The Seattle Seahawks Destroyed The Draft And Are Coming For Your Soul

Seattle next 5th round pick gem??? (Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Bow down to the awesome might of Seattle Seahawk General Manager John Schneider, and kiss his Super Bowl ring. Bend knee to this funny little dwarf, for he is glorious when it comes to value picks in the middles rounds.

Schneider killed the NFL draft this weekend.. again. Time will tell how great this 2023 draft class is, but on the surface, it looks like they grabbed at least four players on Day Three of the draft who can be legitimate starters in this league. In the opening round on Thursday night, they took two players who could be stars, and in the second round, they took a couple guys who have the potential of being high end starters, as well.

Who knows about the small school safety they took in round six, he wasn’t much on the media radar, but it sounds like he is a fast, athletic guy who is great in run support, and has potential at nickel, as well. We will get more into him, and the whole class later.

For now, I think every Seahawk fan should walk away from this weekend feeling pretty good about where this train is heading towards this year, and beyond. Seattle did not reach for talent, and did not get caught up on positional needs when they selected. They just took best available players, and the truth of the matter is that, even though they made the playoffs in 2022, this roster isn’t talented enough to force needs.

They took a cornerback at 5 because that corner was the best player on their board even though their cornerback room is pretty good. They took an edge rusher at 37 even though interior defensive line was a much bigger need, but they found interesting value at DT later. They took a dynamic, playmaking WR at 20 even though they have DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and 2021 second round pick Dee Eskridge to factor in. They took a dynamic running back at 52 even though they already have a dynamic young running back in Ken Walker.

Now, Seattle’s strengths are stronger.

Now, with Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Tyler, and DK on the field together, which receiver is a defensive coordinator going to focus attention on?

Now, with big, physical Zach Charbonnet mixing in with Walker, Seattle has two backs capable of big time starters in this league to wear out defenses in the second half of games.

Now, with scrappy Devon Witherspoon on one side of the field and freakishly long Tariq Woolen on the other, what side of the field is a quarterback most likely going to feel better about targeting?

See where I am going with this?

Instead of drafting a guy high to eventually replace Geno Smith, John Schneider drafted players who are going to make his job at quarterbacking much easier. He also found guys to immediately aid this team’s pass rush in coverage and rushing.

On top of all of this, Schneider found four guys in rounds 4 through 5 who NFL.com grades out as eventual starters in this league.. at positions of need. Then he took a fella in round 7 who some thought would be a third round pick.

That is how you crush a draft.

I give this 2023 draft class for the Seattle Seahawks an A+. I think it’s as good, if not better than last year’s draft class. I feel outstanding about the direction of this team moving into this season and beyond.

Here are all the players in order of selection and a brief breakdown about why I am so damn stoked about each of them being a Seattle Seahawk. Read it and weep.

Devon Witherspoon, Cornerback, Illinois

Picked 5th overall, Witherspoon is a 6-0 181 pound corner who plays with his hair on fire in coverage, and as a run defender. He has great playmaking instincts on the ball, and is a fierce hitter. Fans who loved watching DJ Reed play in Seattle a couple years ago are going to really love this guy. He has a great understanding of routes, and is natural in zone coverage. He’s a pit bull who is likely going to annoy a lot of 49er fans over the years.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

Picked 20th overall, JSN is a nicely sized possession receiver, who like Doug Baldwin, is poised to do a lot of immediate damage in the slot. He is the best overall receiver in this class in terms of precision route running and hands. To me, he has Keenan Allen and CeeDee Lamb like potential. Super excited about this dude.

Derick Hall, Edge Rusher, Auburn

Picked at 37, Hall has the perfect size and athletic traits of players who have excelled here in the past for Carroll. He is right in the realm of Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, and Frank Clark, just a naturally explosive, speed to power edge rusher who can work as a defensive end in a 4-3 or an OLB in a 3-4. He’s scrappy against the run, was a productive pass rusher, and a highly regarded leader at Auburn. First team SEC defensive end, which is saying something.

Zach Charbonnet, Running Back, UCLA

I flipped out with excitement when Seattle made this pick at 52. I think Charbonnet has big time talent. He’s a big, tough, quick playmaking dude who can do it all on the field. He can run inside, bust outside, he pass blocks well, and is a great receiver out of the backfield. I don’t think of him as a backup to Walker. I think Seattle now has two starting running backs, and they are going to split the load, which I find enticing.

Anthony Bradford, Guard, LSU

Seattle traded out of round 3 with Denver, and the desperate Broncos gave Seattle their high 4th round pick, plus their 2024 3rd round pick, which is absurd value for Seattle (thanks again, Denver!) With that 4th rounder, Seattle grabbed this massive athletic earth mover, who I had mocked to Seattle twice. If Seattle would have stayed at pick 83 and made this selection, I would have been fired up about it. Bradford is perfectly sized to play guard and tackle, and is athletic enough to do both at a high level. I think he comes in right away to compete for the starter spot at right guard with Phil Haynes. Outstanding pick.

Cameron Young, Defensive Tackle, LSU

Like Bradford, if Young was selected in the third round, I would have been giddy with excitement. I had him as a solid third round pick, in my mind. At 6-3 304 pounds, with long arms, and explosive traits, he has the size to play nose tackle, and the athleticism to play 3 tech and 5 tech. He’s an old school run stuffing DT with heavy hands to lock into double teams, and shock, and shed to make the tackle. Great value pick here in round 4.

Mike Morris, DE/DT, Michigan

Interesting pick for Seattle in the 5th round. Pro Football Focus had him rated as a 2nd rounder. He was a productive player in college last year, leading a strong Michigan team in sacks with 7 1/2. He did everything from stand up end, to a hand in the dirt inside guy for the Wolverines, but coming off of a high ankle sprain, he wasn’t a great tester at the combine. During a meeting with Seattle, he was asked to add weight in order to play on their interior defensive line as a 3 technique (very interesting). My gut tells me that Seattle might have found another 5th round gem, and he is going to work is ass off in order to prove a lot of teams wrong. Love it.

Olu Oluwatimi, Center, Michigan

With their other 5th round pick, Seattle took a center who Carroll said will compete to start right away. Olu is regarded as a smart tactician, and a natural leader. He’s a decent athlete for the position, and has the perfect squat build for the zone blocking scheme that Seattle adopted. I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle starts two rookies again this year with him at center, and Bradford at guard. I like what this team is brewing now with their offensive line.

Jerrick Reed II, Safety, New Mexico

I’m not going to pretend to know much about this guy because I don’t. He wasn’t on my radar, but the scouting reports I have since dug up after Seattle took him in the 6th round all say he is fast, hard hitting defender against the run with good traits in coverage, as well. Not a big guy at 5-11 195 pounds, but neither is Quandre Diggs. Carroll said he will be looked at as a nickel defender, as well, and will add value to special teams. Seattle makes a deep safety rotation deeper with him added.

Kenny McIntosh, Running Back, Georgia

I’m no expert at this draft stuff, but I think Seattle got the steal of the draft in the 7th round by taking this playmaker here. I thought he would be a 3rd or 4th round pick, and mocked him to Seattle in previous pieces. He’s not a blazing speed guy, but I think he’s talented enough to start games in this league, or at the very least, be a very good third down back. He has very good receiver skills, and a great knack for where to sit down in the open flats. Seahawk fans should feel really good about the running back rotation now.

Final Thoughts About This Draft And The Seahawks Moving Forward

I have already said that I dig this draft, and that I think you should bow down to John Schneider. I think they absolutely nailed the draft for a second year in a row.

I love that they took explosive perimeter players early with their first three picks, and they added an additional starting running back with Charbonnet. I love K9 as much as the next Twelve, but I got really nervous last year when it looked like he was getting really beaten up in late November. In this day and age of football, where every athlete on the defense is bigger, stronger, and faster, I think smart teams load up unapologetically at running back. It is an important position to any team that wants perfect offensive balance.

I also love that Schneider had the onions to trade out of round 3 with Denver to grab an extra 3rd round pick next year. It was great value, and I think he likely saw about twenty to thirty players on his board around pick 83 who he had graded out very similarly. If he had stayed at pick 83 and taken Bradford, or Young, or even Morris, I wouldn’t have batted an eye at that pick. Bravo.

That said, I think the real beauty of this draft class is nailing the value of the picks in the middle round, yet again. Good teams find good value with interior offensive and defensive linemen in the middle rounds. Look around the league and see how many quality guards and DTs there are who where former fourth and fifth round picks. There’s a lot of them. These are not often the flashiest guys, but they are the dudes who make football.. football. They are the blue collars that often decide games. Some teams reach for them earlier and pass over premium positions, but other teams lay patient and find good ones later. I think Seattle did just that, brilliantly.

