Jim Nagy: Senior Bowl standouts who could help the Seahawks’ defense

Feb 11, 2022, 2:25 PM

Seahawks Perrion Winfrey...

Defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey of the Oklahoma Sooners sacks quarterback Adrian Martinez of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

We’re just under three months away from the 2022 NFL Draft and while the Seahawks may not have a first-round pick, they are set up much better than last year in terms of making selections.

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In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Seahawks made just three picks, choosing one player in the second, fourth and sixth rounds.

This year, the Seahawks have one pick in the second, third, fifth and seventh rounds and two in the fourth round.

So what should we know about this year’s draft class? And who are some players who could really help the Seahawks?

Who better to tackle that topic than Jim Nagy, a former Seahawks scout who now runs the Senior Bowl.

Nagy joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy to share his thoughts on the Seahawks and this year’s draft class.

As far as position groups go, Nagy said tight end and defensive end really stand out not just for high-end talent, but for depth. That especially the case when it comes to edge rushers, which the Seahawks could use more of.

“That edge group is really strong. And you saw it last week here in Mobile … just on the National Team in the game, Boye Mafe from Minnesota had two sacks, Jesse Luketa from Penn State had two sacks, Perrion Winfrey, the interior guy from Oklahoma who was the game MVP, had two sacks,” Nagy said. “So yeah, if you need pass rush help, this is a good year to need it, because there’s a lot out there.”

The Seahawks’ first pick is the 41st overall selection. Will they be able to find an impact rusher at that stage of the draft? Nagy thinks so.

“Jermaine Johnson was another guy down here from Florida State who had a really good week. Arnold Ebiketi from Penn State (did as well). That edge crew is strong,” Nagy said. “Last year’s class had good edge talent, but there was really nothing inside. It was a really lean year on the interior defensive line … There are good players that could come in and play a role at minimum into the third round. You can always find a gem in the fourth or fifth round that can come in and play a role, but I think those first three rounds are stocked with defensive line talent, and it really won’t matter where the run starts, because there’s good depth.”

Who look like Seahawks?

Nagy knows Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider very well from his time working as a scout for Seattle. So who are players that he thinks look like Seahawks?

“Tariq Woolen, a big corner from from UTSA,” Nagy said. “He’s a kid that played receiver his first couple years at UTSA. He’s been a corner the past two years and made a big jump this year. I think we measured him at right at right at 6-4. I mean, he’s an old school Seahawks corner now. He’s 6-4, 210 pounds and he’s gonna run in the low 4.3s, or maybe the 4.2s (in the 40-yard dash). He was the fastest guy that we’ve ever had in the Senior Bowl.”

Going to the pass rush, where the Seahawks could use a boost at, Nagy had another small-school guy to keep an eye on.

“DeAngelo Malone is a pass rusher from Western Kentucky who’s the two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year,”  he said. “Really explosive edge player … Just a really twitched up, bouncy, explosive athlete that I think will appeal to kind of what they’ve always looked for in Seattle like going back to Frank Clark. Just an explosive edge playmaker. DeAngelo Malone kind of fits that as well.”

Last offseason, the Seahawks parted ways with pass-rushing defensive tackle Jarran Reed. Are there any interior defensive linemen who could help Seattle’s pass rush?

Nagy again pointed to Perrion Winfrey from Oklahoma.

“This guy was playing out of position at Oklahoma,” Nagy said, adding that Winfrey lined up at nose tackle instead of 3-technique, where his skillset is better served. “He’s 6-5, he’s got 35.5-inch arms,  really heavy hands. Most guys that are that long and angular aren’t very explosive, and this dude is super explosive.”

Nagy called Winfrey tall, high-hipped with an “angular build” and that when lined up at 3-technique at the Senior Bowl, he “gave people fits.”

“Anyone that’s that long and explosive, they’re just hard to handle,” Nagy said. “He’s a hard guy to block and he’s kind of a bull in a China shop. He’s one of those guys if you’re an offensive lineman, he’s hard to block just because he’s all over the place. And he plays his butt off. He’s one of the most competitive guys we’ve had here in the last four years. This guy on gameday last Saturday, I mean, he was stalking the sidelines like foaming at the mouth, he was so juiced up and ready to go.”

Prior to the Senior Bowl, Nagy thought Winfrey was a third-round pick.

Now? Nagy would be surprised if he makes it to the Seahawks’ first selection.

“After what he did down here I’d be shocked if he gets out of the first round,” Nagy said. “He’s similar in terms of body type to Malik McDowell who we picked back when I was there (with the Seahawks). This guy’s a way better player than Malik McDowell was ever thought to be and he’s a guy that could come in and help them right away.”

You can hear the full conversation with Nagy from Thursday’s Jake and Stacy in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Jim Nagy: Senior Bowl standouts who could help the Seahawks’ defense