The Seattle Seahawks provided a rare glimpse inside their draft room detailing several potential trade opportunities the team explored. One of the big revelations was the Seahawks considered a move with the Giants to go up to No. 7 but their target was not Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal. Seahawks.com’s John Boyle reported that the team was moving up to target a pair of tackles: NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu and Mississippi State’s Charles Cross.
The Seahawks had both players ranked above Neal, who the Giants took at No. 7 after the deal fell apart. Seattle opted to remain at No. 9 hoping that the Falcons did not take Cross at No. 8, and the room erupted when Atlanta selected USC receiver Drake London.
“As the New York Jets select Sauce Gardner with the fourth overall pick—the second straight cornerback off the board following Houston’s pick of Derek Stingley Jr. at No. 3—Schneider is on the phone with Giants general manager Joe Schoen talking about a possible trade for the New York’s pick at No. 7 (the Giants hold picks No. 5 and 7),” Boyle wrote on May 18, 2022. “The call ends so the Giants can make their pick, Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, then Schneider and Schoen resume the conversation, ultimately deciding not to do a deal. The Giants will pick at No. 7 and the Seahawks will wait until the ninth pick, hoping one of the players at the top of their board will still be available.
“…Carolina picks N.C. State’s Ikem Ekwonu [at No. 6], one of three tackles the Seahawks have near the top of their board. …The Giants use their second first-round pick on Alabama tackle Evan Neal, another of Seattle’s top tackles, but not their highest-rated one still remaining. That would be Mississippi State’s Charles Cross.”
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The Seahawks Held Trade Talks With the Bucs & Packers to Acquire Another First-Round Pick
Seattle also had some opportunities to move back from No. 9, a popular tradition under Seahawks general manager John Schneider to stockpile additional picks. Ultimately, the Seahawks did not want to risk losing Cross and opted to stick with their pick.
“It’s a no,” Schneider told the interested unnamed team before taking Cross, per Boyle.
Later on day one, the Seahawks had discussions with both the Buccaneers (No. 27) and Packers (No. 28) to move back into the first round. Seattle had the No. 40 and 41 picks in the second round to use as ammunition for a deal.
Prior to the draft, this had been a popular prediction for the Seahawks to potentially snag the best remaining quarterback. Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith reported that the Seahawks would have made the trade with the Bucs to select Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, but the Ravens snagged the offensive lineman at No. 25 just two picks before Tampa Bay was on the clock.
The Seahawks Had a ‘Tentative Deal’ in Place With the Packers Before Green Bay Backed Out
Smith added that Penn State pass rusher Arnold Ebiketie would have been the Seahawks pick at No. 28 once Linderbaum went off the board. This is not possible as the Packers pulled out of the “tentative deal” instead taking Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt.
“Schneider is on the phone with Packers GM Brian Gutekunst, two longtime co-workers in Green Bay’s front office now running their team’s respective draft rooms and discussing a trade for the 28th pick,” Boyle detailed. “After some back and forth discussions on the late-round picks that will balance out the trade, there’s a tentative deal in place, but there are still several picks to go.
“Eying their board, the Seahawks know that if they do make a trade to get back into the first round, they’ll be able to either add one of their top pass rushers, or double down on the other side of the ball by adding another offensive lineman who is still high on their board.
“…With Green Bay’s pick at 28 coming up, the Seahawks get ready to make their move, but a minute later, Schneider gets another call from Green Bay.
‘They’re picking,’ Schneider tells the room. ‘Green Bay is out.'”
The Seahawks ended up remaining at No. 40 to select their top remaining pass rusher Boye Mafe. With Iowa State running back Breece Hall being selected by the Jets at No. 36, Seattle opted to take the top rusher remaining on their board: Michigan State speedy playmaker Ken Walker III.