With each passing week, it is becoming more and more evident that the Seahawks' 2022 draft class is a special one.
From the rare feat of opening a season with rookies starting at both tackle spots, to the playmaking ability in the secondary of Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant, to Boye Mafe's development into a starting outside linebacker, to most recently, Kenneth Walker III bursting on the scene after taking over the starting running back job, the Seahawks have been getting big contributions out of six rookies in starting roles.
And this week, another sign of how good this draft class has been presented itself with Woolen being named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Month for October, and with Walker earning Offensive Rookie of the Month honors.
It's the first time since the league started handing out Rookie of the Month awards in 1996 that teammates have been honored in the same month. With Geno Smith winning NFC Offensive Player of the Month, it's also the first time a team has had a Player of the Month and two Rookies of the Month in the same month.
Woolen, who first showed off his knack for making plays when he blocked a field goal in Week 2, with Mike Jackson returning it for a touchdown, has an NFL-leading four interceptions as well as two fumble recoveries, with three of those interceptions, one of them a 40-yard pick-six, and both fumble recoveries coming in October.
Walker, meanwhile, saw his rookie season get off to a slow start due to a hernia procedure that kept him out of the season-opener, but he has been one of the league's most productive running backs since taking over for an injured Rashaad Penny. In five games this month, only three of them starts, Walker has rushed for 432 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry, and scored five touchdowns, including runs of 69 and 74 yards. And despite having a limited role early in the season, Walker's five runs of 20 or more yards are tied with Penny, among others, for fourth most in the NFL, trailing only Nick Chubb, Saquon Barkley and Travis Etienne.
"That rookie class, they didn't miss," said quarterback Geno Smith, who was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month on Wednesday. "Every single one of those guys are studs. They're contributing. And you can see them growing every single week, each one of those guys. And for those guys to be young rookies and to be stepping up the way that they are, I think it speaks volumes to them personally as players and then to the organization and front office and scouts for selecting those guys."