I think Seattle potentially found four really good starter types in Bradford, Young, Morris, and Oluwatimi. If I were to guess, Bradford and Oluwatimi will become starters sooner, but I think eventually so will Young and Morris.

With the defensive line, I suspect Seattle will work to get Poona Ford, or Al Woods back.. maybe even both. If they do, then I think Seattle has a real interior DL rotation going on with Dre”Mont Jones, Jarran Reed, the rookies, and these other vets.

Finally, I love that Seattle is showing total faith in Geno Smith and Drew Lock this year again at quarterback. Smith has earned the right to be seen at Seattle’s franchise quarterback. He was voted into pro bowl as a starting quarterback, and is probably a top five quarterback in the NFC conference right now. Lock, I believe still has the youth and talent to see if he can be further developed into a potential future starter.

For now, as a Twelve, I am continually embracing Geno. I’m buying his jersey. I love his potential even more in this offense with the receivers he now has, and the added depth at running back and offensive line. I think he can be special in this offense, and he can sustain it for a while. There is no reason why he can’t.

Bring. It. On.

Go Hawks.

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Seahawks Continue Best Player Available Selections On Day Two Of The Draft And It Is Glorious!

Beastmode 2.0

Heading into this draft, Seattle had two big perceived areas of need; interior defensive line, and interior offensive line. Through two days of this NFL draft, these stubborn Seahawks have taken four high quality players who fit neither area of need, bastards.

I love a good bastard.

John Schneider tipped his hand to this philosophy of taking best available players where they select a week or so ago. In an interview, he said that this team has done best at drafting when they avoided taking players based on need, and just went for the best players available when picking. He felt like last year, they went that direction.

In this first round on Thursday, Seattle grabbed the best cover corner and the best receiver in the draft. Now, Seattle potentially has the deepest young cornerback room in the league, and potentially one of the top three receiver sets.

Yesterday, I was convinced Seattle would select a center or guard and then a DT. Instead, the took Auburn pass rusher Derick Hall, who is one of the most explosive and productive ends in the class, and then they took dynamic UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet (a guy I really wanted for the Seahawks but didn’t think would be available at pick 52). Both of these selections are home runs.

Derick Hall brings high percentile explosion and athletic traits that translate well into the NFL as a speed to power edge rusher a la Cliff Avril and Frank Clark. One report I read, suggested that his best fit is in a 4-3 defense, which I find interesting considering the rumor of Carroll switching back to his old scheme (although Carroll described him as an outside linebacker).

At any rate, Seattle only has Boye Mafe contracted beyond this season, so I think this selection of Hall makes a lot of sense. Whether they stay with in a 3-4 base, revert back to more 4-3, or just play the bear front stuff, Seattle needed to add another edge rusher, and Derick Hall brings traits that could make him a high quality starter. He also brings a high character personality, strong leadership traits, and a motor that helped make him a first team SEC defender, which is saying something. This is pretty exciting. I dig this pick.

With Zach Charbonnet, though, this is the pick I was really hoping for, but wasn’t anticipating Seattle making. All through most of last season, I was nervous about Seattle’s depth at running back behind Ken Walker after Rashaad Penny went down. I just wasn’t sold on the Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas combination of depth players.

In this modern NFL, offenses that like to be balanced need quality depth at running back. Teams that want to feature an explosive running back need two guys who can be quality starters.

Zach Charbonnet has the talent to be a pro bowl back in this league. He’s got great size, good speed, he can run inside and out, is a quality receiver, can run through defenders and by them, and is a quality pass blocker. In short, he’s a featured back, and now Seattle has two of them like more teams are trying to acquire. This was an absolute home run hit in my view.

Now Seattle has the potential for the type of dynamic one two punch in their backfield to really wear into defenses like USC did back during their hight of Pete Carroll football. Charbonnet can be the thunder to Walker’s lightening. I am jacked up for this, and Seattle still has six picks today to address the interiors of both of their lines (after trading out of Round 3 for an additional Round 4 pick and a 2024 3rd rounder).

Interestingly enough, there are guys available this morning who were projected to be high round picks on the offensive line in Ohio State OT Dawand Jones, and Ohio State Center Luke Wypler. Could both these guys be Seahawks after today?

I think it would be cool if they are.

Go Hawks!

Seahawks Draft Best Players Available With Devon Witherspoon and Jaxon Smith-Njigba And It Feels Awesome

Shutdown Man (via Illinois Athletics)

In these weeks leading up to this draft, I found myself romanticizing the notion of the Seattle Seahawks drafting a quarterback at pick 5 to groom behind Geno Smith. It was no knock on Geno, I am one of his biggest fans, but I just liked the idea of taking one of them high, especially if it was Anthony Richardson.

I have also fantasied about the idea of rolling the dice on Georgia DT Jalen Carter, even with all of his off field issues, or Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson. Getting a pass rusher at 5 made tons of sense, as did quarterback. After all, both are premium positions.

Cornerback is another premium position, and in my last draft article, I was very tempted to mock Illinois corner Devon Witherspoon to Seattle at 5. He was widely regarded as the best cover corner in this draft, and the team had brought him in for a visit. I opted to write about Tyree Wilson, instead, and now I look less smart.

That’s okay. I’m not here to look smart (as anyone with a fair sense of writing and grammar can see). I’m in this blog stuff because I obsessively love the Seattle Seahawks, and I am happy to say that the Seahawks made the right call on Witherspoon at 5, and then later with Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba at pick 20. I would have done it differently, but that’s why I am a middle aged blogger and landscaper, and John Schneider is John Schneider. I’m better looking, though, and taller.

The best that I can describe Witherspoon is to call him a gritty, self made, pit bull of a corner who blankets receivers, and smashes ball carriers. He locks onto route runners, harasses them, times up plays on the ball well, and he’s an absolute vicious hitter against anyone with the ball in their hands. Pound for pound, he’s the biggest hitter in this class, and I invite anyone to check out his highlight reels, if you so choose, and haven’t done this yet. It’s a fun watch. He’s a tough guy.

He will show up against the run plays of San Francisco, and he will be in the hips of receivers. You put him on one side, and Tariq Woolen on the other, with Coby Bryant out there, and throw in Michael Jackson Senior, and Seattle might now have the youngest, and brightest cornerback room in the entire NFL. That is going to help any pass rush out.

Now on day two, Seattle can focus on the defensive line some. There’s going to be some good ones remaining, like Wisconsin DT Keeanu Benton, or one of my favorites, Georgia Tech DE Keion White.

With Jaxon Smith-Njigba, though, I think Seattle, again, didn’t overthink what was there in front of them. He’s the best route running pass catcher in this class. Think Cooper Kupp, Keenan Allen, and CeeDee Lamb. Shoot, think a bigger version of Doug Baldwin. If Seattle wants to truly emulate the Sean McVay offense, JSN is exactly the guy they needed to land.

I also find it very interesting that his college quarterback was CJ Stroud who is often compared to Geno Smith. He is leaving college having played with a specific type of rhythm passer, and is now in the pros playing with the older doppelgänger version of Stroud. I’m very intrigued by this, and here is a big reason why.

I think this signals that the team might be much higher on the longer term potential of Geno Smith than some fans, and media members are. In short, I now sense they feel good about him being the guy here for a while. I think this opening round of the draft perhaps signals that those looking at the team friendly contract that he signed (with belief that the Seahawks are setting themselves to move off of him soon) are misreading the situation.

I think the team put in protective measures should he suddenly regress, but aren’t necessarily looking to outright replace him in a year or two with some dude on a rookie contract. I think this drafting of JSN over say, Kentucky QB Will Levis at pick 20, signals that they want to continue riding with Geno Smith, and build more of the offense around him.

That’s just my opening round takeaways. Add a significant piece to the defense, and giving Geno his special toy of a possession receiver feels like this team believes they are close, and they aren’t in the mood of drafting for the future.

Here are some players available at the start of the second round today who I believe would be exciting Seahawks; Wisconsin DT Keeanu Benton, Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz, Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer, Northwestern DE Adetomiwa Adebawore, Georgia Tech DE Keion White, Clemson LB Trenton Simpson, TCU Guard Steve Avila, Oregon St TE Luke Musgrave, UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet, Iowa TE Sam LaPorta, Georgia TE Darnell Washington.

I would love to see the Seahawks grab one or two of these guys Friday night. For my money, get a DL like Benton and Schmitz at center in round two, and hope one of those many talented tight ends makes it to the third round pick. If that happens, then I think it’s a home run afterwards.. just like last year.

