A Defense Wins Championships Mock Draft Scenario For The Seattle Seahawks

Well, here we are. Just about a week away from the NFL Draft, and I cannot stop the obsessing. I am soaking up the articles, the podcasts, and YouTube videos. I’m dialed in!

A great Seattle rapper once famously rhymed that he liked big butts and he could not lie, and the same holds true for myself. I believe God made big butts to love, and I especially love big butts when it comes to the defensive tackle and nose tackle positions, which I still see as the Seattle Seahawks’ biggest need positions.

Last week, I drew up a mock scenario where the Seattle Seahawks have fallen so incredibly in love with a quarterback that they needed to trade up to get him. Could happen, probably won’t, but you never know.

This week, I’m going in a very opposite direction. No trade up, and no quarterback taken high.

I am working on a premise that all of Seattle’s outward interest in quarterbacks at their pro days wasn’t all that serious, and perhaps it was all partially motivated to get teams to trade up into the top five in order to gobble up all of the four dudes most commonly mentioned. In this scenario, I am going to paint a picture in which two teams move up into the top five to take a quarterback.

I have Alabama’s Bryce Young going first overall to the Carolina Panthers. Despite his slight size, he seems to be the player most believe has the surest traits to succeed right away in terms of his processing, accuracy, arm strength, character, and athletic abilities. Some people compare him to NBA superstar Steph Curry in terms of his natural abilities and instincts vastly outweighing his lack of physical stature.

Next, I have the Houston Texans punting on the quarterback position, and selecting Will Anderson at two overall, who I will buy into head coach DeMeco Ryans being completely in love with. Maybe Houston takes a shot on Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker with their next pick.

Now, with Houston throwing that fork ball, I have Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud landing to pick three, and the Raiders trading with Arizona in order to take “their guy.” Stroud is apparently keen on playing for Vegas, and nobody believes that Jimmy G is their answer to moving on from Derek Carr.

So then, I have the Colts scooping up Anthony Richardson right in front of Seattle, and taking the dude who probably has the highest overall upside out of any player in this draft, as raw as he might be. If new Colts head coach Shane Steichen wants to mimic what he did in Philly with Jalen Hurts, he couldn’t ask for a better physical specimen than Richardson to run that scheme.

Now, onto Seattle. What do they do?

Ring, ring, ring..

Multiple teams come calling Seattle, and the Atlanta Falcons offer up picks 8, 44, and 75 in order to out compete others for the opportunity to draft Kentucky QB Will Levis. Arthur Blank is an aggressive NFL owner, and his team was aggressively active bringing in quality veterans to fill out his roster in order for a rookie quarterback to step in now, and they believe Levis is a natural fit for their system.

In turn, Seattle gets an attractive haul in a small trade back, and now has six picks in the top 75 of this draft to play with. This, ladies and gents, might be their masterplan. Get teams to bite on the quarterback early in order to have talented players at other positions fall, and entice a handsome trade back.

With the 8th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks Select Jalen Carter, Defensive Tackle, Georgia

The Lions take Devon Witherspoon at 6, (getting the knee biting corner Dan Campbell coveted), and Arizona elects to take Tyree Wilson over Jalen Carter, who they feel is the safer choice. This allows Carter to fall into Seattle’s lap, and there it is.

Some fans will hate it, but Jalen Carter has the natural rare talents to wreck offensive game plans at defensive tackle, and that is a unicorn in the NFL. Very few men on this planet can do that, and he could easily become one of them. Think vintage Cortez Kennedy or Warren Sapp. Seattle roles the dice in the hopes of seeing him paired with Dre’Mont Jones to become the best interior pass rushing tandem in the league for years to come.

With the 20th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Kelee Ringo, Cornerback, Georgia

Seattle goes back to back Georgia defenders to fix their defense and pass rush. Ringo is a long, fast, physical freak who can be tough on receivers at the line of scrimmage, and is crappy in run support. Like Tariq Woolen last year, he will come in with blemishes to his game, but that won’t scare Pete Carroll. When you pair his traits falling within to what Seattle loves at corner with the fact that he’s a local kid from Tacoma, and has spent time training with none other than Richard Sherman, himself, I’m comfortable connecting a lot of dots with his potential of becoming a Seattle Seahawk. I can see this being a thing.

With the 37th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Mazi Smith, Nose Tackle, Michigan

What did I say about how much I like big butts? I cannot lie about that, and I especially love them on nose tackles. Mazi Smith is a big man at 6-3 323 pounds, and he’s a strong, athletic, speedy wrecking ball. When Seattle cut Al Woods, my first thought was that they have plan with this draft, and I think it’s could be this guy.

