also have some talented running backs. Former first-round pick Rashaad Penny had been a disappointment for most of his pro career, but he exploded with some stellar performances at the end of the 2021 season. Penny credited Adrian Peterson’s mentoring, so perhaps this wasn’t a fluke. If it is, the Seahawks can lean on second-round rookie Kenneth Walker, who is believed to be the best pure runner of all the backs in the 2022 NFL Draft class.

While Wilson always had talented skill-position players aiding him, the offensive line has always been in flux. It wasn’t horrible last year, but Seattle lost both tackles to free agency this spring, so the front office had to find some replacements. The first came via the No. 9 overall pick this April, with Charles Cross coming off the board. It’s obviously unclear how the athletic Cross will perform, but he has plenty of upside. The same can be said of third-round rookie Abraham Lucas, who figures to win the starting right tackle job.

Seattle’s interior blockers have a more proven track record by default, but the two guards are very talented. Damien Lewis has exceeded expectations after being a third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Gabe Jackson signed a well-deserved $22.5 million contract last spring. Lewis and Jackson will flank center Austin Blythe, who didn’t play very much last year, but only because he was the backup to Creed Humphrey in Kansas City. Blythe was a decent, three-year starter for the Rams prior to joining the Chiefs.

2022 Seattle Seahawks Defense:
While the Seahawks spent multiple resources addressing their offensive line early in the 2022 NFL Draft, they also dedicated two resources to improve the pass rush, though neither was as significant as the first-round pick used on Charles Cross. Still, the pass rush was a huge problem for Seattle last year, prompting Pete Carroll to tell the media that it was the primary area that had to be addressed this offseason. To do so, the Seahawks signed Uchenna Nwosu. The former Charger logged five sacks in 2021, but he has upside and could improve that figure. Seattle also spent a second-round selection on Boye Mafe. Teams were torn on Mafe heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, with some loving his potential and others believing that he’s just a vanilla left end in the NFL.

Nwosu and Mafe are the new edge rushers, but the Seahawks also obtained a new player for the defensive line, acquiring Shelby Harris in the Russell Wilson trade. Harris is a talented lineman who rushes the passer well and happens to be effective against the run. The only downside with him is that he turns 31 in August, so he could be in store for regression soon. He’ll start with Quinton Jefferson, who disappointed last year, and Poona Ford, a big run stuffer.

An improved pass rush will help the secondary, which needed some assistance because the Seahawks lost top cornerback D.J. Reed to free agency. Their new No. 1 corner is Tre Brown, who performed on a high level last year until he suffered a knee injury. It’s unclear if he’ll be 100 percent heading into 2022. Sidney Jones, who has played well following a rough start to his career, will start across from Brown. However, Jones has a dubious injury history, so he’s not a very reliable player. There’s also Artie Burns, a failed first-round pick who had some nice moments at the end of the 2021 season with the Bears. Justin Coleman will play in the slot, but he hasn’t performed well in years.

The Seahawks also figure to have issues at safety once again. This is because of Jamaal Adams; not Quandre Diggs, who is a stellar player. Adams is a terrific blitzer and a fierce tackler, but he is a huge liability in coverage.

Rounding out the defense, Seattle’s linebacking corps figures to be worse as well. That’s because long-time Seahawk Bobby Wagner signed with the Rams. Wagner is no longer the dominant linebacker he once was, but he was still a great player. The Seahawks will have to move forward with Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton. Brooks plays well against the run, but like Adams, he struggles to cover. There’s less hope for Barton, who barely played last year.

2022 Seattle Seahawks Schedule and Intangibles:
The Seahawks had a tremendous home-field advantage when they were great. The deafening noise at Qwest Field is why they were a ridiculous 49-12 as hosts over the past seven seasons prior to 2019. Oddly enough, the Seahawks were better on the road (3-5) than at home (4-5) in 2021. This was also the case in 2019.

Jason Myers had a flawless 2020 campaign, drilling all 24 of his attempts. He was worse last year, hitting on just 17-of-23 tries.

Michael Dickson is a quality punter who often finishes in the top half of the NFL in net average. He was 12th last year.

