Championship weekend Seahawk Mock

By Jared Stanger

We’re on the eve of the NFC and AFC Championship games and I’ve got another 7-round mock draft for the Seahawks. The big, new development is that this time it actually IS 7 rounds. In previous incarnations we stopped at 6 rounds as it was believed Seattle had lost their 7th round pick in exchange for acquiring John Reid from the Texans. That was a conditional trade and it turns out the conditions were not met. So Seattle keeps pick #238 (or so).

A few things that I’m thinking about going into this draft:

  1. QB

Geno Smith is still a bridge QB. The bridge may last 1.5-3 years, but he’s still a placeholder for a young, stud QB. Building a Super Bowl roster around a QB on a rookie deal is a legit thing. Pete Carroll, in his end of season press conference, said, “The quarterbacks in this draft are extraordinary players…you don’t get opportunities like this…we are really tuned in to all of those options.” This was on January 16th or 17th…days after the Seahawks’ season ended and weeks before NFL Combine and college pro-days, and NFL personnel departments really bring their college evaluations in to their coaching staffs. But Seattle is already all over this QB class. You can’t overlook these things.

You can’t overlook PCJS’ history of over-correcting. When things have gone wrong in player evaluations (free agent, trade, draft) in the past; Seattle has often over-corrected. Whether that means drafting cocky players that in time become combative/argumentative with coaching staff, taking draft risks on players red-flagged for injury or character, or giving too much power and cap space to a QB. We HAVE to consider what Seattle is currently reacting to. They are reacting to Russell Wilson. They are reacting to getting beat by a Brock Purdy led Niner team. They are reacting to three final four teams running out rookie deal QB’s. I don’t doubt that the team has sincere interest in retaining Geno Smith…I do have doubts that their interest, and Geno’s self-estimation of his newly earned worth, are cohabitable.

    Look at Pete’s comment…”you don’t get opportunites like this”…it can only mean one thing: a top 5 pick. They think that is a special occurrence, and that occurrence is an opportunity in a sentence, a thought about quarterbacks. The closest they’ve come to top 5 was their very first year in Seattle when they drafted Russell Okung at #6 overall. Quarterbacks drafted that year: #1.1 Sam Bradford, #1.25 Tim Tebow, #2.48 Jimmy Clausen, #3.85 Colt McCoy, followed by Mike Kafka, John Skelton, Jonathan Crompton, Rusty Smith, Dan LeFavour, Tony Pike, Levi Brown, Sean Canfield, Zac Robinson. A real who’s-who of QB play.

    We HAVE to consider it a special circumstance to have a top 5 pick AND that there are “extraoardinary players” (plural) available at QB in this class. That’s the Pete Carroll part. The John Schneider part is: “yeah, but is one of those extraordinary players going to be available at a discounted draft price?” Maybe that means Anthony Richardson cause his numbers are terrible and he is clearly not ready. Maybe that means Hendon Hooker because of his age and current injury status. Or maybe there is simply someone that slides because of numbers and needs of the other teams. This is the biggest question of this draft, to me. Do you have to spend pick #5 to get your QB?

    1. DE

    The other thing that becomes very apparent looking at the field of Championship games teams is that each have superstars along their defensive lines. Three of the top four sack-producers of the 2022 regular season are still playing tomorrow (Bosa, Reddick, Jones). And the Eagles have four of the top 15 individual guys. Cincinnati had a down year from Trey Hendrickson (#30), but he’s been a 13-14 sack guy multiple times before. Bosa and Reddick are upper 1st round guys, Jones was early 2nd, and Hendrickson represents the roughly 25% of elite passrushers drafted in the 3rd-5th round range (Judon-5, Highsmith-3, Crosby-4).

    So, I continue to feel like the Seahawks two first round picks should be at DE and at QB. But in which order? I honestly don’t know. I tend to think Tyree Wilson and Hendon Hooker would be special, but I could understand teams balking at Hooker. Maybe Seattle sees Will Levis and Zach Harrison as the way to go. I’m going to stick with what I’ve been sticking with, but I’m less sure of it than I was two weeks ago.

