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Seahawks Mock Draft: Don't be so sure about the top-4 picks
Media could be wrong about Texans, Colts plans: Seaside Joe 1497
I recently wrote that I’ve been watching a reality game show called “The Traitors” on Peacock and currently I’m midway through the UK version, which has even more drama, backstabbing, and lying than the Australian version. Crikey! I mean, every time they kill off one of my favorite contestants, I am truly gutted.
Previously, I used the show as an example of how natural it is for people to let confirmation bias lead them deeper down the wrong path, with every piece of new evidence only serving to make them more convinced that their hunches are correct. But in this season, there’s another interesting side to discovery that is playing out: One of the players throws out a ton of wild, baseless theories and most of them are incorrect—and yet she’s accidentally stumbled into being dead-on right with the person who she’s pointing the finger at the most.
Though her methodology is less accurate than Anthony Richardson, even a running back can throw a touchdown pass sometimes. (Just don’t ask DeeJay Dallas to do it.)
I read a lot of mock drafts everyday and the reason for that is not to learn what’s going to play out on April 27th. It’s because I have an interest in NFL media, the actual job of reporting on the NFL, and as you can tell I really enjoy investigating and presenting discovery on what they did right, what they did wrong, and what they’re lying about.
Seaside Joe likes writing about the Seahawks and the NFL. Seaside Joe also likes writing about writing about the Seahawks and the NFL.
So tracking mock drafts is mostly about two things: Sometimes I’ll read a tidbit about a team or player that I did not know before and it doesn’t have to be a rumor from a source or anything like that, it could just be about system fit or agent connections or simply a good opinion I hadn’t thought of. The other part is to keep a finger on the pulse of what people expect and then to balance that against what I expect and what eventually happens.
As most of you know, I think the Internet world has gone a little mad. If you’re a subscriber to Seaside Joe, you probably agree with me on that, at least somewhat. There’s also this aspect to social media where many folks have become UNBELIEVABLY CONFIDENT in themselves and the opinions they share—no matter how flippant each remark is that they hit “Send” on and forget about—and I often think to myself, “Yeah, but are we sure it’s that way?”
Like the Houston Texans drafting a quarterback. There’s this “No, it’s 100-percent factual” attitude about it without allowing anybody to even share a contrary opinion on the Texans picking a quarterback, piling on and eviscerating them on Twitter for anyone who doesn’t join the pack.
Telling me, “You need to fall in line with what we think to fit in here” has always been the number one guaranteed way to get me to do the opposite.
“This is what we think here.” Okay, won’t be here.
“You can’t do that, Seaside Joe.” Okay, be right back, gonna go do exactly that.
I’m not going to be in a tribe and I’m not going to ever use Seaside Joe as a platform to repeat the same stories and narratives that you’ve heard so many times from everyone else. This doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore facts or steer clear of popular opinions just to be a contrarian; it only means that I’ll be curious, question everything, and attempt to come to conclusions based on what feels most rational about a situation instead of going by “what people are saying”.
I see a lot of reasons for the Texans to go in a direction other than quarterback in this draft. They might see this as a one-time opportunity to get a quarterback at the top of the draft who will develop into a franchise player in the future and so I understand why that’s by far the most popular expectation. But I also think that the draft starts at 2 because I do not believe that it’s a foregone conclusion that the first two picks will be C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young to the Panthers and Texans in either order.
We know that the Panthers will pick a quarterback. Then I think…we don’t know enough to know what happens next. The Texans would have good reason to grab Will Anderson, another type of player who they might not get another opportunity to draft. I could see either situation happening and that’s why I like coming across mock drafts that at least attempt to question the popular narratives, no matter how “throw anything at the wall to see what sticks” some of the picks appear to be.
The thing about that strategy is—and I am seeing it happen in The Traitors UK—something could stick!
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter posted a mock draft on Friday that has the Seahawks picking Penn State cornerback Joey Porter, Jr. at #5. This should not make you mad! It’s only a mock draft. I’m very confident that neither you nor I believe that Seattle will pick Porter or a cornerback at #5, but what’s the harm in reading something like that and letting your brain wander into a world where the Seahawks don’t go with Jalen Carter, Anderson, Tyree Wilson, or a quarterback?
