Draft musings for the 7th December

“That won’t happen”

The immortal words uttered every year at this time, whenever anyone dares to think outside of the box relating to the draft.

The truth is there isn’t an obvious #1 overall pick for 2023. There’s no Trevor Lawrence or Andrew Luck. There’s no Myles Garrett. It’s a wide open, fluid situation — just as it was this year.

Travon Walker was not even being discussed as a potential top pick 12 months ago. He finished his final season at Georgia (the National Champions) with six sacks. He only recorded 9.5 sacks in his three-year college career.

If you suggested last December that he was destined to go first overall, people would’ve scoffed at the suggestion.

Many pundits liked him but he wasn’t even a consensus top-10 pick. He was #15 on Daniel Jeremiah’s first top-50 board, published in January. Mel Kiper mocked him at #24 in his first mock draft. It wasn’t until the combine that people even started to consider he might go in the top-five.

I don’t think anyone’s going to make a rise quite like that in 2023 but there are a cluster of potential #1 overall picks and it’s to be determined who are the serious contenders for the top pick.

Group think is rampant among the NFL Draft community. It’s not surprising either. The overwhelming majority of people don’t have the time to watch the necessary amount of tape to get a proper angle on a draft class.

As such, people copy the opinions that are widespread. Especially now that we’re entering a period where draft articles get a lot of traction, in particular mock drafts. Journalists who have watched little or no tape and simple peruse the content online will begin to talk about options for the teams they cover.

I am not for a second claiming I have all the answers, as I don’t. But I do watch tape every day, including for several hours every weekend. I embrace this is all very geeky.

The amount of time I spend watching players is equal to that of a full-time job. It’s a gruelling commitment and you have to love doing it, especially when you already have a full-time job and family commitments. You also need a saintly wife who is supportive and laid back about a husband’s nonsensical obsession.

If you don’t have time to watch hours and hours of tape every week — and you are writing articles or mock drafts — of course you’re going to resort to the consensus. It’s understandable. But does it achieve anything other than to drive a false narrative?

Plenty of people rely on big name pundits for their info. That in itself is problematic. I don’t want to pile on Daniel Jeremiah but he provides the best example. He published a top-50 prospects article on NFL.com before the 2021 Senior Bowl which didn’t include big-name prospect Boye Mafe. He then attended the Senior Bowl, broadcasting daily for the NFL Network. The week after the Senior Bowl, he tweeted he’d watched Mafe tape after an impressive showing in Mobile and decided he was a first round talent.

This begs a lot of questions. Why is Jeremiah publishing a top-50 board if he hasn’t even extended his study to someone as well known as Mafe? Why isn’t he studying Mafe’s tape before going to Mobile, given he was one of the biggest name players attending the Senior Bowl and Jeremiah was providing commentary on the event? How much tape study does Jeremiah actually do during the college football season when these players are providing weekly showcases of their talent?

Is it unfair to expert a leading draft expert to actually have a firm grasp of the big name prospects before the draft season begins?

There’s a consensus view that the affable and charismatic Jeremiah is a leading voice on the draft and his opinions are often taken as gospel. I thought the Mafe situation, though, was illuminating.

I suppose the point of this opening ramble is to make a plea to keep an open mind. When I write that I think Jalen Carter, Anthony Richardson or Will Levis could be the #1 pick — it’s not an attempt to be dramatic. It’s based on a humungous study of this class and league trends. It will go against the mainstream consensus but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. We’ve been here before — talking about how Kyler Murray would go first overall when the mainstream thought he’d stick to baseball or be a late first rounder, or projecting Joe Burrow #1 when the world was still fixated on Justin Herbert and ‘Tank for Tua’.

I would encourage everyone to do their own research and come to your own conclusions. I hope this blog mainly just gives you some names to seek out. I’d also stress to think outside of the box. The consensus view online often isn’t how things end up playing out.

Moving on…

Georgia’s comfortable win over LSU was quite an interesting game to follow. Jalen Carter was typically disruptive — again showing off his ability to win with an electric rip/swim or just blow through blocks with sheer power.

Carter has everything needed to be a highly disruptive interior force. These types of players are increasingly rare. At times he reminds me of a shorter Calais Campbell at his peak. He has positional flexibility and can play across the line. You can move him around to attack from different angles.

It won’t be a surprise if he is graded higher than anyone else come draft time — or possibly second only in terms of pure talent to Bijan Robinson. That will squarely put him in the #1 overall pick equation. These types of players don’t come along very often and if the Texans are not completely sold on the QB class — they might opt for a more long-term view. After all, their roster is a shambles. They could decide to start their next era — presumably with a new coach (and maybe a new GM) by building up their defense. Especially if they fall for Carter — which is possible.

If he doesn’t go first overall, he will leave the board as soon as a team not in need of a quarterback is on the clock. If Chicago sticks at #2 overall, they will take him. He is a better prospect than Will Anderson and will be the first non-QB drafted, short of any unexpected injury or character flags.

That’s not to say he’s a flawless player. I do think there are a couple of quibbles. LSU moved the ball effectively early in the SEC Championship and kept Georgia’s defense on the field. Carter looked absolutely knackered after the first series. I did wonder a little bit about his conditioning but in fairness after a breather (and when Georgia’s offense started to dominate) he came roaring back. It might be, however, that he needs a bit of time to get up to speed with the physical demands of the NFL — something that isn’t unusual for bigger defenders.

