Draft notebook: The truth about Jalen Carter & Will Anderson

The truth about Jalen Carter & Will Anderson

I’ve seen people compare Jalen Carter to Aaron Donald and Will Anderson to Nick Bosa. I’ve seen people refer to them as ‘sure things’ and ‘safe picks’ — a no-brainer that the Seahawks should draft one of them if possible.

I don’t think any of these points are accurate.

So what is the reality?

Let’s start with Carter.

Anyone who studied Georgia in the second half of the 2022 season will have been impressed with his play. He did, legitimately, impact games. At times he was unblockable.

He wins so many reps with a first-step quickness that catches blockers off guard — then when he gains that initial advantage, he turns on the power and can drive through contact to push the pocket or burst into the backfield. His ability to convert speed to power — quickness into violence — is his greatest quality. He’s not a twitchy dynamo who slips blocks and is just too fast and sharp like Aaron Donald. He’s more of a bull-in-a-china-shop defensive tackle who shocks you with get-off and then is just too strong and disruptive to slow down.

There’s a reason why people have been projecting him as a potential #1 overall pick. Talent-wise, it’s a fair suggestion. Watching his 2022 tape late in the season, you could well imagine the Texans taking him at #1. He has excellent talent and potential and he could, eventually, turn into a very disruptive interior lineman — potentially in the Jeffery Simmons mould. Like Simmons it might take a couple of years of fine-tuning and development for Carter to reach peak performance (although Simmons was recovering from a knee injury during his rookie season).

There are some things that need to be acknowledged, however.

Production isn’t everything but it is true that Carter’s is limited. He only has six sacks in three seasons at Georgia and 18.5 TFL’s.

Let’s compare that to other highly drafted defensive tackles over the last few years:

Ndamukong Suh — 49.5 TFL’s, 24 sacks
Gerald McCoy — 33 TFL’s, 14.5 sacks
Aaron Donald — 66 TFL’s, 29.5 sacks
Marcell Dareus — 20 TFL’s, 11 sacks (in two seasons)
Fletcher Cox — 24.5 TFL’s, 7.5 sacks
Solomon Thomas — 24.5 TFL’s, 12 sacks (in two seasons)
Quinnen Williams — 26 TFL’s, 10 sacks (in two seasons)
Ed Oliver — 53 TFL’s, 13.5 sacks
Derrick Brown — 33 TFL’s, 12.5 sacks
Jeffery Simmons — 33 TFL’s, 7 sacks

It might not mean anything in terms of next level production — but Carter’s numbers don’t compare well to other defensive tackle’s taken very early.

There is a justification for this but it’s both a positive thing for Carter and a negative.

He has been spelled a lot at Georgia, limiting his playing time. He played 40% of the Georgia snaps in 2021. The Bulldogs were able to rotate their studs up front, with Devonte Wyatt (42%) and Jordan Davis (38%) also receiving limited playing time. Both were taken in the first round last year.

In total he received 396 snaps in 2021. He missed three games with an injury this season, meaning he had 308 snaps in 2022.

Thus, he arguably hasn’t been on the field enough to match the gaudy numbers we see from some of the names above. Aaron Donald, for example, was not in a rotation at Pittsburgh.

The negative side to this is — can he actually handle a bigger workload?

He was visibly gassed against Ohio State at the weekend. I also noted this on the blog during the SEC Championship against LSU. In that game he tired very quickly, then had a second wind.

His conditioning looks like a problem. He might come into the league, improve his stamina and this will be a moot point. We should also acknowledge, however, that it might not be as simple as that. Is he going to put the work in to improve his stamina and conditioning? Is he going to be able to handle the attention at the next level, receive those double teams and be able to work through it and stay impactful? Or is he going to be blowing heavily after half-time as we saw against Ohio State?

Is he gassed in games because he isn’t working hard enough to stay in the best shape possible?

It was slightly concerning to see how visibly exhausted he was. Carter was spent in the biggest game of the season in a way you don’t often see.

