Pre-Combine mock draft

By Jared Stanger

This is basically just a datestamp to document where players are being valued before they test athletically at next week’s NFL Combine.

We’ll start with the pre-existing condition: it is pretty rare for top 10 picks, especially top 5, to be traded in recent years. Teams have learned not to overpay to move up and instead just force teams ahead to make their picks. I could see Seattle WANTING to trade down, but just not getting the partner or value that they’d like. We’ll stick with them moving off of the #20 overall. The Chiefs have 12 picks…half in the 6th-7th…but they’re coming off a Super Bowl win with a very good roster, so maybe they’d be interested in moving #31 + #63 for #20.

#1.5 – DE, Tyree Wilson

He’s got the frame, he’s got the production, we probably don’t get his athletic testing this week still coming off his foot injury, but we did learn recently that he can run around 4.55-4.59 in the forty at 275lbs. I have Tyree as a potential Jason Pierre Paul type player. Same build at around 6’5″/275lbs…JPP ran a 4.78 forty in his draft year, so a 4.58 from Tyree would be impressive.

#1.31 – QB, Hendon Hooker

There’s no doubt in my mind right now that Seattle brings back Geno Smith, but I still think there’s a ton of opportunity in a draft with two 1st round picks to make a move for the future and stash some value. There are basically three reasons people don’t value Hendon correctly: 1) age, 2) injury, 3) college scheme. (Occasionally I will also see someone question his armstrength, but that’s just lazy.)

Per the PFF research…longest college in-game air-yards throw:

*Justin Herbert 67 yards
Hendon Hooker 66 yards
Anthony Richardson 64 yards
Will Levis 62 yards
Bryce Young 59 yards
CJ Stroud 58 yards

As for the age factor…you either believe that’s relevant or you don’t. Will Levis will be 23 and 10 months by the draft. Joe Burrow was 23 and 4 months when he was drafted. The other option for Seahawks’ QB is a second year starter at 32 years old. There’s still value to be found in an older QB if he’s a GOOD player.

The injury factor is mostly relevant for teams that have a shortage of draftpicks and/or an immediacy need for a QB in 2023. Neither apply to Seattle…assuming Geno returns.

College scheme…I think this is consistently a dumb conversation. Patrick Mahomes fell to #10 overall primarily due to the college scheme question. Dak Prescott was downgraded for coming from a Dan Mullen scheme. Coming from a college spread scheme isn’t prohibitive any more than coming from a college team with a pro system is a de facto benefit. Listen to your QB prospects. Learn their heads and their hearts.

#2.37 – DL, Tuli Tuipulotu

In most drafts you can kind of get a feel for some positional profiles a team is targeting. Certainly you can spot the positions a draft class is strong in. For 2023, there is a nice little pocket of DL that go roughly 6’4″/290lbs that have inside/outside versatility. Keion White is recently the one with the most heat, so I’m backing off of him. Some people like Adetomiwa Adebawore at 6’2″/280lbs. Karl Brooks played mostly DE at 6’4″/300lbs. Mike Morris is a pretty quiet name out of Michigan, but he had decent production at 6’6″/292lbs. Also Colby Wooden from Auburn at 6’5″/284lbs, Tyler Lacy from Oklahoma State 6’4″/285lbs, Byron Young from Alabama 6’3″/292lbs, Kobie Turner from Wake at 6’3″/290lbs, and Dante Stills from WVU at 6’4″/285lbs.

I’m not sure why the community isn’t higher on Tuli. He’s a young player with huge production (22.0 TFL, 13.5 sacks), that plays faster than his listed size of 6’4″/290lbs. My only thought is that the world is kinda low on the entire Pac12 right now.

#2.52 – TE, Tucker Kraft

Tightend will be the big test of whether Seattle is drafting BPA again this year. They probably don’t need a TE, but they should be looking at this class of TE and deciding to take one anyway because of the class quality.

I like the mix of skillset and value on Kraft.

#2.63 – OL, Steve Avila

Whether you realize it or not; the interior of the OL is probably a draft priority for the Seahawks. Basically the first re-sign of the offseason was OG Phil Haynes and in his 710 show right after the signing John Schneider talked about the weakness of the vet free agent market for guards.

My road to Avila started with watching him live in the college playoffs where he was facing some pretty legit DL in Michigan and Georgia rosters. Then, he was easily one of the standouts at the Senior Bowl. Then, I dug in and found that he had played Center for a year in 2021. I think this guy has a really interesting profile, and I don’t think you leave the 2nd round without addressing OL in some capacity.

#3.83 – CB, Darius Rush

I like this CB class a lot, but I think you can incorporate some gamesmanship to wait a bit longer down the draft to pick one than you can at other positions. I’ve previously drafted Rush in, I think, the 5th or 6th round. That price went up after his performance at the Senior Bowl. It might go up again after the Combine, but I think I’m okay to target him here.

#4.123 – LB, Yasir Abdullah

This is a very interesting spot, cause there could be someone very cool and specific that randomly is still on the board. There’s certainly a wide spectrum of position groups that could be here. Running back makes sense, safety makes sense, there could be a rad DE that you could add to the DL you’ve already added.

I’m trying to get out in front of a rise up draftboards by Abdullah coming after his Combine appearance. And let me be specific here…Yasir played primarily a linebacker-sized passrusher for Louisville. I want to move him to MIKE linebacker. I think he moves so well in space. I think he can cover. I think he plays with such high FB IQ. I see a pro comp in him that I won’t announce, but that could be pretty special.

#5.153 – RB, Eric Gray

I see a lot of mock drafting that kinda overdrafts running backs en masse in the 3rd round. I don’t think that’s truly how the draft will play out. RB’s tend to fall. They certainly should fall to the 4th, and hopefully with the depth of RB this year a fair group will still be there into the 5th. I tend to think Seattle is looking for a RB that is more complimentary to Ken Walker than similar to him…Eric Gray might be too similar. But he’s just too damn fun.

#5.156 – DL, Dante Stills

When a position group is strong; it’s not a terrible idea to draft two. Like two OT and two CB in 2022. Dante Stills falls into the same group as Tuli Tuipulotu, but whereas Tuli has had more experience at DE; Dante has more reps at DT. In a sense, you need both as you are losing LJ Collier from DE and Poona Ford from DT as free agents.

#6.198 – DS, Jason Taylor II

JT2 is such a personal favorite player of mine in this draft. And, in part because of the devaluation of safeties in general, and in part because this particular safety class is not viewed highly; I think there is some real chance that he falls this far. It will depend on how he performs at the Combine.

#7.238 – OC, Alex Forsyth

This is basically just a dart throw pick. I look around draft big boards to see names that are available well-late into the top 300 names or so, and Forsyth is one that I like. With both Austin Blythe and backup center Kyle Fuller currently free agents; it may be a good idea to get two young players that can both play center, if needed.

Full draft:

DE Tyree Wilson
QB Hendon Hooker
DL Tuli Tuipuloto
TE Tucker Kraft
OL Steve Avila
CB Darius Rush
LB Yasir Abdullah
RB Eric Gray
DL Dante Stills
DS Jason Taylor II
OL Alex Forsyth

Copycat Mock Draft

By Jared Stanger

It is a copycat league. There will be many shades of teams across the league trying to replicate the rosters that the Chiefs and Eagles created to get to the Super Bowl. This is my approximation of how to make some of that construction via this year’s draft using the Seahawks’ draft capital.


