Mel Kiper says Seahawks had best 2022 draft class in NFC West
By Lee Vowell
The Seattle Seahawks ended up with 9 picks in the 2022 NFL draft and for 12s it was a feel-good class. ESPN’s Mel Kiper agrees.
Kiper handed out draft grades for each team on Saturday. Seattle didn’t get the highest grade of all the teams but it got the best grade among the NFC West. And the Seahawks absolutely had to have a good draft this year.
After trading quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason and releasing future Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Wagner on the same day as trading Wilson, the team not only needed more talent but also a redefined identity.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper likes the Seahawks 2022 draft class
What Seattle did in the 2022 draft, however, may have exceeded all expectations. Seattle needed an edge rusher, to rebuild its offensive line and find cornerbacks. Seattle did so well, there might be four players of the nine who are immediate starters and long-term successes – running back Kenneth Walker III, cornerback Coby Bryant, offensive tackles Charles Cross and Abe Lucas.
Kiper gave Seattle an overall grade of B+. His reason for not being higher matches what a lot of pundits are thinking: Seattle needed to take a quarterback. As Kiper wrote, “There are several good prospects in this class, but it’s not quite an A because the quarterback issue could linger into 2023.”
To be honest, that is OK. Seattle isn’t going to win the Super Bowl in 2022. The team is simply trying to rebuild quickly. But there weren’t any quarterbacks in this draft that Seattle wanted to waste a pick on.
Maybe Seattle could have taken Malik Willis or Desmond Ridder in round two but then why take them and risk them ever working out when Seattle could get Boye Mafe, Walker and Lucas? Seattle addressing its quarterback issue, assuming Drew Lock doesn’t work out, should come in 2023 when there is a better QB class.
Kiper did call first-round pick Cross “the best pass-protecting tackle in this class.” And Kiper said Lucas “might be a rookie starter at right tackle, which is rare for a third-round pick.”
Still, Kiper gave the Seahawks a B+ which was the highest in the division. Arizona received a B and Kiper wrote that the Cardinals group is “…a sound, if unspectacular, class.” Los Angeles received a B- and Kiper said of the Rams that there is “not a lot here, which means I can’t go too high.” Finally, the 49ers also got a B- and Kiper said, “San Francisco reached a little too much for my liking with its picks.”