No touchdowns were scored for or against the Seahawks on special teams in 2020. The Seahawks still didn’t allow a touchdown last year, and they happened to score one.

Seattle has several winnable games because the Falcons, Panthers, Giants and Jets are on the schedule.

2022 Seattle Seahawks Rookies:
Go here for the Seahawks Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2022 Seattle Seahawks Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2022 Seattle Seahawks Analysis: The Seahawks were eighth in DVOA last year, but that ranking was bound to decrease, even if Russell Wilson remained on the roster. Thanks to the departures of Duane Brown, Bobby Wagner and D.J. Reed, the Seahawks are bound to regress. Of course, Wilson’s departure will have a huge impact on the team, which is expected to have one of the worst records in the NFL unless a trade for Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo occurs.

Projection: 3-14 (4th in NFC West)

2021 Projection: 10-7. 2021 Actual Result: 7-10.
2020 Projection: 12-4. 2020 Actual Result: 12-4.
2019 Projection: 9-7. 2019 Actual Result: 11-5.
2018 Projection: 6-10. 2018 Actual Result: 10-6.
2017 Projection: 11-5. 2017 Actual Result: 9-7.
2016 Projection: 12-4. 2016 Actual Result: 10-5-1.

NFL Draft Team Grade: B Grade

Goals Entering the 2022 NFL Draft: The Seahawks have a talented roster, but no quarterback at the moment. This could change via a Baker Mayfield trade. If so, the Seahawks will need to make sure Mayfield succeeds, and that would entail bolstering the offensive line. The pass rush needs tons of help, too.

2022 NFL Draft Accomplishments: I like most of the picks the Seahawks made in the 2022 NFL Draft. Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas are two athletic tackles who will make Russell Wilson envious. Kenneth Walker is arguably the best running back in this class. Boye Mafe and Tyreke Smith were solid choices who will provide a much-needed injection into the pass rush. Cornerback was addressed as well with Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen. The latter, in particular, provided tremendous value in the fifth round.

With so many excellent draft choices, the Seahawks would have received an “A” grade under normal circumstances. However, there’s one major hole in their draft haul, and that would be quarterback. They had multiple opportunities to select whomever they wanted between Malik Willis, Matt Corral and Sam Howell, and they declined to pick any of them. I believe at least one of them will turn out to be a solid starter, so the Seahawks should have used a pick on their favorite of the three to compete with Drew Lock and Geno Smith.

The Seahawks could always trade for Baker Mayfield, and if they do, this concern will be completely nullified. For now, however, things look bleak for the Seahawks because it appears as though they’ll be entering the 2022 season with two very underwhelming options at quarterback.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

9. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State – A- Grade
I would’ve preferred Jermaine Johnson, but Charles Cross is an excellent pick as well. The Seahawks have needed to spend a premium pick on an offensive line for quite some time, and they’ve finally done so. It’s funny that it finally happens when Russell Wilson is gone, but Seattle needs better blocking without Wilson’s mobility.

40. Boye Mafe, DE, Minnesota – B Grade
Teams were torn on Boye Mafe. Some believed he would go in the first round, while others thought he was a vanilla day-two left end. It looks like Mafe fell somewhere in between. I imagine he’ll help the Seahawks’ horrible pass rush, which sorely needed to be upgraded.

41. Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State – B+ Grade
I’m torn on this pick. I love Kenneth Walker, as his balance and run-after-contract ability is off the charts. He’s my top running back. However, the Seahawks could’ve addressed their huge hole at quarterback and failed to do so with their two selections. They could have taken another running back later on Day 2. Still, I don’t hate this pick because Walker was one of my favorite players in this range.

72. Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State – B Grade
Wow, still no quarterback? This Drew Lock versus Geno Smith camp battle is going to be lit. The Seahawks will at least be able to protect for Lock or Smith with Charles Cross and now Abraham Lucas. The Washington State product is very athletic and fits what the Seahawks look for in blocking prospects. I like the fit, but come on, this had to be Malik Willis.

109. Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati – B Grade
Coby Bryant is a solid prospect I had in the fourth round for most of my mock draft updates, so I like this range for him. He also fills a need the Seahawks had at cornerback. I just wonder why Seattle hasn’t addressed quarterback yet. The team has no chance with Geno Smith or Drew Lock.

153. Tariq Woolen, CB, Texas-San Antonio – A+ Grade
This is a classic fifth-round cornerback pick by the Seahawks. Tariq Woolen is tall and athletic like other corners Seattle has drafted. Woolen would’ve been taken much earlier if it weren’t for health worries, but this is incredible value that fills a need. I love this selection.

158. Tyreke Smith, DE, Ohio State – B+ Grade
The Seahawks entered the draft desperately needing to upgrade their horrible pass rush. Tyreke Smith, joining Boye Mafe, should help make that happen. Smith was someone I expected to be drafted in this range, so I like this pick.

229. Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers – A Grade
Bo Melton is an explosive receiver. Just watch some videos of him. He should have been drafted earlier than this. He’ll fill a need if/when the Seahawks trade one of their top two receivers.

233. Dareke Young, WR, Lenoir-Rhyne – B Grade
I’m not sure why the Seahawks needed another receiver, but Dareke Young’s range makes sense to me in the seventh round. I slotted him to the Seahawks at No. 229, so I can’t grade this pick poorly!

Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Season Summary:
This was the most disappointing season for the Seahawks during the Russell Wilson era. There’s a chance Seattle may blow the whole thing up, but they could try one more season.

Offseason Moves:
  • Seahawks sign LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe
  • Seahawks sign CB Justin Coleman
  • Seahawks sign DT Quinton Jefferson
  • Seahawks sign DE/OLB Uchenna Nwosu
  • Seahawks sign CB Artie Burns
  • Broncos acquire QB Russell Wilson for DT Shelby Harris, TE Noah Fant, QB Drew Lock, draft picks

    Team Needs:
    1. Quarterback: Russell Wilson is gone, so the Seahawks must rebuild with a new franchise signal-caller.

    2. Two Defensive Ends: Pete Carroll discussed the team’s poor pass rush after the 2021 season ended. The Seahawks had one of the worst pressure rates in the NFL, so two new edge rushers must be obtained. Signed Uchenna Nwosu

    3. Two Defensive Tackle: A pair of new defensive tackles must be acquired as well. Addressing the trenches is crucial for the Seahawks this offseason. Traded for Shelby Harris; signed Quinton Jefferson

    4. Linebacker: The Seahawks cut Bobby Wagner because he counted nearly $17 million against the cap. Signed Joel Iyiegbuniwe

    5. Two Offensive Tackles: The Seahawks are often criticized for having a poor offensive line. They had good tackle play last year, but both Duane Brown and Brandon Shell will see their contracts expire. Brown turns 37 soon, so a new blind-side protector was needed in the near future anyway.

    6. Center: Like the tackles, Ethan Pocic is set to hit free agency this March. Signed Austin Blythe

    7. Cornerback: Two of Seattle’s top three cornerbacks – D.J. Reed, Sidney Jones – will be free agents this March, so at least one of them will need to be retained. Re-signed Sidney Jones; signed Artie Burns

    8. Safety: Quandre Diggs is another important free agent the Seahawks must re-sign or replace. Re-signed Quandre Diggs

    9. Running Back: Rashaad Penny was excellent to close out the year, but he’s now an impending free agent. Counting on the injury-prone Chris Carson wouldn’t be wise. Re-signed Rashaad Penny

    10. Tight End: Gerald Everett is an impending free agent. He did well in his first season with the Seahawks. Traded for Noah Fant

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2022 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Uchenna Nwosu, DE/OLB, Chargers. Age: 25.
      Signed with Seahawks (2 years, $20 million)

      Uchenna Nwosu has flashed some ability at times throughout his 4-year career. He’s still just 25, so he has some time to keep developing.

    2. Quinton Jefferson, DT, Raiders. Age: 29.
      Signed with Seahawks (2 years)

      Quinton Jefferson was the Raiders’ best interior defensive lineman last year, logging 4.5 sacks.

