Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Picks & Grades 2022: Seattle Nabs Best Pass Protector in the Draft

After an offseason full of tumult, the Seahawks organization had one of their more stabilizing drafts of late. They started off by securing arguably the best pass protector in this draft class in Charles Cross and proceeded to fill other key positions of need such as edge and cornerback. Though still in a rebuild until they find a long-term solution at quarterback, the Seahawks came out of draft weekend with a sense of direction that they lacked going into it. Read below to get an in depth look at each of Seattle’s 2022 draft picks and their corresponding grade.

Seattle Seahawks Draft Picks 2022

Round 1 No. 9 LT Charles Cross
Round 2 No. 40 Edge Boye Mafe
Round 2 No. 41 RB Kenneth Walker III
Round 3 No. 72 OT Abraham Lucas
Round 4 No. 109 CB Coby Bryant
Round 5 No. 153 CB Tariq Woolen
Round 5 No. 158 Edge Tyreke Smith
Round 7 No. 229 WR Bo Melton
Round 7 No. 233 WR Dareke Young

Overall Draft Grade: B+

Analysis: The Seahawks came into this draft with a lot of needs to fill. Many thought they might take a quarterback on day 1 and even more thought they would on Day 2. They never succumbed to the pressure, though, and played the long game. They addressed their two biggest offseason needs in the offensive line and secondary without having to trade around and secured some high upside cornerbacks and receivers on the back end.

Seattle Seahawks Draft Grades 2022

Round: 1 Pick: 9 / Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

In a league that’s becoming increasingly centered around pass blocking, the Seahawks got an absolute steal in Charles Cross at 9. Many thought the Giants or Panthers would secure him before the Seahawks had a shot, but after both teams opted for Neal and Ekwonu, the big fella fell right into their lap. Cross is strong as an ox with great hands and long arms. He was an incredibly consistent blocker in college who was great at absorbing speed rushers. He will be able to deal with the NFL bullrushes that give many rookie tackles trouble and assert himself with his hands.

Grade: A+

Round: 2 Pick: 40 / Boye Mafe, Edge, Minnesota

The right side of Seattle’s defensive line has struggled to get pressure on the quarterback over the past couple years and Mafe should change that in year one. The Minnesota product is an explosive speed rusher who’s not afraid of physicality and is able to attack blockers from both the inside and outside. He hits cleanly but hard, and is an overall playmaker. If Mafe can improve his hand usage and flexibility, he will be a real force for this Seattle team.

Grade: A-

Round: 2 Pick: 41 / Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State

I love Kenneth Walker and I think there is a legitimate case to be made for him as the best back in this draft class. He’s got great vision and is incredibly slippery in the open field. He possesses elite speed having run a 4.38 40 in college and he backs it up on film. Perhaps most impressive was his ability to put up numbers on some of the best defensive lines in the Big 10 in Michigan and Purdue — going for 197 and 138 yards, respectively. My big exception to this pick is positional value. As much as I love Walker, I don’t believe he’s head and shoulders above guys like Isiah Spiller and Dameon Pierce, two guys that went on day three. I think this pick could have been better used on another tackle or an interior defensive lineman, and for that reason I give it a B.

Grade: B

Round: 3 Pick: 72 / Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State

Lucas has a huge frame that blocks like a ton of bricks. He isn’t the most agile mover and can be a little slow laterally, but was able to make an impact on size and strength alone. He will need to improve his ability to play lower and play more disciplined at the next level. At this spot in the draft, I thought Bernhard Raimann was the better overall player at the position given his refined hand usage and ability to shift laterally and absorb speed rusher in stride. The Seahawks certainly got a more developmental player with Lucas, but one with the requisite physical traits to be in the league for awhile.

Grade: C

Round: 4 Pick: 109 / Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati

Sauce Gardner’s partner in crime, Coby Bryant is a much needed addition to this starving Seattle secondary. Though he may not be the fastest player at the position in the context of the 40 yard dash, he has great size and strength for the position and an overall good feel for the game. His awareness allows him to anticipate plays and he’s not afraid to be physical. Outside of Jamal Adams, this Seahawks team lacks playmakers in the secondary, and Coby Bryant is the perfect antidote to this problem.

Grade: A

Round: 5 Pick: 153 / Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA

Standing at 6’4” with a 4.26 40 time, Woolen checks off a lot of the boxes when it comes to measurables. What he lacks, however, is experience and good tape. Woolen came into college as a WR and played much of his first season as one. It wasn’t until 2019 that he made the switch to corner where he accumulated 35 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 4 pass breakups. Since then, he has shown some steady improvement, though he is largely still raw around the edges. Namely, he doesn’t have the best hands and frequently miscalculates where the ball is going in the air. The 5th round is about the time that teams can feel comfortable taking risks on more raw prospects. Given the stage of the draft, Woolen is a solid pick as his upside is higher than many’s at this stage.

Grade: B+

Round: 5 Pick: 159 / Tyreke Smith, Edge, Ohio State

A 4 star recruit coming out of high school, Smith has great length and speed off the edge. He couples his speed with a sense of urgency and a constant attack style that will give coaches something to work with. He will work well in 4-3 schemes where he can showcase his pass rush. He does struggle, however, against stronger tackles and will have to improve his balance and ability to counter. Overall I like this pick for the Seahawks. Their pass rush was shaky at best last season and Tyreke Smith is a player who possesses serious upside when healthy. They have him on the cheap and will be able to develop him alongside Boye Mafe — a fellow Big Ten product.

Grade: A-

Round: 7 Pick: 229 / Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers

Melton is a great route runner with a full arsenal of moves. He’s got great speed in the open field, though he is undersized and his effort levels can vary. As a college player, he struggled consistently against physical press coverage. He also has a relatively low catch radius and is better with the ball in his hand than he is going up to get the ball. WR was the last position group of need for the Seahawks this offseason and that probably explains why they waited until day 3 to address it. If Melton is able to utilize his strengths as a speedy route runner to create separation, he will have a decent case for making the 53 man roster.

Grade: B

Round: 7 Pick: 233 / Dareke Young, WR, Lenoir-Rhyne

Coming out of Division II Dareke Young has good size at 6’2” 224lbs. He’s listed as a WR, though he was semi-frequently used as a gadget player out of the backfield in college. It’s hard to know what to make of his film given the extreme gap in competition between Division II and the pros, but he appears as a competent player in all phases of the game from blocking to running. Ironically enough, he reminds me a lot of DK Metcalf the way he runs in the open field — albeit a little shorter and not quite as quick. He will certainly be a project but a worthy one. At this point in the draft, that’s all you can hope for.

Grade: A-

As a central Ohio native and lifelong Cleveland sports fan, Patrick Monnin has lived the emotional rollercoaster every sports fan knows all too well. Whether it be the Browns or the Buckeyes, he loves watching football and going on nice long runs in the afternoon. In the local Chicago area, where he now lives, he can often be found making the case for LeBron James as the greatest basketball player ever.

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