There’s also some inconsistency to his game and he does take some snaps off. It’s not a massive issue, just something worth pointing out. In college he is a better athlete than most of his opponents. When that isn’t the case in the NFL, he’ll need to become more rounded and find a base level of performance and effort. That’s not a reason not to take him though, you work on that when he’s in the building.

He was constantly disruptive against LSU and will go in the top-two, I think. Unlike Will Anderson — who has had an underwhelming season, lacks great size and is more of a developmental project — he is a player teams will believe is ready to come and have an impact immediately.

Two other quick comments on Georgia players. Safety Chris Smith — a fine player — had a heads-up play to return a field goal for a touchdown. He also had a bit of a whiff on a Kayshon Boutte touchdown — making up for it later on with a nice interception.

Cornerback Kelee Ringo continues to misjudge throws and doesn’t track the ball consistently enough. While he’s a superb athlete with great size — he simply isn’t a great cornerback at the moment. Is he too big? He makes some good plays but gets beaten on others. He’s a real mystery for the next level and it’s tricky to judge his stock.

I also watched the ACC Championship game in what proved to be a bit of a damp squib as a contest. However, despite Clemson dominating North Carolina, I thought it was another majorly disappointing showing by the Tigers’ vaunted D-line.

I just don’t get why nobody is talking about Myles Murphy’s underwhelming play? Yes he’s a good athlete and has decent size. That’s fine. He plays with almost no aggression though. I’ve said it numerous times — he’s a pussycat defending the run and he’s hardly a ‘hair on fire’ dynamic pass rusher either.

Murphy finishes the season with 6.5 sacks in 13 games. That’s it. He had eight sacks in ten games last season, so his production has actually gone down. He also has three fewer TFL’s than last year (11 vs 14.5). It was embarrassing watching him get his arse kicked by Notre Dame a few weeks ago and he’s not had a bounce-back performance since. I’ve watched all of his 2022 games and just came away underwhelmed.

I think there’s a legit fear that he’s a big-time recruit who has found High School easy because of his physical profile and in college he’s also athletic enough to get by. At the next level, he’s going to need to show so much more. His body lacks muscle definition and he just gives off a vibe of never really having to work at his craft. That ends the minute he comes into the NFL. Teams will need to believe he is prepared to go above and beyond to become great because to me he just seems like an athlete at the moment, not a football player.

His team mate K.J. Henry has been far more aggressive, consistent and disruptive this season.

Meanwhile, Bryan Bresee continues to be spelled constantly. I will say, he had a few impactful snaps against North Carolina. Some of the aggression, power and speed that Bresee clearly has jumped off the screen as he barged his way into the backfield. The flashes he showed reminded me why I initially had him rated higher than Jalen Carter at the start of the season. Bresee clearly has talent.

The problem is he hasn’t put together an actual season. A year ago he suffered an ACL injury. This year he had the sad passing of his younger sister, a kidney problem and then strep throat — all of which kept him off the field or stuck in a rotational role.

Bresee makes for a really difficult projection. I can well imagine him having better fortune in the pro’s and just shining as a dominant player. In High School, as I’ve said a few times, he had the Jadeveon Clowney vibe of looking like an adult playing against kids. You even see some of that in college at times. Bresee’s physical talent is freakishly impressive.

He might last on the board into the teens and be the steal of the class. Or he might never be able to stay healthy or find the consistency that will elevate him to elite status.

Bresee will potentially split opinion in draft rooms around the league because knowing the right range to take a chance on him will be a tricky square to circle. The talent is clear. If only he’d had a good solid ten-game run to feel confident he can stay healthy, productive and consistent.

The Clemson defenders are so much of a challenge this year. Everyone loves Trenton Simpson but he had a poor college season, failed to make enough plays and aside from his expected testing results, has not performed like a first round talent. The aforementioned K.J. Henry has been really active and is a former five-star recruit who is seen as an emotional leader on the defense. However, he only finished the season with 3.5 sacks and nine TFL’s despite looking disruptive all year. Is he enough of a finisher? Or do you buy-in based on the disruption?

I do really like Clemson left tackle Jordan McFadden as a guard convert. He has the size of a guard but has played well at tackle. I think he’s a top-50 talent pre-testing.

If you’ve enjoyed the work and want to support the blog so that I can consider options for the pre-draft coverage in the new year, please consider supporting the site via Patreon — (click here)


  1. Troy D

    Bresee seems like one of the guys who could fall for all the reasons you stated. You think there is a chance he falls to day 2 or is that too far? Weve seen that happen over the years but maybe this years class is so weak with potential top talent that someone will take the gamble?

    Is the Seahawks targetting him with their 2nd 1st round pick a viable path or at that spot would you rather they go for someone like Mazi?

    • Rob Staton

      I doubt he falls to day two

      • Erik

        That won’t happen:)

      • Elmer

        No. It is not unfair to expect a so-called draft “expert “ to have a good grip on the draft prospects. It should be a minimum expectation. Otherwise, people are reading garbage. To quote RW, “the separation is in the preparation”. Whether he totally lives up to that or not is a whole separate conversation.

    • PJ in Seattle

      Bresee will go in Round 1 for sure. His upside is just way too high. As Rob said, he’s been inconsistent and has dealt with injuries, but his highlights are just too beastly for someone not to take a chance. He can throw grown men around like rag dolls.

      He could be there with our native pick in the 20’s though, and I’d give him a hard look there if we haven’t already taken Carter. Guys like him don’t come around often.

      • AlaskaHawk

        For the love of god = no more injured players who never reach their potential. First round should be an elite talent that is a game changer.

  2. Marcus

    2100ish words of insightful commentary. I suspect you don’t do what you do for the kudos, but it’s much appreciated. Thanks.