And yes, there is that Will Levis guy from Kentucky, as well, and Hendon Hooker from Tennessee, if Seattle does, in fact, want to go QB of the future now. We shall soon see.

Go Hawks!

The Most Seahawk-y Mock Draft For The 2023 Seattle Seahawks

Well, here it all is. It’s Draft Week for the NFL.

Only a tiny handful of days in the calendar year mean more to me than the opening round day of the NFL Draft; my kiddo’s birthday, the start of the NFL season, and the opening of Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 3 (cannot wait and cannot shake that Rainbow song out of my head). I’m pumped!

With my first mock, I pondered a scenario where Seattle traded up with Arizona to select Florida QB Anthony Richardson. I continue to believe that he is a guy who Seattle is quite smitten with.

In my second one, I envisioned a scenario where Seattle trades back with Atlanta, and they grab Georgia DT Jalen Carter. There has been a lot of recent buzz around Carter being Seattle’s pick at five, if he’s there. We will see if that is a smokescreen, or not. Carter has immense natural talent at DT, but there are legitimate concerns regarding how much he loves football, what kind of teammate he is, and how hard of a worker he is. I am not sold on Carter being their guy, for those reasons.

Does Jalen Carter love football like Pete Carroll would have his players love the game? Will he work his ass off and set an example for others? Will he be a culture guy, and a leader?

If I am to be honest, I don’t know if he fits the mold of a Pete Carroll Seahawk. In fact, I kinda don’t think he does. There are a lot of players that do fit that mold, though, and I think that is what Seattle is ultimately going to go after.

This final mock draft represents talented players who I think will be strong considerations, and how I think the real draft could most likely go down.

With the 5th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Tyree Wilson, Edge Rusher, Texas Tech

The scouting takes on Wilson are all over the place. Some view him as a guy you take later in round one, but others view him as a prospect with a higher upside than Alabama edger rusher Will Anderson Jr. What I will say is that there are reasons why he is projected to go high in this draft.

At 6-6 and 271 pounds, he has an incredible seven foot wingspan with a frame that will fill out more. In Texas Tech’s scheme, he played all over the place, from standup end to an inside guy with his hand in the dirt, and he created fifty pressures in ten games with eight sacks. He worked best as a power rushing DE with interesting athletic traits for a big man. I think that’s what caught the eyes of scouts. It is not what he is now, but what he can grow to become at the next level, and some are thinking a guy like Arik Armstead or Calais Campbell once he builds up more mass. That, frankly, doesn’t sound terrible.

Trade Alert! Seahawks trade back with the Buffalo Bills and collect picks 27 and 91

With the 27th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select John Michael Schmitz, Center, Minnesota

This guy is regarded as the best center in this class in terms of pure technique and power. Seattle has some need at center, but I don’t think it is super pressing with the addition of Evan Brown. That said, they sent Steve Hutchinson out to Minnesota to specifically work this dude out. I think they would love to find a long term solution to this position, and could be very comfortable taking that solution right here.

With the 37th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Julius Brents, Cornerback, Kansas State

Seahawks take special interest in guys who perform well in the Senior Bowl, and this guy did. He also fits the profile of the boundary defenders that Pete Carroll loves in his scheme. Brents has great length, and is a natural press corner, much like Richard Sherman was, and is solid in run support. With him on one side, and Tariq Woolen on the other, that’s going to help out any pass rush. This dude, in my opinion, is very Seahawk-y.

With the 52nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Luke Musgrave, Tight End, Oregon State

This tight end class is too good to not take advantage of it for the Seahawks, and I think there is some need. Both Coby Parkinson and Noah Fant are free agents next year and Will Dissly is coming off yet another serious injury. Musgrave is a big, physical, explosive, zone attacking tight end who is worthy of selection right here. Geno Smith will love this pick.

With the 83rd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Daiyan Henley, Linebacker, Washington State

I think Henley is a guy who would fit very well as a coverage linebacker for the Seahawks, and is one of the few linebackers in this class I think they have a shinning for. I mocked him to Seattle before, and I am going back to him here. I think the Seahawks appreciate the scrappiness of Washington State guys. I think they sense the grit from that small underdog PAC 12 program. Henley is undersized but plays with his hair on fire, is quick against the run, and as a former WR convert, has natural instincts in pass coverage. I like this guy.

With the 91st pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Tyler Scott, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati

I think the Seahawks want more at the slot receiver position and that will be a target in this draft. I think Tyler Scott has traits that they like. He’s fast and twitchy with a running back background. In this offense, they need more run after catch threats who can also provide jet sweep abilities. Dee Eskridge hasn’t panned out yet. Scott provides instant competition.

With the 124th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Byron Young, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

Last week, I had Seattle taking a Byron Young from Tennessee here, who is an explosive edge rusher. In this final mock, I have them taking Alabama’s Byron Young, an explosive inside guy. I think Dre’Mont Jones is going to be Seattle’s main 3 technique, and we will get more into that in a moment later. I think they want to add another 3 tech to the puzzle, but Seattle normally likes to wait a bit on DTs in the draft. I think round four might be the spot where they look to grab one and this guy is a high effort, high character sort.

With the 151st pick in the 023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Anthony Bradford, Guard, LSU

This is the second time that I have mocked Bradford to Seattle. He comps very similarly to Phil Haynes, who they took in the mid rounds a few years back. He’s a big physical mover of men at 6-4 332 pounds with decent enough athletic traits. They might take a guard sooner, but I don’t see them waiting out the position longer than here.

With the 154th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Mohamed Ibrahim, Running Back, Minnesota

I wouldn’t be surprised if by scouting John Michael Schmitz, Seattle took notice of this Golden Gopher running back, and how well he could take to Shane Waldron’s zone blocking scheme. Ibrahim is a hard charging, quick cutting, low center of gravity bowling ball style for runner who has great instincts for zone blocking schemes. I like this guy a lot.

With the 198th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Jerrod Clark, Nose Tackle, Coastal Carolina

This is the second time I have mocked this big fella to Seattle. I think he’s a young Al Woods type, and a young Al Woods sounds great to me.

With the 237th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Chris Rodriguez, Running Back, Kentucky

Currently, the Seahawks are only carrying two running backs on the roster. I think this signals the likelihood that they will probably draft two backs. Rodriguez isn’t a flashy guy, but he’s a tough inside runner, and a strong pass protector. There’s good value in adding a guy like this late in the draft.

Rapid thoughts This Final Mock Draft And The Draft In General

I don’t believe Seattle will trade up from five, and I don’t think they will trade back, either. I think they have at least a few specific players in mind at five, and I think one of those guys is Tyree Wilson, and there’s a few reasons for that.

There is a growing buzz about Seattle reverting back to Pete Carroll’s old defensive scheme. If true, and it’s a return to his hybrid 4-3, we can see that Seattle has a number of options at Leo end, they have two pretty good DTs with Dre’Mont Jones as the likely 3 tech, and Jarran Reed playing 1 tech (tilted nose), and Myles Adams could be a player on the roster they also see on the rise as a rotational DT, as well. What they probably would need most is a promising 5 technique DE.. a la Michael Bennett.. and that’s what I believe Tyree Wilson is likely to be in this league.

Tyree Wilson has the frame to step into that role now, and he can add more mass over time. He will get stronger. I wouldn’t be surprised if his playing weight in a few years is hovering around where Arik Armstead’s weight is now, and Wilson is perceived to be a much better athlete.

Interestingly enough, there are other players in this draft that also fit this mold, and that is part of the reason that I am not surprised to hear that Seattle might shift back to it’s 4-3. Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness, and Clemson’s Myles Murphy are both in that 6-5 270 pound rage. Georgia Tech’s Keion White has great size at 6-4 285 pounds to play that role, and is an explosive athlete. All three of these guys could be options around pick 20, if Seattle goes a different direction at 5.

I also think the Seahawks are into in Will Anderson Junior. In fact, their aim, if there isn’t a quarterback they covet at five, might be Anderson at five, and one of the aforementioned bigger ends at 20.

There is some reason to believe that Seattle might have Wilson rated higher than Anderson, though. A guy I like to pay attention to a lot when he comes on the radio to talk football players is NFL Films Analyst Greg Cosell. He is higher on Wilson than he is on Anderson.

Cosell believes that Wilson has shown a better ability to arch around the corner than Anderson has, and those incredibly long arms are going to translate well in the league against the run, and pass. He is also dubious about drafting Alabama players too high because they tend to be maxed out on their potential by the time they leave that dominant program, whereas players from lesser schools are still searching for theirs.

He believes Anderson’s ceiling might be good player in the league, but not great. With Wilson, though, he sees a guy that has the physical tools that could make him a great player at the next level, and his few glitches are correctable at the next level with good coaching. It will be interesting to see on Thursday whether the Houston Texans or Arizona Cardinals agree.

