No. 40 – Boye Mayfe, Edge, Minnesota
The Seahawks added to their pass rush with their first pick of the second day of the NFL draft Friday, taking Minnesota defensive end Boye Mafe.
Mafe was taken at pick No. 40, the first of two straight picks Seattle had in the second round.
The Seahawks had Mafe in for a private visit before the draft and the 6-4, 255-pounder is projected as a good fit as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense that Seattle now wants to run under new defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt.
“One of the most unique athletes in college football,” Lindy’s wrote of Mafe who ran a 4.53 40 at the combine and had a 38-inch vertical leap.
Lindy’s, in fact, made a comparison of Mafe to Uchenna Nwosu, whom the Seahawks signed as a free agent last month as an outside linebacker/edge rusher.
Mafe had seven sacks last year as a senior at Minnesota.
Wrote NFL.com of Mafe in its scouting report: “Mafe’s evaluation requires the evaluator to focus more closely on the flashes than just the play-to-play action. His combination of rare explosive measurables with average fundamentals could make for a perfect storm of rapid development once he gets focused skill work at the pro level. His footwork is average and he lacks desired instincts as a rusher, but pairing efficient hand work with twitchy upper-body power could turn him into a productive rush bully. He has the traits and toughness to develop into an above-average starter as a 4-3 base end.”
No. 41 – Kenneth Walker III, Running back, Michigan State
It wouldn’t be a Seahawks draft without a surprise thrown in.
And so it was that Seattle took a running back with its third pick in the 2022 draft Friday, selecting Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State with its 41st overall pick.
Running back wasn’t necessarily perceived as a big need for Seattle after re-signing Rashaad Penny last month.
But Seattle has concerns about the health of Chris Carson, who had neck surgery last season. The Seahawks have said it is unclear if Carson will be able to play this season and that they likely won’t know until training camp.
With coach Pete Carroll wanting to get back to a strong running game in the post-Russell Wilson era of Seahawks football the team decided to add to its depth.
Also, Penny is on just a one-year contract and has had durability issues of his own, and Seattle’s running back situation after those two is unproven with Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas having so far appeared best fits as third-down/two-minute backs and special teamers.
That is not the case with Walker, who had 1,636 yards on 263 carries in 12 games last year for the Spartans to win the Doak Walker Award as college football’s best running back.
That included a 264-yard game against Northwestern.
Walker, listed at 5-9, 211, ran a 4.38 40 at the combine.
He began his career at Wake Forest and played there for two seasons before transferring to Michigan State.
Walker was the second running back taken after Breece Hall of Iowa State was selected by the Jets at 36.
Pro Football Focus rated Walker as the best running back available in the draft, writing: “RB1 checking in. Walker went from relative unknown to the best back in the country. He led all of college football with 89 broken tackles this past season, including 20 against Miami alone. … Walker isn’t a one-year wonder. He’s the real deal and has an all-around NFL skill set.”