5 potential surprise picks for Seahawks with 5th overall pick
There are the prospects we talk about to death and the ones we ignore, but Pete Carroll is the type to do something shocking: 3/21/2023
This year, more than any other offseason that I can recall, I can’t wait to get past the first round so we can get to talking about who the Seahawks drafted rather than “Who should the Seahawks draft?”
Or “Who will the Seahawks draft?”
Or “The Seahawks would never draft that guy!”
And it’s not hard to figure out why there’s more anticipation for the results this time than past times: Seattle holds their highest draft pick since 2009 and they hold two first round picks for the first time since 2019—but that year, the Seahawks only temporarily had picks 29 and 30 following the Frank Clark trade.
This time, Seattle goes in with picks 5 and 20, plus 37 and 52 in the second round. I’ve written this a handful of times already and I imagine this won’t be the last because it’s so hard to believe, but this is the most draft capital that the Seahawks have had since their first two drafts in ‘76 and ‘77…and they didn’t have to suck or be a newborn to get there!
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Last summer, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell proclaimed that Seattle had the worst offseason of all 32 teams, a statement echoed and applauded by Twitter’s ‘analytics’ unit. In fact, the Seahawks had a great offseason, if not the best, and they have an opportunity to repeat thanks to potentially-savvy free agent moves and their draft resources.
Right now, that’s all the Seahawks have in the draft: Resources. Capital. Opportunities.
What they don’t have yet is prospects and this year I’ve made the personal decision to not fight or argue with anybody over who Seattle “should” pick and why “This guy is great!” “That guy stinks!” “Oh no, you want him? But I want HIM!”
There are plenty of other Seahawks blogs who will give you that, if that’s what you want, but I’ve come to believe that there is no point. And that if somebody has a Seahawks draft agenda—like, say, desperately wanting Seattle to pick a quarterback at #5—I’ve come to find that they’re more likely to give biased, one-sided analysis of any prospect in that range who isn’t a quarterback.
What I’ve been trying to do, and what I hope to become even better at over the next five weeks, is to give Seahawks fans the most unbiased and truthful analysis of the draft that I can; to try and take a photograph of the draft class, instead of painting you a picture.
That’s why I don’t write that “I don’t like Will Levis”, I write that I’m skeptical of him being a top-10 pick. That’s much different. And then I still come around a month later and write why Seattle could still be prepared for Levis. I don’t write that “Anthony Richardson is a reach”; I share information about whether accuracy can be taught to quarterbacks once they reach the NFL.
I don’t write that “Tyree Wilson isn’t good enough to go top-five”. I write that Tyree Wilson would be the third Big-12 edge rusher to go in the first round over the last 11 years and that both of them went to the Seahawks. Because then it’s not just my opinion, it’s a fact. We like the facts here.
I don’t write that the Seahawks “will” trade down; I write that the Seahawks have a history of trading down and then give you five teams who could be interested in the pick.
Tuesday’s Free Joe: Mel Kiper’s mock draft+2nd round picks
If you go back through my history and find anything that contradicts this point, I’d think contradictions probably exist. Is it too much of my opinion that Will Anderson is Pete Carroll’s “dream” prospect? Potentially! I don’t expect to be perfect as I strive for objectivity, I only hope to be better at it tomorrow than I am today.
As Seahawks fans, I don’t think there’s anything to be gained for one person who argues that Seattle should take “A”, another person argues “B”, a third person argue “ANYONE BUT C!” and then come the draft we find out that A is on the Cardinals, B is on the Colts, and C is on the Eagles; and the Seahawks drafted “Z” (no, I don’t mean Z as in Zay) when nobody predicted that!
Should you and I get into arguments about TV shows and movies that we’ve never watched and never will?
I’m more than happy to get into debates about the merits of Jalen Carter as an NFL prospect—if he goes to the Seahawks. I’ll sign up to debate Bryce Young vs. C.J. Stroud vs. Anthony Richardson—once we know what teams and offenses they’ve landed in, as those facts and their coaching will have significant implications about their futures. And I’m happy to share facts about each prospect that we have right now, less so than debating what they “will” become in the future.