    If I’m not going QB at #5; I’m going to trade down slightly with a team that wants to go QB early. Maybe that’s Carolina at #9. But I prefer the shorter drop-back by trading with Las Vegas at #7. We’ll do #5 for #7 + #70. I like the trade down here because there are potentially three very similar DE all bunched together in Myles Murphy, Tyree Wilson, Lukas Van Ness. It’s a little reminiscent of the 2022 draft at OT where you were sitting there with thoughts of getting one of Ikem Ekwonu, Evan Neal, and Charles Cross. Only that was at #9. This year, even with a trade back, you’re looking at #7.

    #1.7 – DE, Tyree Wilson

    He’s long, he’s strong, and he’s down to get some passrush on. I’ve been on Tyree since August and he’s only risen since then, but I’ll keep plugging him in until he’s off the board. And then I’ll pivot to Lukas Van Ness who has a strikingly similar profile (only younger). Murphy would be 3 of 3 for me from this mini-cluster.

    #1.29 – QB, Hendon Hooker

    I would really like to have three 2nd round picks, so another trade down here will give a bit more ammo to add to the 2nd round later on. This trade is, ironically, with Denver, who hold the Niners’ first rounder (via Miami). We will give #20 + #151, and Denver will also send pick #69.

    (This pick is contingent upon signing a QB in free agency to a 1-2 year deal. Maybe that’s Geno. Maybe that’s Drew Lock. Maybe it’s one of the MANY QB that are headed to free agency, which hopefully drives the market down. I’m talking a year of Andy Dalton, or Jacob Brissett, maybe Sam Darnold.)

    There are two QB in this draft that I feel are legit room-tilters, and Hendon is my preferred of the two. It’s all about the ball.

    #2.37 – DL, Keion White

    This is the first big deviation from previous mock drafts. I think Keion is going to be an ascending player throughout this draft cycle. He’s 6’5″/286lbs, racked up 14.0 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 2 hurries this year, and he’s possibly still just learning to play the position after starting his college career as a 235lb TE, missing all of 2020 due to Old Dominion having no season during Covid, and missing most of 2021 due to an offseason injury sustained playing pickup basketball. His 2022 tape has evidence that he can play DE, DT, and maybe even some LB. Super athletic. And kinda nasty.

    At this point Seattle is sitting with one more pick in the 2nd, and three in the 3rd. I’m going to package #69 and #83 and trade up into the 2nd with Detroit who own pick #48 and #55. Value works out perfectly for the #48.

    #2.48 – OC Joe Tippmann

    It has been very tough to isolate a Center to target this draft. I don’t think there’s any sure-fire, year 1-2 Pro Bowl types. I think there’s, instead, a collection of high-floor, reliable starter caliber guys. The center dujour right now is Wisconsin’s Joe Tippmann. Listed 6’6″/317lbs, Tippmann comes from a long line of quality Wisconsin OL and centers. He’s reportedly very athletic.

    #2.52 – TE, Tucker Kraft

    This is a pick that I really came to pretty recently, and it comes from a couple thoughts: 1) draft best player available, 2) draft from the strength(s) of the draft class. I don’t think TE is a big need for the Seahawks right now. All three of their 2022 guys are under contract to be back next year. They all performed pretty well last year. I just think it’s good drafting to do this.

    Tucker Kraft is not the 1st TE on most boards. He might not be the TE4 for most teams. What he is is a guy I think can surprise some people. Hell, Travis Kelce was TE5 in 2013. George Kittle was TE9 in 2017. The found/added value of having a stud TE in the NFL is basically giving you an extra roster spot for a near-Pro Bowl caliber player.

    At this point I realize I need another pick as two late 3rd’s will be more useful than one early 3rd. There’s a pretty tidy little deal that can be done with the Giants where #70 gets us back #89 and #100 from the comp pick section.

