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2023 NFL Draft: Need to Know
How to watch, Seahawks picks, trade history, mocks, and more! Seaside Joe 1503
Seattle Seahawks fans may need a handy “How to” and “Need to know” guide for the 2023 NFL Draft, so I want to drop one in your e-mail inboxes just in case. If you’re not subscribed yet, hit one of the subscribe buttons below and join Seaside Joe!
You need to know when and how:
1st round: 4/27, 5 PM PT, ESPN/ABC/NFL Network
2nd-3rd round: 4/28, 4 PM PT, ESPN/ABC/NFL Network
4th-7th round: 4/29, 9 AM PT, ESPN/ABC/NFL Network
You should be able to get by with an antenna, not a cable package.
You need to know when Seahawks pick (Round.OverallPick):
Seattle has a top-5 pick for the first time since 2009, they have two first round picks for the first time since 2019 (but both were late first and then the Seahawks traded one of them out of the first round) and before that since 2010, and with two second round picks they have their most draft capital since at least 1977. There are 10 picks, at least one in each round, and that’s probably more than they need and less than they want.
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You need to know that the Seahawks will make trades:
I hope this format isn’t awful, there was just a lot of trade history to go through. John Schneider has made at least one trade in all 13 of his drafts. No, that’s probably not very common. Schneider has traded down in the first round six times, never traded up in the first round, and traded up on day two five times.
2022-Traded down in 5th round (145 to 158, added pick 233)
2021-Traded down in 4th round and picked Tre Brown, added pick was used to trade up in 6th round for Stone Forsythe
2020-Traded up in 2nd round for Darrell Taylor, then traded down from end of 2nd round to top of 3rd round and selected Damien Lewis, adding pick used on Alton Robinson
2019-Traded down in 1st round from 21 to 30, adding two 4th round picks; all three picks were subsequently traded. Traded down from 30 to 37, adding picks in 4th (Ugo Amadi), 5th round (Ben Burr-Kirven). Traded down from 37 to 47 (Marquise Blair), adding pick in 3rd round. Packaged picks added in 3rd and 4th to move up for DK Metcalf at the end of the 2nd. Traded up in 3rd round (Cody Barton), traded back in 4th round and added pick in 6th (Travis Homer), and traded a future 6th to get a 7th round pick used on John Ursua.
2018-Traded down in 1st round from 18 to 27, selecting Rashaad Penny and adding picks in 3rd and 6th (Jacob Martin). Moved down in 3rd round (Rasheem Green) and added 7th round pick (Alex McGough). Traded a 7th round pick to move up in 5th round for Michael Dickson.
2017-Traded down in 1st round from 27 to 31, adding a 3rd (Lano Hill) and 7th (Chris Carson). Traded down from 31 to 34, adding a 4th (Tedric Thompson). Traded down from 34 to 35 (Malik McDowell), adding a 6th (Mike Tyson).
2016-Traded down in 1st round from 26 to 31 (Germain Ifedi), adding a 3rd (Nick Vannett). Traded up in 2nd round for Jarran Reed.
2015-Traded up in 3rd round for Tyler Lockett, giving up picks in 4th, 5th, and 6th rounds.
2014-Traded down from 1st round, going from 32 to 40 and adding a 4th (Cassius Marsh). Traded down again in 2nd round, selecting Paul Richardson after adding a 7th (Kiero Small) and swapping a 5th for a 4th. Traded that down in the 4th, adding a 6th (Garrett Scott) and picking Kevin Norwood.
2013-Traded down in 2nd round (Christine Michael) and added picks in 5th and 6th. Used those same picks to trade up in 5th round for Jesse Williams.
2012-Traded down in 1st round from 12 to 15, adding 4th (Jaye Howard) and 6th (Jeremy Lane) rounders. Traded down in 2nd round (Bobby Wagner), adding picks in 5th (Korey Toomer) and 7th (Greg Scruggs).
2011-Traded down from 2nd to 3rd round and swapped three picks for four picks: John Moffitt, Kris Durham, Richard Sherman, and Pep Levingston were added with those picks.
2010-Traded down in 4th round (Walter Thurmond) and swapped picks in 6th round (Anthony McCoy) and also got players LenDale White, Kevin Vickerson. Traded down from 5th round to 7th round (Dexter Davis) but added player Leon Washington.
The Seahawks have a pretty good history with the players who they like to trade up for…Trade up players: Darrell Taylor, DK Metcalf, Cody Barton, Tyler Lockett, Jarran Reed, Michael Dickson, Stone Forsythe, Jesse Williams
You need to know Pete and John are good at drafting:
Though there have certainly been some dark years (2013, 2014, 2017, and 2020 especially), I think as fans we tend to nitpick and fall short of understanding that bad picks are the nature of the beast. Every GM that we collectively praise for a period of years, including Seattle’s regime when they had one of the top-five draft runs in history (2010-2012), they inevitably go through rough times that make us question everything.
Right now, Eagles GM Howie Roseman is on top of the world. Three years ago, he picked Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson, the year before that he picked Andre Dillard (perhaps the worst pick of that first round), and three years before that he traded a bounty to move up for Carson Wentz.