You don’t draft someone third overall to give them 40% of the snaps per game and worry about their fitness levels. You want them at the heart of your defense, playing a large bulk of snaps. If Carter can’t handle that, it’s a problem. The evidence suggests he is going to need to get some serious fitness work in to play a significant number of snaps.

There’s also this:

It’s notable that ESPN put out a complimentary article on Carter days before the Playoffs began. I suspect there was some push-back against Todd McShay saying what he did in the clip above and there was an attempt to make amends.

People have tried to argue McShay is a puppet for a team hoping to instigate a draft-day fall for Carter.

It’s a great conspiracy theory but almost certainly not true. For starters, teams don’t base their decision-making on things Todd McShay says on a mock draft segment on ESPN. They’ve been doing their homework on these players for years. They know which players have character concerns long before anyone in the media does. They aren’t sitting at home, watching Mel and Todd duke it out, then adjusting their grades.

If McShay is saying this, the reality is there’s concern within the NFL. It’s possible Carter allays those fears in the coming months. It’s also possible a team will ignore any character flags and take him anyway — believing it’s worth the risk.

However, what McShay said shouldn’t be ignored. He’s simply discussing publicly what is being debated internally.

As we weigh-up Carter as a prospect, a fitting description would be this — he’s an excellent physical talent who has the ability to be extremely disruptive from the interior. In the second half of the 2022 season he had spells where he was virtually unblockable. However, there are reported character concerns. His conditioning must improve. His production is also fairly underwhelming (but as we discussed, there may be reasons for that).

This is not the portrait of a ‘can’t miss’ prospect, destined to come into your team and change a bad defense into a good defense with his mere presence. There are clear risks involved. Anyone describing Carter as a ‘safe’ pick or a ‘sure thing’ has to appreciate that this isn’t the case.

On the conditioning point alone — if he can only play half a game for you, that’s not good enough to go in the top-five. If the character concerns are also legit, it’s a worrying mix.

Teams will be spending a lot of time in the coming months trying to work him out. I suspect he’s a player who could very well be in contention to go first overall. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he lasted a lot longer on the board than people think.

With Will Anderson, he had a fantastic 2021 season that had people wondering if he was one of the best pass rushers to play in college football for a generation. His production was remarkable — 31 TFL’s in a single season and 17.5 sacks.

Unlike Carter, Anderson played with a relentlessness that was exciting. He was aggressive and brutal. I remember wondering a year ago whether he wore #31 as a nod to Kam Chancellor. He carried himself with the same ferocious nature and every snap was played at 100%.

His 2022 season was quite different. We didn’t see the same intensity or production. His TFL numbers dropped from 31 to 17 and he had 10 sacks. These are still decent numbers but they were underwhelming for a player who achieved so much the previous year.

He also had some disappointing performances — including a flag-fest against Texas and he was shut-down by Tennessee’s talented right tackle Darnell Wright.

Gary Danielson at CBS went from describing Anderson in the most glowing terms to saying he was a ‘project’ near the end of the season. Likewise, he was beginning to say on broadcasts that Jalen Carter was a better player and more likely to be the first defender selected in the draft.

Public opinion was shifting and Anderson’s star has fallen slightly.

The truth is he’s still an excellent player but as with Carter there are a couple of question marks.

Alabama lets him get after it. There’s not a great deal of nuance to his role. Anderson puts his head down and plays in constant attack-mode. It’s one of the reasons why his TFL numbers are so high. He has a lot of plays where his only responsibility is to run head-first into the backfield and hit someone. A decent chunk of his TFL’s are unblocked snaps on cute little run attempts by the opponent. Anderson never gives them a chance to deceive him. He’s a missile into the backfield, hammers the runner and claims a TFL. He has many unblocked TFL’s.

He is a forward-moving player. Anderson has a lot of power in his frame and he’s clearly a good athlete. He does well to juke around blocks and once he finds an opening he’s adept at exploding to the quarterback or ball carrier.

He’s not just a space player though and that’s important to note. There’s clear evidence on tape of him stringing out run plays using good contain and he can engage a blocker on the move, stack and shed to make a tackle.

I do think, however, that the scheme he plays in is important.