Interestingly, the highest drafted player on either roster that I found was Lane Johnson at #1.4. After that a bit of a dropoff to a collection of players historically picked between #1.10 and #1.13. John Schneider has already planted the seeds via media interviews that Seattle has pick #1.5 up for sale. It will be another matter for them finding a partner.

In a fascinating coincidence (or not coincidence) the players in this next tier are one QB (Mahomes), and then a collection of three Eagles defensive linemen (Fletcher Cox, Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham). Ultimately, I think that is what Seattle will be deciding between: do they pull the trigger on a QB, or do they solidify the DL? My answer is: there isn’t a Mahomes in this draft…take the DL.

This exercise isn’t a perfect match as, without the tradeback, I don’t think you take any of Cox, Graham, Reddick at #5. But previous #5 overall’s have included Bradley Chubb, Khalil Mack.

DL Tyree Wilson

We’re sticking with the classic.


This is really not a great place to draft. The last 10 years have seen about 50% of picks at #20 go to WR. Then OL maybe 30%. Noah Fant was another #20 pick. This is the pick you want to trade back. And, really, I’m okay with a pretty big drop back. More on this later. We’ll swap #20 to the Chiefs for their 1st and 2nd rounders, #31 and #63.


George Karlaftis was a Chiefs picks at #1.30 last year, and I wouldn’t mind that strategy if it looked like that profile would be there. But there’s a gap between say #16 and #45 where I would realistically value the guys with that build/skillset. Plus, we made that move at #5.

Instead, I’m going to reach slightly for OL. The Eagles drafted former Alabama Center Landon Dickerson at #2.37, and he turned into a Pro Bowl Guard this year. He may still be the heir apparent to Jason Kelce at Center as Kelce nears retirement.

OC, John Michael Schmitz

I had a mock draft months ago with JMS coming to Seattle in the 2nd round. After his impressive Senior Bowl showing; he may be the definitive OC1 and may not make it to the 2nd round. He may be worth it.


The second round is deeply important. Sketching out the basic starting rosters of both Super Bowl teams: there were 17 drafted between #33 and #64. So making that tradeback from #20 and adding a third pick in the 2nd is so clutch.

As for #37…between KC and PHI; there were two very important, Pro Bowl players drafted literally at #37: the aforementioned Dickerson, and the Chiefs’ Chris Jones. We already ticked off a Dickerson guy, so what can we do now in the world of DT? After the Senior Bowl; I’m zeroing in on two potentials. The guy that looks the most like the 6’6″/310lb Jones is Wisconsin DT Keeanu Benton at 6’4″/312lbs and 33 6/8″ arms. But the guy I liked better from a performance standpoint was Bowling Green DE Karl Brooks at 6’3″/303lbs, 32 2/8″ arms.

DL, Karl Brooks


If you’re not gonna find Patrick Mahomes in this draft; it might be serviceable to find Jalen Hurts. Hurts was picked at #53, so this is a fun parallel as Seattle owns pick #53, but it moves to #52 after Miami forfeits their first rounder.

QB, Hendon Hooker

I believe in two QB’s this draft and Hooker is the other. I’d take him in the 1st…I like having the 5th year option on him…but look at the structure we created if able to get him in the 2nd? Two DL, and an OL.

In this scenario, Hooker becomes the Hurts to Geno Smith’s Carson Wentz. Wentz started 12 games in 2020 with Hurts getting the last four. Then, in year two Hendon is the full-time starter.

We’re not going to be able to tick all the boxes on Hendon before the draft. He’s making progress on his ACL recovery ahead of schedule, but by no means will he be able to compete at the Combine, and probably not Pro Day. But, in addition to his season tape, in addition to his exceptional two-year INT rate of 0.7% and TD-to-INT of 11.6, we found out by his Senior Bowl weigh-in that he officially comes in at 6’4″ and his hands are 10 4/8″. Both crucial for Seattle weather games.


Not only is the 2nd round THEE most important round to nail for roster building…there are, insanely, three players on both SB rosters that were picked at #2.62, and FIVE unique guys drafted at #63 overall. That is stunning. Here are the #63 guys: 3x Pro Bowler Frank Clark, 2022 Pro Bowler Creed Humphrey, Juan Thornhill, Willie Gay, and 8x Pro Bowler Travis Kelce.

It is a widely-respected tightend class this year, and to my eye if Seattle is still incorporating the “best player available” model that worked so well for them in 2022; they should be considering TE’s at many points despite having all three of their 2022 TE’s returning to the team for 2023. Maybe Dissly doesn’t come back from injury timely, maybe one gets traded from their position of depth, maybe you just do it cause of BPA and see what happens.

TE, Tucker Kraft


This one is a bit of a cheat cause I’m going to use a general Defensive Back category to draft a CB in the spirit of a guy that has played some nickel, but is really more of a Safety. But I’m also using a pick about 20 spots earlier than the Safety was drafted. So it kinda washes out, maybe-ish. The Eagles player is CJ Gardner Johnson, drafted at #4.105.

CB, Darius Rush

I think in previous mock(s) I’ve drafted Darius in like the 5th round, but after his Senior Bowl performance: I can’t see him get out of of the 4th. In future mocks when I’m not under the confines of this particular exercise, I may move him down to the 4th, but today he’s a 3rd.


There’s really only one player from the SB that fits this draft region: DE Josh Sweat. Sweat came out of FSU at 6’5″/251lbs before building up to about 265lbs as a pro. After a rookie redshirt campaign, he has been gradually improving every year with sack totals of: 4.0, 6.0, 7.5, 11.0. You don’t always find a power-5 edge guy around this pick…more often he’ll come from a small school, and that’s kind of my focus.

DE, Caleb Murphy

Murphy measured at the Shrine Game as 6’3″/254lbs and he set multiple college records in 2022 with his 25.5 sacks and 39.0 TFL. Crazy marks at any level of competition.


At this point, the pickin’s are pretty slim. Seattle has 4 draftpicks remaining, and I literally only have 9 names remaining on the KC/PHI rosters. I really need to take a Linebacker, but the closest match would be Mike Danna who is more of an undersized Edge.

LB, Yasir Abdullah

Yasir played primarily Edge for Louisville, but he measured only 6’1″/234lbs at the Shrine, so I’m going to train him to play primarily off the ball.


In most of my prior mock drafts for this cycle; I’ve either been drafting a Guard or a Center. The way this exercise works out; the best match is to try to pull KC Guard Trey Smith. Smith was a guy that many had very high projection on if he had declared earlier in his Tennessee career. Instead he waited, had some slight health redflag pop up, and fell to the Chiefs at #226 in the 6th round. It’s kind of a similar story for UW’s Jaxson Kirkland.

OG, Jaxson Kirkland

Jaxson initially declared for the 2022 draft…he had an invite to the Senior Bowl that year, but discovered he needed ankle surgery. Then, to return to UW in 2022, he had some weird eligibility issue with the NCAA, and had to be approved for a waiver. That finally got settled, but Jaxson was moved from OT back to OG by new Washington coaching staff, and when the season ended; Jaxson ended up at the Shrine Game where he measured 6’7″/322lbs.


Another slight cheat…although it’s more of a reach than anything, which should be acceptable. Chiefs drafted RB Isaiah Pacheco in the 7th round, but I’ll take one earlier for a team that tends to rely on it’s run-game more than KC does. I’m also targeting a runner with slightly bigger dimensions than Pacheco.

