10 Thinks I Thing: Seahawks Draft Final
Jalen Carter, Anthony Richardson, "smart people tests" and more on the eve of the 2023 NFL Draft!
Richard Sherman had it right on his podcast this week when he said that the NFL Draft should be in February instead of the Scouting Combine. Sherman used himself as an example of how cornerbacks who run a 4.5 have proven to be capable of stopping receivers who run a 4.3, and that what really matters is how you use what athleticism you have on the field.
Tape can be misleading too, but I have yet to be convinced that combine measurements and tests (other than the ones that are medical or mental) are helping lead teams in the right directions and I always point to history as an example of that.
The first pick in the 1957 NFL Draft was running back Paul Hornung, a Heisman-winning college star out of Notre Dame. The Packers would not have picked Hornung based on his combine or 40-yard dash…because they didn’t have those in 1957. They would not have picked Hornung based on his stats either. In the context of modern football, his stats (420 rushing yards, 917 passing yards, nine total touchdowns, 13 interceptions) make no sense, although they were “good” at the time. Green Bay wouldn’t have even picked Hornung based on coming from the best team; Notre Dame went 2-8 in Hornung’s final season.
No, they picked Hornung because he was the best football player in the 1957 NFL Draft. Over nine seasons, Hornung won an MVP, four championships, the first Super Bowl, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame with Vince Lombardi calling him, “the greatest player I ever coached”.
Seaside Joe is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
The second pick in 1957 was halfback Jon Arnett, who had more career yards and Pro Bowls than Hornung. The third player was quarterback John Brodie, who played 12 seasons and went to two Pro Bowls. The fourth player was one-time Pro Bowler Ron Kramer. The fifth was Len Dawson, a Hall of Famer and Super Bowl MVP. The sixth was Jim Brown. And the eighth was Jim Parker, an eight-time All-Pro offensive tackle, and the fourth Hall of Famer in the top-eight picks that year.
They didn’t have a combine or a 40-yard dash or NextGen Stats or YouTube or all-22 footage or social media histories or S2 cognition tests or Ben Baldwin or four months to over-think every tiny detail of the process. No. NFL teams had employees who went to college football games and then came back to their bosses and said, “This is the best football player.”
Now you compare that to 2022 and Derek Stingley, Jr. goes 150 picks ahead of Tariq Woolen. Make it make sense.
It is potentially true that without a combine, Woolen goes entirely undrafted because then he’s just a bad cornerback at UTSA who lacks experience. But if you’re 6’4 and run 4.26, the NFL will find you eventually and that was as true 60 years ago as it is today. (Maybe not the part where such humans existed in the ‘50s.) Sonny Jurgensen slipped through the cracks of the 1957 draft, stuff like that’s always going to happen. Which is the point…
With or without a combine, the same things are always going to happen in the draft. Will the NFL make a change and lose three or four weeks of “football news and rumors” opportunities? Absolutely not. At least we have finally reached the final day of the “there’s no draft today” period of the offseason and I have consumed a lot of content about the draft this year.
I watch at least three or four draft podcasts per day and sadly most of it is the same re-hashed narratives about Jalen Carter’s character, Bryce Young’s size, Anthony Richardson’s athleticism, Will Levis’s pecs, C.J. Stroud being “dissed by the media”, Hendon Hooker’s knee, Peter Skoronski’s arms, Tyree Wilson’s arms, Will Anderson’s bend (or lack thereof), Bijan Robinson’s value, “this is a great tight end class!”, “this is a bad wide receiver class!”, and canceling the new Wonderlic before it becomes the new Wonderlic.
So today, I’m going to give you 10 thinks I thing about what the Seattle Seahawks would do, could do, and should do in the 2023 NFL Draft—and I pledge to you that it won’t be the same re-hashed takes that everybody keeps repeating because if it’s not what I would want to read, it won’t be what I will write for you.
The first is on the house, the next nine will be for Regular Joes subscribers. Sign up and you’ll not only receive today’s bonus content and ALL the archives, but also a full summer of Seahawks rookie coverage!
1 - I thing Anthony Richardson would be a shocking pick
It’s been a sad experience this year watching some people who do what I do become so laser-focused on one outcome that they will publicize rumors that support their narratives while dismissing any news or evidence that goes against what they want to happen. I keep saying the same thing: What does it even matter what you or I want to happen?
You can’t will the Seahawks to draft a quarterback at #5 just because you keep trying to write it into existence everyday and when some of your readers—your FANS—express any resistence or disagreement to that possibility, you don’t do yourself any favors by telling them that they must just be stupid and/or uninformed if they think that Seattle might draft Jalen Carter or some other prospect who isn’t a quarterback.
I have the right to be shocked if the Seahawks draft Richardson, just as someone else has the right to be shocked if the Seahawks draft Carter. They’ll probably go out there and pick Michael Mayer just to leave everybody confused and writhing on the floor in panic and agony. But you don’t get to tell people that they’re ignorant if they disagree with you about a potential outcome that at this point is completely unknowable.
This week, rumors went out that the Seahawks are hot for Richardson, which is no different than it was during the combine when the two sides reportedly had a very positive meeting. Rumors also went out that teams expect Seattle to draft Carter, while opposing rumors proported that the exact opposite is true: “Carter is off their boards!”
Do we all see that the connecting throughline here is…”Rumors”?!
What does it matter if anyone says that they’re hearing that the Seahawks “like” Richardson? I don’t believe that information has been leaked to anyone and I don’t believe that opposing teams have idea who the Seahawks are actually dreaming about with any of their picks. In one of his last media appearances before the draft, Schneider noted that maybe they had a leak in the very early days of the regime back in 2010, but that nothing like that has happened since.
Which holds up to scrutiny given how shocked everyone tends to be with what the Seattle Seahawks do in the draft every year.
So if a writer reports that “rumors are that the Seahawks like Ant’ony Richardson and hate Jalen Carter” but turns around and says, “but don’t believe the rumors that the Seahawks like Carter!” then you know right then and there that you’re not reading or listening to a reliable source of information. That’s quite selective. Better yet…Do not report on ANY rumors!
I have never reported a rumor like that and if I have, it was a gross misstep on my part and you can call me out on it right now. The most I’ve done is shared a report that the Seahawks have met with Joe Tippmann, but even within that same report I didn’t share the rumors that Seattle also liked John Michael Schmitz and that they wanted to trade down from #20 before picking one of those centers. If Tony Pauline is now reporting fake meetings in which he’s named the people involved, then he’s even further off the deep end than I previously thought.
Going back to Richardson, I just don’t understand how anyone could argue that the Seahawks picking him fifth overall wouldn’t be a shocking outcome unless you’ve convinced yourself that you’re living in a new universe and completely of your own design. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen, it just means that in the entire history of the franchise, the head coach, and the general manager, that choosing any quarterback—not only one with little experience and who is so far still bad at football, although I don’t want to get sidetracked by that part—in the top-five or even the first two rounds is completely untrodden territory.
If it happens, then cool, let’s rock it like a pair of cartoonish red boots and see what shakes out in a few years.
But anyone who desperately wants Seattle to draft Richardson (or any QB) should at least be willing to acknowledge how unexpected that is in this moment. Wouldn’t that make the draft even more exciting if it happens? What do you have to lose?
Here are nine more thinks I thing, including trading pick #5, who the safest pick would be (it’s not who most thing), the value area in the draft for receivers, the Georgia player who isn’t Jalen Carter who is also “immature” but with zero publicity for it, the real problem with coginition tests, and more.