The Seahawks are in the very unenviable position of having both of their starting tackles from the 2021 enter free agency this offseason. No team wants to see its top pass protectors hit the open market especially when there is a superstar quarterback to protect. The Seahawks certainly have that quarterback in Russell Wilson but have struggled at times to keep him free of pressure. Both Duane Brown and Brandon Shell have done an admirable job of protecting Wilson over the course of their stints in Seattle, Brown has definitively been better, but it is possible that neither one of them is in a Seahawks uniform in 2022. It is also possible that one or both of them return, especially Brown who made two Pro-Bowls during his five seasons in Seattle. But the likely case is that the Seahawks will be in the market for some starting tackles and they will have plenty of options to fill those openings. There are 37 tackles set to enter unrestricted free agency plus even more available in the draft. Of all those options, and more, here are the players I have identified as the top ten potential tackles for the Seahawks in the 2022 season.
1. Trent Brown
I have always talked about how hard it is to fill holes on the offensive line through free agency. Most of the really good linemen don’t hit the open market but if they do, they get wildly overpaid. Seattle will have a bit over $35 million in cap space before any resignings, meaning they will probably not be in the market for the top free agent tackles like Orlando Brown and Terron Armstead. Trent Brown has settled nicely into the second tier of tackles in the open market, ranked number 38 overall on The Athletic’s free agency ranks, and that is probably the highest the Seahawks can aim for. Brown can play both tackle spots, which is definitely a plus and has done so pretty well over his career. He has had issues staying healthy over the past few years so that will likely lead to lower offers than the $16.5 million he was making per year on his previous deal. If the Seahawks can negotiate Brown down to below $15 million then he could be a perfect fit on either side of the offensive line.
2. Eric Fisher
Fisher is ranked higher on The Athletic’s free agency rankings than Brown, number 30, but he is my second favorite option for Seattle. His one year in Indianapolis was not as good as his tenure in Kansas City, where he made the Pro Bowl twice, but he is still a very capable tackle. He has been solely a left tackle since his second year in the league in 2014 so that lack of versatility is what puts him behind Brown for me. Fisher does have the potential to be a huge steal for Seattle if they pull the trigger on him. He has played like a top tackle in the game before, so the possibility is there. Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic projected a deal around three years for $37 million for Fisher, which could fit within the Seahawks’ financials for the 2022 season.
3. Max Mitchell
Seattle does not have their first-round pick in the 2022 draft so they will miss out on the top tackles like Ikem Ekwonu, Evan Neal, and Charles Cross. That does not mean they can’t land a very good tackle with their second-round pick, 41st overall. Mitchell is my favorite of the day two tackles. The Athletic has him ranked 64th overall in the 2022 draft but it would not be a huge reach for Seattle to take him early in the second round. He has ideal size, standings at 6-foot-6 and weighing nearly 300 pounds. He was absolutely elite at the college level at Louisiana, where he started 37 of the 38 games in his last three years. He was named a second-team All-American in 2021 as well as earning the highest grade from PFF among tackles in college. I like the idea of drafting players that produced in college instead of drafting for prospective production, and Mitchell certainly fits that mold. He has proven himself as a good tackle and I see no reason why he couldn’t do the same thing for Seattle. It is possible that Seattle can pair Mitchell with one of the two free agents tackles I mentioned, which to me would be a huge success when it comes to upgrading the offensive line.
4. Andre Dillard
I mentioned that there were more options than just free agency and the draft for Seattle to find a starting tackle and Dillard is one of those other options. The Seahawks filled their last need at left tackle with a trade when they acquired Duane Brown from the Texans, so they have shown a willingness to make moves for a player like that. Dillard is not nearly on Brown’s level, which also means it won’t take as much to get him. Without its first-round pick, Seattle won’t be able to take a bigger swing for a player like Laremy Tunsil if he comes available but I think Dillard can be a great value for what it could cost to get him. He hasn’t done much in Philadelphia, starting just nine games since being drafted 22nd overall in 2019. A change of scenery could be exactly what Dillard needs to unlock the potential that got him drafted in the first round though. If Seattle were to make a move for him, possibly by trading one of its two fourth-round picks, they would be able to give a chance to play, something the Eagles didn’t have for him. He would also be moving back home, having gone to high school just 20 miles from Seattle in Woodinville.