RB, Camerun Peoples

Camerun measured 6’2″/215lbs at the Senior Bowl after playing at App State closer to 225lbs. I’d ask him to bulk back up for the League. Looking for a trucker, here.


There’s kind of only one player left to copy at this point: Chiefs 7th round pick last year, CB Jaylen Watson out of WSU. It wouldn’t be the worst strategy in this deep 2023 CB class. But in this particular case…I’m going to do the inverse of what I did in the 3rd round. Instead of drafting a CB in a Safety spot…I will take a Safety in a CB spot.

DS, Jason Taylor II

Nobody in the media is on Taylor, so we’ll see if he actually falls this far. At minimum he’s a special teams Pro Bowler kind of guy.

Normally, I would do a quick summary of all the picks here, but I’m starving. Please just scroll back up this time.

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

    Seattle 12/12 Seamock

    By Jared Stanger

    Happy 12th Man Day! We’ve got a new mock draft for you. After this weekend’s games, including the Broncos loss to the Chiefs and the Seahawks falling out of the playoffs with their loss to the Panthers, Seattle now sits with the #2 overall pick in the 2023 draft. Crazy. And then their own pick is currently #17.

    Personally, that’s too rich for my blood. I’m going to try to find a team that wants to draft a QB that I can trade down with. The best fit looks to be Detroit, who own the #4 pick they acquired from the Rams, and then they own their own pick at #15. To actually make the math work we have to include multiple picks each. Total swap = Seahawks’ #1.2, #2.49, #5.144 for Detroit’s #1.4, #1.15, #3.78.

    After that trade, Seahawks own both the #15 and #17 overall picks. I will trade down one of those to get back my lost second-rounder. I went with Cincinnati (for no real reason) who give up pick #1.26 and #2.57 to get Seahawks’ #15.

    These two deals give Seattle 10 total picks, including SEVEN in the top 100.


    This first pick is really tough. I’m not comfortable with either of the two consensus top QB. I am VERY spooked by Georgia DT Jalen Carter and his maturity level. I like Will Anderson, but that knee brace he always wears bothers me a bit. So I am, in theory, over-drafting here. Unless I’m right.

    #1.4 – Defensive End, Texas Tech, Tyree Wilson

    I feel very strongly that Seattle drafts a defensive end this draft that is 275lbs. Someone that they can trust to set an edge, play run defense, but is also a passrushing threat, and bonus if he can slide inside on third downs. The general list would include Tyree Wilson (6’6″/275), Myles Murphy (6’5″/275), Zach Harrison (6’6″/272), DJ Johnson (6’4″/270), Isaiah Mcguire (6’4″/274), Yaya Diaby (6’4″/270), and there are a bunch more that are currently listed more 265-ish.

    Myles Murphy has the highest profile and might be the less-shocking pick at #4. Zach Harrison might destroy the combine, and is a really interesting idea later in the draft, but this might be a stretch. Tyree is a guy that is pretty consistently getting top 10 love right now, so it’s not totally crazy to pick him here. If I thought I could make a trade work closer to the 6-7 slot, I would do it. But I really like the Detroit deal, and it’s better to get your guy and be shunned by media on draft day, than to draft a media darling who is a bust four year later. Plus, you have added value by creating a third 1st round pick.

    #1.17 – Defensive Back, Alabama, Brian Branch

    This was a tough pick. Part of me wanted to get a jump on the linebacker class to help solidify the Seattle run-defense, but I’m not totally sold on the man. I think I will feel more comfortable after the combine, as this pick should be a top end athlete. For now, I’m sort of blending consensus draft position, player performance, and stealing from the “Freaks List”.

    Branch is a 6’0″/193lbs defensive back that is one of the new generation of position-less DB’s. Is he a corner? Is he a safety? Is he a nickel? What he is, is one of the best tackling DB’s in the country.

    #1.26 – Quarterback, Tennessee, Hendon Hooker

    I’m not going to let the unexpected, pro bowl performance by Geno Smith to prevent me from drafting a QB of the future. Most recent high-end QB draftpicks have still required minimum two years to really develop into a quality starter.

    Hendon has been my guy for better part of two draft cycles. I’ll be elated to have him in the QB room, and let him work into the lineup when he’s ready. And, perhaps most importantly, drafting him here will give us the 5th year option on his contract. Which helps mitigate the development time.

    #2.34 – Nose Tackle, Michigan, Mazi Smith

    The Seahawks HAVE to improve their run-defense. The Michigan Wolverines had the 4th-best run-defense by YPC in the FBS, and Mazi was at the very center of that. This year’s freakiest athlete is listed 6’3’/337lbs and reportedly has a 33″ vert and a 6.95 cone. Explosion and agility. Plus he just looks jacked like Vince Wilfork.

    #2.57 – Linebacker, North Carolina, Cedric Gray

    I’m really not going to feel totally comfortable with a linebacker pick until I’ve seen their performance at the Combine. I think athleticism will matter here. I’m looking for a great athlete, and ideally a guy that has a bit of passrush to him. A guy like Trenton Simpson is probably the athlete, but we haven’t seen enough of the passrush. Drew Sanders is interesting on tape, but I don’t trust the person. Ivan Pace has a bunch of great tape, but I wonder about the athleticism.

    So, for now, I’m slotting Cedric Gray in to the role until some other questions are answered on all of them. Gray is 6’2″/230lbs, 138 tackles, 10.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 4 hurries, 2 INT, 5 PBU, 3 FF. A well-rounded player.

    #3.78 – Center, Michigan, Olusegun Oluwatimi

    Seattle HAS to get better in the middle of their OL. I don’t necessarily care if it comes as a Guard or a Center. Oluwatimi recently won two national awards for linemen, and Michigan as a unit is a finalist for the Joe Moore Award. Really, I’m just hunting value, and I like getting Olu in the 3rd. Much like Mazi is to Michigan’s #4 overall run defense, Olu is to Michigan’s #5 rush offense.

    #3.80 – Running Back, UCLA, Zach Charbonnet

    The loss to the Panthers not only showed the problems the Seahawks continue to have in run defense, but it also shows the problem the offense has when not equipped with a competent RB. Penny is a free agent, Homer is not a guy you give 20 touches to, Dallas is still a bit of a mystery. We’ve got to get another RB. Fortunately, RB is not valued highly (again) this year. We should be able to find a quality back in the 3rd or 4th. Until I see anyone value Charbonnet more; I will continue targeting him at this price.

    #4.119 – Defensive Tackle, Clemson, Tyler Davis

    Another DT from a top 15 run-defense, Davis also gives a bit of passrush. He’d be a great hedge for the free agent Poona Ford.

    #5.152 – Tight End, Minnesota, Brevyn Spann-Ford

    This late in the draft you can do things that aren’t necessarily need-based. I’m taking BSF because I like his tape. I think he fits what the Seahawks like to do really well.

    #6.193 – Safety, Kansas, Kenny Logan Jr

    This is a lowkey nice safety class, but no one seems to be talking about it. Probably because the position is undervalued across the league. There are a number of safeties I like at a number of values. I’ve pushed my safety pick down in this mock a) because Brian Branch COULD be a safety, b) because in theory Seattle has a LOT of salary cap already tied up at the safety spots, and it will complicate things to spend an early, obvious pick on one.

    Logan became my pick based on the way he can play centerfield while also racking up 8.0 tackles per game.

    With the draft capital they have, the ability to move that capital around to add value, and the needs (and non-needs) they enter this draft with; the Seattle Seahawks have the opportunity to have another strong draft in 2023.