  3. clbradley17

    Excellent article and analysis again Rob. A 1st rd. of QB Richardson and Kancey or Bressee would be fantastic, with S Skinner and Henry or Young in rd. 2.

    Speaking of the last 2, they’ve been added to the Senior Bowl invites. KJ Henry of Clemson & Byron Young of Alabama are going to Mobile; also centers Schmitz of Minnesota and Oluwatimi of Michgan are new accepted invites.

    Seahawks All Access: Week 13 at Rams

  4. Big Mike

    “I embrace this is all very geeky.”

    Yes, yes it is and how lucky are we that you are geeky?
    Answer: very

    • jujus

      Very geeky but with huge arms like that, and a track record with the draft picks that Rob has its all good!

  5. Peter

    I could see Bresee with the second first round pick. I’m a little concerned about his ability to stay on the field. When you are handed a bunch of lottery tickets it feels okay to take a chance.

    As that first pick seems to keep creeping higher and Seattle being well decent the options get harder and harder to work out.

    1. Simply sell the pick. I suppose if someone like Indy wants to f— them picks and give up trey Lance style resources that’s an option. There’s always a chance I suppose.

    2. Go defense. This is obvious. Except it’s not. Rob has written about exactly one player who will go early and I think warrants it. Carter. I’m not saying obvious players like Andersen won’t go early. Just not sure how a small for OLB player makes Seattle better when they don’t for lack of trying have Mafe/Taylor pin their ears back and go. Anderson is going to help us not get blown out of the water in the run game? Doubt it.

    Everyone else I would want for defense could probably be had just waiting til it’s their time to draft again.

    3. QB OF THE FUTURE….but wait. Does pc/js even care about that? If qb of the future is Josh Allen last decade and you’re sick of Mark Rodgers that makes a ton of sense. Does qb of the future matter when the coach has three years remaing (not being an ageist being a realist) is well and truly getting up there in age and the GM’s contract is pretty clearly a bridge length to extend into a transition for a possible new ownership group.

    Does Levis push this team further than Geno can go without improved defense? Does it matter to select Richardson and coach him up when the coaching staff may well not be around to reap the rewards of their vision?

    • BK26

      Completely agree.

      If we get blown away, sell the pick.

      I think most of the first 4 or 5 picks will be defense. Just more holes needed filling. And Carter is the only one that I am not nervous about.

      I think that John will want a quarterback since we know he was watching Mahomes and Allen. Levis and Richardson are up his alley. Pete….idk… Will he have a long-term plan despite his age? WIll he maximize for the next year or so and get a little bit of tunnel vision? Who will win out between the two of them?

      No matter what, I want to get through this draft and feel good about the Seahawks long-term. To have hope for YEARS.

  6. Tyler Jorgensen

    Bresee has Robert Nkemdiche/Malik McDowell vibes.

    Super high ranked HS 5 star stud who dominated that level with athleticism not skill, doesn’t have great performance consistently in college against better competition, and doesn’t ever evolve past that, but still gets drafted high due to that unattainable but tantalizing ceiling.

    I hope we stay away.

    • BK26

      Nailed it. Seems like the hope will always outweigh the results.

    • cha

      I lean that way too.

      However, the talent is so rare I would not take him off my board.

      I think it is worth investing a VMAC visit in him. Find out about his year and how he felt and responded. Gauge his motivation to do the work needed to shine as a pro.

      If they get satisfying answers and come away impressed, put him in the running. If they don’t, take him off the board. If they’re split, let someone else take him early and be ready to pounce if he slips.

      • DriveByPoster

        Just to follow up on that observation, cha. The VMAC visits are always of interest but this year they will be very interesting indeed. For the first time in an age they will be looking at the very top prospects. It will be fascinating to see who they call in.

        • Old but Slow

          My memory is suspect, but did we not base the drafting of Collier on his interviews, and attitude? As I recall, his testing numbers were not at the level they usually covet.

          • Sea Mode

            Senior bowl standout performance + desperate need for a pass rusher

            • bmseattle

              Nagy loved Coller.
              Their relationship with Nagy probably gives them some deeper insight on the guys who go to the Senior Bowl…for better or worse.

  7. Forrest


    I like the idea of the Hawks adding some run stuffers to the D line in this draft to go with some added end and interior pressure. For years the Jaguars’ duo of John Henderson and Marcus Stroud clogged the middle and the Hawks used the Red Bryant effectively out of position in their 4-3 at the time. It looks like there are a couple run stuffing 3-4 linemen in this class. Outside of Mazi Smith, what are your thoughts on:

    Siaki Ika
    T’Vondre Sweat
    Keeanu Benton

    Also, what are your thoughts about O’Cyrus Torrence at guard?

    • Rob Staton

      I think Torrence is overrated in the media. Sloppy frame. Not convinced he will test well.

    • jujus

      Siaki Ika is a body I want on my team. Holy crap he is fast for playing at 350

  8. BK26

    I do want to say thank you to Rob and the community. I almost get more excited for the draft now that I have a better understanding of what teams can think, what they might be looking for in draft picks, and how college players can translate. We are really spoiled here.

    Rob, the volume and quality of work that you are putting out is unbelievable. I have friends and family that ask me about their teams in the draft since I’ve been coming here. My little brother texts me after every Packers pick to see what I think about who they took. I don’t have the words to do justice other than thank you for everything.

    For the community: this is the best page. Other pages (you can guess them) are too toxic, too “I know what I’m talking about, you are an idiot,” too generic, or too click-baity. We get into discussions and there is just a level of respect that is rare in the internet age. I’m really enjoying myself this year and have started commenting after years and years.