When I see people comparing him to Nick Bosa — the reality is they are nothing like each other. Bosa is 266lbs — 23lbs heavier than Anderson. Joey Bosa was 269lbs at his combine and Myles Garrett was 272lbs.

Those three players are tailor-made to play the edge in a four-man front but they’re athletic enough to pretty much do anything.

At 243lbs, Anderson is not built to be a classic defensive end. He is built to be a 3-4 outside linebacker who needs to play in the same attack-mode role that Alabama created for him.

Typically a 3-4 OLB will need to drop and cover. Anderson isn’t very good here. His PFF grade in coverage in 2022 is a 56.5. You need to create a situation where he’s in space, flying to the ball, with a mission to disrupt, harass and hit.

There are plenty of players who excel in this role who are better comparisons for Anderson than the Bosa’s or Garrett. I think people are saying ‘Nick Bosa’ because he happens to be the best defender in the NFL this season and everyone wants that in Seattle. I don’t think people realise how difficult it is to find a player like that. It’s as rare as finding a franchise quarterback, perhaps even harder to find.

There are better comparisons out there that still shine a positive light on Anderson.

Khalil Mack has featured strongly in the 3-4 system as an outside rusher and is a much better ‘optimistic comparison’ than Bosa.

Mack, like Anderson, has a slightly unorthodox frame. He was 6-2 1/2 in height and 251lbs at the combine. He only has 33 1/4 inch arms. He’s stocky and lacks brilliant size and length — but he was so quick and powerful and played for attack-minded defensive coordinators like Vic Fangio.

Anderson might turn up at the combine, down a couple of jugs of water and weigh-in at a similar weight. He’s listed at 6-4 and it won’t be a surprise if he has similar arm length to Mack.

This to me feels like the best comp. Granted, Mack ran a blistering 1.53 10-yard split, jumped a 40-inch vertical and ran a 4.18 short shuttle. That will take some matching. However, if Anderson can prove he also has great burst, explosive traits and agility — there’s no reason to believe he can’t become similarly effective at the next level in the right scheme.

There’s no doubt in my mind though that Mack is the player fans should be hoping Anderson can become. Unless he can put on 25lbs of weight, not lose any speed or agility and learn a new role to become a more complete player — he’s never going to be a Bosa.

Some thoughts on the quarterback situation

After publishing an article last week pleading with Seahawks fans to remain open-minded about drafting a quarterback early, I was surprised to discover the extent to which people are already ruling out the idea completely.

On Twitter I received replies like:

— They can’t draft a quarterback early, look at the time they drafted Rick Mirer and Dan McGwire!

— Geno Smith isn’t the problem it’s the defense!

— They don’t need a quarterback! Geno Smith can be the quarterback for the next five years!

— This quarterback class sucks!

— Drafting a quarterback early is too risky! Go with the safe pick of a defensive lineman!

Today I wanted to write down some reasons why it’s wrong to write-off drafting a QB this early in the process, before the NFL regular season has even ended.

1. Geno Smith is a free agent in the off-season and might not return. I think he will be back but it’s not a foregone conclusion. If he signs somewhere else, quarterback suddenly becomes a critical need.

2. The cost to keep Geno Smith has to be considered. One of the benefits of the Russell Wilson trade was the financial saving. It’s been very enjoyable watching Smith perform above expectations on a $7m contract this season. If/when he’s being paid a similar contract to Wilson’s in Seattle in the $30-35m a year range — expectation changes and so can performance. You have to set a limit on how much you’re prepared to pay and that could create issues. Remember — Seattle only has $29.6m in effective cap space in 2023 and only 33 contracted players for next season currently.

3. Geno Smith is 33 in October. It’s not unrealistic that, physically, he will begin to regress as he approaches his mid-30’s. Very few players play deep into their 30’s and when the physical turn happens, it can be dramatic. Preparing for the long-term future is not a bad idea, while also retaining Smith to create a handover situation. The best example of this is the Kansas City Chiefs. They had Alex Smith and drafted Patrick Mahomes, who sat out his rookie season. The Chiefs then dealt Smith to Washington for Kendall Fuller and a third round pick. This could be an ideal situation — allowing Geno Smith to win games in the present, taking away the pressure for a rookie to start immediately and allowing for some proper development time for that player.

