By Jared Stanger
It hasn’t been very long since my last mock draft, but after seeing the Denver Broncos lose pretty embarrassingly to the lowly Carolina Panthers on Sunday; the Seahawks now hold the #4 overall pick in the 2023 draft. And looking at the schedule for the rest of the Broncos’ season; there’s a pretty good chance that pick ends up higher. Then, as losers of their own game this week, the Seahawks fell out of a playoff spot, and their native draftslot moved up to the #16 overall. Two picks in the top half of the first round. With that in mind, and with knowing I haven’t really done much predicting of the Seahawks trading around their picks; I thought I would run through a mock filled with trades.
As it stands now as I move this article to published; the Seahawks’ full draft allotment goes:
For purpose of this exercise; I’m going to say that the Denver pick is at #1.3. If you haven’t glanced at any of the draft pick value charts recently; the difference in value between pick 3 and pick 4 is kinda crazy. So showing what you could get for the #3 is a whole lot of fun.
The next thing to think about when considering a trade of a super high pick like this is: who has the ammo to come up? As far as I can tell Houston has the most picks of anyone with 12, including the first picks in most rounds, plus a bonus 1st and 3rd from the Watson trade to Cleveland. So they’re an interesting trade partner basically at any point. The Giants have 11 picks, but their first isn’t until #24. The Patriots have 11 picks, and a history of not particularly caring for volume drafting. The problem with the Pats is: 5 of their 11 picks are in the 6th and 7th round. Philadelphia doesn’t have a ton of pick volume, but they own two 1st’s after receiving the Saints’ pick. As the team currently leading football in overall record; would they prefer to pick fewer times because they’re roster is already quite good? Unfortunately, it is very tough to project trades around playoff teams as their eventual native draftslot will be reseeded to coincide with when they exit the playoffs. Chicago has 9 picks, but their first rounder is currently at #2. So we can’t use them. The trade that I’m currently kinda liking is Carolina.
At the moment, the Panthers sit at #6 overall. They have two 2nd’s, two 4th’s, and 8 total picks. The team is run by former Seahawk personnel guy Scott Fitterer. And they have a glaring hole at QB. Sitting in front of them in the draft order are A) Houston…a team surely looking to take a QB, and B) Detroit (via Los Angeles)…a team with an ability to get out of the Jared Goff contract after this year; saving about $20million. If Seattle does in fact sit in front of Detroit, in that 3rd pick slot; the Panthers may be willing to cut a chunk from their higher draft capital in order to move up and snag their QBOTF.
What would it cost for Carolina to move up 3 picks? Per the chart, it could be done for picks 1.6, 2.40, 3.88 and Seattle throws in their 4th rounder at 4.117. So the Panthers would be left with 1.3, the 2nd rounder they received from San Francisco for McCaffrey at 2.58, three picks in the fourth round, a fifth, and a seventh. It doesn’t feel entirely implausible to me. So I’m making this deal.
The 16th overall pick is a weird place for me to think about the Seahawks drafting. They don’t need Offensive Tackles, they don’t need (nor have they ever drafted) Corners this early, this isn’t a year where Wide Receivers match this value, I don’t think you go Running Back, Tight End, Guard, or Center this early in any year. But if you trade back again…suddenly the value will match better.
Unlike when we were trading back from #3, the Pats and Giants now come in to play. The Pats sit at #18, the Giants at #24. The farther you’re willing to drop from #16; the better value you’ll get on the other picks coming back your way. So I’ll do the Giants trade which will also include pick 85 and 100.
The new draft board becomes:
12 picks is probably too many, but can you imagine FIVE picks top 50, and NINE in the top 100. Well, we’re about to.
#1.6 – Defensive End, Texas Tech, Tyree Wilson
Part of trading back is adding picks, but part of it should be that the guy (or guys) you really want will be available later. Tyree is a guy I just LIKE more than the “top 5” guys. He’s 6’6″/275lbs, and before he withdrew from the season with a broken foot; he was leading college football in pressures. His power will play so complimentary to Uchenna Nwosu’s speed. And if Seattle develops a nascar package for 3rd downs; Wilson will be perfect for the 3Tech piece of it.
#1.24 – Quarterback, Tennessee, Hendon Hooker
Since his injury, I’ve been thinking about using a later pick than this on Hendon, but as of today; I realize I want the 5th year option on our next QB to allow more time for development. Plus, he’ll need time to recover from ACL.
#2.34 – Safety, Penn State, Ji’Ayir Brown
Brown is a 5’11″/202lb safety with 4.4 speed and a well-rounded skillset. He can cover man, he can blitz, he can tackle. His season stats go: 5.58 tackles per game, 5.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 5 hurries, 3 INT, 3 PBU, 2 FF.
