On the clock: Seattle Seahawks draft preview

Field Level Media

April 06, 2023 at 6:36 pm.

Head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider are giddy over their opportunities for the Seattle Seahawks in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Schneider hasn’t had a top five pick since he working in the Packers’ scouting department and Green Bay selected linebacker A.J. Hawk (2006), instead building the Seattle roster with big hits later in the draft and the occasional free agent score.

Carroll said the Seahawks, armed with the No. 5 pick from the Denver Broncos as part of the massive trade return for Russell Wilson in 2022, are exploring all avenues with their early picks. Seattle has two picks in the top 20 and four of the first 52, meaning flexibility in spades for Schneider.

Re-signing Geno Smith gives the Seahawks a quarterback starting point for next season and affords Seattle the ability to follow its typical path in the first round — trading back to add more assets.

1. Edge. The preference is power and versatility, but Michael Bennetts and Frank Clarks don’t grow on trees.
2. QB. In Geno we trust, right? Smith’s breakout season came late in his NFL life, but a coaching-level grasp of the offense and reliable veteran receivers helped his cause and gave the Smith resurrection story some staying power. But he faded late last season when defensive pressure in the pocket picked up, creating a shadow of doubt about continuing the dream ride.
3. NT. A meaty middle man to shore up the run defense and keep returning linebacker Bobby Wagner free to flow to the ball is on Schneider’s list, but a veteran cut might be his preferred path to improving the D-line depth inside.

1. 5 (5)
1. 20 (20)
2. 6 (37)
2. 21 (52)
3. 20 (83)
4. 21 (123)
5. 16 (151)
5. 19 (154)
6. 21 (198)
7. 20 (237)

1. RB Bijan Robinson, Texas: Nobody knows better than Seattle the benefit of a game-changing running back. Rashaad Penny left in free agency and Kenneth Walker’s ankle issues in the second half of last season served as a reminder that two is better than one lead back. Robinson at 5 would be a mic drop but it’s not a stretch to think he’d be the top player on the Seahawks’ board if Will Anderson Jr. is gone.

2. Edge Byron Young, Tennessee: Poor man’s Micah Parsons? Not exactly. Young is light for a defensive end at 252 pounds, but his 4.42 40-yard time is indicative of a pocket-wrecking pass-rush specialist who could blossom into much more under Carroll’s tutelage.

3. DL Jalen Carter, Georgia: Releasing nose tackle Al Woods was a bit of a surprise, but it came after the Seahawks’ scouting staff had time to pour over the 2023 draft in granular detail. While not a true nose tackle, Carter is the type of player Seattle covets. Yes, character questions might lead to a draft-day dive for Carter. Seattle has shown a willingness to do its own homework and Carroll takes his role as a leader of men seriously enough to believe he could shape Carter as a professional on and off the field. With a bevy of draft capital, moving around in the first round to make it happen isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

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