    Seahawks 2023 Mock: Trade Edition

    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.

    #3.80 – Running Back, Zach Charbonnet

    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

    Seahawks Mock Draft: November

    By Jared Stanger

    The Seahawks may be on bye, but draft scouting goes on. And the good news is, due to a loss by the Denver Broncos on Sunday; Seattle is now projecting to pick in the 5th overall draftslot as their pick acquired from Denver in the Russell Wilson trade. And the 2nd rounder from Denver this year would actually fall at #35 overall. The Seattle native picks are a little less concrete as playoff teams will be reseeded as they progress or get eliminated from the playoffs, but for now we call it pick #21. The overall draft board goes:


    To me, if you’re picking in the top 5, and you’ve already given Geno Smith a new contract of some sort, and you hit on two OT last year, and it’s not a good class for WR in general let alone top 5, you’re trying to find a defensive superstar of some kind. The three names that seem to come up the most are DE Will Anderson, DT Jalen Carter, and CB Kelee Ringo. If any two teams in the top four take QB’s; you’re guaranteed to get one of those three. It’s kind of like last year when it felt pretty likely you would get one of the top three OT’s on the board.

    Ringo, even though it would be so fun to bring a Tacoma guy home to Washington, is probably the least needed as you’re doing very well with 2022 CB picks Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant, and 2021 pick Tre Brown may be back after the bye.

    If he blows up the Combine the way he’s expected to; Carter may be the least likely to fall to #5. And then you’re hoping that somebody in the top 4 goes with an offensive tackle in there somewhere. This will actually leave you with a choice between 2 of your top 3 targets. In this scenario it’s between Ringo and Anderson.

    #1.5 – Defensive End, Alabama, Will Anderson

    This has been a down year for college passrushers. Basically across the board. Will Anderson is one of the few that was touted before the season and he’s still produced. Listed at 6’4″/243lbs, Anderson has posted 46 tackles, 14.0 TFL, 8.0 sacks, 10 hurries, 1 PBU, 1 INT, through 11 games. That production is top 25 in the country with a few games to go. And his numbers in 2021 were even better: 33.5 TFL, 17.5 sacks, 9 hurries. In the pass-rush study I did earlier this fall; it appeared to me that there are certain benchmarks that are hugely predictive of future success. But it also suggested that those numbers do not have to be accrued in any given player’s draft year…they can come in an underclass year.

    The one thing I don’t love about the Anderson pick is that in my research it seems as though Seattle is looking harder at Edge rushers that are more in the 275lb range than the linebacker size. This could be a Myles Murphy, DJ Johnson, Isaiah Foskey, or the guy I was really high on until literally a couple hours ago when it came out that he was injured and would miss the rest of the year: Tyree Wilson. Tyree self-reported he had a broken bone in his foot. We’ve seen broken foot injuries become extremely hard to completely heal for other players in the past, so this is potentially a scary injury. But, in theory, I really like the player.

    #2.21 – Center, Minnesota, John Michael Schmitz

    In recent years I’ve been extremely frustrated at the times and values the Seahawks have passed on at the Center position. I really don’t want to do it again. Determining the correct time to strike on a Center is a bit challenging. Last year Tyler Linderbaum came off as the first Center drafted at #25 overall, with Cole Strange quickly following at #29. In 2021, it was more like #37 in the 2nd (depending on if you call Landon Dickerson a Center), and then Josh Myers and Creed Humphrey at #62-63.

    I’d like to wait for him until the 2nd round, but it’s not worth the risk. This year isn’t as strong at Center as the previous two drafts. Gotta get your guy.

    JMS is such a rock-solid player. Smart. Tough. Reliable. Former wrestler. I also like that he’s the anchor of the OL that has blocked for the 2nd-most productive running back, Mohamed Ibrahim, in the country. Minnesota has also allowed only 10 sacks, 8th-fewest in the country, through 11 games this year. Good combination of metrics, tape, and intangibles.

    If he declares, another Center to really watch for is Georgia redshirt Soph Sedrick Van Pran. He has nasty in a way that the current OL doesn’t really have.

    #3.35 – Quarterback, Tennessee, Hendon Hooker

    After the heart-breaking news that Hendon tore his ACL in his game yesterday vs South Carolina, ending his season, you sort of go through a version of the stages of grief. When you get to bargaining; you start to realize that maybe this lowers Hendon’s draft stock. I mean, it will. It’s just a question of how much. I did some quick research and found 6-10 recent, similar examples and in almost every one the player didn’t fall beyond the 2nd round.

    Again, it should already be in John Schneider’s mind to extend Geno Smith to an extension. Ideally, it’s two years with more guaranteed money, but maybe you have to go three years with a non-guaranteed 3rd year. This would give Hendon plenty of time to rehab, and then get his practice reps up. The interesting part might come to be what Seattle does for their QB2 as Drew Lock is also a free agent.

    Being able to get Hendon in the 2nd round would be such a bonus. It would keep Geno’s mind more at ease. It would allow you to address some other needs first.

    #2.54 – Cornerback, Illinois, Devon Witherspoon

    Witherspoon is a quickly ascending player who you’d be thrilled to get in the late-2nd. He’s listed 6’0″/180lbs, but plays stronger than his weight might suggest. He’s very productive, posting 37 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 INT, 14 PBU through 11 games this year.

    #3.85 – DL, Pittsburgh, Calijah Kancey

    Kancey is an interesting player. He’s undersized at 6’0″/280lbs, but has some of the best interior passrush tape in this class. If what he’s done at the college level translates to the NFL; he’d be a player type the Seahawks are sorely lacking. It would be an even bigger bonus if he shows capability to play DE on early downs.

    #4.122 – RB, UCLA, Zach Charbonnet

    It is stunning to me that I never see Charbonnet mocked higher. But Dameon Pierce fell to the 4th round, so who knows. At 6’1″/220lbs, I like the idea of Charbonnet as a counter-point to Ken Walker.

    #5.145 – LB, North Carolina, Cedric Gray

    Cody Barton will be a free agent after this year, so the Seahawks need a starting linebacker pretty bad. My hope is that they sign one in free agency, and then add another at their leisure in the draft. Gray is listed 6’2″/230lbs and should start climbing draft boards based on his performance this year. He’s 3rd in the country in tackles while also posting 9TFL, 1 sack, 4 hurries, 2 INT, 5 PBU, and 2 FF. Well-rounded backer that could play MIKE if needed, but we’ll be playing him at WILL.

    #5.159 – DS, Oklahoma State, Jason Taylor II

    Seattle has a ton of money tied up in the safety spot, but Jamal Adams is a current and constant injury problem. Quandre Diggs is having a down year, but he’s too important in the locker room. But we still need to augment that position group. Taylor is a 6’0″/215lbs safety that pulls high tackle numbers (7.55/gm) and this year has 5 INT, 7 PBU, and 2 TFL. A very solid player with upside.

    #6.197 – LB, Louisville, Yasir Abdullah

    While this Edge class is a little disappointing at the high end; it does have nice depth. I highly recommend drafting two. Abdullah is a bit of a tweener at 6’1″/242lbs, but he’s posted consecutive years of 8.0+ sacks, and before the year is over that could be back-to-back 10+ sacks. And he’s well-rounded enough that he could play off the ball if needed. He’s got 2 INT, 4 PBU, 4 FF, 13 TFL.


