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 and safety, and today we turn our attention to receiver. Check back tomorrow when we take a look at where things stand at cornerback.
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.
Receiver Draft History Under Carroll & Schneider: Golden Tate (No. 60 overall, 2010); Jameson Konz (No. 245, 2010); Kris Durham (No. 107, 2011); Chris Harper (No. 123, 2013); Paul Richardson (No. 45, 2014); Kevin Norwood (No. 123, 2014); Tyler Lockett (No. 69, 2015); Kenny Lawler (No. 243, 2016); Amara Darboh (No. 106, 2017); David Moore (No. 226, 2017); DK Metcalf (No. 64, 2019); Gary Jennings (No. 120, 2019); John Ursua (No. 236, 2019); Freddie Swain (No. 214, 2020); Dee Eskridge (No. 56, 2021).
Where The Seahawks Stand
The Seahawks have, in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, one of the best receiver duos in the NFL, and their hope is that 2021 second-round pick Dee Eskridge takes a big leap in year 2. And if the Seahawks achieve the offseason goal of signing Metcalf to an extension this offseason, something Carroll and Schneider have both stated is the goal, then the Seahawks would have that trio intact not just in 2022 but for the foreseeable future. But even with those three on the roster, as well as the likes of Freddie Swain, last year's No. 3 receiver, and Penny Hart, do the Seahawks need to keep adding to the group?
The Seahawks' history under Carroll and Schneider suggests they'll likely add to the depth at receiver even with a great 1-2 punch leading the way. In 12 drafts under Carroll and Schneider, the Seahawks have picked at least one receiver 10 times, not doing so in 2012 and 2018, and four times they've taken multiple receivers in the same draft.
The biggest question might be whether or not Eskridge is indeed able to take that leap the Seahawks are counting on. If that happens, as Carroll is expecting, then drafting a receiver would be more of a luxury addition and/or a way to help bolster special teams, both of which still could prove valuable.
"I'm counting on Dee to be a big part of what we're doing," Carroll said. "We had every intention of that going in—he showed us enough in the minicamp when he first got started—but then he got banged up. He had a very challenging beginning with us, so he never really did get caught up like he could have been with an off season that we hope we'll put together this time. Really talented, explosive, smart, tough. Will be involved in the kicking game, return game, in time—we didn't quite get to that. He was prepared to; he was a backup all along. So I think he'll be a significant part of the offense in that we can do a lot of stuff with him. He's really talented. It should be real obvious."
Rob Rang's Top 5 Receivers
The 2022 receiver class may lack the elite talent at the top that last year's group boasted with 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase (Cincinnati Bengals) and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith (Philadelphia Eagles) but the depth is outstanding with a pick-your-own-flavor collection of future NFL standouts expected to be one of the most popular position groups among the first 50 picks. Better yet, future starters will likely still be on the board throughout the middle rounds. The Seahawks already boast two of the league's best, of course, in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett with plenty expected from last year's top pick, Dee Eskridge, in his second season but one simply cannot have too many playmakers in today's game.
1. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State, 6-0, 183, 4.38, First Round
Given that he starred for one of the league's great football factories, Wilson is actually surprisingly unpolished as a route-runner. His speed and natural hands, however, give him the edge in a tightly-ranked top of the class. Similar to Smith, Wilson possesses excellent body control and sticky, strong hands to make circus grabs, as well as the breakaway speed to score from anywhere on the field.
2. Jameson Williams, Alabama, 6-2, 179, 4.35 (est.), First Round
In a testament to just how talented the Ohio State receiving corps was, Williams transferred to Alabama for more playing time, where he proved an instant star for new Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young in 2021, exploding for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns after catching just 15 passes in his previous two years for the Buckeyes. Williams is a thoroughbred, using his long legs to swiftly accelerate downfield, tracking the ball beautifully. He suffered a torn ACL in the national championship game loss to Georgia and may miss the entire 2022 season in his recovery. Nevertheless, his talent justifies first round consideration.
3. Drake London, Southern California, 6-3, 219, 4.55 (est.), First Round
Drawing comparisons to Tampa Bay Buccaneers' star Mike Evans since he stepped onto the USC campus, London played a different brand of 'ball at receiver than Pac-12 enthusiasts are used to seeing, bullying smaller cornerbacks with his size, strength and leaping ability. London lacks the top-end speed of some of his peers. Scouts are eager to see just how fast he is – but they're being forced to wait as he was still recovering at the Combine from a fractured right ankle that abruptly ended his 2021 season.
4. Treylon Burks, Arkansas, 6-2, 225, 4.55, First Round
Don't let the disappointing 40-yard dash time fool you, Burks was a big play magnet for the Razorbacks, averaging an impressive 16.7 yards per catch against the SEC in 2021 with 11 touchdowns, including two (on eight grabs for 179 yards) against mighty Alabama. He accelerates quickly for a big man, surprising cornerbacks with his sudden stops and starts to get free before and after the catch.
5. Chris Olave, Ohio State, 6-0, 187, 4.39, First Round
A gliding speedster who left Ohio State as the program's all-time touchdown reception king (35), Olave is a buttery-smooth athlete at his best tracking down deep balls. He shifts gears effortlessly, offering the reliable route-running to quickly make an impression on his future NFL quarterback. Olave is nearly olive branch thin, however, and that lack of playing strength will show up, at times, when defenders time their hits right.
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.