This all said, if Florida QB Anthony Richardson is there at five, I think the Seahawks will take their quarterback of the future, and aim for a pass rusher with their next pick. I believe the hype that they love him, and honestly, he’s the guy I most want Seattle to take regardless of whoever else is available. I’m just not confident he will be there at pick five.

I believe Richardson has the highest upside out of any player in this draft, and his rawness doesn’t frighten me at all. I think with Geno Smith in place, Seattle is the perfect landing place for him. My fingers are crossed he becomes a Seahawk.

If Seattle doesn’t take a quarterback high, I don’t think they will draft one at all. There’s no middle class of quarterbacks in this draft. There’s five that might become good to great starters in this league, and then there’s a few guys who might make it as backups. I wouldn’t blow a pick on one of them. Instead, I would try to sign one after the draft as a rookie free agent.

The strengths of this draft are tight end, cornerback, running back, and edge rusher. I believe Seattle is setting themselves up to grab players at each of these positions along with further addressing the interiors of their offensive, and defensive lines. If they walk away with quarterback, receiver, or a linebacker, it will be kind of a bonus.

If Seattle is switching back to their old defensive scheme, I think they might try to lure back Poona Ford to rotate in as a nose tackle, and then add a veteran 5 tech end to compete with whichever 5 tech they draft. They have brought in Mario Edwards for a visit, and he might remain a likely candidate.

I think whatever pass rusher they draft high, they will be preparing to start right away. The recently hired BT Jordan, a highly regarded coach who specializes in developing pass rushers. While I think they made that hire to get the most out of Boye Mafe and other young rushers on the roster, that move was also probably to get a talented young rookie going right away.

Overall, I like this final mock draft. Seattle needs to add more to the defensive and offensive lines, and they do in this mock. They also show commitment to Geno Smith and reward him with a few interesting weapons.

I like the speed of the players this mock adds to the Seattle defense. The thing that I am most envious about with the 49er defense isn’t necessarily that it features Nick Bosa, and Fred Warner, but that it is a really fast unit at all three levels of their squad. Tyree Wilson, Julius Brents, Dayian Henley, and Alabama’s Byron Young are all guys who can move fast at their positions.

Dre’Mont Jones is a quick defensive tackle, and Devin Bush is a fast linebacker. They are adding speed up front already, and I think Carroll wants a fast defense. This is why I see these guys as likely targets.

“Bigger, stronger, faster” used to be the motto of this team when Carroll took the program over. Tyree Wilson and Julius Brents are exactly that.

The draft is not just a few days away. I’m excited to see just how wrong I am with all of this.

Go Hawks!

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.

Anthony Richardson And The Case For The Seattle Seahawks Drafting The Next Franchise Quarterback Now

Associated Press

Ah, yes. Here it is, the thick of April.

For those extreme football obsessed dorks like myself, late April is kin to second Christmas. At the end of the month, it’s three solid days of the NFL draft where every fanbase across America believes their team is drafting players who will help bring home the Lombardi Trophy.

Outside of the actual NFL season, this is my favorite time of the year as a Seattle Seahawks fan. This is my time to pour over the players coming out of college, looking at who fits my team’s needs, and who might be players too good to pass up regardless of positional need.

For the next view weeks, I will provide a weekly article that includes a mock draft for the Seahawks. I see a number of ways they can go with the fifth overall pick, and each week, I will provide a radically different scenario. This is the first one, and with it, I want to focus on an area that can be a bit divisive amongst fans.

As it stands now, I gaze upon this Seahawk roster, and I immediately see a large gaping hole in the middle of the defensive line at nose tackle. That position, in my view, is the team’s biggest need with the release of Al Woods, and Poona Ford also not being brought back as of yet.

So, why then have they been so outwardly showing up to all of these quarterback pro days and taking selfies with these dudes?

Geno Smith just signed a big-ish three year contract extension, and they brought back a young Drew Lock who they continue to like as a developmental player. Sure, the Geno contract is team friendly, and they can eventually get out of it without much financial repercussions, but does a 71 year old defensive minded coach really want to spend a top five pick in this draft on a player who is going to have to sit behind Geno for a year (or more) when that pick could go to perhaps the best defensive player in the draft???

It isn’t difficult to cast doubt on this scenario. In fact, when I use the most rational area of my brain, the thing I sense most when looking at all these team visits with CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson is that the Seahawks want to have a quarterback desperate team to jump in front of them for one of these guys, creating a rare scenario where all four of these quarterbacks go 1 through 4, and thus creating the situation where the best defensive talent falls to them at pick 5. Given the coach, and what is already assembled on this roster, that feels like the strongest likelihood. That’s what my logic says.

So, having said that, why is it that this other area inside my brain is starting to believe rumors that Seattle is especially enamored with Anthony Richardson, and may even consider a rare scenario of trading up with divisional rival Arizona in order to land him?

The simple answer is that he tantalizes too much. Outside of CJ Stroud, no other quarterback in this draft does it for me quite like Richardson does.

At 6-4 244 pounds, Richardson is an athletic superhero straight out of central casting. He runs a blistering 4.43 forty yard dash, and tests out as an incredibly explosive athlete in other ways, as well. In fact, no quarterback has ever been drafted before with his combination of size, speed, and explosiveness. He’s a faster athlete than Lamar Jackson with third extra pound of mass on his body.

You put that together with a rocket launcher arm that can spin a ball sixty yards down field with effortless ease, and it becomes easy to fantasize what he can do in a couple years paired with DK Metcalf, and company. As much of a Geno Smith guy that I am, I gawk at the possibilities of what Richardson could do in Seattle with the talents already on this roster.

It is also encouraging is that his game got better in college last year as the season wore on, thus demonstrating a vibe of being coachable, and also being able to overcome a shaky start in the very tough SEC conference. In games 7 through 13, Richardson threw 12 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions, and in throws twenty yards downfield or more, his passer rating was 132.7. In that final stretch of games, it has also been noted that he showed marked improvement in his short passing game, which is vital to Shane Waldron’s offense.

When you combine what he was able to do with this legs as a runner, with the fact that he played against the top defenses in the nation, in an offense for which he had to go through his progressions, and make reads, it becomes easy to day dream what he could eventually do at the next level. While his overall low completion percentage is alarming, many of those incompletions were intentional throwaways against those defenses, and balls that were dropped by receivers. In short, NFL GM’s are into this guy for a reason.

So, yeah, for me, he very much tantalizes, and in many ways, a team just like the Seattle Seahawks is probably the ideal landing spot for him. Pete Carroll has his starting quarterback in place. Richardson, who is just turning 21 in May, can redshirt, take his time learning this Waldron offense, and learn how to be an NFL ready quarterback under newly hired QB coach Greg Olson (who has a long history developing young quarterbacks).

Also, sitting behind Geno doesn’t necessarily mean not seeing any action. With Richardson, Seattle might see value in using Richardson on game days just to get his freakish physical skills on the field in certain situations as a duo threat quarterback. They could even have him on the field with Geno in order to create confusion for a defense.

In many ways, Geno Smith and Anthony Richardson together provides perfect quarterback security for the team. If Richardson needs longer time to develop, Seattle has Geno Smith. If Richardson is ready to go sooner, Seattle can quickly pass the torch over. If Geno gets injured or somehow regresses, Seattle has Richardson in their back pocket.

So, yeah, I can see Seattle taking a special shining to Richardson. I’m willing to buy this storyline.

He’s apparently an A+ character that Pete Carroll will probably be in love with, he has all the toolsy traits that John Schneider loves in a quarterback, and Seattle wouldn’t be wasting his time having him sit behind Geno. This dude is raw, needs time to correct his fundamentals, and to work within their system.

But would they love him enough to trade up to number 3 with division rival Arizona in order to get in front of quarterback needy Indianapolis picking at 4?

Would Arizona really want to do this with Seattle????

This is where it gets interesting to me. I think it’s possible, but here are to two variables that need to happen.

Seattle has to be in love with Richardson so much that they would surrender valuable draft stock to move up two spots, and they would have to feel certain that Carolina and Houston wouldn’t select Richardson. The other thing is that Arizona would have to have a specific defender in mind that they want at 3, and they would have to feel certain that player would still be there at 5 after a trade back. This is how I think it has to shake out for both clubs.

So, as I look at this scenario, it certainly does feel like the potential for a perfect storm to brew where a couple of rare things to happen with this draft. I can see a scenario where not only do four quarterbacks go off the board with the first four picks, but also a rare interdivisional trade happening between Seattle and Arizona as part of it.

