The Seahawks will be without their first-round pick for the second draft in a row this year, but their overall capital heading into the late April event will look far more standard than last. After making just three selections a year ago, general manager John Schneider and crew are slated to make six picks this time around.
Those are currently scheduled as follows:
- Second round: No. 41
- Third round: No. 72
- Fourth round: Nos. 100, 107
- Fifth round: No. 138
- Seventh round: No. 199
The second- and third-round picks are locked into the slots listed above, but the rest will eventually move down the board once the NFL announces which teams will receive compensatory picks later this spring. For those hoping Seattle will be among those awarded additional capital, prepare to be disappointed.
Per OverTheCap.com, last year's free agency losses of cornerback Shaquill Griffin, receiver David Moore and running back Carlos Hyde qualify the Seahawks for a trio of compensatory picks in 2022. That said, the outlet projects the arrivals of cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, tight end Gerald Everett and defensive end Kerry Hyder will take them out of the running for all additional selections.
In other words: Seattle will not gain any compensatory picks for this year's draft.
Griffin's significant three-year, $44.5 million deal with the Jaguars was estimated to net the Seahawks a fourth-round compensatory pick, but it's expected to be canceled out by Witherspoon's one-year, $4 million contract. Striking disparities like this have often earned the NFL criticism for the nature of its formula, which has primarily benefitted teams lacking the necessary salary cap space to supplement their respective rosters. To ultimately qualify for compensation, teams must lose a higher total—or better quality—of free agents than what they gained. In the end, Seattle did not.
The final two picks of subject are a bit more comparable, however. Everett's one-year, $6 million contract will wipe out the effects of Moore's two-year, $4.75 million agreement with the Panthers, which was calculated to yield a sixth-round pick. Hyde followed Griffin to Jacksonville on a two-year, $4.5 million deal that was slated to land a seventh-round selection for the Seahawks, but inking Hyder to a two-year, $6.5 million commitment negated that.
After a disappointing preseason with the Seahawks, Witherspoon was traded to the Steelers for a fifth-round draft pick in 2023. He played just four snaps in a Week 2 game against the Raiders and did not see the field again until Week 11. From there, however, he appeared in each of Pittsburgh's final nine games and made four starts, including the team's wild-card matchup with the Chiefs. Intercepting a pair of passes and allowing just five completions on 18 targets from Weeks 12 through 16, Witherspoon was named Sports Info Solutions' defensive player of the month for December.
Everett, meanwhile, proved to be a solid addition to Seattle's offense—particularly in the second half of the season. The fifth-year tight end posted career-highs in receptions (48), receiving yards (478) and touchdowns (4) over 15 games played. Unfortunately, Hyder's first campaign in the Pacific Northwest did not go as well. Just a year removed from an 8.5-sack run with the 49ers, the 30-year old defensive end was credited with a modest 23 pressures by Pro Football Focus and finished the season with just 1.5 sacks to his name.
As for what the Seahawks lost last offseason; Griffin played fairly in line with his career averages. Manning the left side of the league's 17th-ranked passing defense, the former third-round draft pick surrendered 41 completions on 59 targets for three touchdowns and a career-low 477 yards in 14 games. Hyde served in a rotational role out of the Jaguars' backfield and rushed for 253 yards and a touchdown on 72 carries. Moore was cut by the Panthers before playing a single down for them and wound up making three combined appearances for the Broncos and Packers with a stint on the Raiders' practice squad sprinkled in.
This will be the second consecutive draft the Seahawks won't be awarded a compensatory pick. Ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, they were given third-, fourth- and sixth-round selections for the 2018 departures of safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Justin Coleman and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen, respectively.
In 2023, Seattle may find itself in a similar position to the one it does now. Several key contributors from its 2021 roster are hitting unrestricted free agency this March, and the majority of its projected $42.3 million in salary cap space will likely be used to retain as many as it can. But outside additions will also be necessary to bolster a team coming off its worst finish since 2009, therefore potentially nullifying the benefits of any free agent exits it may endure.