4. The Denver pick is a gift. Nobody expected it to be a top-five pick at the start of the season and it could still be as high as #2 overall depending on results next week. If we view this as a rare, unique opportunity — drafting a quarterback should be on the table for consideration. If the Seahawks see a QB they really like, this could set the franchise up for the next 10-15 years. Arguably, there’s no bigger priority in football. You don’t want to do what the 49ers did in 2017 — take Solomon Thomas at #3, not even consider drafting Patrick Mahomes and then live with regret for the rest of Mahomes’ career.

5. I have watched every game C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young have ever played. Before the 2022 draft, I made sure I’d watched every game played in 2020 and 2021 by Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis and Matt Corral. The upcoming 2023 quarterback class is a good class. It’s far better than last years crop. I didn’t give a single quarterback a grade beyond the third round a year ago and was validated in doing so. This year, I think we might see four quarterbacks go in the top-10. There is legit talent, potential and star quality within the quarterbacks who will go early in 2023. We shouldn’t dismiss this group.

6. Seattle has two first round picks, two second round picks and a third round pick. That’s ample stock to address the defense even if you take a quarterback with your first pick.

I’m not saying the Seahawks should definitely take a quarterback. I’m saying that QB or D-line makes sense and both should be considered.

Some quick thoughts on where the top quarterbacks will go

I still think there’s a distinct possibility Will Levis will be the first player drafted. A quick reminder — he didn’t benefit from a wide-open spread offense in college. He played in a pro-style offense, behind a horrendous offensive line — leading Kentucky in the loaded SEC (a thankless task).

Look at the sacks-per-game numbers for the top QB’s in college football in 2022:

Oregon — 4 sacks in 12 games (0.33 per game)
Georgia — 7 sacks in 13 games (0.54 per game)
Washington — 7 sacks in 12 games (0.58 per game)
Ohio State — 8 sacks in 12 games (0.67 per game)
Florida — 12 sacks in 12 games (1.00 per game)
Alabama — 20 sacks in 12 games (1.67 per game)
Tennessee — 23 sacks in 12 games (1.92 per game)
Kentucky — 42 sacks in 12 games (3.50 per game)

Let’s just make this especially clear. Michael Penix Jr was sacked seven times. Will Levis was sacked 42 times.

If you insert C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Drake Maye or anyone else into that situation in Kentucky — they would struggle.

That’s not to entirely excuse the mistakes Levis made (which we’ve discussed at great length). There are technical issues with the way he leans back on certain throws and he loses accuracy. He had too many red-zone interceptions. There are areas to work on.

That said, he has literally everything the NFL teams are looking for in a quarterback. He has a great arm, superb athleticism, an ideal frame and leadership qualities. There’s a reason people like Jim Nagy are making comparisons to Josh Allen and Justin Herbert.

C.J. Stroud made his case to be the first quarterback drafted against Georgia’s brilliant defense with a sensational performance at the weekend. Stroud has always been a player capable of throwing with beautiful touch and accuracy to all areas of the field. He has great size and he’s a good athlete with exemplary character. The issue with Stroud has always been his apparent inability to play off script or outside of the constraints of the Ohio State offense — which holds your hand constantly and produces 5-star talents at receiver, running back and the offensive line.

Against Georgia, Stroud showed he can play off-script. He manipulated the pocket wonderfully to extend plays. On the move he escaped pressure, kept his eyes downfield and made things happen. He was creative yet in control and it complemented everything else he does well in terms of touch passing and accuracy.

Watching that performance makes you dream about what he can become with a bit of time and development. A year ago, teams were blown away by a throwing performance at the Ohio State pro-day. Don’t be surprised if he ends up being the #1 pick. He has a shot to be really good.

A couple of people suggested to me that his showing against Georgia was no different than Justin Fields excelling against Clemson in the playoffs a couple of years ago (a game that didn’t positively impact Fields’ stock). It’s worth noting that Fields’ issues were horrible technique and some attitude concerns. There are no such concerns with Stroud who might not be the same level of athlete as Fields but he’s a far more polished passer of a football.