Seattle gets its quarterback of the future, and Arizona gets the guy who can be the new cornerstone of their defense in a rebuild. Both teams feel secure in their decisions to make this happen.

So, what would it cost for Seattle to pull this off?

That’s a fantastic question! I’m glad I asked it.

I dunno, but I kinda think not that much, and Seattle has perhaps the best means to pull it off, I think. By using an online NFL draft calculator that measures the values of each pick, if Seattle sends picks 5 and 37 to Arizona for pick 3, Arizona slightly comes out with the better value by 30 points.

Maybe the Cardinals haggle a bit for more, but maybe they just take that deal, and are perfectly fine with that knowing all the teams are going to take quarterbacks in front of them, and Will Anderson or Jalen Carter will be there for the taking at 5. The security of having “their guy” is just too good to pass up even with an offer of more trade value from another team, and adding pick 37 isn’t too shabby, either, as they can further add to their defense.

For Seattle, having another first round pick at 20 is also key. Maybe there’s a defender at 20 who they think isn’t too far off from Anderson, or maybe they know they can trade back from 20 and add back another day two pick or more (likely in this scenario, I think). Day 2 of the draft is going to provide pretty decent value at tight end, center, edge rusher, defensive tackle, corner, receiver, and running back. If they can knock a need off in the later portion of round one, and three more of these needs in day 2, that feels like a decent win. You’re not likely going to fill every need through the draft, anyways.

Also, we have no idea who presently on this roster the team views as an emerging talent. Maybe they believe 2023 will be the year of Boye Mafe to step up in a big way as an edge rusher, or Dareke Young is going to take over the third receiver role. Maybe they think Coby Bryant is ready to shine as a boundary defender instead of being used as a slot corner.

Assuming that this scenario plays out between Seattle and Arizona, here’s a mock draft of how it could play out for Seattle should such a move up to take Richardson actually happen. Read it and weep, if you made it this far into this article, and dare.

The Mock

Seahawks trade to the Arizona Cardinals picks 5 and 37 of the 2023 NFL Draft for pick number overall.

With third pick of the NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Anthony Richardson, Quarterback, Florida

Seahawks get the player they loved more than any of the pass rushers or other defenders, and believe they have landed the next great franchise quarterback to groom behind Geno Smith.

Seahawks trade pick 20 to the Dallas Cowboys for picks 26 and 90

With the 26th pick of the NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Dalton Kincaid, Tight End, Utah

Seattle surprises by taking a tight end over a defensive lineman, but Kincaid has the skills to possibly become the next Travis Kelsey, and with Will Dissly coming off an injury and Noah Fant and Coby Parkinson set to be free agents next year, Seattle feels compelled to grab another the guy they love here.

With the 52nd pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Luke Wypler, Center, Ohio State

Seattle misses out on the best center in the draft in Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz, but I think they also like Wypler to fit their zone blocking scheme enough to comfortably take him here.

With the 83rd pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Daiyan Henley, linebacker, Washington State

Stunningly, Seattle waits until round three to grab its first defender, and it isn’t a defensive lineman, but an off ball coverage linebacker who they want to groom behind Bobby Wagner for a year.

With the 90th pick in the 2023 draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Zacch Pickens, defensive tackle, South Carolina

Pickens is an explosive defensive linemen who will likely fit well within Seattle’s hybrid bear front defense, and has the athletic traits to pair well with Dre’Mont Jones as an interior pass rusher over the years to come.

With the 123rd pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Sean Tucker, running back, Syracuse

Seattle needs depth behind K9 and Tucker provides enough shifty speed kind on the field to be another home run hitter anytime he sees enough daylight.

With the 151st pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Parker Washington, wide receiver, Penn State

Seattle needs someone to materialize as their primary slot receiver, and Dee Eskridge has not been able to stay healthy enough to take over. Washington is a short compact dude who displays a natural toughness after contact, can be used on jet sweeps, and has natural run after the catch abilities.

With the 153rd pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Andrew Vorhees, Guard, USC

Seattle takes their second offensive lineman here with Vorhees who they like enough to create a competition at right guard with Phil Haynes. Good value pickup here.

With the 198th pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Nic Jones, cornerback, Ball State

Seattle waits out a rich cornerback class and takes a twitchy athlete late who they might like as a potential starting nickel corner, if they look to move Coby Bryant outside more to battle for the left corner spot with Michael Jackson Sr.

With the 237th pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Karl Brooks, defensive tackle, Bowling Green

Brooks provides depth behind Jarran Reed, and Dre’Mont Jones, and Pickens, and could be tried at nose tackle, although he lacks the size of Al Woods. At this stage of the draft, Seattle could be looking for a defensive lineman who has enough traits to be able to backup multiple spots on the defensive line, much like Myles Adams, and this could be the guy to do that.

Thoughts about this mock draft and final thoughts about this piece.

So how would I feel if Seattle made the bold move of trading up to select this twenty year old raw yet incredibly talent quarterback?

Very torn.

I will be the first to admit how much of a Geno Smith fan I have become. Yes, I enjoyed his feel good story last season, but I really enjoyed his play, and I suspect he’s scratching the surface of what he can be as a starter moving forward. Not only to I think his play is sustainable, I think it’s likely to get better.

That said, if Seattle made this bold aggressive move for Richardson, it would signal to me that they believe he is destined to become a true superstar player at the most important position in football, and that is super duper exciting. Even if he had to redshirt a couple seasons to be fully ready to take over for Geno Smith, that would be well worth the pick, if he becomes a player on par with Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.

At any rate, I wanted to present this draft scenario where Seattle shocks, and goes against the grains of most people’s expectations. In this scenario I have imagined, as an entire organization, the Seahawks absolutely LOVE Anthony Richardson, and they believe that bringing him to Seattle is ideal both for them, and him. He is their guy.

The other surprising element that I wanted to present is Seattle waiting until the third round to address obvious needs on defense. I don’t know if this is how it will actually go down, but I can see a slight case for it. John Schneider has said that the key for them drafting so well last year was that they avoided reaching for players, and just took best guys available at each spot, and it paid off big time.

In the later portion of round one, Seattle might see a tight end as the best player on their board, and they don’t want to miss out on him. In the mid portion of round two, they might view center Luke Wypler more worthy at pick 52 than a run stuffing nose tackle.

While I think it’s disappointing that Seattle doesn’t add another edge rusher, I think Zacch Pickens is the type of interior defensive lineman that will appeal to Seattle. He’s long, explosive, and like a lot of players they’ve been attracted to on the defensive line, he’s versatile enough play big end and defensive tackle. If he’s available in the third round, I can see Seattle wanting him there.

If I am to be critical of this mock, I would say that, on top of missing out on another edge rusher, I would be most bummed about Seattle not landing an athletic nose tackle type with Michigan’s Mazi Smith and Wisconsin’s Keeanu Benton both in this draft. Either player could become pretty ideal interior anchors in Clint Hurtt’s scheme.

But that is the nature of the NFL draft. It’s tough to fill out all your draft needs, and you don’t want to go chasing them. Mazi Smith might prove to be a dominant two down run defender, but might never blossom into much of an interior pass rusher, while Dalton Kincaid could become an all pro tight end. Which would you rather have on you roster if those scenarios play out?

Things to think about, certainly, and perhaps there exists a thinking in Seattle that, in order to surpass the 49ers as kings of the division, it is not to out compete them defensively, but rather to make the Seattle offense that much harder to defend. In other words, Seattle is already a better offensive team than it is a defensive one, and perhaps there is soundness with leaning further into your strengths, and to make a good unit an elite one.

A month ago, I would have almost entirely wrote off this exact scenario, but now I am not quite so sure. I think it’s entirely possible, frankly, and if they are absolutely in love with a specific guy like Anthony Richardson, maybe they do this sort of trade up to get him.

If they do, I think it would be exciting. I would celebrate that move.

Go Hawks.

Seahawks Gave The People What They Wanted And Brought Back Bobby And That’s Awesome

(Getty Images)

Rejoice, Twelves. Bobby Wagner is a Seattle Seahawk again.

Things haven’t felt this right since David Lee Roth rejoined Van Halen. Who gives a rat’s ass if Bobby isn’t as fast as he used to be. David Lee Roth’s karate kicks weren’t exactly what they were when he finally came back to Eddie, either.

Bobby Wagner should be a Seattle Seahawk, and he needs to be a Seattle Seahawk. The fans want him, the players want him, and so do the coaches.

This team needs him, too. They have a young defense that needs to find itself now. With five picks in the top 80 of the draft next month, expect Seattle to add more young defenders to it.

