Seahawks 2023 draft: 5 surprising picks for Seattle's other 1st rounder
Pete Carroll is known to shock the mock community on draft night: 4/18/2023
The Seattle Seahawks are visiting with LSU defensive end B.J. Ojulari this week, currently the 44th overall player on the NFL Mock Draft Consensus Big Board and a relatively popular prospect for writers to sometimes sneak in the last two or three picks of their first round projection.
Fans would like to imagine, I’m sure, that the Seahawks are meeting with Ojulari in case he’s available when they’re on the clock at #52 or #83, but knowing Pete Carroll and John Schneider that’s far from something we can guarantee with a mid-to-late first round pick.
Here’s what SB Nation wrote about Bruce Irvin when the Seahawks selected him 15th overall in 2012: “Bruce Irvin broke your mock draft, and that’s okay”
Here was the NFL Draft's first official reach, since we're not counting Ryan Tannehill or Dontari Poe, a pair of college under-producers who'd still ranked high in all the pre-draft predictions. Man the reach stations! Could've picked Irvin in the 3rd round. Pete Carroll has gone completely cheese doodles. Does he even read mock drafts? They're free!
It's a special moment, one we'll look forward to every year and relish once it arrives, usually served up by the Raiders. I'll certainly admit to being surprised, though I didn't really realize Irvin was expected to go in the 3rd round.
Except this particular reach wasn't a reach at all, as word continues to come out that many other teams wanted him (maybe even many many!), including the 49ers, Ravens and Jets, clubs that might be the NFL's best at evaluating defensive front-seven talent, which means Irvin would not have been available in the 3rd round. The mocks were right about a lot of players, but they were wrong about one.
Whether it is Irvin, Germain Ifedi, Rashaad Penny, L.J. Collier, or Jordyn Brooks—and yes, I can safely say that each of Seattle’s last five first round picks to fall between 15 and 31 were met with “What’sa-who’sa-why’sa???” reactions, with James Carpenter potentially a sixth out of six—it’s well known that Pete and John go off of nobody’s draft board or expected prospect value other than their own.
It is an internal grading system that never matches the external expectations.
Inside of the top-10, I think it’s safer to say we won’t see anything Raideristic of the Clelin Ferrell variety; Russell Okung and Charles Cross were expected picks and at #14, Earl Thomas was praised as a steal by most. (Even if he’s not Taylor Mays.) So while I don’t mind talking about surprise picks at #5, I think one of Jalen Carter, Will Anderson, Tyree Wilson, or Devon Witherspoon feels accurate.
It’s when we get to pick #20—and a very possible trade down from that spot—that anything could happen. And I’m not talking about “Oooh, the Seahawks could take Adetomiwa Adebawore!” or even “the Seahawks take Joe Tippmann”. We’re seeing names like that start to at least tickle the backend of the first round anyway and Seattle has met with both of those prospects. Even Ojulari, now on the Seahawks supposed wish list, has been getting more mention as a late first round pick.
It doesn’t mean that Adebawore, Tippman, or Ojulari couldn’t also make it the third round. Something it seems most analysts agree on this year is that they can’t agree on anything.
I’m talking about, “Which prospects could interest the Seahawks between 20 and 31 that NOBODY is linking to them?”
Based on Pete and John’s 13-year track record, what I know of the prospects expected to go on day two, and Seattle’s remaining needs/likes/dislikes, I will give you five names who could be left field selections for the Seahawks with their second first round pick.
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