Did the Seattle Seahawks Draft the Best Rookie Class in NFL History?
All anyone could talk about when the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Broncos was how bad they would be. Everyone had them picked to barely win a few games, but now they are surprising people. They are doing it with what I think could be the best rookie draft class in NFL history, hear me out.
What is the Current Highest Rated NFL Rookie Draft Class?
There is a lot of argument about this very topic with many opinions about who the best NFL rookie draft class is. I am using the PFF list because it is one of the most used sites for stats. They have the top 3 NFL rookie classes listed as #3 the 2018 Baltimore Ravens, #2 the 2012 Seattle Seahawks, and #1 the 2017 New Orleans Saints. If you look at those teams closely, none of them had a perfect draft. This year's Seahawks class could be better then all of those.
How Good Were the Highest Ranked NFL Rookie Classes Anyway?
The Ravens miffed on their #1 pick with Hurst but did pick up Lemar Jackson that has been a big star for years. They have 5 picks that were starters but only 1 great pick. The 2012 Seahawks did well with Chancellor, Okung, and Thomas but the rest were never stars. That draft is ranked high because of the steal for getting Chancellor in the 5th round. The 2017 Saints are the team everyone says was the best Rookie class of the modern era. 5 different players on that team were resigned for contracts of 15 to 20 million per year after their rookie contract. All of them starters and impacting the team through their rookie contracts. I think this year the Seahawks could have a better class then even the 2017 Saints.
How Good is the Seattle Seahawks 2022 Rookie Class?
With a total of 9 players in the 2022 Rookie class, the Seahawks already have 6 that are bonafide starters if not NFL stars. So, what players make up the 2022 Seahawks rookie class and which ones are becoming stars? Let's start with the player I have been most excited to see since the draft.
Kenneth Walker III
You have definitely heard of Kenneth Walker III after his last two huge games he started. Taken in the 2nd round, Kenneth Walker has lit up the field with 4 touchdowns (tied for 6th), 411 total yards with a 6.1-yard average according to ESPN. Walker has really only played 2 full games with limited carries in the first 4 until Penny was hurt. He had 2 touchdowns last week, one being a 74-yard beauty down the sideline that shows just how dangerous he is. It is early but Walker is proving to not only be dangerous but an NFL superstar. He has a unique set of speed and toughness that is hard to find in a player. I think he is like Seahawks greats Shawn Alexander and Marshawn Lynch mixed together all in one back. He is also one of a few players in the race for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
If you have not heard of this young star cornerback, you will soon. Woolen is not just a rising superstar but one of the most talked about rookies this year. He has 4 interceptions through his first 4 games (tied for 1st) and has been locking down the best receivers in the NFL. He has blazing speed and a large 6'4" 210-pound frame. There has not been a rookie corner that has ever played better for the Seahawks, and that is including Richard Sherman. Sherman was good, but not this good. Sherman had 4 total interceptions his rookie year, but Woolen already has 4. Woolen's combination of speed and size will make him a star for years in the NFL. He is also one of two rookies we have that should be up for rookie of the year awards.
Both rookie tackles the Seahawks drafted are ranked in the top 4 for all tackles by Premium Stats through 7 games. Charles Cross was our first pick of the draft and has ended up being great in an important need for the Seahawks. Cross is ranked 4th for all NFL tackles but he also has to face the best rushers on the blind side of the QB. 4th is not a bad ranking for a rookie and has held up nicely improving as the season goes on. He struggled at first with penalties but has since tightened up his play. He has also really surprised people with his run block ability that experts said was a weakness. Look for Cross to be a star for a long time.
It is hard to get 1 starting tackle in a draft, but the Seahawks managed to get two. Both are ranked in the top 4 in the NFL right now. Lucus comes from Washington State University in the 3rd round and is currently the highest-ranking offensive lineman in the NFL according to Premium stats. He has been punishing defenders all season and has turned out to be a great pass blocker. If you see a defender being bulldozed into the ground, that is most likely Lucas at work. He was a steal in the 2022 draft.
The Seahawks have two new players with famous names, one being Coby Bryant. The cornerback from Cincinati was taken in the 4th round and currently has 4 forced fumbles in 6 games. Coby has already made himself famous for making big plays and knocking the ball out. His coverage has been good, but it is really the big play and turnovers that make Coby special. Look for him to improve even more this season. He is fearless with a very high football IQ.
Mafe was taken in the 2nd round as a LB from Minnesota. So far, he has 23 tackles and a sack as a rookie according to ESPN. He is probably the lowest ranked of the rookies for stats but is showing more promise the last few games. He is pressuring well and has good speed. Look for Mafe to suddenly jump of the page when it clicks for him on the field. He has all the tools and can be a real force in the future if that happens.
What are the Other Rookies for the Seahawks?
Those are the 6 that are making the most impact, but the other 3 are important even though they haven't showed up yet. The Seahawks lost Tyreke Smith, LB in the 5th round, to a season ending injury. He will be out until the 2023 season while he recovers. His injury hits hard because Tyreke was expected to make an impact this year playing beside Jordan Brooks. Bo Melton, a wide receiver selected in the 7th round has not played in a game yet but is contributing on the practice squad. Bo is a smaller slot type receiver that the Seahawks will grow to replace Tyler Lockett. Dareke Young, another wide receiver taken in the 7th round, is big and fast but has also not played a down this season. He is another big bodied and fast receiver like DK that could help out if he doesn't come back after his injury. All that being said, the future looks really bright for the Seattle Seahawks. If things keep going the way they have been, 4 or 5 years from now everyone else will agree with me.