Frank T. Raines at Field Gulls did a good job of breaking down a couple of different studies that showed the strengths and weaknesses of Pete and John over the last decade+. One of the key elements when comparing the Seahawks to other teams is that most other teams have had early first round picks and Seattle usually has not had that luxury.
The highest pick that Pete Carroll has ever “earned” as head coach of the Seahawks is 10th overall, which had already been traded to the New York Jets for Jamal Adams. He inherited the sixth overall pick (Russell Okung) in 2010 and he acquired the ninth overall pick and this upcoming fifth overall pick from the Broncos in the Russell Wilson trade. And yet, Seattle has had several of the best draft classes (2010, 2011, 2012, 2022) of the last 13 years.
I would also add in 2015 because despite not having a top-60 pick, the Seahawks added Tyler Lockett and Frank Clark, the latter of whom was eventually traded for first and second round picks in 2019.
You need to know 2022 was another banner draft class:
When I moved Seaside Joe over to Substack on March 1, 2022, the Seahawks were staring down the barrel of another boring draft season. Seattle only had picks 41 and 72 on day two, having traded their first round pick in the deal for Adams and unfortunately without what would have been the 10th overall pick. Then a week later, the Seahawks traded Wilson to Denver and added picks nine and 41, dramatically increasing their draft capital in the snap of John’s fingers.
Here, we never expected Seattle to use that pick on a quarterback because the Seahawks had too many needs on offense to support a player at the position and there wasn’t a good QB prospect in the entire draft class. Charles Cross made the most sense in the world because he plays left tackle and helps setup the future at the position; even if Cross ultimately doesn’t turn out to be great, he was a sensible pick.
The Seahawks also secured the right side of the offensive line by selecting Abe Lucas in the third round and added a backfield weapon with running back Ken Walker—the consensus number two player at the position behind Breece Hall but honestly just as good—in the second round. Edge rusher Boye Mafe, cornerback Coby Bryant, and receiver Dareke Young are also promising prospects from 2022’s draft class.
But it was fifth round pick Tariq Woolen, arguably the best cornerback in the NFC last season, who brings back memories of the 2010-2012 era that delivered day three picks like Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, K.J. Wright, and Byron Maxwell.
Steals like Metcalf and Woolen—both of whom might have been the respective “height/weight/strength freaks” of their draft class—may cause fans to expect similar selections and results in 2023. This can’t be ruled out, but there are plenty of examples of similar-type athletes who Seattle didn’t draft and who didn’t have good careers (Obi Melifonwu, for example).
We have to remember that what consititutes a “freak” is completely subjective and separated by literally tenths of a tenth of a second. Boye Mafe is a freak. Ken Walker is a freak. Bo Melton is a freak. They’re professional football players!
You need to know who the top prospects are:
Seaside Joe is filing all 2023 draft content on this page, including dozens of prospect write-ups, research, and insights into what other teams are planning also. Go check that out, it’s much easier than me linking back to all my write-ups on Bijan Robinson, Will Anderson, etc.!
The Carolina Panthers traded up for the number one pick and will select a quarterback and the debate rages on for whether its Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud. I’ve long believed (like for over a year) that it will be Bryce Young, but if it’s Stroud that will not be appalling. It’s just nowhere near what I would do, which is why I’ve also been skeptical that the Houston Texans will take Stroud at two.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, who is plugged into the Texans more than he is with any other team, has recently been preparing the public for the possibility that Houston will pass on a quarterback or trade down. He gave his reasons for that on The Athletic Football podcast on Wednesday.
In any case, I do think that Young and Stroud can be ruled out for Seattle, unless the Seahawks decide for some reason to trade up should they like one of them more than the Texans do.
This has essentially boiled the top-5 draft prospects down to five names for most people and I’m painting a wide brush here: EDGE Will Anderson, EDGE Tyree Wilson, QB Anthony Richardson, QB Will Levis, DT Jalen Carter. I had the unpopular opinion about the Texans passing on Stroud and I currently hold an even less popular opinion about what the Seahawks might do with pick five. First, what about these prospects?
Will Anderson — For a long time, was number two on my Seahawks big board (after Young) because he’s a great college player, good athlete, team leader, right attitude, Pete Carroll-levels of competitive. But Chris Simms recently raised questions about if Anderson actually has any “top-10 traits” and I think he at least makes a couple valid points. Rob Staton of SeahawksDraftBlog did a podcast on Wednesday and he expressed the same sentiment; it felt like a different version of Rob this week, in a good way, and I’ll address this podcast episode a couple more times.
Tyree Wilson — Simms compared Wilson to Myles Garrett and I don’t feel like you need to be a scout to know that’s wrong. Garrett had several significant advantages as a prospect. This is not to say that Wilson can’t be a Defensive Player of the Year type one day—nobody was saying that about Tariq Woolen a year ago—it’s just the differences as prospects. I’ll say this: If Tyree Wilson “is like Myles Garrett” then he won’t get past the Texans. I’ve been watching a lot of Seth Payne’s videos recently, a former Texans defensive tackle, and he agrees that Wilson is special and Anderson is not on that same tier.