    This is rare territory for Seahawks fans this year and hopefully everyone gets to enjoy it and relish that we have this little gem to fuel our fandom.

    • Old but Slow


      • Hawktalker

        And That!!! 100%

  9. no frickin clue


    Have you checked out Kansas State defensive lineman Felix Anudike-Uzomah? He’s only a junior so not necessarily entering the draft this year, but he’s got 10 TFLs this season. Disruptive in the passing game. I thought he played well against TCU in the Big 12 Championship.

    • Rob Staton

      Gave him a R3. Was left wanting a bit more. Let’s see how he tests

  10. AlaskaHawk

    I was just looking at Walter footballs mock draft. They still haven’t discovered Kancey, Rob you were way ahead of them on that one.

    Anyway, I really like Carter to strengthen the line. Walter even has him mocked to the Seahawks at #3 – if only. But I noticed that there are other nose tackles I would be interested in from rounds 2 on. Now I haven’t watched their tape so I’m just basing this on tackling and sack stats. I just think they might help solve some issues. Those names being:
    #1 Jalen Carter = had a less productive year with 17 tackles vs last years 37.

    #2 Gervon Dexter , Florida 42 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

    #3 T’Vondre Sweat, Texas 25 tackles – a big man at 340#

    #4 Bryan Bresee, Clemson. only 12 tackles – doesn’t interest me

    #5 Zach Pickens , South Carolina, 37 tackles

    #9 Bryon Young, Alabama , 44 tackles and 2 sacks. Smaller guy.

    #11 is Mazi Smith = also doesn’t interest me.

    I haven’t had a chance to do film study or even really notice these players much. But on paper, I think any of these defensive tackles (except Bresee) would make Seahawks defensive line stronger. Some of them will be available in the third round.

    • no frickin clue

      Walter Football is a strange site to me. They churn out new mocks all the time, like a Willy Wonka factory, yet they never appear in the Huddle Report assessments of how accurate the mocks are. I don’t know if there’s a reason why Huddle Report would reject them, or if WF simply chooses not to submit a final draft, but if not, why not?

      To your point on Kancey, I’ve seen other times when someone who was never close to the top of their draft board suddenly shoots up for no apparent reason, with no explanation given.

      • AlaskaHawk

        I won’t defend them, but I think they are fairly accurate in the first round. Mostly I like their player writeups which are easily accessible by position and year of draft.

      • KD

        I quite like WF, he just focuses way too much on fantasy football for my taste. Charlie Campbell does talk to NFL scouts, so there is some good insight there. There are a lot of HORRENDOUS mock drafts out there, but WF is usually pretty reasonable, and a pretty good resource as a site.

  11. Palatypus

    The Boye Mafe situation was really interesting to watch while I was at the Senior Bowl practice. There was a lot of rain that day, so in between drills everyone was huddled up under the bleachers to stay dry. Rumors were flying everywhere, but one of the names I kept hearing was Mafe’s.

    It’s a lot different than having Daniel Jeremiah constantly in your ear telling you how great Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis are.

    • UkAlex6674

      Didn’t know you went there.

      What rumours?

  12. Happy Hawk

    If the draft order stays with Seattle picking #3 and #20 in the first round:

    1. With Carter, Levis, and Richardson – isn’t it a no-brainer to take one of them?
    2. If we go Carter at #3 – Rob what is the best QB the Seahawks could nab realistically at #20?
    3. If there is no viable QB option at #20 – then what is the strategy BPA?

    Thanks, Rob really enjoy what you create and put out most every day!

  13. Rob Staton

    Really nice video showcase of Anthony Richardson here:


    • Hoggs41

      Dude has unreal traits that you just cant teach. The combo of Lamar and Cam are spot on. Just seems like Seattle would be a perfect landing spot for him. Have Geno here (and maybe even sign Lock) and you could have him as QB3. Other places he is going to be asked to either start right away or mid-season which wouldnt be good for him. Just so torn on Anderson/Carter or Richardson. I guess the draft might figure it out for us.

    • Julian L

      It’s balanced analysis like this which makes me think that perhaps Richardson might fall below 8 in the draft. I’m not sure teams needing a QB to start straight away are going to be attracted by his completion percentage at this stage. I can see a team like Green Bay or the Raiders taking him at 10 or 12 ish, as someone to invest in as a successor to Rodgers or Carr respectively, in a couple of years down the road.

      • Rob Staton

        I would hope all teams have seen the benefits of not rushing players out there and even Houston would be willing to sit him for a bit

    • Jed Simon

      “Seattle would be a perfect landing spot.”

      How much is known about Richardson’s character, intangibles, work ethic, etc.?

      • Rob Staton

        Great character

  14. Ryan Purcell

    Solid article. One quibble. I will NOT be doing my own research. That’s why I come here.

  15. Hoggs41

    Got this funny text today from a friend who happens to be a soccer fan as well as a Broncos fan.

    Soccer is so boring for Americans because if we wanted to watch a bunch of guys run around a field without scoring, we’d just watch the Denver Broncos.

    • Rob Staton

      Maybe they could plonk in a few commercial breaks during the games to make it more interesting for the Americans…

      • Roy Batty

        And the prerequisite hot blond sideline reporter to get answers to obvious questions such as, “I asked coach so and so about how he felt his team played the first half after going down by 3 touchdowns and he said they have to do a better job on defense.”

        Good grief.

