The 2022 NFL Season is nearly upon us. As part of the run up to the season, we’re preview all the teams, culminating with our picks for who makes the playoffs and who wins the awards this season. Check back each day through September 5. Let’s get ready for some football!
After years as a perennial playoff team the wheels came off the bus for the Seahawks in 2021. Russell Wilson was injured, missing three starts. The team struggled and, even when Wilson returned, they couldn’t get back in the race. The Seahawks finished the season at 7-10, in last place in the NFC West and out of the playoffs. The season finish—as well as some off-field rumblings—led to some big changes as the team enters the 2022 season.
The biggest change comes at quarterback. Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos. In exchange, the Seahawks brought back a number of draft picks, former No. 1 pick in tight end Noah Fant and quarterback Drew Lock, entering the final year of his rookie deal. Having made no moves at the position this off-season, the Seahawks are looking to enter the 2022 season with a combination of Lock and veteran Geno Smith—who started three games when Wilson was out in 2021—at quarterback.
It’s a make-or-break spot for Lock, taken in the Second Round of the 2019 draft. He was viewed as a potential franchise option for the Broncos but it didn’t come together. Lock is 8-13 in 21 starts, going 4-9 in 2020 and 0-3 in 2021. He’s thrown for 4,740 yards, 25 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. A move to the Seahawks could be a chance to start over and get back to the potential he showed as a rookie, when he went 4-1 in five starts.
The Seahawks also saw veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner leave for the Rams, while tight end Gerald Everett signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. But it wasn’t all subtractions for the Seahawks, which used draft picks to reload talent, including selecting Ken Walker III in the Second Round. Walker had a phenomenal season at Michigan State in 2021, rushing for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns. He figures to be a big part of the team’s rushing attack.
The Seahawks don’t project to have a great offense in 2022. Lock finished as QB42 while Smith finished as QB41 in 2021. I suspect both will end up playing in 2022, with Lock finishing higher, but no better than a low-end QB3. The backfield is also a quagmire. Veteran Chris Carson suffered neck injuries and is likely done, but no formal announcement has been made. In addition to Walker, the team re-signed veteran Rashaad Penny. Penny shined to end 2021, rushing for 749 yards and six touchdowns while making six starts. Walker is the back I want in dynasty but I suspect both Walker and Penny share the load in 2022. I have both finishing in the RB3 range as a result, which aligns with their current ADP.
The receiving group is more difficult. D.K. Metcalf was WR14 and Tyler Lockett was WR16 in 2021. Fant, meanwhile, was TE12 for the Broncos. All three are likely to be rostered, and many were taken high in dynasty drafts. And yet, it’s hard to be bullish about the pass offense in general, meaning it’s fair to wonder how many targets there are to go around. Metcalf is currently being drafted as WR17, while Lockett is going at WR35. Fant is going as TE16. None of the ADPs is terrible, but it all feels optimistic. I suspect Lockett suffers the most, while Metcalf finishes as WR2 and Fant as a TE2. I’m not sure either can hit their current ADP.
The Seahawks are in no man’s land. The team’s Over/Under is set at 5.5, which reflects the situation. The team should probably have moved toward more of a full re-build, but instead they are walking a middle ground. The Seahawks don’t appear to be strong enough to compete for the playoffs with Lock and Smith at quarterback, but there is too much talent to completely bottom out. I think they finish with five or six wins in the cellar of the NFC West again.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.