    3. Artie Burns, CB, Bears. Age: 27.
      Signed with Seahawks (1 year, $2 million)

      Artie Burns played suprisingly well for the Bears down the stretch. This may have been a fluke, but Burns is a former first-round pick, so perhaps he’s just a late bloomer.

    4. Austin Blythe, C/OT, Chiefs. Age: 30. — Signed with Seahawks
    5. Justin Coleman, CB, Dolphins. Age: 29. — Signed with Seahawks
    6. Marquise Goodwin, WR, Bears. Age: 31. — Signed with Seahawks
    7. Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, Bears. Age: 26. — Signed with Seahawks (1 year)

    Seattle Seahawks Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. D.J. Reed, CB, Seahawks. Age: 25.
      Signed with Jets (3 years, $33 million)

      D.J. Reed has developed greatly in recent years, and he’s now a legitimate No. 1 cornerback in the NFL. He’s only 25, so he should keep improving.

    2. Quandre Diggs, S, Seahawks. Age: 29.
      Re-signed with Seahawks (3 years, $40 million)

      Quandre Diggs is one of the better safeties in the NFL. He’s a well-rounded player, and he still has another year remaining in his 20s.

    3. Bobby Wagner, LB, Seahawks. Age: 32.
      Signed with Rams (5 years, $50 million)

      Bobby Wagner may have lost a step at the age of 32 (as of June), but he’s still one of the better linebackers in the NFL. He was released because he counted nearly $17 million against the cap for 2022.

    4. Duane Brown, OT, Seahawks. Age: 37.
      Signed with Jets

      Duane Brown isn’t quite the dominant left tackle he was back in the day, now that he’s 37. However, he’s still an excellent blind-side protector.

    5. Rashaad Penny, RB, Seahawks. Age: 26.
      Re-signed with Seahawks

      Rashaad Penny was considered a colossal first-round bust until late in 2021 when he had a dominant series of games. Penny credited Adrian Peterson for helping develop him, so this was likely not a fluke.

    6. Sidney Jones, CB, Seahawks. Age: 26.
      Re-signed with Seahawks (1 year, $3.6 million)

      Sidney Jones struggled early in his career because of his devastating pre-draft injury, but he has improved in recent seasons. He was a capable cornerback this past year. He’s only 26, so he should continue to get better.

    7. Ethan Pocic, C, Seahawks. Age: 27.
      Ethan Pocic is a quality run-blocking center, but he’s lackluster when it comes to pass protection.

    8. Brandon Shell, OT, Seahawks. Age: 30.
      Brandon Shell has improved in recent years and was a decent right tackle this past season.

    9. Gerald Everett, TE, Seahawks. Age: 28.
      Signed with Chargers (2 years, $12 million)

      Gerald Everett caught a career-high 48 passes in his first season with the Seahawks, as he no longer had to compete for targets with Tyler Higbee.

    10. Al Woods, NT, Seahawks. Age: 35.
      Re-signed with Seahawks

      Big Al Woods is a monstrous run stuffer, but at 35, his career will be coming to an end soon.

    11. Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks. Age: 31.
      Re-signed with Seahawks (1 year)

      Geno Smith is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. He complated 68 percent of his passes and threw five touchdowns compared to one interception in relief of Russell Wilson.

    12. Will Dissly, TE, Seahawks. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Seahawks (3 years, $24 million)
    13. Benson Mayowa, DE, Seahawks. Age: 31.
    14. Rasheem Green, DE, Seahawks. Age: 25.
    15. Alex Collins, RB, Seahawks. Age: 28.
    16. Ryan Neal, S, Seahawks. Age: 26.
    17. Jamarco Jones, G/OT, Seahawks. Age: 26. — Signed with Titans (2 years, $5.8 million)
    18. Kyle Fuller, C, Seahawks. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Seahawks
    19. Kerry Hyder, DE, Seahawks. Age: 31. — Signed with 49ers (1 year)
    20. Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Seahawks. Age: 27. — Signed with 49ers
    21. Nick Bellore, FB, Seahawks. Age: 33.

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

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