Jalen Carter — I think me and Rob Staton are starting to meet somewhere in the middle on Carter. He still doesn’t think Seattle will want to deal with Carter, but this week he seems a bit more worn down by all the signs pointing to him as a possibility at #5. However, Rob’s got me a little more convinced this week that the Seahawks could just take a prospect who loves football, loves practice, and has almost as high of a ceiling. The rundown on Carter is that he could be an elite defensive tackle—something that has always alluded Carroll—but does he want to be? For some prospects, signing a fully-guaranteed $34 million contract is when they go, “This is good enough for me.”
Anthony Richardson — Calvin Johnson was 6’5, 239, and ran a 4.35 at the combine. Richardson is 6’4, 244, and ran a 4.43, with a 40.5” vertical and a 10’9 broad jump. That’s very interesting. But does it matter? Richardson plays the quarterback position, we just have not seen him play it well yet and nowhere near an NFL-ready level. Some people argue that he could be like Cam Newton, to which I personally feel…”I actually wouldn’t draft Cam Newton”. That’s me and not many other people though. If the Seahawks draft Richardson, I will have low expectations…and obsessively follow every single step of his career, no matter how minor or seemingly inconsequential.
Will Levis — A quarterback out of Kentucky after transferring away from Penn State, Levis has never been a serious consideration for me in the top-five but he is a name that gets brought up a lot. Maybe that’s wrong, but the public perception of Levis’s stock has dropped significantly in the last two weeks; one comment I heard on the radio on Thursday morning was about how even fans at Kentucky are not quite sure why Will Levis is being mentioned as a top-10 draft pick.
One name that isn’t getting a lot of serious consideration at #5 but is still talked about all the time is Texas running back Bijan Robinson. If it was 2015, there wouldn’t be nearly as much controversy about Seattle picking Bijan that early, but the perception is that he could be available at #20. He could be, I suspect that because the draft class lacks talent at the top that Robinson has a good chance to go in the top-15.
You need to know that I’m leaning in a completely different direction:
Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon checks practically every box for what Pete Carroll likes in a football player, he’s what the Seahawks need at cornerback right now, and he won’t make it outside of the top-10. It’s not that I necessarily think that the Seahawks will draft Witherspoon over Carter or Wilson, maybe those opportunities are too great, but what I do think is that Pete and John can look every prospect in the eye and say, “I dare you to make me like you more than I love Devon Witherspoon”.
Like if you’re considering Jalen Carter but you’re worried that he’s not going to give you enough effort, you tell yourself, “I don’t need this bullshit, I can just go draft Witherspoon.” If you’re considering Richardson but the front office is split on the risk you’re taking, you can tell yourself, “Maybe Witherspoon won’t become the face of the NFL, but I’m 100% confident that he’s going to make our team better.”
You expect a player’s defensive coordinator to talk glowingly about him, but you can tell that Illinois DC Aaron Henry is going to miss having Witherspoon in his locker room. He says that Witherspoon will be “10 times better in the NFL” than he was in college (and he was ELITE last year) because finally he won’t be distracted by school. “That was his only distraction. He’s all ball now.”
I understand why people will get distracted by the 5’11 height and the 31.25” arms, but we can’t judge Witherspoon against past CB sizes any more than we can judge Bryce Young against past QB sizes or DeVonta Smith against pass WR sizes. The sizes have changed!
I compare Witherspoon to “Kam Chancellor in a slot corner” and he’s the most violent, the most aggressive, and the most fearsome defensive player in this entire draft. At 5’11! He will lead by example, he will soak up knowledge from Bobby Wagner and Quandre Diggs, he will give unparralleled effort, he will probably spend his first night after the draft studying the recievers on that team’s opponents schedule in 2023.
I could see Witherspoon struggling as a rookie in the same way that Earl Thomas struggled as a rookie in 2010. But he will also pile up some hit highlights, he will learn from his mistakes, and he will come back reformed in 2024 with a year of study on NFC West and NFC opponents with a vendetta. He will also live full-time in the minds of opposing receivers and running backs.
Seaside Joe is the only person in America or the U.K. saying “Devon Witherspoon to the Seahawks” because it is so unexpected. (Funny: I wrote this sentence and then looked on Twitter and now it seems days after my initial Witherspoon post, rumors are lighting up about Witherspoon on Seahawks Twitter on Thursday.)
Maybe that’s why I keep expecting it, Pete and John love to take left turns on draft night. But when you break him down and look beyond his size, Witherspoon is one of the most Seahawk-y prospects I’ve ever seen. Seattle hasn’t made an official visit with Witherspoon (they were at his private workout though) but interestingly they did meet with one of his teammates, versatile DB Jartavius Martin, who is being projected in the middle rounds at safety.
And I’m sure that they think Martin could be a good fit for them. However, it doesn’t hurt to meet with someone like that and say, “So, how was Devon Witherspoon as a teammate?”
You need to know: More
I could keep going but this is quite a stretch already and I don’t want to wear you out, so maybe we can continue this in a future Seaside Joe. Hit Subscribe please and tell Seahawks fans! We have not yet reached 2,000! Alas! Join the Regular Joes club, it’s the best bargain…IN TOWNNNN!
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