While some might feel like drafting Jalen Carter and Mazi Smith is an overkill at defensive tackle, I beg to differ. I think it would be super exciting. I also think they are different style of players. Smith is a natural nose tackle, and a highly athletic one. Carter is a classic 3 tech, and would allow Dre’Mont Jones to play big end. As Seattle probably leans further into a bear front defense, I think all three of these guys working together inside would provide optimal opportunities to be an extremely successful defensive line. In fact, I think this could be Clint Hurtt’s ideal group of starters up front.

With the 44th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Luke Wypler, Center, Ohio State

This is the second time in two weeks that I have mocked Wypler to Seattle in round two. I think Seattle wants to walk out of this draft with a starting center they feel really good about, and I think Wypler has an athletic profile that fits their zone blocking scheme really well. They have been directly linked to Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz, and Wisconsin center Joe Tippman, but I see those guys going sooner than pick 44. I can see them also being attracted to Michigan’s Olusegun Oluwatimi, as well. At any rate, I think all signs point to Seattle drafting one of these guys, and I don’t think they wait out the position very long.

With the 52nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Jack Campbell, Linebacker, Iowa

Seattle picks up an old school type linebacker built very much like KJ Wright, and who plays the game in a very similar solid if not totally spectacular kinda way. He’s long, big, instinctive against the run and pass with sound awareness, and has decent speed to play the game. To me, that’s KJ Wright, and with Bobby Wagner, Devin Bush, and Jordyn Brooks all not contracted beyond this year, I can see this guy being a very attractive prospect for Seattle.

With the 75th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Warren McClendon, Tackle/Guard, Georgia

Seattle takes another Georgia Bulldog, and this time, they pickup an offensive tackle who could transition well to guard in order to compete with Phil Haynes for a starter spot. Last year, Seattle had no problem picking up a couple offensive tackles early, and rolling with them as starters. I see a scenario where they want to come out of this draft feeling like they got a quality starting center and guard combo this time around. I think McClendon could become an ideal right guard in a zone blocking scheme like the one Seattle runs, and he’s a natural pass protector, as well.

With the 82nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Sam LaPorta, Tight End, Iowa

Seattle takes two Iowa Hawkeyes with Jack Campbell and Sam LaPorta, and they get two really good players. LaPorta is a classic pass catching “move tight end” with top end speed for the position. With Will Dissly coming off yet another serious injury, and Coby Parkinson, and Noah Fant becoming free agents next year, I think tight end is a sneaky need area for this team, and this is an exceptionally strong draft class for the position. I’m confident that Seattle is looking to land one of these talented players, the question is just a matter of where. I think at 82, if LaPorta is still there, this is a great spot to land a big talented pass catcher.

With the 123rd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Byron Young, Edge Rusher, Tennessee

On paper, the think the Seahawks are in decent shape with their edge rushers with Uchenna Nwuso, and Darrell Taylor. I also believe Boye Mafe is primed to take a big leap forward in 2023. Behind them gets a bit shaky, though, but I think they can address that in free agency with Frank Clark being still available, or even Leonard Floyd. In short, I don’t think this is as important of a spot to address for the team as I see the needs at DT and LB. That said, there’s athletic things about Tennessee’s Byron Young that I think are going to appeal to Seattle, and they only have Mafe under contract beyond this year. At worst, he’s a quality depth player, but he might be more. Good pickup here.

With the 151st pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Kenny McIntosh, Running Back, Georgia

Yet another Georgia Bulldog? Why, yes please. This time Seattle gets a fast, shifty, explosive runner to spell Ken Walker and maybe challenge for the third down back gig. Great pickup here, and great value.

With the 154th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Max Duggan, Quarterback, TCU

At this stage in the draft, Seattle has been fortunate to land quality players at a lot of crucial areas. Personally, if the draft breaks like this, I think here is a good spot for the team to take a shot on a quarterback prospect to develop, if they like one. I have them taking Duggan over some other guys. He is a twitchy athlete who played gutsy for TCU, has a decent arm, good touch, can spin it deep, and might be a decent fit for Shane Waldron’s quick passing attack scheme.

With the 198th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Anthony Bradford, Guard, LSU

Bradford is a massive man with solid strength and enough speed to pull on occasion. If he’s still sitting around, waiting for his name to be called during this late stage of the draft, I would be annoyed if Seattle didn’t take him. Damien Lewis is going to be a free agent in 2024, and Seattle needs depth behind him.