#2.40 – Cornerback, Mississippi State, Emmanuel Forbes
I like the strength of this corner class, and it feels like the best sub-section of corners are these skinny 6’0″/180lb guys. In previous mocks I’ve had Devon Witherspoon around this spot, but I’m starting to doubt he lasts this far. Forbes is the consolation prize, but he’s a great prospect in his own right. His 6 INT this year are tied for the national lead, plus he’s run 3 of those back for TD. He also has 9 PBU.
#2.49 – Linebacker, North Carolina, Cedric Gray
I’ve had Gray in previous mocks, but it looks like buzz is building on him. With the added ammo from the trade-backs; we’re able to accommodate this pretty easily. Gray is a 6’2″/230lb junior that is top 5 in the country in tackles, while also posting 2 INT, 5 PBU, 9.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 4 hurries, 3 FF. I don’t have a feel for his total athleticism…there are probably guys available that are freakier…but I like his versatility. I don’t know that UNC asks him to blitz as much as, say, a Drew Sanders or an Ivan Pace, but I like the ability I see in him when he does.
It occurs to me at this point that there’s a pretty big drop between the Hawks last pick in the 2nd until their first pick in the 3rd. And we have so much ammo right now…let’s package #85 and #100 to move up to #65.
#3.65 – Offensive Guard, Notre Dame, Jarrett Patterson
I recently switched from looking for Centers to draft, to guards. Patterson is the type that has played both. He started at center for a full year in 2019, but has more recently been playing left guard. Seahawks have two impending free agents at center, plus a free agent at guard in Phil Haynes. They should re-sign either Haynes or Blythe, perhaps cap-cut Gabe Jackson, and not be above moving Damien Lewis to a bench role.
I’ve been worried that waiting until the 4th round would make me miss out on Charbonnet, but in this mock I’m able to fix that. Charbonnet has been my 1A target at RB for over a year; and even at this point he still feels like tremendous value.
#3.88 – Defensive Line, Bowling Green, Karl Brooks
As a 6’4″/300lb college defensive END; Brooks is an interesting player. He’s posted top 10 national numbers in TFL and sacks this year (18.0 and 10.0), plus 6 hurries, 3 PBU, 2 FF. He may continue to rise beyond this point as the draft cycle proceeds. He looks like a guy that will post crazy agility scores for a big man. This is my pick to hedge for Poona Ford hitting free agency.
#5.141 – Linebacker, Louisville, Yasir Abdullah
After drafting DL that weigh 300lbs and 275lbs; we need one that weighs 250lbs. It’s a cool year for the passrushing OLB type. There are quality versions of this profile that fall to day three, but become quality pro’s almost every year. You just need to whiddle down to the right one. It’s generally a guy that came from a small school…maybe a Jose Ramirez out of EMU, a David Perales out of Fresno State…or he’s well undersized. The latter is the case for Yasir Abdullah. Listed 6’1″/242lbs. Like most of the defensive players in this mock; Abdullah is well-rounded: 13.0 TFL, 8.0 sacks, 7 hurries, 2 INT, 4 PBU, and 4 FF. Good dude, too.
#5.154 – Wide Receiver, UTSA, Zakhari Franklin
I don’t know that the Seahawks NEED to draft a WR. They have quality 1 & 2 guys, they drafted two last year that they don’t know how to use, and you could probably find a vet in free agency to sign on a 1-year deal basically every year. But with this many picks it won’t hurt. Listed 6’1″/185lbs, Franklin is a recent teammate of Tariq Woolen, and he posts numbers. 81/1027/12 TD last year through 13 games, 76/956/11 TD through 12 games this year. Top 20 numbers in the country. Plus, the hands seem really sticky. He’d make a very cool complimentary piece to Lock and DK.
#6.192 – Safety, Oklahoma State, Jason Taylor II
The Seahawks have more issues at safety than I think is generally discussed. Adams is a constant injury concern, Ryan Neal is a free agent, so is rostered (terrible) backup Josh Jones. It will be good to take two shots at the position. Taylor is a great ball-hawking safety that can play centerfield or step up in the box. 87 tackles, 2.0 TFL, 6 INT, 7 PBU on the year. Great value here.
1.6 DE Tyree Wilson
1.24 QB Hendon Hooker
2.34 S Ji’Ayir Brown
2.40 CB Emmanuel Forbes
2.49 LB Cedric Gray
3.65 OL Jarrett Patterson
3.80 RB Zach Charbonnet
3.88 DL Karl Brooks
5.141 LB Yasir Abdullah
5.154 WR Zakhari Franklin
6.192 S Jason Taylor