Bryce Young is an excellent football player but a cautionary reminder that he is about 5-10 and 185-190lbs. Don’t be surprised if he lasts on the board longer than people are suggesting. Particularly in a year where the shorter quarterbacks (Tagovailoa, Wilson, Murray) have all had injury and performance issues. Young is naturally gifted and a great leader but there isn’t anyone in the sport at his position at his size.

Finally — watch Anthony Richardson’s stock rise as the process goes along. There aren’t many humans capable of doing what he can do. Yes he needs time and development but he also carries superstar potential and isn’t as ‘raw’ as some people are making out. There are plenty of plays on tape where he makes reads and adjustments, goes through his progressions and plays within structure. There are also plays where he makes magic happen as a runner or passer. Yes he has too many inaccurate throws (high or behind) but I think that will be solved with more playing time and experience.

It took Josh Allen two years to work things out and now he’s one of the best players in the NFL. Richardson might experience a similar period of development and then a similar rise.

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  1. Moose

    I was wondering what Stetson Bennett`s scouting report is? Does he have a draftable grade or is he a free agent type?

    • Rob Staton

      He has a draftable grade and he’s a better athlete than people realise. I think someone will take him day three.

  2. Gross MaToast

    Great write-up.

    I think the primary driver of Seattle’s thought process will be the return of Pete. It seems much more likely that Geno returns if Pete does and then that Top 5 pick could be anything from a trade-down to bat-shit bonkers. I’ve assumed that a QB has to be the pick, but one should never assume with Pete.

    That said, we could be in the final week of the Pete Carroll Era in Seattle.

    • Big Mike

      Here’s hoping….

      • Justaguy

        A guy can dream

  3. Aidan

    Off topic question, any thoughts on Dylan Horton from TCU?

    • Rob Staton

      Intriguing player. Doesn’t perform at a ‘wow’ level week to week but just makes 2-3 plays a game that usually have an impact. I’ve been projecting middle rounds and he’s a very good athlete. Won’t be surprised if he ends up being a mid-rounder who ends up being very productive at the next level.

      • Aidan

        Thank you! Not sure if he fits perfectly with the Seahawks given his size but seems like he could be a great mid round pick for us.

        • Joe Strummer

          Horton flashed vs. Michigan. Saved a TD on one play, running down the QB on the sideline downfield. A take-note play. He came out of high school as a 200 pound safety with a track and b-ball background, so that’s intriguing.
          Let’s keep an eye on him vs. Georgia.

  4. Scott Jenkins

    I was also very impressed with CJ’s performance against Georgia. I also agree with your take on both Anderson and Carter as I watch a lot of SEC football. They are far from sure bets. Right now, I would lean towards taking Stroud if available; then Levis with the first pick. Then spend the three picks on OL and DL help. A safety should also be in the discussions as Jamal may not be ready for start of season

  5. drrew76

    How does Anderson compare stylistically to TJ Watt? They seem to be similarly sized.

    • Rob Staton

      Similar size but I think Watt was a better glider off the edge in college and could really bend the arc. Was less in attack mode and more of a natural rusher, although he played in a system that would lend itself to 3-4. Then he added strength and power and became a complete DE.

  6. cha

    A little bit to add to the Carter conversation:

    I am not claiming that Jordan Davis and Carter are the same player, but there were some similar concerns about Davis and his workload and conditioning.

    Jordan Davis has averaged 29% of snaps in the 11 “full” games he has played so far in 2022. He missed 3 games with a concussion and was lightly used his first game back, so I struck those.

    In eleven games he has 1 TFL, 1 pressure, 1 Pass defensed, 18 tackles and a 71.9 PFF grade. And that is with serious players lining up next to him.

    I am making no claim that Carter will have the same year in 2023. But if fans think he and he alone is The Answer, they are going to be very disappointed.

    • Peter

      Tbf though. Davis wasn’t the third overall pick.

