INDIANAPOLIS—The days are long and busy for scouts and general managers at the NFL scouting combine, but on Wednesday evening, John Schneider and other members of the Seahawks' personnel department took a brief break to receive a nice bit of recognition from their peers.
Making their way from the JW Marriott hotel to Lucas Oil Stadium for that evening's interviews with draft prospects, Schneider and a group of Seahawks scouts made a quick stop in the convention center where they were presented with the 2022 Best Draft Award by Inside the League founder Neil Stratton.
After accepting the trophy and posing for a quick photo, Schneider gave a brief speech, saying, "I love our people so much, and they work their asses off all throughout the year, and they know their voices are heard."
Schneider also pointed out that the group of Seahawks scouts was in the back of the room avoiding attention, "Hanging out in the back, all humble and (stuff)."
The Seahawks' 2022 draft class featured seven players who made significant contributions on offense, defense or special teams, including five starters: cornerback Tariq Woolen, running back Kenneth Walker III, left tackle Charles Cross, right tackle Abraham Lucas and nickel corner Coby Bryant. Outside linebacker Boye Mafe also started three games and was a regular in the edge rotation, while receiver Dareke Young was a special teams standout who also started to take on a bigger role on offense late in the season.
Woolen, who made the Pro-Bowl and tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions, was a finalist for AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, while Walker, who led all NFL rookies with 1,050 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, was a finalists of Offensive Rookie of the Year. Lucas and Cross became the first rookie tackle duo to start a team's first 15 games since the 1970 merger.
While the award ceremony was brief and held in a small conference room at the convention center with little fanfare, it's still a meaningful for the Seahawks because it is voted on by fellow scouts and personnel people.
"To be acknowledged by your colleagues, scouts, who are at the Marriott Courtyards, up late typing reports, all that kind of stuff, going to schools and all that," Schneider said. "We know what it's all about."