      • Bill Gauthier

        The belief that soccer is boring but somehow baseball isn’t truly baffles me

    • AlaskaHawk

      Soccer would be a lot more interesting if the players all drank a beer every 15 minutes!

  16. Blitzy the Clown

    Richardson over Levis for me

    And over Carter I guess (positional value and all)

    Anderson with the Denver selection would feel like a consolation pick and fortunately looks less likely

    Kancey over Bresee

    No to Myles Murphy

    This is a pretty good Tight End class

  17. Hoggs41

    Question to the community and Rob. Do we see a way we could get both Anderson or Carter and Richardson?

    Here is another draft guy Todd McShay saying he only sees three first round grades at QB and doesnt see that growing. I just can see AR15 getting out of the top half of the first round.


    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see a chance for that, no

      • Ukhawk

        Thanks for sharing. Thought this was a very interesting article even though it probably won’t come true. Really shows the consensus group think Rob highlights. This clearly will likelychange as info starts to feedback as the draft approaches.

        Makes me wonder how certain will it be that Houston picks a QB first? Secondly who? Feels really weird that the “consensus” top guys namely Young & Stroud, having been so heavily touted, are not the first guys off the board. Secondly they have 8 teams that will “strongly” consider a QB, maybe Chicago trades out of #2?

        Defensively would both Anderson & Carter be in play after pick 3? Or is the narrative that there aren’t any great QBs so teams go defensive off the bat? Interesting that one ranks DE the deepest position with 20 out of top 70, would that push Anderson lower than Carter. Granted it might be deep but the top end doesn’t have as much quality as last year.

        Finally I don’t remember a draft in recent memory where there wasn’t a CB or OT or WR in the first 5 picks ?!

  18. Hoggs41

    *I Just CANT see AR15 getting out of the top half of the first round.

  19. Trevor

    Seems like the Hawks pick will come down to the Rams / Broncos game. Can’t believe I am actually going to be cheering for the Rams in a game. If the Rams win that then #3 seems like a lock.

    If that happens then I really think the Hawks end up with Jalen Carter.

    # 1 Texans – QB they want
    #2 Bears – trade with team that needs / wants a QB. Bears roster has so many holes that they need as much draft capital as possible.
    #3 Seahawks – Jalen Carter the Hawks finally get an interior disruptor.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s still wishful thinking that picking #3 gets Carter

      • HawkfaninMT

        Do you mean to say “That won’t happen”?!

        • Rob Staton

          No I said it’s wishful

          Which is different than saying something won’t happen because the mainstream media has told everyone a certain player sucks

          • HawkfaninMT

            Oh I got it, I was just busting chops! I suppose I should have put “jk” or something along those lines!

      • Trevor

        Agreed but what fun would it be if we can’t dream a little. Also I can only think of 2-3 DT who have ever gone #1 or 2 because of positional value.

        Agree though he will most likely be the first non QB off the board.

  20. Matt

    Incredible stuff Rob. One of the many things I appreciate about you is that despite your conviction; you are willing to adapt based on more/better information.

    The more I follow the draft; the more confused I get. Here’s my issue with trench players with rare traits and limited production – is why didn’t they dominate college? At least with a QB or a WR you can say they had a terrible supporting cast (see Levis, Richardson).

    At the same time – you need certain traits to succeed. So what shortcomings are able to be overlooked and what are non-negotiable?

    Which brings me to Jalen Carter. On paper…holy moly. His splash plays…holy moly. BUT, speaking for myself here; every time I’ve watched Georgia – I never walked away thinking “oh he’s easily dominating the NFL.” I’m probably alone on this one, but I just keep coming back to that. The other angle to Carter and Georgia defenders in general – I’m always concerned about loaded units and brilliant schemes. There is something about “life being east” for a player that really bothers me when projecting to the NFL.

    It’s a lot like Stroud…like how do you play when things are bad? Your team is bad? You have to exert yourself to the max just to get a 4 yard pass play?

    I sincerely worry about any prospect that has faced limited adversity. And here’s the caveat – I’m not proclaiming those types are doomed to fail because maybe they have such traits even if it hasn’t been shown in college.

    I’m rambling, but I guess where I’m going with this is take Richardson or Levis with that high pick because I just don’t know if I love any defender at that spot. And at the very least, with a QB, you can feel like you are making a smart investment.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I don’t think your wrong to worry about any defender we take in the top pick. I don’t see someone so elite that I have to have him. I love Carter, but we been chasing this unicorn defensive tackle disruptor for 12 years now. At this point I would settle for any defensive tackle that is better than Al Woods and the current line. Any at all. And I think there are guys like that in this draft, that will be available down into the third round.

    • cha

      That’s definitely a concern and I take your point.

      But I think the way these players are handled by their NFL teams has as much to do with their success as the talent level they played with in college.

      Teams in the top-5 rarely have good coaching staffs and projecting how effective their pick will be in their system is a major challenge IMO.

      In that vein, I will never for the life of me understand how a team can invest a top-5 pick and millions of dollars in a player, and then have their coach go “yeah, no, we’re gonna make him do things he’s not good at” and then try to build a position group around him. It’s buying a Ferrari to drive suburban streets to pick up groceries.

      The other problem with projection is the teams in the top-5 are barren of talent usually. For some players it might not matter if they played on a national championship Alabama team with 5 first round picks or the Western Palookaville Fighting Wombats. No team is going to plan for that one high pick to be the only good player on the roster, but that is what ends up happening at times.

