The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off later this month, and due to the trade that sent Russell Wilson to Denver, the Seahawks are loaded with the most draft capital they've had in the last decade, including the ninth overall pick, their first Top 10 pick since 2010, John Schneider and Pete Carroll's first draft in Seattle.
With eight total picks, including three in the top 41 and four in the top 72, the Seahawks are looking to use this year's draft to help reach Carroll's stated goal of building "the most competitive roster in the NFL."
"This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to help our franchise, which is what we're here to do," Carroll said of the 2022 and 2023 draft capital acquired in the Wilson trade. "We're doing everything we can to make it as good as we can possibly make it.
"We've got to make this the most competitive roster in the NFL, that's what we're out to do, and that means all the way through the ranks. That means you're going to get young, but we're going to mix it with a group of experienced players as well. That's the chemistry we have to create."
With the draft coming up soon, Seahawks.com is taking a position-by-position look at where things currently stand for the Seahawks, as well as the top draft prospects at each position. We'll also look at Seattle's draft history at each position over the past 12 drafts under Schneider and Carroll.
So far, we've covered quarterback, safety, receiver and cornerback and today we turn our attention to tight end. Check back Monday when we take a look at where things stand at linebacker.
Seattle's 2022 Draft Picks: Round 1, No. 9 overall; Round 2, No. 40 overall; Round 2, No. 41 overall; Round 3, No. 72 overall; Round 4, No. 109 overall; Round 5, No. 145 overall; Round 5, No. 153 overall; Round 7, No. 229 overall.
Tight End Draft History Under Carroll & Schneider: Anthony McCoy (No. 185 overall, 2010); Luke Willson (No. 158, 2013); Nick Vannett (No. 94, 2016); Will Dissly (No. 120, 2018); Colby Parkinson (No. 133, 2020); Stephen Sullivan (No. 251, 2020; also played DE).
Where The Seahawks Stand
The Seahawks were ready to draft Noah Fant with their first-round pick three years ago, but Denver beat them to the punch. Now Fant is a Seahawk, having come to Seattle as part of the Russell Wilson trade, and Fant is “striving for more” in his first season with the Seahawks. With Will Dissly re-signing early in free agency, and with Fant hopefully taking his game to another level, the Seahawks should have a strong top two at tight end. The Seahawks also have a tantalizing young talent in Colby Parkinson, a 2020 fourth-round pick whose play time and production has been limited, in part by injury, during his first two seasons, and Tyler Mabry, who split time between the practice squad and 53-man roster last year.
All of that means the Seahawks likely won't be in the market for a tight end in the early rounds of the draft, even after losing Gerald Everett in free agency, but as Schneider always likes to point out, roster building is a never-ending process, so even with a solid group already in place, Seattle could always look to add more depth, particularly in the later rounds.
Rob Rang's Top 5 Tight Ends
While Drew Lock understandably has generated most of the attention among the three veterans brought to Seattle as compensation in the Russell Wilson trade, 24-year-old Noah Fant is the freakish talent of the bunch, boasting a blend of size, speed and soft hands that would easily make him the top tight end prospect in this year's class and among the most gifted players the Seahawks have ever employed at the position. With Fant, Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson all under contract, Seattle may skip this tight end group entirely. That would not be a bad strategy as this year's class reminds me of the one we saw in 2015 – when the first tight end off the board did not come until No. 55 overall – the longest wait in modern league history at this position.
1. Trey McBride, Colorado State, 4.75 (est.), Second-Third Round
The reigning Mackey Award winner as the nation's top tight end, McBride was the clear-cut focal point of Colorado State's offense in 2021, hauling in twice as many passes as his closest teammate with a staggering 90 grabs for 1,121 yards, albeit for just one score. Like most of the rest of this class, McBride lacks eye-popping athleticism, but he's a savvy, snappy route-runner with soft mitts.
2. Jelani Woods, Virginia, 6-7, 253, 4.61, Third Round
Boasting the most exciting combination of size, strength and speed of this position group, Woods' perceived upside could push him past McBride as the top tight end in this class. He signed with Oklahoma State as a quarterback and has made exciting improvement as a blocker and receiver since, transferring to Virginia this past year with just 23 career receptions to explode for 44 receptions for 598 yards and eight scores in 11 games, earning All-ACC honors. Woods turned heads at the East-West Shrine Bowl and Combine.
3. Charlie Kolar, Iowa State, 6-7, 252, 4.75 (est.), Third/Fourth Round
If the Cyclones' star running back, Breece Hall, wasn't running in touchdowns, Kolar was catching them, racking up an impressive 23 scores over the past four seasons to rank as one of the nation's most consistent redzone threats since 2018. Despite possessing nearly the exact same size as the aforementioned Woods, Kolar has a much ganglier frame, looking and playing more of a big receiver role than as the traditional in-line blocker his bulk suggests.
4. Cade Otton, Washington, 6-5, 247, 4.80 (est.), Third/Fourth Round
Offering a similar set of vacuum-like hands as his Washington predecessor, Dissly, Otton is an intermediate level security blanket for quarterbacks, incorporating sharp route-running with a broad frame and reliable ball skills. He comes from football royalty in the state of Washington with his grandfather, Sid, the state's all-time wins leader for high school football and his father, Tim, currently coaching at Tumwater.
5. Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina, 6-5, 245, 4.70 (est.), Third/Fourth Round
Possessing a similar frame and game as former Seahawk (and new Los Angeles Charger) Gerald Everett, Likely is a classic "move" tight end with good agility and body control. He was originally recruited as a receiver but kept growing, topping out this past season as the nation's leader at the position with 12 touchdown receptions.
One of the most recognized names in the industry, Rob Rang has been covering the NFL Draft for more than 20 years, with work at FOX, Sports Illustrated, CBSSports.com, USA Today, Yahoo, NFL.com and NFLDraftScout.com, among others. Rang's opinions and evaluations are his own and do not reflect those of the Seahawks.
NFL Draft expert Rob Rang identifies tight end prospects the Seahawks could target in the 2022 NFL Draft.