As I said earlier, sometimes a mock draft will just offer an opinion I hadn’t thought of before and you’re just not going to get that with most articles about the draft. Most people are saying the same things. I watch, read, and listen to a lot of draft content and you don’t come across many shares on Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson that aren’t the same three or four talking points.
So that’s why today I want to run through my thoughts on the early picks—I don’t care to do an entire first round, I’m just going to talk about the range that the Seahawks have two picks in. (“But they could trade down”—Yes they could, we will talk about that when we get there.) I’m doing this because I don’t feel like my opinions about the draft are terrible and some of them go against what’s been said over and over again on the Internet.
I know how tempting it is to scroll down to the mock draft picks, but please read this tweet because we need your HELP:
As you probably know, I use SUBSTACK as a platform for the Seaside Joe newsletter. This is what allows me and you to communicate everyday and for your contributions to Seaside Joe that helps us continue running and expanding our Seahawks universe to other fans. Well, Twitter seems to be making their first official strikes and attacks against Substack’s growth because it is a rival platform in a similar space.
As of Friday, there are reports that tweets that contain links to Substack articles can no longer be retweeted or liked, thereby suffocating the ability to share Seaside Joe articles on Twitter and you won’t see my links unless you follow the Twitter account. For now, there is a workaround if I use link shorteners that hide that it is a link to Seaside Joe, but it would appear that Elon Musk is going to keep working to hide rival social media websites from appearing on Twitter because that’s what he said he was going to do.
I don’t say this with intentions to be involved with a political war, I only say this because I need your help more than ever to keep sharing Seaside Joe with other Seahawks fans: Tell people about Seaside Joe, forward them our articles via email, get someone a gift subscription, share us on Facebook and other platforms where we aren’t restricted, mention us in comment threads on other message boards—anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated!
I posted that SCREENSHOT of a tweet from Substack’s founders because Twitter has restricted the ability for writers to embed their tweets in articles anymore. When you even try to hit retweet or like on that tweet from Substack I screenshotted, which contains NO LINKS, you get this error:
Honestly, I think these actions only bring more attention to Substack. I haven’t tweeted since December (only links to SeasideJoe.com) and I believe that Twitter is out with the old and this place is in with the new. So I am hopeful and optimistic that there are great things to come on Seaside Joe and our growth is imperative to that mission so you sharing, you subscribing, you commenting and engaging with these articles, these are all massively important and I’m grateful.
I will be using the Substack Chats feature to share more information about the draft in the coming weeks and for a live thread during the draft, so if you want to get the app and join me there, you can do that here:
Also, as a reminder, if you want to read ALL of the Seaside Joe content on the 2023 NFL Draft, there’s an entire page for that and you can scroll just draft-specific content here. Share it with other Seahawks fans to show how expansive the content is here!
Okay, thank you for reading my plea! Onto the mock draft.
Seahawks 2023 Mock Draft - My first 4 picks
I’m going to do something I’m terrible at: I’m going to be brief.
1. Panthers - QB Bryce Young, Alabama
He’s the quarterback who makes the most sense to me. I wrote about why I think Young is the pick already this week.
2. Texans - OLB Will Anderson, Alabama
Not putting here because it’s what I think will happen, only going this route today because I am confident that it could happen and we need more mock draft scenarios with variety. Wrote more about it in my Best/Worst case scenarios article. Lots of interesting tidbits in this podcast with NFL Network’s James Palmer on Steve Smith’s show on Friday, including that the Texans GM isn’t going to QB pro days. We know, we know, it doesn’t have to mean anything! But it’s a story that I think is going mostly unreported. Yes, the Texans hosted C.J. Stroud and other QBs for top-30 visits.
3. Raiders - QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
If the Texans don’t draft a QB then they could entertain trade down but I am skeptical that they have an option to move down any earlier than Raiders at #7, which is too late for Will Anderson. That’s why I don’t have them trading down. I believe Las Vegas is genuinely interested in QB, so in this scenario they make a trade with Cardinals after Stroud gets to pick 3, it’s what would make most sense to me if Anderson goes pick 2.
