Seahawks Mock Draft: Redux
Seattle's first pick and trades, surprises along the way: 4/11/2023
On Tuesday, I wrote that there’s a compelling argument for Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon to be Pete Carroll’s favorite player at the top of the draft and I could understand if any Seahawks fans read that and hesitation to believe it. For one, it is like many others in my industry to not be faithful to reality and to just follow any whim for a story that might draw attention. Today it’s Witherspoon, does that mean tomorrow I’ll write a case for Tyree Wilson, Thursday’s for Peter Skoronski, and the weekends are for Wills, both Levis and Anderson?
Seattle is in a unique position of owning a top-five pick in the draft and that means that Seahawks fans have a rare opportunity to actually be able to focus on a short list of prospects who could end up being the team’s first pick. When the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson for the ninth overall pick last year, we had a similar opportunity to do that and Charles Cross was the literally the first player I mocked to Seattle. How often in the previous 12 years, since Russell Okung was a predictable top-10 pick, have Seahawks fans had reasonable inclination to think they could figure out what Pete’s thinking?
Okay, okay—Cross was also literally the first of those prospects who I ruled out for Seattle because I thought he lacked the right testing numbers (bad me, he had the same measurable as Okung!)…but he was on the short list!
If the Seahawks only had their original 2023 first round pick, the number of prospects who we’d have to comb through as possibilities is at least 30 names. At least! Trading down is an option and with Seattle, you never know when that slip stops to slide, so the breadth of prospects in the late first could be several dozen names long for the Seahawks.
But by starting at pick five, I think that even with a trade down that it shouldn’t be hard to narrow down legitimate options to two or three names, at most, and by going through the suspects at each position group it should be relatively easy to say “Well, this guy is a guy” and “This guy ain’t a guy”. Did I cross off the wrong “Cross” again? I can’t say.
I know that despite Seaside Joe annually being the writer who cautions fans against expecting the Seahawks to pick a first round cornerback…I’m not crossing off Devon Witherspoon. He’s A GUY. He’s a guy’s guy. He’s a football player’s football player. Jalen Carter was in Seattle on Tuesday and if that meeting goes well, I would rate him as higher on the Seahawks’ board than Witherspoon.
But that’s an even shorter list than the short list.
When you go through most prospects who I’ve written about on this newsletter, it’s more “No” than “Yes”. It’s ‘no’ on three of the four quarterbacks. It’s ‘no’ on all but one edge player—and I’m softening my stance on Will Anderson. It’s ‘yes, later’ on Bijan Robinson. You know, when you’re picking fifth—you actually don’t need a big board longer than five names for that pick. Yes, you can trade down. But if you like five players in the draft and not six, then that’s a long enough list.
You can’t say that at pick 20.
I’m not in those meetings, I am not a scout, I don’t have the professional experience and insight to be hired and included, I am just like the rest of you except I have maybe more time on my hands to obsess on the draft and share my findings with the classroom. My top-five big board is five names long…and the Seahawks might be able to trade down for three of them.
I did not know a week ago that Witherspoon would get onto that list and that’s why we try to prove ourselves wrong. That’s why we update our findings and don’t stubbornly keep trying to confirm our biases and believing the same things we already thought before doing more research; otherwise, stop doing research!
That being said—last week, I started a Seahawks first round mock draft by playing with the top-four picks in a way that I found rational but slightly different than most of what you will see by other writers. I usually have some unpopular opinions and different takes than the majority, which if you want those, there are a lot of others who will deliver. Otherwise they wouldn’t be the popular opinions!
We could get to April 27th and find that a perfect storm ends with an historic run of four quarterbacks in the top-four but what I’ve sensed from listening to the draft analysts that I trust is that a team will pick Anthony Richardson earlier than he might normally go (which isn’t to say he will go in the top-four, but it only takes one GM or owner) and that Will Levis will be available in the second half of the first round.
You will see so many others give a scenario of QB-QB-QB-Will Anderson and that’s fine. It could drop that way. I mean, my recent top-four mock was close to that already: QB-Anderson-QB-Witherspoon. That’s only one player different. I then mocked Jalen Carter to Seattle and said I would circle back to the next 15 picks.
However, I am having some buyer’s remorse already. Not on Carter. On Anderson. In fact, I have Carter going to a team that nobody else does despite how much it might make sense.
So today I want to re-do the top-five of the mock draft and finish out the top-10 and see where that leads us for the second half of the first round and leading into Seattle’s other first round pick. To continue reading this, for all the archives and bonus content, and to support this Seahawks newsletter, please subscribe and join the Regular Joes club.
Let’s re-start the mock, but with the same first pick…which I’ve always felt would be the number one pick and now recent reports have led most others to circle back and agree with what I think has always been obvious.