It's been a busy week for the Seahawks, who last weekend selected nine players in the 2022 NFL Draft, and who on Wednesday learned that they are heading to Germany this season to face the Buccaneers in Munich in what will be the first regular-season NFL game played in Germany. With all of that going on, now's a great time to dig into the mailbag and answer some questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around.
Imelda McGuire from Panama City, Florida asks, "Which draft picks have the best chance to be Week 1 starters?"
A: While a lot can and will change between now and the start of the season, looking at where the Seahawks selected players in the draft, as well as what the competition looks like on the roster, the most obvious choice would be first-round pick Charles Cross starting at left tackle. Not only was cross the No. 9 overall pick, meaning the Seahawks think very highly of his ability, he also is coming to a position where last year's starter, Duane Brown, remains unsigned as a free agent.
Sticking with tackle, third-round pick Abraham Lucas also will get a real shot to compete for a starting job, though he'll face some stiff competition in Jake Curhan, who played well after taking over the starting job for an injured Brandon Shell late last season.
Second-round pick Ken Walker III should have a decent role in the offense right away, though as long as Rashaad Penny and/or Chris Carson is healthy, it might be hard for Walker to start right away. Fellow second-round pick Boye Mafe and fifth-round pick Tyreke Smith may not be starters to kick off their rookie campaigns, but Pete Carroll said he wants to have a deep rotation of edge rushers, so both could earn early playing time even if players like Darrell Taylor and Uchenna Nwosu are ahead of them on the depth chart.
As for the two corners Seattle picked, Coby Bryant would appear to be the one more likely to compete for playing time early on seeing as he was a much more polished player in college, leading to him winning the Jim Thorpe Award as college football's top defensive back. Tariq Woolen offers an extremely rare combination of size and speed that gives him a ton of upside moving forward, but he probably is a littler farther away from immediate playing time on defense, though you can never rule anything out.
The Seahawks added a pair of receivers in the seventh round, and while you can never rule any player out in Carroll's "Always Compete" world, the much more likely path to the 53-man roster for Bo Melton and Dareke Young is to show they can be bigtime contributors on special teams.
@tompage asks, "We drafted a couple of corners and signed Artie Burns in free agency, what is the early evaluation on how that competition may shake out?" And @Rogervanoo asks, "The starting CBs in 2022 are?"
A: It's so hard to say in May how competitions will play out in August, but these questions do highlight that cornerback figures to be one of the more interesting position groups in camp given that there are several viable options for the two starting jobs but arguably no locks who you can point to now and say, "That guy is definitely going to start Week 1."
Again, it's really early, but right now I'd give the slightest of edges to Tre Brown—assuming he's fully healthy to start camp—and Sidney Jones IV to win the starting jobs only because both of them saw time as starters last year. Brown was coming on strong in camp as a rookie before an injury sidelined him, then when he returned, he eventually won a starting job, only to land on injured reserve with a knee injury. Jones, a former second-round pick who Seattle acquired in a trade last summer, saw the most playing time of any returning corners, starting 11 games.
As the question mentions, Artie Burns was added in free agency and he's definitely a real contender for a starting job. A former first-round pick of the Steelers, Burns is new to Seattle but won't be completely new to what the Seahawks are doing on the back end of their defense. With the Bears last season, Burns played arguably the best football of his career under defensive coordinator Sean Desai, who is now on Seattle's coaching staff as the associate head coach-defense.
And as mentioned when discussing the rookies, Coby Bryant is a player who comes out of college as a pretty polished cornerback, and just as Brown was able to come in and make an immediate strong impression, putting himself in position to compete for a starting job before his injury, it would not be a big surprise if Bryant managed to do something similar.
@micahaelpherman asks, "Any Bundesliga fans in the locker room? Also, which media member is most likely to get lost/sidetracked by the Hofbräuhaus on the way to the game?"
A: I don't know of any Bundesliga fans, but it also isn't something I've ever asked about. I would have to think that linebacker Aaron Donkor, who is from Germany, has a favorite team. Tell you what, I'll ask him next time I see him and hit you back on twitter. As for media member likely to get lost/sidetracked, I'm not going to throw anybody under the bus, but I will share that in my much, much younger days, I got lost with a bunch of friends while attempting to navigate the Munich U-Bahn after enjoying beers at the Hofbräuhaus. This was on a trip with my high school German class and I know you all are going to find this hard to believe, but a bunch of 16 and 17 year olds exploring a country where the legal drinking age is 16 can lead to some, um, interesting adventures.
