49ers news: Seahawks’ 2022 draft class vastly outshined San Francisco’s

Kenneth Walker III #9 of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Kenneth Walker III #9 of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The 49ers will have to hope their 2022 NFL Draft class winds up performing better in 2023, especially if they need to measure up versus the Seahawks.

The last thing the San Francisco 49ers want to see is the Seattle Seahawks suddenly surge back to being the dominant team within the NFC West.

As that was the case for much of the 2010s in a decade that saw the Niners fall way short in this once-heated rivalry.

Now, though, the tables have turned. Even though the Hawks managed to squeak into the playoffs last season, ultimately falling to San Francisco in the Wild Card round, the 49ers are poised to run the division for the next two or three years with little challenge.

Unless Seattle winds up hitting home runs in nearly every NFL Draft during that duration.

While one draft won’t make a team, the Seahawks have a clear lead over the Niners in their return from the 2022 NFL Draft.

It’s not even close.

Seahawks receive A-minus grade for 2022 NFL Draft, 49ers rank lower

San Francisco was handcuffed a little bit by the fact it didn’t have a first-round pick after spending that selection to move up and grab quarterback Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The 49ers’ first selection, former USC EDGE Drake Jackson, flashed plenty of promise early on but flamed out late in the season and was a healthy scratch throughout the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Niners’ two Round 3 selections, running back Tyrion Davis-Price and wide receiver Danny Gray, hardly played at all.

Read More: 49ers can stay excited about EDGE Drake Jackson

NFL.com’s Eric Edholm evaluated the NFC West’s draft classes after one year, and he didn’t grade San Francisco’s 2022 rookie class negatively, giving it a B-grade.

The Seahawks, however, came away with an A-minus, and here was Edholm’s breakdown of why:

"It’s not a stretch to say that the Seahawks might not have returned to the postseason without the contributions of their rookie class. They received notable playing time from six first-year players — three on offense, three on defense — and replenished some of the depth issues that plagued Seattle down the stretch in recent seasons."

Charles Cross (Round 1) and Abraham Lucas (Round 3) look to be bookend offensive tackles for the next three years while running back Kenneth Walker III could have been last year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, and no one would have complained.

Cornerback Tariq Woolen, meanwhile, looks like a star in the making.

The Hawks may still be a ways behind the 49ers in the division’s pecking order, but last year’s draft closed the gap a little bit.

Next. 2023 mock NFL Draft: 49ers watch rest of NFC get stronger. dark