Seahawks 2023 mock draft: Do Broncos want to trade to get back their top-5 pick?
A proposal that could help both teams with what they most need right now
The moves made by an NFL team are only as good as their timing. Add a player to your roster and starting lineup too soon, it could ruin his confidence, if not lead to an injury. Add a player too late, and perhaps it is just a waste of money or a draft pick. Make your move at just the right time, it could be the decision that leads to a Super Bowl and for certain people, prolonged job security.
In 2020, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers chose each other because of timing.
In 2021, the Rams traded Jared Goff and two first round picks to the Lions for Matthew Stafford because of the timing, then later L.A. was the perfect midseason home for Von Miller and Odell Beckham, Jr..
There’s no way of knowing how this season will play out yet, but the 49ers head into the playoffs as the strongest looking team in the NFC in spite of injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo because of how veterans like Trent Williams, Christian McCaffrey, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Brandon Aiyuk, Charvarius Ward, and second-year safety Talanoa Hufanga have aligned their stars at the right time for a rookie quarterback to be starting. What a time to be adding back Deebo Samuel.
Then I look at the Seahawks, the state of their roster, the stage of Pete Carroll’s career that we’re currently in, their picks in the draft, and the prospects expected to go in the top-five and I wonder…Is this the right timing?
The following trade proposal is not what I suggest the Seattle Seahawks should absolutely do with the pick that they’re receiving from the Denver Broncos. It is not my final recommendation; that edition of the Seaside Joe newsletter won’t come for months. Instead, it’s more like what I would say to John Schneider and Pete Carroll if I worked in the Seahawks front office…
“Hey, you’ve got 100 ideas with what to do with your first pick in the draft. Here’s idea #101…throw it into the hopper.”
But I wouldn’t write this article if it didn’t make any sense. I wouldn’t propose idea #101 if there was no legitimate reason to toss it around or if the offer would never make sense for all parties involved, not just the Seahawks. That is the most common mistake that people make when they start proposing trades: They consider how this helps their team rather than how it makes sense for both teams.
I have an idea that helps both the Seahawks and the Broncos. The only question now is…Is it the right time?
Pete Carroll wants to win the Super Bowl…Now
For the sake of this argument, and because the Seahawks probably won’t win the Super Bowl this year, let’s just say that the Seahawks don’t win the Super Bowl this year. That means that if Pete returns in 2023, it’s because he wants to win a Super Bowl next season.
Not in two years, not in three years, and definitely not in five years. The plan this season has been to win the Super Bowl, even if that was farfetched. The plan next season is to win the Super Bowl and now that Seattle has shown signs of life without Russell Wilson, the probability of it happening does not have to be so farfetched.
The Seahawks could use this gift from the Broncos—a pick that will fall somewhere between 2 and 5—and choose to roll the dice on a prospect who could be the face of the franchise, whether he’s a quarterback or a pass rusher. That’s fine and many will support that choice, including Seaside Joe.
However, there is a low probability—lower than most accept—that said player will have a drastic impact on his NFL team as a rookie. If the player is a quarterback, the odds are even lower. If the player is Jalen Carter or Will Anderson, frankly I do not see many roads that lead to either prospect having a dramatic value shift on Seattle’s defense in 2023. History strongly suggests that will not happen.
You are more than welcome to provide exceptions, just keep in mind that all they’ll do is prove rules.
For Pete to improve the Seahawks from a middling team to a Super Bowl contender by next season, he will truly have to do so absent all the decisions that Seattle makes in the 2023 draft. Just consider that it took several years for Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Russell Okung, K.J. Wright, etc. to improve their games and lead the Seahawks to the 2013 Super Bowl championship.
By the grace of a couple new draft steals, namely Abe Lucas and Tariq Woolen, Seattle might be able to say that they fast tracked themselves to contention. What I’d like to caution fans against is expecting veteran players next season to be “saved” by one, two, three, or even four quality rookies. That’s a foundation for a bright future, but if Pete’s goal is to win the Super Bowl next season then the most vital question to answer will be: How do the Seahawks add quality veteran players to improve their weaknesses?
And the Seahawks have several huge weaknesses that make winning a Super Bowl seem improbable with just internal development and a solid rookie draft class.
The 2023 draft class may not line up with Seattle’s wishes
Personally, I would love to see the Seahawks roll the dice on a quarterback prospect and see what happens with him in three or four years. Unfortunately, the Seahawks rarely bend to Seaside Joe’s personal wishes.
So I ask you again, what does the timing suggest?
We’ve never seen Pete Carroll willingly spend vast amounts of value on the quarterback position with the exception of paying Wilson two veteran contracts because that was the expectation and he may have started to buy into the premise that Seattle could actually win a Super Bowl under Wilson’s wing. Trading Wilson to the Broncos prior to a third contract negotiation and then going down a path with Geno Smith and Drew Lock further emphasizes one Pete truth that so many refuse to believe:
He doesn’t value the quarterback position that highly.
If this is John Schneider’s decision, then the Seahawks may convince Pete to draft a quarterback. If this is Pete’s decision, then he’s sick of his defense sucking so much, and he’ll gladly look for another quarterback on the cheap.
If this is Pete’s decision, then I’d say that the number three pick is up for trade and yes, that could mean trading down with a team that desperately wants C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, Bryce Young, and/or Anthony Richardson.
As said before, I don’t believe that Carter or Anderson will improve Seattle’s defense by any notable measure in 2023. If Pete believes that, and if he doesn’t think there’s a franchise-changing quarterback on the board (if there’s only one, then the Texans will probably draft him), then he’s not left with any options as far as we can tell. There’s nobody else that seems to be moving that needle in the top-five picks, from Myles Murphy to Quentin Johnston to Bijan Robinson, who exactly is Seattle supposed to pick that early if not Anderson, Carter, or a quarterback?
This is not to say that the Seahawks couldn’t pick Anderson or Carter, but isn’t there a chance that Pete sees this as his golden ticket to get better immediately instead of trying to improve the roster for the head coach who eventually replaces him?
I have my doubts that a top-five pick and the 2023 Seattle Seahawks are a marriage made in heaven.
Therefore, the Seahawks could be left with two options above the most obvious choice of sticking and picking: Trade down to accumulate future first round draft picks (like the Dolphins did with the 49ers in 2021) OR trade the pick for a player who doesn’t have to go through rookie growing pains and is already a capable difference maker in the NFL.
This is not a scenario that comes without precedent. In 2020, the Indianapolis Colts traded the 13th overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers for DeForest Buckner. In the three years since, Buckner has been one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL. The 49ers ended up with Javon Kinlaw, a defensive tackle who has done almost nothing in the NFL.
The number three pick doesn’t seem much higher than 13, but I’d say that difference is quite significant. Still, Seattle could use this pick to their advantage in a similar fashion, if it so happens that there’s a team and a player who do align perfectly with the draft class, their needs, and have what the Seahawks want.
I thought about all 31 teams in the NFL and only one made a lot of sense to me. It also happened to be the team that originally had the pick to begin with.
The Broncos need a glimmer of hope at quarterback
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