@MunichSeahawk says, "Hello from Munich. We welcome all of you to Munich, Bavaria. We @SeaHawkersGER will make this a home game as we did in London in 2018."
A: Thank you Tom for the kind words, and I can tell you I've very excited to visit Munich and especially to see the way Seahawks fans turn out. Based off the experience in London four years ago, I'd be willing to bet that there will be 12s not just from Germany, but from the UK, other parts of Europe and from the U.S. who make the trip, and to your point, I'm expecting it will sound a little like a home game at Allianz Arena.
CelestialMosh asks, "I'd like to know why the front office is so high on Drew Lock. What do they see or know that us fans are not aware of?"
A: Very good timing on this question, as we just published today a film session video with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron breaking down some of Lock's strengths.
Beyond what Waldron points out in that video, I would say that in general the Seahawks see in Lock a player who in college, and at times in his NFL career, has shown the potential to be a really good quarterback. Yes, Lock had an inconsistent three years in Denver, some of it due to things beyond his control, including multiple offensive coordinator changes and an injury early in his rookie season, but there's also the big arm and athletic ability that made Lock a second-round pick in the first place. Lock will have to compete with Geno Smith for the starting job—and at least early on Smith has the slight advantage due to his familiarity with the offense—but if Lock does win the job, Pete Carroll and his coaching staff will go into the season believing that, given a change in scenery and the right supporting cast around him, Lock can and will succeed in the NFL.
As Carroll said Thursday on Sports Radio 93.3 KJR, if Lock had been in the 2022 draft class, Carroll believes "he'd have been the first picked, of the quarterbacks anyway. I don't have any hesitation saying that." That's the type of talent Lock possesses. And while I know it's easy and sometimes fun to make jokes on Twitter about a player who might have struggled or underachieved, one of the best traits Carroll has as a head coach is his ability to motivate and bring the best out of people, so the Seahawks strongly believe that there is more to unlock in Lock's game than what he was able to show in his first three season with the Broncos, and that they're the team that can help him reach his potential.
@tweetsareduuumb asks, "When do Germany tickets go on sale?" And Brad from Olympia, "When and how do we get tickets?"
A: Tickets aren't on sale yet and we don't have a lot of specifics yet, but if you want to make sure you're kept up to date, head to www.nfl.com/internationalgames and you can register for ticket information to be sent to you when it become available. Also be sure to check out www.seahawks.com/international for all the latest news and info on Seattle's game in Munich.
@onlyusethelaces asks, "How were the Seahawks fortunate enough to get five Hall of Famers in this draft?"
A: Ha! Love the optimism, even if it's a bit over the top. That being said, there is a lot to love about this draft class, including the fact that Seahawks were able to double up on players they really like at three different positions of need: tackle, pass rush and cornerback. Assuming any player, even a No. 1 overall pick, is going to make the Hall of Fame is a bit unfair, but it is safe to say that, after picking three players in the top 41 and four in the top 72, the Seahawks are expecting multiple members of this draft class to be foundational pieces of their future moving forward.
@walkov5678 asks, "Do you have a preference as to which division rival you'd want to face in the last game of the season?"
A: No preference on the opponent, just give me a meaningful Week 18 game and make it a home game so Lumen Field can go nuts.
Daisy Limon from Hampton, Virginia asks, "With the Seahawks drafting two receivers, is that an indication that they would be willing to move on from either DK Metcalf or Tyler Locket.
A: No, not at all. Nothing against Bo Melton and Dareke Young—plenty of seventh-round picks and even undrafted players have great careers—but when a team selects a player in the seventh round, they aren't expecting that player to immediately come in and replace a starter. It will be an uphill battle for any receiver to crack the top four of Metcalf, Lockett, Freddie Swain and Dee Eskridge, let alone make the Seahawks feel like they should be willing to move on from two of the best players on their roster.
Check out some of the best photos of Seahawks players participating in offseason workouts at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on May 3, 2022.