    DE Will Anderson
    OC John Michael Schmitz
    QB Hendon Hooker
    CB Devon Witherspoon
    DL Calijah Kancey
    RB Zach Charbonnet
    LB Cedric Gray
    DS Jason Taylor
    LB Yasir Abdullah

    Seahawks Mock Draft 2023

    By Jared Stanger

    We’re almost through week 6 of the NFL season, and it’s been a full 7 weeks in the college game, so we’re starting to get a stronger idea of draft prospects. We also have a good idea of draft positions. The Seahawks (prior to Denver playing MNF) hold 9 picks including two 1’s, two 2’s, and two 5’s. The overall board (prior to compensatory picks) stands at: #1.12, #1.14, #2.44, #2.45, #3.82, #4.113, #5.138, #5.144, #6.175. Let’s see what kind of fun we can get into.

    As I have been tracking the draft pick positions weekly, there has been a lot of time where the native Seattle pick and the 1st acquired from Denver in the Russell Wilson trade have fallen back-to-back. That isn’t the case as I write this after the Seahawks win to go to 3-3 on the year, and Denver has yet to play while sitting at 2-3. If they should eventually return to being neighboring picks; the order the two players come off is semantics, and could even be discussed as 12a and 12b, or whatever the number is.

    #1.12 – DE, Kansas State, Felix Anudike Uzomah

    There are two position groups that seem pretty obvious targets as I track where the Seattle scouting department is every week. The group that currently seems the most-heavily scouted is not quarterback. It’s defensive end. The team is due to lose LJ Collier and Darryl Johnson to free agency. The roster already holds roughly 3 other DE with similar profile to Collier: Shelby Harris at 6’2″/288lbs, Quinton Jefferson at 6’4″/291lbs, and Myles Adams at 6’2″/290lbs.

    The Darryl Johnson profile is more 6’6″/255lbs. Similar on the roster include IR guys Alton Robinson 6’3″/259lbs, Tyreke Smith 6’3″/255lbs, PS player Bruce Irvin 6’3″/258lbs, and active roster Boye Mafe 6’4″/261lbs, Uchenna Nwosu 6’2″/251lbs, Darrell Taylor 6’4″/267lbs.

    So it kind of resembles two pretty different groups, but it also lacks the kind of profile that splits the difference at around 6’4″/275lbs. This list in terms of college players could include Isaiah Foskey 6’5″/265lbs, Myles Murphy 6’5″/275lbs, Tyree Wilson 6’6″/275lbs, DJ Johnson 6’4″/270lbs, Yaya Diaby 6’4″/270lbs. I think that is actually the profile Seattle is targeting highest, but targeting and acquiring are not the same. If the profile, the talent, and the availability don’t align…you pivot. This is a mild pivot.

    Felix Anudike Uzomah is really starting to make a name for himself in draft circles. He’s actually a pretty good marker for the quality of a mock draft. At 6’4″/255lbs and with 6.5 sacks in 6 games in 2022; FAU is the right mix of size, athleticism, intangibles and production to warrant a high first round pick.

    #1.14 – QB, Tennessee, Hendon Hooker

    I’ve had my eyes on Hendon Hooker for just over a year now, and not only has his on-field performance elevated this season, but his draft stock is finally catching up. At 6’4″/218lbs, Hendon is built like you want them to be. At 4.86ypc he can run like you want them to when needed. At 70% completion, 10.7 ypa, and 15 TD to 1 INT he’s efficient and disciplined as a passer like you want. And he’s as tough as they come. This is a no-brainer for me.

    #2.44 – CB, Illinois, Devon Witherspoon

    This might be the toughest pick to make this draft. Hawks could look to improve at linebacker, they could try to improve their run-stuffing or passrush from the interior DL, they could look to improve depth behind club controlled but injured or ineffective players at WR/DS/CB/RB. My pick goes to cornerback as there are no fewer than five CB on the roster that are gonna be free agents.

    Devon Witherspoon is a 6’0″/180lb redshirt junior corner with 11 PBU and 1 INT through 7 games in 2022. In 2021 he also showed a ton of tackling skill when he averaged 5.2 tackles per game plus 8.0 TFL.

    #2.45 – OC, Minnesota, John Michael Schmitz

    I have no particular intel to think Seattle will finally make a move on a new center, after two years of passing on very good centers at very good value, but they do have two impending free agents in Austin Blythe and Kyle Fuller. They’re also due to lose guard Phil Haynes. None of these players would be expensive and could probably be retained if wanted. I’m going with the draftpick cause I just really like Schmitz’ tape and it would be cool to have LT-OC-RT locked up for the next 3.5 years.

    Schmitz is listed 6’4″/320lbs. Smart player. Crazy consistent on tape. Not a nasty player per se, which sometimes you like in your OL, but I can pass on that at center in favor of nasty guards. Also worth noting that his Minnesota squad is a top 20 rushing attack in the country.

    #3.82 – SS, Boise State, JL Skinner

    JL Skinner is a huge box safety with great motor, ball skills, and a penchant for laying the wood. I love this guy’s intangibles, too. It’d be so fun to have a 6’4″/224lb safety again.

    #4.113 – RB, UCLA, Zach Charbonnet

    This is probably the easiest pick of this mock. I simply love Charbonnet’s game. He’s a 6’1″/220lb sledgehammer of a runner that is also one of the more explosive backs in this class at 7.07ypc. With Rashaad Penny a free agent who has been frequently injured; I’m just not coming out of this draft without another back. The Oklahoma lead runner Eric Gray would be another intriguing option here.

    #5.138 – DE, Oregon, Brandon Dorlus

    These last few picks are more about filling in some gaps that you missed on earlier. Preferably with good athlete upside. Dorlus is a 6’3″/290lb DL with inside/outside versatility.

    #5.144 – DT, Penn State, PJ Mustipher

    Mustipher is a 6’4″/318lb run-stuffer I’m bringing in to help replace the free agent Poona Ford.

    #6. 175 – LB, Arkansas, Drew Sanders

    I very much doubt Drew Sanders is still available this late, but in the reference mock I used to ground all of these pick values he was. At 6’5″/233lbs Sanders has a big frame that could probably even carry 15 more lbs. He can passrush (6.5 sacks, 6 hurries), he can cover a little bit (3 PBU), and he can turn the ball over (3 FF).

    Mariner draft redux

    By Jared Stanger

    We’re almost two weeks out from the 2022 MLB Draft, and this Mariner’s draft class is still sitting weird with me. Like, it seems very bipolar. I think they did something really interesting with the evals they did for hitting prospects, but I’m simultaneously very spooked by the way they drafted for pitching.

    So I became obsessed with the idea of an instant redrafting of this class. For this, I created a set of rules with which the picks had to follow to be allowable.

    1. All picks must be players that were drafted or signed as free agents.
    2. All picks in the top 10 rounds must have signed their real contracts for a combined amount equal to (or under) what the Mariners spent on their top 10 picks.
    3. All picks in rounds 11-20 must have signed their real contracts for less than $125,000, or an overslot amount that fits under top 10 bonus pool.
    4. All picks must be made before (or equal) to where their real draft position was.
    5. Players that signed as undrafted free agents may be drafted at any point, for any bonus amount.

    The Mariners spent a total of $7,591,500 on their top 10 picks, but I believe their available pool after the 5% bump from the new CBA was closer to $7,621,110. The latter will be the hardline figure I can’t pass, but I’ll try to keep it closer to the former.