      Fans are making content about Carter being tez. If Carter was destined to redefine the position then it would be a no brainer. If we were talking about Carter at 12 or so I think that would be an easier sell.

  7. 12th chuck

    the last “can’t miss” player was A.Curry. What a waste of a pick that was. I would trust J.S or P.C. to evaluate qb’s more than Flores who picked Mirer. Its time to pick a qb first.

    • Mike714

      Exactly, I seem to remember “safest” being used a lot with Curry. Draft history proves there are no safe picks. I would rather whiff on a QB than a DE/DL.

      • 12th chuck

        I heard “safest” a lot as well, and I have no idea who (Pete)thought it would be a good idea to hire him as a linebacker coach here in Seattle

  8. cha

    NHL announces Winter Classic coming to T Mobile, Kraken vs LVGK


    This is big for Seattle!

    • Justaguy

      When does pro rugby start again?

  9. Andy J

    Reason #7: Carter and Anderson might be gone before we pick.

    • God of Thunder

      It is possible but I suspect it’s unlikely that they go 1-2.

      If they do, I’ll print this page, put ketchup on it and literally eat my words (small font!).

      • Ralphy

        QBs rise to the top of the draft during in the spring. I am certain that happens again with this group and I would be shocked if two defenders went 1 , 2.

  10. John

    Rob, great stuff.. so let’s assume we have the 3rd pick. Assuming an attractive enough package would you be good with a trade down or is the ceiling level taken it in those top 5 or 6 players make a selection there more prescient? Obviously not giving any specifics as all theoretical.

    • Rob Staton

      Personally I’d prefer to stick at #3 unless the offer that comes in is mind-blowing

    • God of Thunder

      The Titans are going to join the franchises that want a QB. They’re a team that might pay handsomely to trade up (obviously there are others too).

      If Pete wants to continue with Geno Smith, and doesn’t want to draft a QB with the high, non-native pick, there’s a chance to fleece a desperate team, and move down.

      In fact, let’s list them: (in no special order) Atlanta, Indy, Tennessee, possibly Detroit but Goff has been in-Goff-like, Vegas, Carolina, NO…

      No WAY these teams will be happy with Stetson.

  11. JP

    Biggest fear for me has gotta be that JS sees the QB who could lead us for the next 10-15 years and he can’t pull the trigger because of Pete’s age/window. Carter at #3 is really becoming something I’m uncomfortable with, but we’ll see if that changes from now to the draft.

    • Rob Staton

      I can easily imagine a scenario where John wants to go QB and Pete wants to go defense.

      What happens then would be interesting.

      • Big Mike

        I’m not so sure John would’ve re-upped in Seattle without being given autonomy, or at least final authority when it comes to the draft.
        One way or the other, it’s going to be interesting to watch it play out.

        • James Z

          Lordy, do I hope and pray you are right about JS. JS should be planning for a future beyond PC for the Seahawks. I find it interesting, compelling, and a bit frightening simultaneously

        • God of Thunder

          You know what would make me happier than a pig in ****, Big Mike?

          Hearing — or more specifically having it confirmed — that John S was given the reins in the last draft, and that HE made the decisions, and that he will continue to run the draft. Ecstatic doesn’t begin to describe how I’d roll around happy.

    • Peter

      I don’t know, Pete gets the importance of qb. He said so about Wilson and loved palmer.

  12. WestSide72

    I was salivating at the thought of Levis at the beginning of the season. Nothing has changed for me except Richardson/Stroud have elevated to the point where all three are viable. The important thing to note is how these guys rate to previous classes. Obviously you don’t draft a “Jake Locker” just to get a QB, however I believe Levis or Richardson is the pick.

    Side note:PFN mock where Seattle trades up for Bryce Young is absurd to me

    • Justaguy

      Underrated comment just because of the Jake Locker being drafted reference and everyone should be onboard with drafting QB with the 1st pick

  13. JimQ

    IMO: QB (preferably Levis & if he’s gone – then Richardson or Stroud) is the most logical 1-st pick in the #3-#5 range. Without an “obvious” BAMF that is a true game wrecker and the fact that it may be many years before they have another pick nearly as high.