I’ve seen a lot of fake news about Jalen Carter. It doesn’t mean I’m endorsing Carter—as if a Seahawks blogger endorsing or not endorsing a prospect matters at all—it just means that there’s a lot of misinformation and disinformation in your news feeds about him, if you do have NFL news feeds. I get way more frustrated by fake news about players than I do about “Well, gee, I really want my favorite team to pick this guy so if I read a mock draft that doesn’t do what I want then I’ll be really upset.”
I want to go into the draft with accuracy and information (photographs), not simply fulifilling my fantasies (abstract art). Truly there aren’t many scenarios that could play out on April 27th that would make me upset—I’ll just be happy when Seattle actually has made their picks and we know who’s coming to the Seahawks—because we won’t know how good or bad those decisions turn out to be until several seasons have passed.
One of the top-five best decisions of the entire 2022 NFL Draft for any team was Tariq Woolen!
So let’s work together to make it five more weeks without getting into too many arguments about future players for the Texans, Cardinals, Colts, Lions, Raiders, and so forth, because I promise we will have plenty of time in May, June, July, and August to argue about players for the Seattle Seahawks.
Today’s bonus post for Regular Joes (that’s right, the first 1,000 words you’ve already read is merely the intro to a bonus post; have you ever seen The Athletic charge $5 but give you this much lead-in for free?) is about what I said a little earlier: The players who nobody predicted. “Prospect Z” if you will.
How often have the Seahawks ever done what’s predicted of them? It does happen, I don’t think that Russell Okung or Charles Cross were surprising selections. But keep in mind that even in the top-10 and even in the top-5, “shocking” picks do happen every year. I went back and read NFL Mock Drafts from the last six years that were posted in mid-March and looked for players who weren’t often mocked as going as early as they eventually did.
There were probably more cases in mocks of players who ended up “falling” and going much later than the projection, but I only want to focus on the prospects that experts maybe didn’t see going as early as they would:
2017 NFL Draft
Mitchell Trubisky (2nd) no lock to go top-10; Corey Davis (5th) went much higher than expected; Mel Kiper doesn’t have Patrick Mahomes (10th) in the first round
2018 NFL Draft
Denzel Ward (4th), Mike McGlinchey (9th), Daron Payne (13th) maybe all go a bit higher than expected
2019 NFL Draft
Clelin Ferrell (4th) becomes one of the biggest top-5 surprises; Devin White (5th), Daniel Jones (6th), Devin Bush (10th) probably also push up higher than expected
2020 NFL Draft
Andrew Thomas (4th) was a surprise as first offensive tackle over Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton, and Tristan Wirfs; C.J. Henderson (9th) a surprise as first corner and going top-10; Henry Ruggs (12th) raced ahead of a strong first round receiver class
2021 NFL Draft
Kyle Pitts (4th) and Jaylen Waddle (6th) not “consensus” top-10 picks
2022 NFL Draft
Derek Stingley (3rd) not a top-15 pick
Today’s thought experiment that you can read if you subscribe (only $5/month or $55/year and Seaside Joe is the only Seahawks blogger guaranteed to give you content for that entire stretch) looks at five potential “shocking” picks who Seattle could target with their first selection. Prospects who are not regularly seen in the top-10 of mocks right now. Why?
Because a) there WILL be surprising picks in the top-10, guys who you will read their name in this post and go “No way, but all the experts told me that’s NOT going to happen!” Well, as you can see, the experts get it wrong every year. And b) because the Seahawks also have picks 20, 37, and 52. Maybe they don’t go for any of these guys at #5, but that doesn’t rule them out.
C) I think it’s good to have thought experiments that challenge you more so than “Well, let’s debate Richardson vs. Carter for the 100th time.”
We can do better than that. We can be different than every other Seahawks blog. We can do more than simply copy/pasting every other mock draft like every other mock draft.
Join the club, join the movement, Seaside Joe is speeding towards 2,000 members and 500 Regular Joes; there’s a ton of bonus content in the past and the future! And if you are in the Regular Joes and want to forward this to a Seahawks fan to spread the word, go for it!
These are five prospects (and a few more) who you won’t regularly see mocked in the top-10 and probably never see going to the Seahawks. It should open us up to not only know more about the draft, but about what Seattle could be looking for in the draft.