    #1.21 pick, (#21 real) – SS, Cole Young, $3,300,000 bonus

    In hindsight, I think the Cole Young pick was a bit of a forced preemptive move to get some more shortstop talent in the system as the M’s were well into trade-talks where Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo were being highly sought after. It was also good to take left-hand bats where you can, as this draft wasn’t deep in that area.

    #2.58 pick, (#58 real) – 3B, Tyler Locklear, $1,276,500 bonus

    Tyler Locklear was the single-best hitter I found when I did my analysis, so I had him in my pre-draft mocks. Then the M’s drafted him. So we’ll keep him right where he is.

    #2.74 pick, (#80 real) – RHP, Andrew Taylor, $807,200 bonus

    I had Taylor in my mock drafts…I even tended to “reach” for him…but, apparently, I wasn’t reaching enough for him. As one of the younger true Junior pitchers in this class, I just really want the mix of college experience with some projection remaining.

    #4.126 pick, (#145 real) – LHP, Hunter Patteson, $394,500 bonus

    Patteson was another guy I had in my mocks, but just not high enough. He’s gonna be a longer project as he has had recent Tommy John surgery, but I really like the tools from the lefthand side.

    #5.156 pick, (#328 real) – RHP, Caden Dana, $1,500,000 bonus

    The Angels drafted Dana in the 11th round, but then signed him for $1.5mill, so he was available in the 5th, and only cost $250k more than the overslot deal Seattle gave to Walter Ford, and then you save more than enough to cover the difference by going Patteson instead of Ashton Izzi in the 4th.

    #6.186 pick, (#253 real) – RHP, Tyler Guilfoil, $122,500 bonus

    Guilfoil could be had anywhere in the next three picks. I’m just putting him here as this slot was open, and the bonus is higher than the next couple guys. Tyler has nice present tools as a quick-to-the-show reliever, but I’m not completely sure he couldn’t start. Might be a Matt Brash type guy. Start him until you can’t.

    #7.216 pick, (#216 real) – 2B, Hogan Windish, $20,000 bonus

    The M’s did some of their best work this draft identifying Senior college hitters with intriguing hit tools, plus power, that would sign for underslot. I love the value of Windish here. Not only was he the first 2022 pick to play in the minors, he has also already been promoted to Modesto as of Saturday afternoon.

    #8.246 pick, (#246 real) – C, Tatem Levins, $50,000 bonus

    Levins is a similar story to Windish. Very nice hit tool, power took big step this year, signing for underslot, AND he’s a lefty hitting catcher. I don’t necessarily trust that Levins has the arm to stick behind the plate, but I like seeing how far the bat carries him.

    #9.276 pick, (#283 real) – RHP, Brett Gillis, $97,500 bonus

    Gillis, the former Everett product, was tough to figure out slotting. Sometimes, historically, the guys drafted top 10 rounds aren’t as good talent-wise as guys drafted in rounds, say, 11-13. They get overdrafted so that they can get underslotted. Astros took him in the 9th, which I think is pretty talent/value appropriate.

    #10.306 pick, (UDFA) – SS, Brad Malm, $20,000 bonus

    As I started writing this piece, the 10th round was the last one left open. I wanted to draft catcher Andrew Cossetti here because the Twins drafted him in the 11th round at #324, and they have signed him, but I don’t know what the actual bonus was. Under the rules of this process, I can’t use Cossetti. He might cost more than I have remaining in bonus pool. And I don’t have much bonus pool left.

    The M’s used two of their first 6 picks, and 47% of their bonus pool, on two shortstops. In hindsight, I think it was clearly strategized. I didn’t love Josh Hood’s hitting metrics outside of his exit velocity, and I couldn’t really afford him in this construction.

    Brad Malm was my compromise. He hit .340/.403/1.058 with 15 HR in 47 games for Albany. He signed as a free agent after the draft, so I can basically determine his bonus as a “drafted” player. $20,000 is just under my remaining budget, while saving enough to go overslot on the 11th round.

    At this point, after drafting and budgeting all of my top 10 picks, I have approximately $32,910 of bonus pool remaining to go overslot in rounds 11-20.

    #11.336 pick, (#405 real) – OF, Chris Newell, $147,500

    I like Newell’s defense, he’s got really nice base-running, and he has a pretty intriguing power swing from the left side. Going overslot by $22,500 will still keep me ~$10,000 in the black.

    #12.366 pick, (#371 real) – UT, Brooks Baldwin, $125,000

    Baldwin is a pretty interesting player. He’s a 6’2″/175lb athlete that hit .347/.406/1.021 with 11 HR, 16 SB for UNC Wilmington primarily as a 2B. But then this summer he was hitting .361 with the wood bats in the Cape league where he’s played 4 games at 1B, 2 games at 2B, 5 games at 3B, 2 games at SS, 2 games in CF, 1 game in LF, and 15 games in RF. Plus, he can switch-hit.

    #13.396 pick, (#415 real) – RHP, Ben Sears, $125,000 bonus

    There were a few closer types that I had my eye on throughout the process. Sears was one that A) I liked more predraft due to his stuff, B) I’ve seen his signing bonus reported. I can’t use the guys that I don’t know if they are under the $125k mark.

    #14.426 pick, (#508 real) – LHP, Sammy Natera, $125,000 bonus

    The M’s found one wild but hard-throwing lefty reliever for real in UDFA in Drake Batcho, but I’m plugging in Natera here as a second shot. Big strikeout numbers as a starter, but I’m definitely moving him to the pen to see if he can focus better there.

    #15.456 pick, (#483 real) – RHP, Trey Braithwaite, $100,000 bonus

    Braithwaite is a very over-aged player, but he’s throwing 99mph with sub-2.00 ERA in both the Big12 and the MLB Draft League, so there may be a chance he moves quickly through the minors.

    #16.486 pick, (#568 real) – 1B, Luke Franzoni, $75,000 bonus

    I had a couple of first basemen I was considering here. One a righty, one a lefty. One ranked very high in my hitting metrics, the other won the Division II college Gold Glove. I’m going with the more bat-forward guy. Franzoni hit 29 homers over 58 games this year. Enough said.

    #17.516 pick, (#516 real) – RHP, Stefan Raeth, unknown

    Raeth is the only guy that I broke the rules for, but he was a guy Seattle drafted here anyways, so I’m guessing he fits under the $125,000 mark. Raeth is a local/UW reliever that has spent time at Driveline. He was off to a very impressive start this year, leading the country in K rate, before cooling off towards the end. He still finished with 1.146 WHIP, 12.1 SO/9, and 4.68 SO/BB primarily out of the pen.

    #18.546 pick, (#554 real) – RHP, Duncan Davitt, $25,000 bonus

    Davitt was a guy that popped up on my radar after the MLB Draft League. He posted identical 3.38 ERA’s between MLBDL and Big Ten. Both leagues he posted WHIP under 1.200, SO/9 over 12.0, and SO/BB over 3.00. Very intriguing profile.

    #19.576 pick, (UDFA) – OF, Bryson Worrell, $20,000 bonus

    Worrell fell all the way out of the draft for some unknown reason, so I’m just gonna swoop in and grab him here. He’s 6’2″/226lbs, and hit .335/.401/1.032 with 20 HR, 10×10 SB, and played some nice OF for East Carolina, including some very clutch play in the CWS.