      Then opposing teams are going to game plan to stop or limit the most talented guy on their roster, and when you have four 2 or 3 graded players and one 8 or 9 graded player, yeah you know who is getting the attention. Sometimes it just appears that a prospect from a top school cannot break through because he came from a loaded college team, but the reality is it is a numbers game – they cannot surround him with skilled teammates, and the fans think he should be skilled enough to carry his teammates. After all, they drafted him #3 overall and he’s the face of the franchise. Why wouldn’t he be able to?

  21. Blitzy the Clown

    Pete Thamel

    Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer tells ESPN he’s declaring for the NFL Draft. “I wanted to come and win games be a first-round draft pick.” He’s Mel Kiper’s No. 8 overall prospect and top TE. He’s skipping the Gator Bowl.

    Mayer makes it official

    Btw, this is a pretty good TE class

  22. Eduardo Ballori

    Hey Rob,

    What most caught my eye was your description of your wife. Let me get this straight, a “saintly wife” with a “laid back and supportive attitude”? What?? Are they out there?

    Please let me know how you manage to pool all those attributes cause I can barely get away with 3 hours of football on Sunday with my lovely ball and chain. That and I think my wife’s 40 yard dash and vertical aren’t gonna get her a call up to the combine, but love her immensely nonetheless…



    • Rob Staton

      Yeah my wife is a legend. Just let’s me crack on (and to be fair I’m the same with her)

  23. GoHawksDani

    My reasonable wish list:
    Either a QB or a disruptive DL (Richardson, Levis, Carter or if all goes and we pick #4 maybe Anderson)

    An interior DL who can handle the run (we really need one)

    An LB (Brooks is just OK, Barton is clearly JAG)

    A TE maybe (we could trade/cut Fant to get more $, and I like the 3 TE sets)

    An OG/C (we need better running lanes)

    A safety (Diggs is bad, Adams is bad)

    An RB maybe (K9 is OK/potentially good, Dallas is JAG, I like Homer more than others here, but I’d love a bigger, bruiser back who’ll almost always gets 1-3 yards)

  24. Henry Taylor

    I’ve been really conflicted about whether this team should go Defense or QB first in this draft, and I’m still not decided. But what if the answer was just both?

    Say the Broncos pick ends in the top 3 and we can grab one of Anderson or Carter, then our native pick likely ends somewhere in the 20s, but we’d have enough draft capital to move into the top 10 to pick one of the big 4 QBs. We all have our preferences about these guys, but I think the key takeaway is that there’s 4 guys with plenty to like and any could thrive in the right environment, especially with a year to sit and learn.

    I highly doubt this will happen, but what if they took this extremely rare opportunity to turbo boost your team and yourself up both now and for the future? Talk about win forever.

    • cha

      For the record it took a current-year fifth and a next year first and fourth for the Bears to move up from #20 to #11 to draft Justin Fields last year.

      I think the Seahawks would have to move up higher than #11 to get a QB, and the guy they want would have to fall a bit as well.

  25. Colin

    Interesting comments on Christopher Smith. What range do you think he’ll go in the draft, and would you be happy seeing the Seahawks bring him in to replace Diggs?

  26. Mark

    @rob and everyone, what is your opinion of Jared Verse? That game against LSU he looked special with two sacks and a blocked FG.

    • Trevor

      Not Rob but really like Verse a lot. He is #3 edge rusher for me after Anderson and Tyree Wilson.

    • Rob Staton

      I can’t get an angle on him. Need testing results

  27. Trevor

    If Hawks pick at #3 and Anderson is still there.

    Would love to see the Hawks go for tough, athletic character guys on day #1 and 2 to keep building up the OL and DL.

    3. Will Anderson Jr. EDGE Alabama

    20.Calijah Kancey DT Pittsburgh

    35. JL Skinner S Boise State

    53. John Micheal Schmitz C Minnesota

    84. Kenny McIntosh RB Georgia

    • Hoggs41

      Good looking group. I still think Wypler or Van Pran fits the center mold better but what do I know.

      • Rob Staton

        I can’t get excited about Wypler

        • Hoggs41

          TBH I havent watched much of him but I have watched a couple games. He fits the size mold and he was a wrestler in high school. Have you had a chance to watch him much when you are watching Ohio St games? I would defer to you as you put more work in than I do.

  28. Trevor

    If you told me last year this time that the Hawks would be fighting for the playoffs while at the same time we would be discussing the possibility of drafting Will Anderson or Jalen Carter here on SDB I would have told you that you were certifiably insane.

    • TomLPDX

      But we are certifiably insane…we’re Seahawks fans!

  29. Sea Mode


    (sorry, couldn’t resist piling on a bit since I think it’s fully justified to be asking these questions of the NFL Network’s draft “expert” who worked 8 years as an NFL scout before going into media…)

    “There’s the easier way to do it for TV: Just call guys around the league, get their opinion and adopt it as your own,” he said, turning serious. “But to be really good, you still have to grind it. You have to watch all of the tape. Do all of the analysis. Every opinion I give is based on my work.”


    • Sea Mode

      Oh, and to fess up myself while I’m at it: I sure as heck do not watch much “tape” any more. So definitely take all of my comments on prospects with a huge grain of salt!

  30. Calum

    Anthony Richardson Looks fantastic, especially from a potential standpoint. Like you have previously said, similarly athletic QB’s with less production have gone high and proven their abilities in the NFL. However, are there any signs to differentiate Anthony Richardson between a Josh Allen or Justin Herbert and others like Paxton Lynch or Carson Wentz? Especially in regard to Paxton Lynch who didn’t go as high as the blog had expected him to early on based on his athletic profile?