5. Nicholas Petit-Frere
Petit-Frere was a two-year starter for Ohio State, which signals to me that the dude knows how to play football. As I mentioned before, I like drafting players that are proven, and by playing in the Big Ten, the second-best conference in college football, Petit-Frere has proven himself. He played right tackle as a sophomore in 2020 before moving to left tackle for the 2021 season, earning first-team All-Big-Ten honors. I think Petit-Frere is a player that could step in and start from day one for the Seahawks at either tackle position. They probably won’t want to rely on him to be the starting left tackle right away but there is no reason why he couldn’t be a starter if he makes it to pick 41 in the draft.
6. Abraham Lucas
Lucas might be one of the most productive tackles in the draft class. He was a four-year starter for the Washington State Cougars, starting every game until skipping the bowl game at the end of the 2021 season. He was named to the Pac-12 second-team for his first three seasons and then made first-team this past season. Lucas did play all four seasons at right tackle so that could be his best fit in the pros, which drops him down a bit for me. If Seattle does select Lucas at some point in the draft they will likely be gaining a starting-caliber tackle with huge size, 6-foot-7, that also has ties to the area, from nearby Everett, Washington.
7. Daniel Faalele
If massive tackles are your cup of tea then you will love Faalele from the University of Minnesota. He is 6-foot-8 and over 380 pounds, so he will instantly be one of the most physically intimidating players in the league. He is ranked 52nd in the draft class by The Athletic, higher than all the other draftees I’ve listed. I have reservations about how Faalele will translate to the NFL with his massive size and if he will be able to pass protect well enough to satisfy Russell Wilson. With that being said, Faalele has huge upside (pun intended) and could end up being the best tackle in the whole class. If the Seahawks want to draft him, they will probably have to select him in the second round instead of potentially being able to wait until the third round like some of the other players.
8. Riley Reiff
Reiff’s 2021 season ended with an ankle injury in December, so he wasn’t able to participate in Cincinnati’s dramatic run to the Super Bowl. The upside of that for Seattle is that Reiff may be available for cheap in the offseason. His one-year deal with the Bengals was for $7.5 million so his next deal could be around that number if not less which would be a great value. Reiff has not been the greatest tackle throughout his career but I believe he is a very serviceable right tackle that can play well enough to not be the biggest issue on an offense. If Seattle can get better play out of Reiff than they got out of Brandon Shell and get it for cheaper then I would view that as a big win for them.
9. Morgan Moses
Like Reiff, Moses would not be a very sexy free agent acquisition for Seattle but he could be a good one. He also projects best as a right tackle but luckily Seattle has an opening there so it won’t require anybody moving around if they do bring in Moses. Despite not being widely well-known, Moses has been a solid player recently. He posted PFF grades of 80.6 and 71.0 in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, respectively, while giving up just nine sacks in both seasons combined. Seattle could view Moses as a backup plan if they don’t sign a bigger name that they could be gunning for or if no trades materialize. Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic mentioned deals in the $7-8 million range as possible comparisons for what Moses could draw in the open market this offseason. That would certainly not be too rich for the Seahawks and would stay allow them to make other moves in free agency without freeing up any more cap space.
10. Stone Forsythe
Forsythe is the biggest wild card on this list but I wanted to give him a shot. Seattle clearly saw something in him when they traded up to select him in the sixth round of last year’s draft. The rookie out of Florida didn’t get much action in his first year with the team but he does have one season of learning the offense under his belt, which is more than any of the other players on this list can see for themselves. The Seahawks may not have expected to rely on Forsythe as a starter this quickly after drafting him but if they believe he is ready he could claim one of the open tackle spots. Rolling with Forsythe would also allow Seattle to take a big swing at the other tackle position and Forsythe paired with a great tackle opposite him could be better than two solid tackles. This is clearly the least likely option, which is why it’s last on the list, but if Seattle strikes out in free agency or chooses to go in a different direction in the draft then it is one we could see play out on the field next season.