    #20.606 pick, (UDFA) – 2B, Josh Zamora, $20,000 bonus

    Zamora was another guy that fell to UDFA, but I liked his bat enough in my analytics that I’d like to draft him before he gets to pick his landing spot. 5th year Senior hit .362/.470/1.145 with 16 HR, and 40 to 27 BB to SO rate for Nevada.


    The M’s have also signed three players as undrafted guys to this point: C Connor Charping, LHP Drake Batcho, and RHP Austin Marozos. I didn’t spend a pick on any of those because even in this hypothetical they would still end up with Seattle.

    Overall Haul:

    SS Cole Young
    3B Tyler Locklear
    RHP Andrew Taylor
    LHP Hunter Patteson
    RHP Caden Dana
    RHP Tyler Guilfoil
    2B Hogan Windish
    C Tatem Levins
    RHP Brett Gillis
    SS Brad Malm
    OF Chris Newell
    UT Brooks Baldwin
    RHP Ben Sears
    LHP Sammy Natera
    RHP Trey Braithwaite
    1B Luke Franzoni
    RHP Stefan Raeth
    RHP Duncan Davitt
    OF Bryson Worrell
    2B Josh Zamora

    C Connor Charping
    LHP Drake Batcho
    RHP Austin Marozas

    Final Mariner Mock

    By Jared Stanger

    The 2023 MLB Draft starts tomorrow, and in light of new comments coming out from Mariner Director of Amateur Scouting, Scott Hunter, I think I need to make another attempt at predicting the M’s haul. Actually, this might be my first attempt at predicting what they do, after previously primarily focusing on what I would, personally, do.

    The first thing that became clear from Hunter’s comments, I think, after going high school players with three consecutive picks to start the 2021 Draft, this year Seattle goes back to their bread and butter, and best successes, in drafting a college player, who will most likely be a pitcher.

    Another point that I talked about before, and which became more solidified from Hunter, there is a high likelihood the player Seattle drafts will be the one that falls in the draft. Now, it’s a fair, and important, question to determine what big board from what TIME in this draft cycle you use as determining a player’s point in ranking that could then determine if he’s falling vs fallen. A player considered top 10 in February, at the beginning of the college season, may today be considered in the 25-30 range in the most up-to-date, last-minute rankings. Especially because of the next point.

    I’m really coming around to the idea that Seattle’s first pick may, in fact, be one of the many pitchers that is coming back from an injury. If the thinking is that modern medical science is that a pitcher can not only fully recover from, say, Tommy John surgery, but in many cases they come back stronger than before it…and if your timeline says you have enough young, talented pitching on the roster and in the high minors to bide you over…maybe you create value by drafting a high-upside pitcher that in time will return to a top-10 talent, while getting him at #21 due to present injury.

    So who fits the profile of 1) college player, 2) falling in the draft, 3) missed time and coming back from injury? I think the #1 target will be:

    #1.21 – LHP, Alabama, Connor Prielipp

    The backstory on Prielipp is that he had an insane, albeit brief, debut as a college freshman. He started 4 games, pitched only 21.0 innings, gave up ZERO earned runs (5 unearned), only 5 hits, 6 walks, and struck out 35 before Covid shut everything down. That’s a 0.00 ERA, 0.524 WHIP, 15.0 SO/9, 5.83 SO/BB. All incredible numbers. And that’s a point in a career when a guy is usually not great and having struggles adapting to the bump in play after leaving high school.

    Then, in 2021, he pitched 5.0 shutout innings versus McNeese State with 8 strikeouts to open the year on February 19, then he was shutdown for two months. He came back on April 17th and pitched one inning, and shutdown again for another month. His last appearance was May 16th…another one inning start. Shortly after that he underwent Tommy John surgery.

    Connor missed the entire 2022 college season, but has re-habbed to the point where he’s been able to throw a couple of “bullpen” sessions for scouts at two different events over the last month or two. At those events his fastball was already back up into the 94-95mph range, and it’s probably a fair assumption he will be able to pitch some innings this summer in the minors for his drafting team. In terms of the injured pitchers, Prielipp might be the best-case-scenario as far as timeline. (*You could also argue Kumar Rocker who had a shoulder surgery in late 2021, but threw 20 innings over 5 starts for an independent league team this Spring.)

    Speaking of Rocker…I could totally see the M’s go there. They seem to sorta love a buzz or media guy. I have my apprehensions about him personally, but we digress. To his credit, Rocker in the indy league this year posted 1.00 ERA, 0.750 WHIP, 14.4 SO/9, and, my favorite note, only 1.8 BB/9. In his three years at Vandy Rocker averaged 2.6 BB/9, including a 2.9 BB/9 for 2021. So I definitely like him more if he’s throwing more strikes.

    The other guys I think come in to play here: RHP Cade Horton (who missed his TJ year in 2021), RHP Blade Tidwell (missed the first month of the season with milder injury), maybe LHP Carson Whisenhunt (missed the year on suspension).

    I still love Cooper Hjerpe but I tend to think he’s not considered to have enough “upside” for the M’s. I still like Jackson Ferris but tend to think high school is off the board.

    #2.58 – RHP, Don Bosco, Caden Dana

    There are a ton of sort of low-ceiling college pitchers ranked near this range (Adam Mazur, Jonathan Cannon, Drew Thorpe, Jake Bennett, Brycen Mautz) but the upside comes more from high school or the JUCO guy, Jacob Misiorowski. High school righty Cole Phillips was up to 100mph before needing TJ surgery in April, and I really like the high-pitchability prep lefty Bradley Loftin. But already having one lefty in the bank from the first round, I’m going for HS RHP Caden Dana. He’s 6’5″/215lbs and the fastball is already at 95mph.

    #2.74 – SS, Virginia Tech, Tanner Schobel

    It’s always important to find up-the-middle guys. I don’t hardcore love any of this crop of college shortstops for sticking at the position and hitting, but I think there are a few that are capable enough to play another position fulltime and do spot-duty at short. Schobel is one of those. He hit .362/.445/1.134 with 19 homers, 74 RBI’s, and 35 to 40 BB to SO. I love the bat-speed.

    #4.126 – RHP, Central Michigan, Andrew Taylor

    Taylor is one of the younger true Juniors in this draft class. He ticks a lot of boxes for me…6’5″/218lbs, 3.21 ERA, 1.048 WHIP, 13.5 SO/9, 4.67 SO/BB. Fastball in the 93-94 range at present, but I think there’s easily room for more. I love the easy delivery. I hope you can get him at this point. May need to go overslot with eligibility remaining.

    #5.156 – C, St Joseph’s, Andrew Cossetti

    Cossetti is ranked nowhere near this spot. I’m putting him here as a Senior signing. But I think he’s a legit player. He hit .327/.454/1.167 with 19 HR, 65 RBI and 34 to 30 BB to SO in the college regular season. He’s also taking part in the currently running MLB Draft League where he’s hitting .403/.478/1.088 over 27 games. M’s have had pretty good early returns drafting a 5th round catcher last year in Andy Thomas, and then they pulled RHP Andrew Moore out of the 2021 MLB Draft League in the 14th round. Good precedents and holy crap they’re all named Andrew.

    #6.186 – IF/RHP, East Carolina, Zach Agnos

    The most interesting comment from Scott Hunter’s presser was his, seemingly, random discussion of two-way players. The quest for Ohtani. Now, an actual Ohtani…a guy that is throwing many elite innings as a starter every fifth day, and then DH’ing or playing a position all the other days…is kind of an impossible seek. But a guy that plays a position every day and then throws out of the bullpen every few days…that I can find.

