The Seahawks reportedly lost cornerback D.J. Reed on Tuesday in free agency to the New York Jets. This might change how Seattle approaches the 2022 draft. While finding a quarterback is obviously extremely important moving forward, a true rebuild means improving the team overall.
Besides a good quarterback, there are a few key pieces that every good should have. This includes a very productive edge rusher or five, a shutdown corner and a great left tackle. The Seahawks, after trading Russell Wilson to the Broncos, now arguably have none of those pieces.
D.J. Reed was likely one of the three most important free agents that Seattle had going into this offseason and now he is gone. Reed was the eighth-highest-graded cornerback in the NFL in 2021. He was elite in run defense and very good in coverage. Reed is a perfectly rounded corner.
Seahawks might need to choose a cornerback over a quarterback with their first pick in the 2022 NFL draft
Now, Seattle’s top corner at this moment entering the 2022 season is Sidney Jones. Jones is reportedly re-signing with Seattle. Tre Brown flashed potential in his rookie season in 2021 but was limited due to injuries early in the season and then was completely lost for the year with a knee injury in Week 11. Brown might not be healthy enough to start next season.
The quarterback class in this year’s draft isn’t that good overall. Even the top quarterbacks, like Malik Wilis and Matt Corral, come with huge question marks. Willis is making the jump from a lack of real competition in college (he played at Liberty) and will be raw in his technique. Corral can be extremely unpredictable from play to play.
It could very well be wiser for the Seahawks, if they choose to stay at the number 9 overall pick (which would be odd as John Schneider almost always trades back in any draft), to take a cornerback first. Reed isn’t as easily replaceable as some might think. The cornerback group right now looks bad for Seattle. To fix that for 2023, Seattle might want to go with Ahmad Gardner or Derek Stingley, Jr. instead of Willis or Corral.