With the 237th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Jerrod Clark, Nose Tackle, Coastal Carolina

Seahawks close out their draft adding one more piece to their interior defensive line by adding one more pure nose tackle. At 6-4 334 pound, Clark is a huge massive bodied, big ole butted nose tackle who is just going to anchor down in the middle on early run downs. He’s in the Al Woods mold, and now gives Seattle great depth at the nose position.

Overall Thoughts About This Mock Draft

In many ways, this mock is representative of the ideal scenario I would like to see for my Seattle Seahawks. If I had my druthers, this is how I would like to see the whole draft play out for them. Four starting defenders out of the first two rounds of the draft? Yes, please.

As for Jalen Carter, I think a lot of things can be said. He has demonstrated things off field where it is very naturally to feel like he’s too much of a risk to take high. For me, I see it a bit differently, and there is a growing perception around the league that Seattle might be seeing it this way with him, as well.

I sense a guy who is incredibly talented, but who is also very young, and as it goes with a lot of young adults, there is immaturity issues at play. He allowed his immaturity to show through, and that is on him, but it is also within him to turn it around.

I could point to myself when I was in my very early twenties and list out countless deeds that I had done that had screamed gross immaturity at the time, as well. I could even point to many examples of when I was in my thirties, if I am to be honest.

Carter has rare talents that most people do not have no matter how hard they try to achieve them. Sometimes when you pair these talents with a young adult, they just don’t make the best decisions. Things come so easily for them that it can become inherent that they feel like they can phone it in. This is very true in sports and entertainment, and we have seen this play out a lot. I think this has been the case with Jalen Carter.

He has the chance to be drafted high, and make a lot of money, and he will. He also has a chance to develop as one of the best players in the league at a critical position, and in a few years down the line, make an obscene amount of money on a massive veteran contract. So, he has a lot to play for. Not very many men get paid like that at defensive tackle, but the great ones make a lot of cheddar. Therefore, he has every incentive to succeed in this league and not become a Malik McDowell situation.

If Seattle drafts Jalen Carter, I think it’s because they got enough stuff answered from his VMAC visit that they believe this is the right spot for him, and he is the best player for them. It’s that plane and simple. If that happens after a little trade back, that’s all the better, in my view. It just gives Seattle more options later.

Jalen Carter, for me though, if much like Anthony Richardson at quarterback. His upside is too tempting not to want to pass up. I would be completely cool with that kind of risky drafting high. When you are drafting high, go for the guy who could become a superstar, I say.

Mazi Smith in early round two not only provides an interesting partner up front for Carter, but I think also a decent security blanket for the team should Carter continue to be problematic off the field (not predicting that Carter will). Smith, I think initially, is probably an early down run defender as a nose tackle, but I think he has the toolsy traits to also play 3 technique defensive tackle, and develop as a pass rusher over time, much like Jarran Reed did.

At any rate, I love the idea of Carter, Smith, and Dre’Mont Jones being the interior stalwarts for years to come. They would give Seattle the potential of having an absolutely terrifying defensive line, and throw big ol’ Jerrod Clark into the mix, and yes, please, I will absolutely take that potential any time it is offered up. Pretty please, yes.

I also want for Seattle to aggressively go after more offensive linemen, and this mock does just that. Go get another starting guard and a talented young center. Double down at guard. Do it!

But the bottom line is take the most talented guys when you are picking. If you trade back some out of pick five, and Jalen Carter is still sitting there, don’t over think it, just take him. If the most talented guy at pick twenty is a corner, but you like these centers, and you feel alright at corner, fuck it, just take the corner, anyways. You can’t go wrong with that approach.

Lastly, I got no problems with the Seattle Seahawks drafting a quarterback high this year, if they chose. I trust John Schneider’s evaluation of the position, immensely. If they love Will Levis or Anthony Richardson at five, and take him, cool by me. If they shock, and take Hendon Hooker way earlier than many expected him to go, so be it. I will trust that, and be excited, and as I have mentioned many times before, I am a total Geno Smith guy.

That all said, if Schneider sees a guy that he likes a lot in the middle rounds that he believes other organizations are sleeping on like they did with Russell Wilson in 2012, that would be equally exciting. Personally, I kinda dig this Max Duggan dude from TCU. He’s not the biggest guy at 6-1 and 205 pounds, but he’s got a moxie to him, and just enough athletic traits where I think it’s worth a mid round flyer.

Fun stuff to think about, anyways.

I’ve done a number of these mock draft articles over the years, and I gotta say it, I really like this scenario for the Seahawks a lot. Ultimately, I don’t know if they would roll the dice on Jalen Carter, or not, but if they did, I don’t think there’s a player in this draft that I would get more excited about in terms of talent matching this team’s need.

So, that said, I say roll dice, Baby. Give me that big ol’ butt!

Go Hawks.


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