    #3.89 – LB, Dorian Williams

    I’ve said on twitter recently that center and off the ball linebacker are counterparts this year. They are groups of high-floor, possibly low-ceiling types of guys. Dorian is one that ticks a lot of boxes for me. We’re looking for the 2022 Fred Warner. Williams goes 6’2″/230lbs and racked up 131 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 5.0 sacks, 7 PBU, 2 INT, 2 FF last year as the heart of the 12-2 Tulane defense.

    #3.100 – RB, Roschon Johnson

    Roschon is like an attempt to find a counterpoint to the style of Ken Walker. A little bit of the idea of a Chris Carson type. He’s 6’2″/222lbs, averaged almost 6.00 ypc on 93 carries backing up Bijan Robinson. 14 catches, a couple of kickoff returns, 5 tackles on special teams. Kinda guy you’d be psyched to have on your bench.

    #4.122 – LB, Yasir Abdullah

    Abdullah is a guy that, on tape, seems to play upwards of 90% of snaps at the LOS, rushing the passer. And he’s very good at doing that. But I’m pretty interested in adding him and seeing if you can cross develop him to play off the ball. He’s 6’1″/242lbs and posted 14.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 7 hurries, 2 INT, 4 PBU, 4 FF last year after a 10.0-sack season in 2021.

    #5.154 – CB, Darius Rush

    This is a very good class of CB’s. Again…draft from the positional strengths of the class. If you were to tell me that Seattle drafts one earlier this year than they ever have in the PCJS regime I’d not be shocked. There are a few I’d pull the trigger on. But there’s also the thought of steering into the CB depth of this class and seeing what you can pull (again) from the 5th round. There are a few big, long CB getting no buzz right now including Julius Brents, Rezjohn Wright, and Darius Rush. I’m going Rush for some of the intangible things I see in him. He’s listed 6’2″/200lbs with 2 INT, 7 PBU last year.

    #6.197 – DS, Jason Taylor II

    This is one of my personal, “pound the table” guys this draft. He checks a lot of boxes for me. I think it’s important that Seattle strengthens the safety group as something may need to be done about the amount of cap allocated there, that doesn’t really match the production provided. Taylor is 6’0″/215lbs and has tremendous versatility at the safety spot, and will, at minimum, be an immediate contributor on special teams.

    #7.238 – DL, Dante Stills

    Pete Carroll said they need to make more competition along the DL, so we spent the first pick there, and now the last pick there. Stills might have been better off turning pro when he had more buzz last year, but he stayed in school and kinda got lost in the shuffle of 2022. But he’s a 6’4″/285lb versatile DL that owns the WVU career record in TFL.

    Final draft:

    #1.7 – DL, Tyree Wilson
    #1.29 – QB, Hendon Hooker
    #2.37 – DL, Keion White
    #2.48 – OC, Joe Tippmann
    #2.89 – TE, Tucker Kraft
    #3.89 – LB, Dorian Williams
    #3.100 – RB, Roschon Johnson
    #4.122 – LB, Yasir Abdullah
    #5.154 – CB, Darius Rush
    #6.197 – DS, Jason Taylor II
    #7.238 – DL, Dante Stills

    Postseason Mock Draft

    By Jared Stanger

    Welcome to the postseason. Seattle is in. And in pretty unprecedented fashion; they’re in the playoffs AND have a top 5 draftpick in this immediate draft. Of course this is due to the draftpick acquired from the Denver Broncos trade, and that is now officially #5 overall. We can also lock in Denver’s second pick we own that will be at #37 overall, in the 2nd round.

    The Seahawks’ native picks are a little less clear. Playoff teams will draft between #19 and #31 (Miami forfeits their 1st round pick, so only 31 picks in this year’s first). If Seattle loses to San Francisco in their wildcard game; Seattle will draft at either #19 or #20. If Tampa wins their WC game with a Seattle loss, Seahawks would get the highest pick of all playoff teams at #19. If Seattle wins their WC game, their native pick moves back to at least #24. Rinse-repeat for each round of playoffs advanced through.