Bobby Wagner is the only player left from Pete Carroll’s Super Bowl teams, and the dude can still play in the eyes of Pro Football Focus (who had him ranked as their top linebacker last season). As Seattle tries to further figure out its new scheme, Pete Carroll needs the calming presence of Bobby who has been there and done that at a very high level for a very long time. He needs his voice, his knowledge, and his skill.

Yes, he’s not as fast as he once was, but he can still call a defense and lead, and he can tackle, and get after a quarterback (if called upon). Let Devin Bush and Jordyn Brooks (when healthy again) be the speedy guys at WILL linebacker to make the splash plays. Let Dre’Mont Jones offer some playing making abilities at defensive tackle, and Uchenna Nwosu and Darrell Taylor get after it on the edges, and let the loaded safety rotation make their plays along with Tariq Woolen and the other young corners.

Just let Bobby lead, and quarterback this defense. He knows, better than anyone, what Pete Carroll wants on this side of the ball. I don’t care if it’s 4-3, 3-4, 5-2, or what have you; when he talks, players will be listening, and responding. This, I feel very certain about.

Seattle’s run defense was crap last year, and we all saw it. Sure, it could have been questionable scheme stuff mixed with bad personnel fits. I sure wasn’t a fan of that 2-4-5 stuff they ran a bunch out of.

It could also be that they didn’t have Bobby as the MIKE linebacker, and Jordyn Brooks, as talented as he physically is, just isn’t Bobby in regards to handling the calls, and getting guys seeing the right things, and lined up the right way. For all we know, Bobby Wagner could have been missed in ways many of us didn’t consider as we watched defensive linemen get blown back and Cody Barton late on getting to a ball carrier.

Football is a game where split second decisions matter, confidence matters, and instincts need to take over. Reaction time needs to be immediate, and the decisions need to be right, and when shit isn’t working, strong voices need to vocalize.

However you feel about this signing, one thing is for certain; this team wanted him back. Pete and John wanted him back, and they were talking to him the moment they could. Quandre Diggs, the team’s defensive captain from last year, relentlessly pounded the table for his return to Seattle all over Twitter, daily.

That said, I saw some folks on Seahawks Twitter (who are much more studious of the game than I ever will be) practically beating their chests in lamentation over Seattle bringing him back, and frankly, I don’t know what to think. I respect and appreciate their views, but I also am kinda more inclined to trust the Seahawk brain trust more on this one.

All I know is that I believe Pete, and John, and Quandre probably know what this team needs better than most of the football footbally Mister Footballersons on Twitter know. These dudes all wanted Bobby back, and I don’t believe it’s to fill some feel good storyline for the club, either. They want to win, and they think he’s a key to it.

My hunch is that Bobby with Jarran Reed, and Dre’Mont Jones, and Devin Bush, all signal the likelihood of them morphing this defense back into more of the aggressive front they had in 2020 and 2021, and I think they are a couple more defensive tackles away from making finishing out the most of the roster on that side of the ball. My hunch is that either Poona Ford or Al Woods comes back, and they add someone from the draft, and maybe even one more defensive tackle for good measure, or so forth, and so such.

Bobby, in my mind, is probably key to bringing it along because he’s played in it here before, he did very well in the role that the Rams defined for him in LA last year, and Seattle sees him in a similar role here. You put that together with his obvious leaderships intangibles, and yes, I think this makes a lot of football sense.

And it is also very much giving this fanbase exactly what it wants.

Bobby Wagner is LOVED here. He is Edgar Martinez loved here, Lenny Wilkins loved here, Sue Bird loved here, and Steve Largent loved here. If the City of Seattle wanted to name a street around the stadium after him someday, I don’t think you would get many arguments.

Bobby Wagner will be a first ballet Hall of Famer, and he might be the only player out of the Pete Carroll era who will see his number eventually retired.. and he never wanted to leave Seattle in the first place.

So, yes, absolutely it makes sense that they should bring him back. It was a great move, and I’m excited about him leading this team again. In fact, I’m pumped!

Go Hawks!

Seahawks Have Wild March Madness In Free Agency And Other NFL Musings

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We are one week into NFL free agency for the Seattle Seahawks, and oh, what fun it has been, thus far. After the playoff loss in Santa Clara, the mission for this team was clear. Sign back Geno Smith, and then fix the front seven of their defense. So far, so good.

Actually, it’s been pretty damn good. Like, holly smokes good!

Plus, the best part of it is that I don’t think they’re done, and we still have the draft in a little more than a month to which Seattle has the fifth overall pick, and such. Make no mistake about it, the Seahawks are starting to sit pretty once again.

A week before free agency began they agree to a 3 year contract with pro bowl quarterback Geno Smith that is a shockingly team friendly one, and has been hailed across the league as the first true middle class contract given to a second tier starting quarterback. We can all debate just how good Geno Smith is or isn’t (I think he’s pretty good), but one think I think it is really hard to debate, even for the sharpest Geno skeptics, is how good that deal is for Seattle. It’s full of escalation clauses, and outs beyond this year. The fear of Geno regressing and Seattle being stuck with this contract is now nonexistent scenario. Bravo.

But again, that was before the March madness first week of NFL free agency began, what happened this last week is the what I think is the real fun for a lot of folks who follow this team with big passions. As we entered this week, I think most Seahawk fans braced for the reality that John Schneider was going to sit back and wait out all the big spending for initial frenzy of signings. Shockingly, he did not. He embraced an aggressiveness entering the market not felt in Seattle since the early seasons of Paul Allen owning the team.

On Monday, he signed former Denver defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones to a whopping 3 year $51 million contract full of guarantees to which, unlike Geno’s contract, Seattle is pretty locked into it. I have already written a piece on the Jones’ deal and what it all likely means for the club, but in a quick recap, I’m happy to break it down into a nutshell.

Dre’Mont Jones is going to be a significant piece to Seattle’s interior pass rush. Like Michael Bennett in past years, he will probably move around like a chess piece, playing some big end in base defense, and a lot of 3 technique DT on obvious pass downs. In football terms, he’s a gap penetrator, and he will attack with elite quickness and agility. To me, this signing signals a strong likelihood that Seattle will be returning to the more aggressive bear front again in their base defense, and that is exciting.

Seattle wasn’t done on the market, however, and on the very next day they brought back a familiar face to the defensive front in defensive tackle Jarran Reed, and that brought an immediate smile to my face. The signing was met with a little mixed reactions from fans, but I have always liked J Reed. I think he brings a nastiness a defensive front that Seattle was lacking in since he left in 2021.

J Reed is willing to do a lot of dirty work with guards and centers and tackles, can bring a violent tackling style to running backs, and has been a capable inside pass rusher in the past. Like Jones, I suspect that his signing suggests that Seattle will return to a more aggressive front, but we will see. Either way, a 2 year $10 million contract suggests that he is returning to become significant piece of the pie, and not a mere role player, and I like it.

Within the next following days, Seattle also agreed to one year contracts with former Lion center/guard Evan Brown, and former Steeler linebacker Devin Bush. Both players are only 26 years old, so there’s run to feel like there’s the potential of good upside left in their games, but the short term contracts also suggest that they are likely hedges for players they like in this draft class. That said, Brown has earned high markets as a pass blocker (especially at center), and Bush is a ultra speedy linebacker who was former top ten pick.

The addition of Bush, to me, shows that they want to add more speed to the front seven with guys who can cover the flats quickly and get on tight ends and ball carriers right away. I look at this as yet another signal to what Seattle is hoping to become on defense.

I would look at Washington State linebacker Daiyan Henley as a guy Seattle likely covets in this draft who Bush might be a hedge for. Henley is a pure cover LB who’s game is built on speed and understanding of routes due to his college conversion from wide receiver, but we will get more into draft conversations over the next few weeks.

For the purpose of this piece, let us continue with the splashy splash splashiness of Seattle Seahawk 2023 NFL free agency. After the Evan Brown, and Devin Bush signings, on Friday last week, Seattle did something a bit surprising and maybe even shocking. Seattle signed former Giant safety Julian Love to a handsome 2 year $12 million contract. Seattle was already fairly loaded up at safety with Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, and Ryan Neal, who when healthy, I think we would all say are three pretty good players.

Love’s signing brought immediate intrigue into what Seattle’s designs are. Many speculated that Adams could become a cap casualty cutting in the near future. Some reports have sorta squashed that as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times noted on Twitter that his understanding of the signing is that Love serves as insurance of Adams being ready at the start of the season coming off of his quad surgery, and when returning, Adams will play a more expanded linebacker roll with the team.

This scans to me. Adams was already in a hybrid safety/linebacker roll with this team in past years, and maybe they envision him being more exclusively a nickel weak side LB along with Bush or whoever they draft. They could also move Love into the nickel corner role and allow Coby Bryant to work exclusively as an outside corner like he was all throughout college.

