Jim Nagy breaks down the 6 Seahawks draft picks from 2022 Senior Bowl
The Seahawks made nine selections in this year’s NFL Draft and of those nine, six were at this year’s Senior Bowl.
With that many Seattle rookies being 2022 Senior Bowl participants, who better to give us a breakdown than Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, who just so happens to be a former Seahawks scout?
Nagy joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Jake and Stacy on Thursday and dove into the six new Seahawks who he saw up close in Mobile, Alabama earlier this year.
DE Boye Mafe, second round
After going with left tackle Charles Cross with the ninth pick in the first round, the Seahawks used the first of their two second-round draft picks on Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe.
Mafe, Nagy said, really changed his draft protectory for the better with an impressive week at the Senior Bowl.
“He’s just got so much upside and he got better and better over the course of the year,” Nagy said. “And his best football is far in front of him, too. He’s one of those guys to me that’s just scratching the surface. He had a nice week down here and beat a lot of good tackles in practice and had two sacks in the game.”
Nagy thinks that Mafe jumped up from a late-second-round pick or even a third-round pick to the 40th overall selection thanks to his performance at the Senior Bowl.
“To jump almost a full round I would guess just based off the teams we talked to heading into our week, that’s a nice jump,” he said. “And they’ve got some young guys like Darrell Taylor and I’m still an Alton Robinson guy and I hope they just get him on the field. But Boye is going to add to that mix right away. I don’t know about being an every-down player, but certainly as a pass rusher, they add another guy that’s explosive.”
OT Abraham Lucas, third round
The Seahawks doubled up on offensive tackle in the third round, adding WSU’s Abraham Lucas, a four-year starting right tackle for the Cougs.
Can Lucas start right away for the Seahawks?
“Yeah, I think he does,” Nagy said.
Nagy didn’t think Lucas would be available in the third round, and said that evaluating him was difficult because the Pac-12 is “really down right now.”
“He made it look easy out there. Abraham Lucas was rarely stressed on tape. It was pretty easy for him,” Nagy said. “He’s good in pass protection. He had a good week down here.”
Pairing Lucas and Cross together from Day 1 could be the start of something special for Seattle, Nagy said.
“I think you could really come out of training camp this year and have two rookies as your as your starting tackles, which is an awesome place to be.”
CB Coby Bryant, fourth round
The Seahawks took two cornerbacks on Day 3 of the draft, the first being Cincinnati’s Coby Bryant, who won the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in college football in 2021.
Bryant was a highly productive college player, but fellow Cincy corner Ahmad “Sauce” Garnder earned much more fanfare than Bryant and he was the fourth overall pick this year.
Because Bryant played opposite Garnder, he was “picked on” quite a bit, Nagy said.
“And he responded,” he added.
In addition to being a great player on the field, Bryant is also a tremendous leader.
“You don’t usually get that kind of guy out of the DB room,” Nagy said. “I mean, his leadership is off the charts.”
CB Tariq Woolen, fifth round
The second corner the Seahawks took is UTSA’s Tariq Woolen, a 6 foot 4 cornerback with long arms who ran a blazing 4.26 second 40-yard dash.
Nagy wasted no time pointing out how gifted Woolen is physically.
“I tend to not really like the word ‘freak’ because there’s so few of them, but honestly Tariq Woolen is a freak,” he said. “(He’s) a 6-3-plus plus corner with 33-inch arms that ran 4.26 at Indy. I mean, that’s insane.”
Nagy was surprised Woolen fell to the fifth round because of his rare physical traits, but it was to the Seahawks’ benefit that it happened.
“They got a guy that kind of goes back to the prototype Pete Carroll corner,” he said. “And at minimum he’s going to be an awesome special teams player right out of the chute … I’m excited about what he could be. I was really surprised he lasted that long.”
DE Tyreke Smith, fifth round
In addition to Mafe, the Seahawks added another Senior Bowl pass rusher out of the Big Ten in Ohio State’s Tyreke Smith in the fifth round.
“Tyreke Smith is kind of the guy that you’re not talking about,” Nagy said. “He’s a cool player, too. Really combative, violent edge guy.”
WR Bo Melton, seventh round
The first of two seventh-round receivers the Seahawks took was Bo Melton of Rutgers.
Melton played for a lackluster offense at Rutgers and Nagy thinks he can be a lot more productive at the NFL level.
“To me, Bo Melton is going to be a better pro than college player,” he said. “They struggled to get him the ball. I’m not trying to bag on the Rutgers people there but the quarterback play wasn’t great. The offense didn’t showcase that much. You didn’t see him run much of a route tree at Rutgers.”
Nagy said that Melton played out of the slot at times at the Senior Bowl and looked very natural there running those kinds of routes.
“It was like it’s stuff that’s untrained that he’s just doing naturally as an athlete with his quickness and explosion,” Nagy said. “… And he’s tough and he’s strong with the ball in his hands. He’s not the biggest guy, but that’s what we loved about him the most is what he could do with the ball in his hands (because he’s) so sturdy. He’s got legit explosive upside. He’s quick and fast. He had a ridiculous short shuttle and three-cone and then he ran 4.34 (seconds in the 40-yard dash) … That’s another guy that could stick and certainly hit on and be a starting level slot for them.”
Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.