    For purposes of this mock draft, I will use Seattle’s playoff seeding to put them at #20 overall (second round at #53, third round #84, etc). Compensatory picks have not been announced, but with estimating done by other sources, Seattle’s total draft could look something like:


    In previous mock incarnations I was trading down from their top overall pick. Looking at the tradeback options from a finalized top 18 overall; I really don’t love the options. Eagles own #10 overall by trade, and then are currently slotted at #31 at the end of the 1st as owners of the league’s best regular season record. A) I don’t love sliding back that far from #5, B) Seattle would have to include their 3rd rounder to be able to get both Eagles’ first’s. Which I don’t love. Third’s are valuable.

    Instead, I will only trade down from #20. Making the playoffs meant dropping 5-6 draftslots already, which means missing out on guy like Brian Branch, who I would have tried to get at, say, #15. I will still use the Eagles as trade partner, and move #20 to them for #31 plus #63. That creates a draft board with two 1’s, three 2’s, and 10 total picks. I’ll leave it at that (until I’m in the 4th round and realize I REALLY want another player who is coming up).

    #1.5 – Defensive End, Texas Tech, Tyree Wilson

    I’ve been on this train for a while so why stop now. There’s a bunch of intel that tells me the Seahawks are looking for a guy with Tyree’s profile. 6’6″/275lbs with some positional versatility to rush primarily outside, with ability to move inside on 3rd down. They’ve scouted the field of similar players pretty extensively. They used this profile to great success in the past. They kinda don’t have this profile currently on the roster. And the draft class has a bunch of pretty intriguing versions of this guy. If it’s not Tyree, you’ve got Myles Murphy, Zach Harrison, Isaiah Mcguire, etc.

    I like the way Tyree can set an edge. There’s no doubt in my mind he can run-defend. I feel pretty confident his college traits as a passrusher will progress and translate as a pro. He’s the best combo package of everything I’m looking for.

    #1.31 – Quarterback, Tennessee, Hendon Hooker

    Another player that is held over from (many) prior mocks. As long as the Seahawks have done something to address QB from a veteran standpoint (Geno, Drew, Jimmy, whoever) on a one-two year deal; Hendon is the guy I want from the draft to develop. Part of needing another bridge year QB is that Hendon is coming off knee surgery, and his timeline will be prolonged physically. Part of this is simply what I see across the league. Joe Burrow needed a year. Josh Allen needed a year, arguably two. Even with Urban partially to blame, Trevor Lawrence needed a year. Jalen Hurts needed two years. We don’t know that Mahomes NEEDED a year, but he got one as redshirt. Geno needed nine years. I think the days of a stud rookie QB are mostly behind us.

    #2.37 – Center, Michigan, Olusegun Oluwatimi

    It’s been two years that Seattle has bypassed drafting a center, and there have been some good ones available at value. They really need to remedy that this year. I don’t think they HAVE to use their earliest pick in the 2nd to get him, but I think they have to leave the top 63 with one. Oluwatimi is the leader of the Michigan OL that has gone to back-to-back winning the Joe Moore Award. Michigan offense was #3 in the country in yards per carry, and #25 nationally in sacks allowed (17 in 14 games). Olu was also an award winner individually; taking this year’s Rimington and Outland Awards.

    #2.53 – Cornerback, Mississippi State, Emmanuel Forbes

    Even with Seahawks pulling Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant out of the 2022 draft; they have impending free agents in Michael Jackson, Artie Burns, Justin Coleman, Jalen Tabor. And this is a very solid group of 2023 players. There’s a specific niche in the class of players that are on the slighter side of 190lbs, but that I think are playing bigger and tougher than size would suggest. Forbes has serious ball-skills, sneaky return skills, and underrated thump.

    #2.63 – Defensive Tackle, Michigan, Mazi Smith

    It’s tough to find true nose tackles anymore, and with Mazi’s expected Combine testing, this may be too late to grab him. He’s listed 6’3″/337lbs, and was the #1 player on the preseason “Freaks List”. It wouldn’t take much arm-twisting for me to switch Mazi and Olu in draft positioning. Seattle has got to get stronger, more consistent vs the run. Hopefully the Wizard of Maz can help with that.