At any rate, Julian Love was not brought in as a hedge for any player in this draft. He was a really good starting strong safety for the Giants last year, was a tackling machine and made plays in coverage. He’s only 25 years old, too, Whatever this team has up their sleeves in terms of further revamping this defense, they see Love as a big part of it moving forward, and that is interesting stuff.

Oh, yes. I almost forgot. Mixed in with all these interesting moves, the Seattle Seahawks brought back Drew Lock on a handsome one year contract worth $4 million dollars with incentives that could push it to $7 million. A lot of fans were pretty “meh” about this signing, but to me, it clearly shows that Seattle really likes Lock a lot, and they are willing to pay him good NFL backup money to see what is still there with him in year two of being inside Shane Waldron’s system.

This Lock signing could also, of course, be nothing more than an expensive hedge for a quarterback they covet in this draft, but it could also as likely mean that Seattle wants to go another direction with their first few picks, and they very much see a potential scenario of Lock being the quarterback of the future for this team. He’s still quite young, and Seattle has already demonstrated with success, that they approach the quarterback position differently than many other teams in this league. If anything, this signing add more intrigue in what their thinking is at this position, and perhaps that is exactly what they want at this time. Stay tuned..

So what next for the Seahawks?

I don’t think they are done in free agency yet, and that’s exciting. John Schneider went on the air last Thursday on his afternoon show in 710 Seattle Sports, and stated that they are still in conversations with more veteran defensive linemen.

My guess to that is they want to add a veteran edge rusher, if they can, and probably one more DT or nose tackle to back up Al Woods. The draft is supposedly deep with edge defenders and not so hot with DT, so I kinda suspect that there is one more interior D-liner that they want make a play for. I wouldn’t rule out a trade for that guy, either.

I think they are still going to try to bring back Bobby Wagner. If they are returning to more of the aggressiveness of a bear front, Wagz can still be a pretty good blitzing linebacker in that front, and maybe he gives way to Adams (or Bush) in the nickel. However you slice it, Wagner is an invaluable team leader, and to me, the move feels destined, but we will see.

I also think this team wants to add a proven veteran running back to mix in with Ken Walker. Rumor has it that they have made an offer to Leonard Fournette. That would be a great type of back to mix in with K9, and add a bit more physicality to the position. I think this is a spot that they also want to draft at again.

Three things are certain in life; death, taxes, and Pete Carroll wanting a loaded backfield of runners on offense. IMO, Seattle didn’t have that enough last year. I doubt Carroll wants to feel that again in 2023.

How about the rest of the league?

Outside of Seattle, I think the Dolphins and Giants are the other clear big winners in this first week of NFL free agency with the aggressive signings and trades they made. Seattle, the Giants, and Miami were all surprising teams in 2022 that fought their way into the playoffs as wildcard teams, and are all now making aggressive moves to challenge for their divisions this Fall.

For the Giants, I love that they traded little for former Raider tight end Darren Waller, and were aggressive adding and bringing back receivers. They are trying to build around Daniel Jones, and giving him a big lightening fast tight end is a fun idea.

For the Dolphins, I love the trade for Jalen Ramsey and the fact that they gave away peanuts to the Rams for him. He’s declining a bit as a cover corner, but is still pretty talented and will be playing for Vic Fangio. He will know that defense they are trying to run down there, and he will be playing across another really good corner. I love that the Dolphins are signing back their top running backs, and are going to keep players who play well in their system run by mastermind Mike McDaniel. They also brought in good young linebackers in David Long and Malik Reed.

Mark my words, the Dolphins are not going to make it easy for the Buffalo Bills in 2023. As it stands now, they are my team who I think are most likely to be what the Eagles were last year in coming out of nowhere and taking the league by surprise. I’m weirdly sorta there for it, too. Sure, the owner is a dick, but the coach is so damn likable. I’m intrigued.

Speaking of the AFC East Division, it amuses me to no end how ridiculous the Aaron Rodgers to the NY Jets saga has become. What a stupid train wreck!

The doofus goes into a darkness retreat run by a bunch of Oregon Country Fair folk for a week, and comes out ready to be convinced to become a NY Jet, has them sign a bunch of his former Green Bay buddies, and then Green Bay decides they want more than the NY offer. Brilliant!

Folks, the smug one isn’t as smart as he thinks he is, and it is playing out in real time. The Green Bay Packers hold all the leverage in this. The Jets, as a stupidly run organization would do, showed their whole hand when they hired his bestie to run their offense, balked at signing Derek Carr when he was available in favor of a trade for Rodgers, and then starting bringing in former Packers per his suggestion.

Word has it that league sources believe that a trade for Rodgers is worth a second round pick plus a conditional seconder rounder if he decides he’s going to stick around and not retire next year. The Packers reportedly now want a first round pick and change. They know they have the jets by the short hairs with the Jets owner being desperate for Rodgers.

A huge part of me wants nothing more than this saga conclude with a massive impasse that involves no trade happening, and Rodgers deciding to sit out the first eight games of the season before he has to report to the Pack in order to collect his 2023 earnings. This would be a fitting conclusion to his legacy in Green Bay and who I kinda have always thought this dude is.. a total asshole.

As for the Jets in this scenario, gee, I don’t know. Maybe stick with the young quarterback you drafted and figure out how to finally develop one instead of constantly kicking these dues to the curb for another after a few seasons in their young careers. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Jets screwed over the Seahawks in the Jamal Adams trade, I would almost feel sorry for their fans, but screw ’em! Can’t teach stupid, yo!

In other NFL musings, it’s fun watching the mass player exodus happening with the LA Rams. They went Florida Marlin big chasing a ring by making big move after big move expensive player acquisitions, it paid off, but now they are paying the expensive price. They traded away Jalen Ramsey for pennies on the dollars, can’t afford to keep other key vets, and are without any first round pick yet again this year. As Jesus once famously said, live by the sword, die by the sword. I’m enjoying watching what is happening with this team right now, and I’m wondering why Sean McVay is even sticking around. Maybe they have designs to trade for Lamar Jackson, eventually. That would be a very Rams thing to do.

Staying in the NFC West, the 49ers have terrified me with the Javon Hargrave signing to their already stacked defensive line. Seattle better have plans in this draft to land a really good center and guard combination.

Who the fuck cares what the Cardinals are doing, really. Looks like they are going to trade away their best receiver. They might trade back from the third overall pick for more picks in order to conduct a quick rebuild. If I were a Cardinal fan, sticking with Kyler Murray and building around him would make me very nervous. Ultra moody attitude and injury proneness doesn’t sound like positive traits for the most important position in the game.

I like what the Texans, the Bears, the Panthers, and the Detroit Lions are all doing in free agency and trades. These are all four teams that I’m intrigued to see how their seasons unfold this Fall.

The Raiders remain a shit show that I have no idea what to make out of. Cut Derek Carr in favor of injury prone and significantly less athletic Jimmy G? This is the team I expect to either trade with the Cardinals or Seahawks to move up for a quarterback next month, but I also could see them stay at pick 7 and take a cornerback, or some weird shit like that.

Anyhoo. Fun offseason so far!

Seahawks Stun In Early Phase Of Free Agency, Sign Pass Rusher Dre’Mont Jones, And What It Means

Waiting for the Seattle Seahawks to do anything in the initial phases of free agency over the past decade has become a bit of a fun self depreciating joke for fans on Twitter. To make light of the frustration of seeing big name players get gobbled up off the market signing elsewhere, the witty sorts on Seahawks Twitter offer up memes expressing their f’d up emotional states. It’s a bonding experience.

With the exception of 2011, when they were still roster building, the Seahawks MO in free agency has mostly been to wait it out, and not get caught up in big splashy signings. In 2013, when they made the splashy signings of the legendary pass rushing duo of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, they waited out the first initial week of signings to see who they could lure in on short term bargains, and the rest was history.

After paying Russell Wilson, however, even these sort of maneuverings became more scarce. The players that they would lure in would generally range from former first round busts who they would try to see if there was any potential left in them (there wasn’t), or older players who could serve as decent role players such as defensive tackle Al Woods. Whichever category a player would fall into, the general consensus with fans would usually comprise of a big fat disappointing “meh.”

Last offseason, however, something shifted in the front office. Days after trading away Wilson, Seattle made a surprise initial signing of promising young edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu who was coming off a rookie contract and career year for the LA Chargers. That signing felt fun on many levels, and smart.