  31. Old but Slow

    PFF just put out its top 100 big board. Amusing. No Anthony Richardson in the top 100. Oops.

    • cha

      The data analytics side of PFF is fantastic. The player grades and the breakdowns of grades in situations is top-notch stuff.

      Their other articles and coverage are poor. Like, “you only click to get a hearty laugh or shake your head” poor.

    • Roy Batty

      Did he declare before they made that board?

  32. Happy Hawk

    I just saw the latest CBS Football Mock Draft:

    Hawks: Carter at #3 and O Torrence at #20

    Richardson not slotted in the entire first round at all

    Rob is right – how do these people get away with publishing

    • Hawktalker

      I just looked at the PFF top 100 big board and they didn’t have Richardson on it at all.

  33. no frickin clue

    Here’s some interesting symmetry potential.

    Imagine that the top 3 draft order looks like this:

    #1 – Houston
    #2 – Chicago
    #3 – Seattle via Denver

    Back in 2017, the top pick was a defender (Myles Garrett), leaving all available QBs still on the board, after which the Bears worked a trade with an NFC West team, in which the #3 team moved up one slot to #2 in order to take their preferred choice.

    The Bears moved up by one slot in the order to get their desired QB (Trubisky, of all people, over Mahomes and Watson), and it was the Niners who gave up 1.02 in order to get 1.03, 3.67, 4.111 and a 3rd rounder in 2018. Ironically, the two 1st rounders that the Niners took – Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster – neither is with the team today. Foster is out of the league.

    This year could be the reverse. Texans could easily go DL with their 1st pick. Obviously the Bears aren’t going to take a QB at #2, but they could credibly threaten to trade the #2 pick to someone else currently below the Hawks.

    So the question is: if both AR15 and Levis are still on the board at #2, and the Bears are dangling #2, is it worth it to trade up? Do you simply take whoever is still on the board after the #2 pick is made? Or do you think Pete/John would be so enamored with one of them, they give up a ransom to get the guy they want?

    • Sea Mode

      Interesting thought experiment because it very well could become a real situation. I think that, unless you have very certain info that an offer from another team actually exists and that they are highly likely targeting your guy, you should just sit back and wait it out. Don’t allow yourself to get basically blackmailed like the Bears that year.

      Obviously, as you say, it all depends as well on how highly you rate your guy on his own and relative to the other options.

      • Lopaka

        In this scenario I would not trade up. I would be happy with either Levis or Richardson. And if Houston picked one of them I would be thrilled with Carter.

  34. KD

    This is such a strange draft year. I’ve gone through about 7 or 8 different simulator scenarios that could happen, and I’m convinced that there are still way more that I have not considered. The importance of the senior bowl and combine a few months cannot be understated. At this point, until the fog clears off more, I’m ready for just about ANTHING.

    On draft night, a lot of mocks are going to go up in flames within a few picks.

  35. Denver Hawker

    I can’t speak to the credibility of the reporting here, but interesting if true: https://twitter.com/nflrookiewatxh/status/1600204152570716161?s=46&t=wUlKNu0aPy-em7gEGwK0tQ

    If it is true, I still don’t have a problem taking him early. Allen was a 2-year project and didn’t slip far.

    • BK26

      Sounds like the anti p.r. that team do to try and get guys to fall for them to get them.

      Best case it’s true and we get Carter or Anderson, AND THEN Richardson. Wow color me happy with that.

      • BK26

        Forgot to add, his pro day will probably help him more than any other quarterback. He’ll climb the closer to the draft we get.

        • Peter

          Pro day. Combine.

          Not sure I’m seeing this fall out the first round stuff.

          Josh allen was legitimately a bad qb. More starts. Never got better in freaking Wyoming of all places.

          Richardson has nothing to play for at Florida.

          It’s almost the opposite of Penix. Regardless of his t-shirt sales he most likely can improve a full round next year which is a pretty big jump financially.

    • Denver Hawker

      Well- it was Tony Pauline- https://twitter.com/pfn365/status/1600486718087593986?s=46&t=kzQ5Kj3QZHq7se_ZO6GdOg

  36. Thomas

    Thanks for your work Rob.

  37. Sullivan


    i do like peter king’s column, but you’re literally the best journalist in sporting media, at least in the us.
    originality of thought, diligence, tone, honesty, output. without peer.

    when i started reading this blog dave cameron and jeff sullivan were still writing, but there’s nothing else like it now.

    i think the nfl will eventually catch up to mlb analytics and you’ll get scooped up like cameron and sullivan, but either way, this body of work is amazing. congratulations.


  38. Donovan

    If Rob’s well-reasoned analysis holds, there’s a major money making opportunity:


    • Ukhawk

      App not available here in the UK, can u sell short who is not going to get drafted first?

    • cha

      I don’t gamble but I’m curious- at what point do they stop taking bets on Fashanu? He’s announced he is staying at Penn St in 2023.

      • Ukhawk

        Saw that but if you can sell short, I guess they’d take it the best with odds of nil?! 😂

  39. Peppapig

    If Denver lose on Sunday they’ll be in the number 2 slot due to SOS.

  40. Big Mike

    Yes, I am a conspiracy theorist. For example, the NFL had a storyline in SB 40*of Bettis coming home to Detroit to get a ring and they made sure it played out the way they constructed it and NO ONE will EVER convince me otherwise.
    No, there’s probably absolutely nothing here……

    However, I do find it odd that K9 had trainers looking to pad his foot after the injury Sunday and now it’s his ankle and all this came after he got a royal ass chewing from Geno.

