2022 NFL Draft: 4 Players the Seattle Seahawks Must Target With the No. 9 Overall Pick

The 2022 NFL Draft is nearly upon us, and the Seattle Seahawks will have a difficult decision to make with the ninth overall pick. Unless, of course, the Super Bowl 48 champions trade down in an attempt to secure more selections.

Welcome to the early stages of the post-Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner era, one where every pick will matter. Yes, even a seventh-round choice could find himself onto the roster as the Seahawks enter a transitional period.

So, who should the Seahawks draft in the first round? As with our mock drafts, we picked players based on need and team fit. Also, all prospects are ranked alphabetically as opposed to preference or potential. Although we did allude to the idea of Seattle trading down, we will not create trade packages here.

Based on consideration of the aforementioned prerequisites, we believe the Seahawks should target the following players with the ninth overall pick.

Honorable mention: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

As much as I like Corral, I don’t know if I trust the idea of selecting him this early. If the Seahawks want to trade down and select him later in the first, I could live with that approach, especially given the presence of Drew Lock and Geno Smith on the roster. I’m also not opposed to Seattle simply waiting and selecting a quarterback early in the second round.

With that said, Corral can beat teams with his arm and his legs, and he regularly impressed against SEC defenses in 2021. It is also worth noting Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll mentored Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin, who himself spent the last two seasons with Corral in Oxford.

Although I’m listing Corral as an honorable mention here, I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle simply selects him this early.

Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

The recent pre-draft buzz has Cross potentially going within the first five picks, and the impressive tackle prospect is undoubtedly deserving. However, I believe he’ll be in play for the Seahawks at No 9, which would be stellar news for the three-time NFC champions.

The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Cross is an intelligent blocker who only allowed two sacks in 919 total snaps last season. After failing to consistently protect Wilson during his decade in the Pacific Northwest, the Seahawks would be wise to consider investing in offensive line help for the next franchise quarterback.

Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

This is admittedly a reach, and it’s far higher than Lloyd is expected to go; the NFL Mock Draft Database listed the Utah standout as the 19th overall prospect. However, the Seahawks desperately need defensive playmakers and leaders. Wagner’s departure creates a need for both, and Lloyd might fit the bill.

The 6-foot-3, 237-pound linebacker tallied 43 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks, five interceptions, three defensive touchdowns, and forced two fumbles from 2019-21. Although he’ll play the bulk of his rookie season at 24 years old, his experience and potential could make him a top-10 selection.

“He plays with the willful demeanor of an NFL alpha linebacker and is sneaky talented as a rusher either blitzing or aligning off the edge,” NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein wrote in a pre-draft scouting report. “Lloyd will make plenty of plays and should become a good starter as an inside or strong-side linebacker, but inconsistent process could limit his consistency.”

Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Stingley Jr. is the definition of high-risk, high-reward prospects, at least from an injury standpoint. If the LSU standout remains on the field and channels his 2019 form, he could quickly become an All-Pro player and a dominant force in the secondary.

But, if Stingley can’t stay healthy? Something tells us Carroll and general manager John Schneider won’t be around long enough to deal with the eventual ramifications. With that said, Stingley would be my personal choice here if he’s still on the board and if the Seahawks don’t want to select Lloyd that early. The potential is enough to win out here, at least for me.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Thibodeaux is another high-risk, high-reward prospect, or so the media and Twitter-obsessed “draft analysts” would have you believe. I do not consider myself to be a draft analyst nor an excellent judge of tape. I once thought Justin Herbert would be a bust, and we know how that one turned out.

Thibodeaux played with Herbert at Oregon, and I’m not in the mood to be blatantly wrong twice. Although I do believe a team could realistically pick the standout pass-rusher within the first five selections, my gut tells me he’ll be available for the Seahawks at No. 9. Perhaps him staying in the Pacific Northwest could work in his favor rather than him relocating to New York (er, New Jersey) or Houston.

Like Sportscasting on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @sportscasting19.

RELATED: DK Metcalf: 3 Potential Landing Spots for the Seahawks’ Star Receiver