The first day of the 2022 NFL Draft has come to a close with some usual surprises in terms of reaches, trades and players who slipped. To the surprise of many, only one quarterback went in the first round, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett who’s now a Steeler. The Seahawks were able to address a key need at tackle in selecting Charles Cross at ninth overall, although there are still holes that need to be addressed come Day 2. Seattle should be able to add multiple high-end players due to some of the players who have fallen further than expected. Down below we are quickly going to look at the four best players who slipped into the second round of the draft.
Malik Willis – Liberty – QB – 6’1 – 215
Willis dropping this far is a rather big surprise as multiple experts thought he could go as high as 8 to the Falcons with his floor being 20 to the Steelers, but he was passed on 32 times Thursday night. No team traded up into the first to draft him (giving them the fifth-year option), which is rather surprising and can be viewed as a message that the league might not be as high on him as many thought. Regardless of that, Willis possesses a skillset that teams should be salivating over due to his combination of rare, borderline generational mobility paired with a big arm that can make any throw from anywhere. It is anyone’s guess how far Willis drops at this point since he has gotten to this point but if Seattle can get him it would be a fantastic pick as his upside is just about as high as any single player in this year’s draft.
Desmond Ridder – Cincinnati – QB – 6’3 – 215
Ridder, who is similar to Willis in the sense that many people expected him to go at some point in the first round — whether that was from a team like the Titans or Buccaneerss trying to find their heir apparent to their respective quarterbacks, or a team like the Falcons or Seahawks moving back into the first to take him to replace their recently departed franchise stalwarts. Ridder does not share the athletic traits that Willis possesses, nor does he have the home have the home run, MVP upside but he is an extremely safe player to take at this pick. He is a player who has the leadership and mental intangibles that teams covet from the quarterback and despite the lack of a top ten ceiling, Ridder in the middle of the second would be a great pick for the Seahawks.
Nakobe Dean – Georgia – ILB – 5’11 – 229
As of two months ago the thought of Dean falling into the 20s of the first round would be relatively shocking. However, here we are with the first round in the books and a high-end player of Dean’s caliber is still sitting here. He is the prototypical rangy, athletic linebacker that just about every single team in the league is coveting. The Seahawks have a Bobby Wagner sized hole at linebacker and Dean would be a great start in covering up that hole. He is a tackling machine who amassed 72 total tackles during the 2021 college football season and picked up 6 sacks and 2 interceptions along the way. Many people around the league view him as a similar player to former Georgia and current Chicago Bear linebacker Roquan Smith. The combination of Brooks and Dean for the next ten plus years would give the Seahawks one of the better linebacking tandems and would be a nightmare for opposing offenses to gameplan for.
David Ojabo – Michigan – OLB – 6’5 – 225
If it wasn’t for the injury as previously discussed Ojabo would not be sitting here. He is an unbelievably raw talent, although he has the ceiling of a player who can contend for a Defensive Player of the Year award if he can reach his ceiling. It is a massive if, especially with him coming off of a torn Achilles in March, but it is the type of home run pick that any team should make in the second round. There are some examples of injured players who fell into the second round and were never able to find their pre-injury form such as Sidney Jones, however there are also players like Jaylon Smith who were able to change the course of their team’s trajectory.