4. Colts - CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
One of the most overlooked holes for any team at the top of the draft is that Indianapolis isn’t at all prepared to replace Stephon Gilmore. Witherspoon has been described as a perfect fit for Gus Bradley’s zone-heavy defense with speculation he could climb up the boards. I wrote on Thursday that it was interesting to see Seattle getting a close look at Witherspoon recently; not to go the conspiracy route, but it would be a compelling story if Pete Carroll was trying to force the Colts to draft Witherspoon at #4 rather than letting them think that they could trade down to do it. Who knows what Gus would want better than Pete? Conversely, Gus must have some insights for Indy on what Pete wants.
5. Seahawks - DT Jalen Carter, Georgia
It’s not super original, but I don’t think it has to be. Ultimately, I see Seattle in a position to trade down and this scenario with Anthony Richardson on the board and important connections with Washington makes sense to me. But let me get into why Carter and what scenarios B, C, and D are for me.
Monday is the 1,500th day in a row that I will have sent out the Seaside Joe Seahawks newsletter and I have a special edition: ESPN’s Mina Kimes answered a few of my draft questions on the QBs, on character concerns, and on the receiver class, so make sure you’re subscribed to be able to read that and get others in on the action here over at Seaside Joe!
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The Seahawks don’t even have a player on the roster right now who is worth starting in between Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed. Bryan Mone is recovering from a torn ACL. If there’s one huge gap on the team, that’s it. I also want to point out something else that James Palmer said to Steve Smith on Friday:
“I talked to four people who were at Jalen Carter’s pro day who say that the poor workout is being completely overblown.” (paraphrasing)
I’m paraphrasing what Palmer said, but don’t you think that just kinda makes…ALL THE SENSE IN THE WORLD? That the Internet has made a mountain of a mole hill with Carter’s pro day because it’s pile on season? Palmer said that coaches intentionally tried to work Carter to the bone and that he was actually showing a lot of effort prior to yes, getting tired at the very end in his last couple of reps.
Again, I go back to the UNBELIEVABLE CONFIDENCE that people have in believing that because they read a snippet or saw two seconds of an event that they think they have just as much insight into what happened as the people who were there. I wasn’t there. Maybe Carter’s pro day was much worse than the hearsay that James Palmer shared. Maybe Carter’s pro day was much better than what the Internet said.
What could be concerning about Carter more than anything else are the questions of whether or not he likes to practice, if he’s a “last in, first out” player, if he is obsessed with studying and getting better, and if he’s coachable. If he’s on the board and the Seahawks don’t draft him, then that’s the most important statement you will hear on Carter’s coachability and Pete thinks he can motivate anybody. Because Seattle could really use a football player like Carter.
I think Carter is the most logical outcome also because the rest of the top-10 isn’t good enough to make a team second guess taking Carter. If the Seahawks could pick Ja’Marr Chase or Penei Sewell or Micah Parsons (who had character concerns that dropped him in 2021), then great, just go do that. If Will Anderson is on the board, great just go do that. But the alternative draft picks just lack “top-five enticing” qualities, almost to the point where it feels like “Do you want to take the risk on Carter or do you want L.J. Collier?”
It’s interesting that Rob Staton of SeahawksDraftBlog has opted to go full “It won’t be Jalen Carter, I guarantee it” and to attack Seahawks fans who disagree with that point by saying they’re either stupid or ignorant. But it does help create more drama for our showdown!
If you think the Seahawks will pick Will Levis or Richardson, I won’t agree with you but I don’t think you’re stupid or ignorant. You might be right, it’s just not how I perceive Seattle’s current roster balanced against their history at this time. You can disagree with Seaside Joe.
If it’s not Carter, I think the Seahawks would next be open to trading down. There are a lot of good prospects who should fall between 6-19. If they can’t trade down, I think the Seahawks would next consider purely the best player available, which would make Bijan Robinson very appealing—it’s going to be a lot of money to hand to a running back, and that’s the main drawback, but we do know how little Pete cares for what others think of Seattle “reaching” and his opinions on running backs.
As I said earlier, I struggle with brevity, so I’m going to cut off the mock draft here and then come back to do picks 6-20. So be subscribed to Seaside Joe and join the Regular Joes club to help us keep shocking the world! And to fight for Substack because this is a necessary platform for alternative news on the Seattle Seahawks from Seaside Joe.