Post-Russell Wilson trade, ESPN mocks impact edge rusher to Seahawks

Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux dances to "Shout" during a break in the second half against Oregon State.Eug 111427 Uofb 21
Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux dances to "Shout" during a break in the second half against Oregon State.Eug 111427 Uofb 21 /

In Todd McShay’s latest ESPN 2022 mock draft, and post-Russell Wilson trade, the Seattle Seahawks will grab an impact edge rusher. Per McShay, Seattle will choose Kayvon Thibodeaux at pick number 9.

Seattle was built to be a Super Bowl contender in the early 2010s by stacking the defense. The secondary, led by Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, was great but the Seahawks had great pass rushers with Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril and others. After moving Wilson, Seattle is nowhere near the Super Bowl but hope to get back there soon.

Thibodeaux could help get the team there too. In fact, Thibodeaux is really worthy of being a top-five pick but thankfully the other teams above Seattle in the draft have greater needs. I’d still be shocked if Thibodeaux falls to number 9 but I am OK with McShay being correct and me being wrong if that does happen.

Seahawks predicted to get Kayvon Thibodeaux in 2022 NFL draft by ESPN

In a very weird draft, McShay has no quarterback being chosen until number 18. That is difficult to believe even in a year where the quarterback class isn’t as good as in recent years. If I had a guess, I would think the Atlanta Falcons would take a chance on a QB at pick number 8.

That would still be OK as it would let Thibodeaux slide to the Seahawks. The great thing about Thibodeaux is while he does project as a guy who can get 10 or more sacks in a season eventually, he is already fantastic as a run defender. He’s much more in the realm of Jadeveon Clowney than any pure pass rusher. But the Seahawks need a player who can get pressure on the quarterback but also play the run equally as well.

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With good coaching of technique, which he should get in Seattle under defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt, Thibodeaux can make an impact in year one but be a Pro Bowler by year two. Seattle is building for the long-term at this point and taking Thibodeaux will help them do that.