Nwosu was seen as an emerging veteran talent, and a good fit for their new system which would feature more 3-4 in their base defense. This was the type of signing I had been begging for years for this front office to make, and they made a serous financial investment in him, too, which to me, signaled more aggressiveness to build properly with free agency as a tool. Better yet, it paid off as Nwosu proved to be their best pass rusher in 2022.

Enter former Denver Bronco defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones in 2023. This is the free agent signing that I dreamed for Seattle to make, but was bracing for a reality that he would go elsewhere. Like Nwuso last year, Jones is coming off his rookie contract, and a career year. He’s an ascending talent at a position that is very hard to fill in the NFL, and that is a true pass rushing defensive tackle. At 3 years and $51 million dollars, Seattle is making an investment in him, too.

What I think this means moving forward is a few things. I think with Nwuso and Jones, Seattle’s front office is shifting focus towards investing in promising younger veterans much like they did with Avril and Bennett a decade ago. I don’t think it’s any small coincidence that these two players positionally can be compared to Avril and Bennett, as well.

Pete Carroll loves to coach a defense that has explosive guys up front who can disrupt the gaps, and harass the quarterback. I think, in Clint Hurtt’s first season as a Seahawk defensive coordinator, the Seahawks got away from that for the first time under Coach Carroll, and they now want to get back to that.

I don’t think it matters if this means more 4-3 again, or staying with 3-4, or doing the 46 bear front stuff again. With this investment in Dre’Mont Jones, I think we are going to see Seattle be more aggressive up front again, and that is exciting.

Jones is not a big hulking two gab defensive lineman. At 6-3 and 281 pounds, his game is attacking the gaps, and his best attribute to a defense is as an interior pass rusher. In short, he’s a classic pass rushing three technique who can also play the four and five technique spots, as well, a la Michael Bennett.

I think what this means for the Seahawks is very little passive two gapping stuff up front, for the most part. It would be a waste of valuable dollars to ask Jones to be that sort of player. In all likelihood, I think Seattle is probably heading back to the bear front stuff again which they ran mostly out of in 2020 and 2021 (aka 46 defense, aka stick front, aka 5-2-4, aka 3-3-5).

It is a growing trend in the league with defenses nowadays, and it takes me back to some stuff that Coach Carroll said during his last few presses conference of the season. When asked about how to best get his pass rush going again, Carroll said the key was the inside rush, and on another occasion when asked about his defense moving forward, it said that it wasn’t going to be someone else’s scheme, but rather they are going to make it their own scheme.

That last part stood out to me most. Much was made last year about Carroll embracing Vic Fangio’s unique 3-4 defense last year with the hiring of Hurtt and defensive assistant Sean Desai, who are both Fangio disciples. We don’t need to rehash the disaster that followed because we all know how bad this defense instantly became against the run, but during the four game win streak they went on in October and November, Carroll had them switch back to the bear front they had been running in previous seasons. The improvements were immediate, but they weirdly went away from it after their second game against the Cardinals.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a big surprise that Desai is no longer in Seattle. I think Carroll is dumping the Fangio thingy and is getting back to what he knows better. Dre’Mont Jones, to me signals that. Without getting super weighted down in football jargon, I think Jones is a return to the Michael Bennett role in Carroll’s defense. A guy who can play multiple roles in multiple fronts, and a guy who is going to make his hay attacking from inside.

Moving forward, I would love to see Seattle add one more bright young talent inside to play right along with him. I would be stoked if it was former UW Husky Greg Gaines to play the nose tackle spot beside Jones, and essentially become the Brandon Mebane to Jones’s Mike Bennett.

I also want to see them add a linebacker, and a center. It would be fun if it was Bobby Wagner coming back, but I just need a proven productive middle linebacker to fill the void of Cody Barton leaving and Jordyn Brooks coming off his knee injury. I prefer a quality veteran center playing in front of Geno Smith.

If Seattle can make these three additions to go along with Jones, then it really opens up the draft for them next Spring. They could go a few different ways with pick five. They could go quarterback, defensive line, offensive line, or trade back.

If an early run of quarterbacks happen, Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson at five is a reasonable projection for Pete Carroll, and it is probably his dream. A pass rush that includes Anderson, Nwuso, Jones, Gaines, Darrell Taylor, Boye Mafe, and Quinton Jefferson sounds like a lot of fun to be had in Seattle. I would love that fun.

This, I think, would be Pete Carroll’s dream scenario, as well. I’m excited to see how it all plays out.

Go Hawks.

Details Of Geno Smith’s Contract Revealed And What It Means For The Seahawks (And Him)

USATSI

The other day, in celebration of Geno Smith agreeing to a 3 year $105 million dollar contract, I decided to write up an expletive filled response aimed towards those who negatively responded to the deal on Seattle airwaves and social media. It was an impulse I couldn’t resist.

Geno Smith is an extremely unique situation in professional football. The closest other situation he can be compared towards is Rich Gannon of the Oakland Raiders in the early 2000’s. Both quarterbacks toiled through the league as backups after failing as starters early in their careers, but eventually found themselves successful quality QB1s in their thirties. The biggest distinction, however, between Gannon and Smith is that Gannon sustained his success, and Smith has yet to do that.

As the details of his contract are now revealed, what he has essentially signed is a three year contract with the Seahawks full of up front guarantees and escalation clauses. Most of the guarantees are attached to year one of this contract, while the remaining guarantees roll into 2024, but the team has the ability to escape those guarantees if they cut him in February of 2024, if he is not injured. They can completely move on from him in 2025 without financial penalties.

It is also worth noting that this contract has not incentives, but rather escalators. If he betters aspects of his 2022 performance in 2023, his 2024 salary increases. If he does that again in 2024, his 2025 salary increases. In totality of the potential of meeting all of these clauses, Geno Smith can make as much as $105 million in three seasons.

This is an incredibly team friendly deal that he signed with the Seattle Seahawks. I think it is very fair to say that he probably could have found a more player friendly deal on the open market. He wanted to remain in Seattle, though, and was more than comfortable signing this deal. More specifically, he was more than comfortable betting on himself again.

Personally, I think there’s pretty strong reasons why he should feel that comfort. He did really well in year one as a full time starter in Shane Waldron’s system in 2022. There’s no reason for him to believe he won’t do anything but be better in 2023 with all of his main weapons coming back, and a chance for Seattle to further bolster the offensive line in front of him.

He has a full offseason to dig deeper into the playbook with Waldron and to work with new QB coach Greg Olson to clean up some of his issues that led to fumbles and turnover worthy throws later in the season. I would not bet against his devotion to get better in this system.

I also would not assume that this automatically means that the Seattle Seahawks are going to draft a quarterback at the top end of the draft this year. I do think it is pretty likely that they are going to draft the position this year (and next), but I am skeptical as to how much they are into a guy like, say.. Anthony Richardson.. and maybe a few other of these quarterbacks being touted highly.

Seattle is very adept at sending out smokescreens when it comes to players that they are interested in. Last year at this time, they flaunted interest in Ole Miss QB Matt Corral who had certain connections to Pete Carroll. They let Corral slide, and slide, and slide his way down the draft. In 2012, it was Kirk Cousins who was connected to Seattle, and they shockingly chose Russell Wilson over him in the third round.

Seattle might really like a quarterback in this draft, and they have him as a target, but it might not be a guy most are talking about for them right now. I’m not saying this to be a contrarian to the notion of drafting Anthony Richardson (or Will Levis). I’m just saying that this front office is really good at poker, and be prepared to potentially be surprised.

I also think a deeper meaning with this Geno deal is that Seattle isn’t interested in getting stuck with a big time quarterback contract if the player isn’t able to sustain a high level of play. I think they felt burned by the last Russell Wilson extension, and they don’t want to blindly go down that road again.

I doubt that the Seahawks are going to do to Geno what Vegas did to Derek Carr and bench him late in the season just to escape having to pay him in 2024. Sure, if Geno has regressed to the point of warranting a benching, that can easily happen, but that’s a whole other thing. If he competently has this team in games, Carroll is going to roll with him, and not risk a mutiny situation in his locker room by switching to a rookie to get him reps.

This, I think, is the real deal with Geno Smith, and the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle has chosen to bring back a player who the locker room LOVES, and Geno Smith is no dummy. He has probably looked at how this locker room has embraced him, and has studied enough tape on Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, and he knows those dudes are not likely to beat him out of this gig anytime soon. CJ Stroud and Bryce Young probably wouldn’t either.

So for Geno, this contract is nothing more than a comfortable bet on himself again, and for the Seattle Seahawks, this is a great way to bring him back into their program, to protect themselves should things go scud for whatever reason, and to give them an out if a young quarterback is ready to take over for him sooner rather than later. In a nutshell, this is what both sides agreed to, and this is a really great deal for both sides.

Go Hawks!