    • bmseattle

      I love a good conspiracy theory, myself…
      But I’m having trouble interpreting yours, in this case.
      Are you suggesting that Walker isn’t actually hurt, but was benched for missing a blitz pickup and/or his behavior toward Geno?

      • Big Mike

        Just wondering if maybe the pain isn’t quite at the level he’s stating, as in a pout. Like I said, probably unlikely but it does seem a bit um, odd.

        • BK26

          Eh…I think it’s more likely that they thought maybe supporting his foot would help him and give him support. They’ve only called it an ankle strain.

          I don’t want to put that kind of label on a young player that has spent his football career carrying his teams so far.

  41. Van Gogh

    nonsensical obsession …… Luv it! You’re the best Rob.

  42. bmseattle

    Looks like The Falcons want to see what they have at the QB position, for the future…

  43. Gaux Hawks

    Weekly Win Wish List:


    …and Chiefs!

  44. Donovan

    And Hawks!

    • Gaux Hawks

      Unfortunately a Hawks loss benefits us x2… my prayer beads are reserved for the above (Go Hawks)!

  45. JimQ

    Has anyone looked into this small school TE? He sounds very much like a freak, likely more of a “potential” type of project but perhaps worthy of a late day-3 pick by the Seahawks? He had decent production as a pass catcher, alibi at a small school.

    TE-Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion, 6-8/251, 10-1/4″-hands, 35″-arms, 83″-wing, 4.57/40.
    Made Bruce Feldman’s Freak’s List – ranked #11. He wrote “”At 6-8 1/4, 251 pounds, Kuntz is an eye-popping blend of great size and athleticism. This offseason he clocked a 4.57 40 to go with his 40-inch vertical and 10-8 broad jump. His explosiveness is also reflected in a 365-pound clean.””

    • Blitzy the Clown

      It’s a pretty good TE class

    • MountainHawker

      I know it’s childish and immature but the last name…c’mon man 🤣

  46. Stuart

    Rob, you are the authority on the 2023 draft. Its pathetic reading mock drafts and listening to big talking heads go on and on about the likes of Bryce Young being the automatic 1st pick in the draft.

    This is your time to shine. All your hard work is going to get you noticed by an NFL front office.

    Thank you for all your hard work for us!!!

  47. TomLPDX

    I found this little gem on youtube…enjoy!


  48. MountainHawker

    Thoughts on Ojulari and Andre Carter II? I came away impressed after watching some film on them. Ojulari seems particularly explosive. Verse is another name that seems to be rising. He seems solid, but I wasn’t overwhelmed with his tape.

  49. Nick

    Fascinating take from Louis Riddick on what he thinks Seattle should do with Geno: https://twitter.com/dpshow/status/1600988595082387458?s=20&t=tc3ox2RZT8hzVkMC-yeLvw

    TLDR Seahawks want to retain him. Geno feels like he’s found a home. Retaining him will come down to what the market says is “fair value” for him.

    • Rob Staton

      And he’s 100% right that QB should also be an option at #3. If you love a QB at #3 or when you pick, you have to consider it.

      • Nick

        Have to. And JS has said the way the draft has fallen to them in recent years they haven’t gone QB. But this year, the draft will literally fall perfect for them. No excuses if they’ve got a guy they think can be an above average starting QB in a few years.

  50. Romeo A57

    We really need the Rams to win tonight. I am afraid that they won’t win another game and finish ahead of Denver in the Draft Order.

    • Rob Staton

      The Rams are so banged up, losing out is very likely

      • AlaskaHawk

        Their defense is still good. Better than you think even without Donald.

  51. 12th chuck

    I know it isn’t just me, but it sure does seem like the nfl might face a class action lawsuit in the future regarding the way some games are officiated

    • Big Mike

      Should’ve happened after Super Bowl XL*

  52. Hawks4life

    TD Rams!

  53. cha


    What a story, Baker leading a 98 yard drive in 90 seconds to win it.


    • AlaskaHawk

      Yes. I was going to grumble about how the Rams are tanking by playing Baker. But Dang! He is fun to watch in the 4th quarter. This may be the new Baker Mayfield. Wow LOL

      And thanks for pulling away from Denver.

  54. DJ 1/2 way

    Unreal result for the Rams and Baker, but even more unreal that I was rooting for him. Never before and I expect never again, but that was great.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I didn’t even turn it on until the 4th quarter = but I got my money’ worth.

  55. HOUSE

    Baker actually looked good tonight. This win helps our draft pick (from DEN) stay ahead of the Lions (acquired from LAR)

  56. Ukhawk

    And the rams pull out a win – hilarious

  57. Ralphy

    Rob, Would you trade our first this year (not the DEN pick) and next for Crosby?

    • Rob Staton

      No — they need to find their own version with cost value

  58. Tomas

    Mayfield not too bad tonight.

  59. Romeo A57

    I hope that Rob get to wake up after a good rest on Friday morning to enjoy the draft position boost provided by Baker Mayfield, of a people:)

    • Rob Staton

      Wonderful news!

  60. Robert Las Vegas

    For some I see the Baltimore Ravens winding up with AR15 . He might slide a little bit and maybe the Ravens move up a little. for some reason I can see this happening.nobody really knows what is going to happen with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens . One more quick thought what a horrible loss for the raiders I guess it’s good for the Seahawks draft position

  61. swedenhawk

    thanks for the great work, rob. just curious: what do you think of dante stills? obviously, testing will be important, but i was looking at his production and it’s not that far off from calijah kancey and byron young.

    • Rob Staton

      I like him but his size isn’t ideal and he won’t have Kancey’s testing

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