    You can find more two-way candidates in the high school ranks, but I kind of don’t like the double projection game of doing that. But one guy I did consider taking at an earlier round was SS/RHP Nazier Mule. He’s a solid fielder and up to 99mph on the mound, but only 17 years old. I just don’t fully trust the bat on him.

    From the college ranks this year, you could find two-way talent in Campbell SS Zach Neto, OkState 3B Nolan Mclean, the aforementioned Cade Horton, and East Carolina IF Zach Agnos. Agnos played 55 games at shortstop, 20 games at second, 6 games at third, and also pitched in 19. He hit .330/.405/.884 with 7 homeruns, and he pitched to a 2.31 ERA, 0.771 WHIP over 23.1 innings.

    #7.216 – LHP, Central Florida, Hunter Patteson

    Patteson is sort of my pet project. He’s another from the list of injured college pitchers, so he may not pitch in the minors until 2024. But I think, once healthy, he will move fast. He’s 6’5″/200lbs, threw to a 1.82 ERA, 0.910 WHIP, 12.4 SO/9 over 30 innings this year before the injury.

    #8.246 – IF, Florida, Colby Halter

    Halter had a bit of a down year in 2022 in the SEC. He hit .240/.338/.718 with 8 HR over 65 games. But more recently in the Cape Cod League he’s hitting .322/.438/.978 with 5 HR in 26 games with the wood bats. Another very versatile defender, Halter split time about 61% second base, 31% third base, 7% shortstop in 2022.

    #9.276 – RHP, Kentucky, Tyler Guilfoil

    This is my pick to take a reliever. There’s a handful I’ve got my eye on, but I’m taking Guilfoil if he’s still there. He’s 6’4″/215lbs and posted season numbers of 1.59 ERA, 0.863 WHIP, 14.1 SO/9, and 4.71 SO/BB. I really like the repertoire. He might, actually, be able to start, or he might be a new Matt Brash.

    #10.306 – 1B, Xavier, Luke Franzoni

    Part of me wanted to go with a more athletic 1B here, like Josh Hatcher who played 1st in 2021 for Mississippi State before transferring to Kennesaw State where he played CF this year, but ultimately I went with the elite power of Franzoni. He hit .354/.485/1.306 with 29 homeruns, 78 RBI’s, and 53 BB to 64 SO. Franzoni is listed 6’2″/220lbs and, to his credit, he has played some RF in the past.

    #11.336 – OF, Tulane, Ethan Groff

    Groff is a nice well-rounded OF listed 6’0″/200lbs that hit .404/.503/1.211 with 9 HR, 35 RBI, 24 BB to 26 SO in 41 games before an injury ended his season a little early. Groff plays a solid outfield…probably better served on a corner spot, but he could definitely give you the occasional game in center. He’s got a very good throwing arm, as well.

    #12.366 – RHP, Iowa, Duncan Davitt

    Davitt is a 6’3″/235lb righty that I only discovered late in the process when I noticed his work in the Draft League. He was a guy that started 4 games, and relieved in 15 for the Hawkeyes this year. That only gave him 40.0 innings which means he doesn’t really qualify for end of the year statistical sites. But in his 40 innings Duncan averaged 3.38 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 13.7 SO/9, and 4.07 SO/BB. I think you give him a shot at starting and see what happens.

    #13.396 – RHP, Portland State, Brett Gillis

    Gillis is a guy I found pretty early in this process, and I keep sticking with him. He’s originally from Everett, and this year at Portland State he really took off as a pitcher-only, after spending his first three years in college playing two ways. He had a 2.24 ERA, 1.103 WHIP, 12.3 SO/9 over 14 starts this year.

    #14.426 – 2B, Nevada, Josh Zamora

    Zamora first popped up in my analytics study of hitters. As a 23 year old fifth year senior you may be able to get him even later than this. There’s a lot of this sort of player profile this year: over-aged but showing advanced approach at the plate. Zamora hit .362/.470/1.145 with 16 HR, 69 RBI and way more walks than strikeouts (40 to 27).

    #15.456 – RHP, West Virginia, Trey Braithwaite

    Braithwaite is one of the older guys in this draft. He got a late start in college ball, then pitched 4 years at the Naval Academy, before finishing up this year at West Virginia and the Draft League. He’s listed 6’3″/220lbs, and the fastball has been clocked at MLBDL as fast as 100mph. In the Draft League he currently has 1.29 ERA, 1.214 WHIP, and 16.7 SO/9. You only make this pick if you think he can move fast through the organization.

    #16. 486 – IF, LaTech, Taylor Young

    Young is ironically not that young, but he has one of the most interesting profiles in the class. He was a college Gold Glove winner at 2B in 2021 before moving to SS this year where he still played some very good D. He hit .364/.506/1.151 with a respectable 12 HR, 51 RBI, 28 SB in 30 tries, and 58 BB to 45 SO. I’d move Noelvi Marte to either 3B or promote him to AA, and let Young go straight to Everett after signing.

    #17. 516 – LHP, New Mexico State, Sammy Natera

    At this point in the draft you don’t need to be looking for perfect profiles. You can look for traits. Natera is a 6’4″/195lb lefty that struggled as a starter to the tune of a 6.92 ERA in 7 starts, but he struck out 15.2 batters per nine while throwing in the high-90’s as a southpaw. If you can move him to the pen and let him focus on his two best pitches, and simply getting three outs; maybe you get an MLB piece out of him.

    #18.546 – C, Western Michigan, Connor Charping

    Although they don’t really seem to get much love outside of Harry Ford; I kinda like the catching depth in the M’s farm system. Jose Caguana hitting .333 in rookie ball, Andy Thomas is at .270/.404/.864 in A+, Ty Duvall at .261/.407/.820 across multiple levels, Charlie Welch had 7 HR in 35 games for A+ before injury, Matt Scheffler is hitting .260 at AA after a pretty aggressive assignment since signing as undrafted player in 2020 (*covid year with no minor league season). But you still want to try to find multiple catchers in each draft class.

    Charping is a 6’0″/215lb catcher that can also play oufield. He hit .348/.440/.923 for WMU with only 3 HR, 23 RBI, but interestingly he stole 26 bases in 53 games, plus he walked 22 times to 20 strikeouts. He also was very solid throwing out basestealers.

    #19.576 – OF, Louisville, Levi Usher

    Usher has been a bit of a disappointment at the plate in his college career, but he’s this year’s Gold Glove winner in CF, and he stole 36 bases in 39 tries. Draft the glove and see if the bat evolves.

    #20.606 – RHP, Houston, Ben Sears

    There’s something missing from Sears’ performance to this point. He’s a 6’5″/208lb closer with a 95mph fastball and very good slider, but he’s only striking out 6.5 per 9. But if you can get him this late there’s no pressure to make much out of him, but there are elements there that say you might be able to.

    My mock is probably light on outfielders, but I’m sort of counting on the fact that there will be OF talent still available in undrafted free agency. I prefer locking up the infielders in the actual draft. I think I’m missing a true, future shortstop. But if JP Crawford bridges to Noelvi Marte and/or Edwin Arroyo…we’re probably fine. This class is stronger at 3B and 2B, which is probably where the big club needs reinforcements more urgently.

    I’m pretty happy with the balance of pitchers righty/lefty and starter/reliever. Could be 2-3 shots at ace material, and a few guys that could make the backend of the rotation. Bullpen would be pure octane adding this group.