    #3.84 – Linebacker, Ohio State, Tommy Eichenberg

    I was very close to taking a safety with this pick, but with considerations for currently rostered players and the depth of the safety class in this draft; I’m going to push that in favor of help at linebacker. Barton is a free agent, Brooks is now gonna be on knee-surgery recovery timetable. Really, linebacker should be their #1 pursuit in free agency. Get some vet help at the spot, with Roquan Smith being the #1 target. And also draft one. Eichenberg may not be the flashiest guy in this draft, but I feel like he’s got one of the highest floors. At 6’2″/239lbs, 120 tackles, 12.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks, and defensive captain for a playoff team.

    #4.121 – Running Back, Texas, Roschon Johnson

    In the spot that I’ve typically been giving to Zach Charbonnet; this time I’m switching it up cause the silence on Charbonnet is starting to give me weird vibes. Johnson is the backup to Bijan Robinson, but a talented runner in his own right. I’ve seen some make the comparison to Priest Holmes at Tennessee, but I’m gonna point at Chris Carson 2016 backing up Justice Hill. Carson was 6’1″/215lbs…Johnson listed 6’2″/222lbs. Carson had 82 carries for 559 yards…Johnson had 93 carries for 554 yards. It’s important to me to find a beefier counterpoint to Ken Walker.

    #5.151 – Safety, Oklahoma State, Jason Taylor II

    It’s a lowkey goal of mine to find the Kevin Byard, Justin Simmons safety of 2023. Both of those guys were 3rd round picks that have played up to Pro Bowl level since they were drafted. But as I’m working through this mock; I just don’t have the ammo to use the 3rd rounder on safety. So now the goal is Talanoa Hufanga…the 2021 5th rounder that is a Pro Bowler this year. The tricky part about Talanoa was that he was in the draft following the shortened 2020 Covid season. That creates some other variables that make it hard to evaluate why he was drafted in the 5th. My best approximation has come out to be Jason Taylor II. Listed 6’0″/215lbs, Taylor is the rare player that I’d feel comfortable playing in the box, ranging centerfield in single-high, or as part of two-high safety looks. He finished the year with 99 tackles, 6 INT, and 7 PBU. At minimum, I think he becomes the Pro Bowl designated special teams player.

    #5.156 – Linebacker, TCU, Dee Winters

    We’re going back to linebacker to add some more playmaking upside. Dee Winters is a 6’1″/230lb player for the National Champion finalist TCU Horned Frogs. For 2022 he had 72 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 2 PBU, 1 pick-six. And played probably the best game of his career in the previous playoff game. If Eichenberg is your rock; Winters is your roll.

    #6.196 – Defensive End, Missouri, Isaiah McGuire

    And another positional double-dip. Last year it was Boye Mafe then Tyreke Smith. In 2020 it was Darrell Taylor then Alton Robinson. Seattle is frequently looking to take double-shots on Edge players in the draft. Mcguire is another guy right in that 6’4″/274lb sweet spot this year. After opening the year with only 2.5 TFL in his first five games; Isaiah closed the year with 10.5 TFL in his last 7 games (total of 13.0 TFL). He also posted 7.5 sacks, 4 hurries. Again, as evidenced by the performance of Smith and Robinson; this is mostly just a flyer.

    You know…as I was continuing to progress through writing this mock; it’s still sticking with me that I might have Mazi Smith too low. Between him and Olu Oluwatimi, the two Wolverines, I think Mazi is easily the more unicorn-like player. The lesser depth position. I’m gonna flip those two guys in their respective spots in the 2nd round, but I’ll leave it alone in the edit.

    Final mock:

    #1.5 – DE Tyree Wilson
    #1.31 – QB Hendon Hooker
    #2.37 – DT Mazi Smith
    #2.53 – CB Emmanuel Forbes
    #2.63 – OC Olusegun Oluwatimi
    #3.84 – LB Tommy Eichenberg
    #4.121 – RB Roschon Johnson
    #5.151 – DS Jason Taylor II
    #5.156 – LB Dee Winters
    #6.196 – DE Isaiah McGuire