    The “old” way of drafting a QB and sitting him for a year or two to “learn the system” may have helped highly drafted QB’s significantly. In the last 15-20 years, rushing QB’s to start immediately (as in: on the job training) has put many new QB’s at a disadvantage IMO.

    I prefer Levis in large part because of his interview with Rob, I think the kid has all of the needed tools and “mental makeup” to excel, especially if he receives a red shirt, or partial red shirt in his first season. I may put more emphasis on “mental makeup” than many, but I think it’s very important for a QB to be +smart+, adaptable and a very quick study as well as a super *quick thinker*. Of course, maturity is also very high on the list for desirable attributes at QB, and some really don’t have that.

    Richardson may have all the physical tools, but I worry a bit about his mental aspects and if his mental processing maybe doesn’t support his physical skills which would likely cost him a full red shirt year or two. A great example was Willis & his arm, he could throw the ball out of the stadium, but can he time his throws, be accurate, adjust to the defenses & make good decisions? I would hope Richardson isn’t like him. Bottom line – I’d guess Levis has a higher floor and Richardson has a slightly higher ceiling. Stroud? I need to study him more.

    “Hopefully” a choice of (1) Levis or (2) Richardson/Stroud —or— (3) a blockbuster trade to move the QB decision on to next year (& drafting “TDR” on Day-3 this year) could perhaps all be options on the table. I’d take ANY of those three.

    • Henry Taylor

      What Richardson has shown as a passer >>>>> anything Willis did in college.

    • BK26

      This is just me, but I don’t have those mental worries with Richardson. He has noticeably progressed through the year and there were games where he was going through his reads. You don’t always see college quarterbacks do that, let alone someone who has played so little. I think his biggest issue is that with so little playing time, he hasn’t gotten to learn and literally hasn’t played enough football. To see him get better with such a small sample size has me really hoping we get him.

  14. ImUrHuckleBerri

    Hi Rob,
    Depending on BPA vs Need. With Brooks tearing his ACL this late into the season does LB become a need for this team? Also how does Jared Verse compare to Will Anderson?

    • dand393

      It was already a need but I would imagine even more important now

      • cha

        I’m fine with a replacement-level player at Brooks’ spot until he is healthy.

        Brooks has a 52.8 PFF grade (including a horrible grade in coverage when targeted), only 3 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 6 pressures and 1 sack.

        You can get that off the street for the veteran minimum.

        • CHaquesFan

          I think what we’ve seen from Barton at MIKE and Muse at OLB is good enough to replace Brooks

    • David B

      It already was a need now they will definitely need to draft one or two and bring someone in

  15. Bob Johnston

    I’m quite convinced that the plan for the Seahawks was always to draft a QB this year. Nobody could have expected Geno to be as good as he has been so that’s a nice bonus but it’s not a reason to stray from the plan. Draft a QB and let Geno or Lock be a bridge QB to 2024. I’d even consider tagging or signing Geno with the goal being to move him for a decent pick.

    • BobbyK

      Geno would sign the franchise tag the second he was hit with it. Are you prepared to risk having him for almost $50 million this year? Who would trade for that?

      • Bob Johnston

        Sorry, I’m not up on the implications of the various tags because the contract stuff isn’t all that interesting to me. All I’m saying is that Geno has value and other teams would be interested in him. I don’t think the Hawks should re-sign him for big money or the long term and if that means letting him walk for a comp pick then so be it. But it would be great if the could get him back under contract and then trade him, whether he’d play ball with that is another matter.

        But my point was that I believe a young QB on a rookie contract is the right direction for the Hawks. What happens with Geno is secondary to that point.

      • Bob Johnston

        BTW – everything I’m seeing online indicates the QB cap is around $31.5 million this next season.

        • Scot04

          Yes the franchise tag on QB is right around 31M

          • Rob Staton

            Which, FWIW, is currently $2m more than Seattle’s effective available cap space with only 33 players signed for 2023

            I’d be stunned if they use the tag on Geno Smith

            • Steve Nelsen

              Cha did a brilliant writ-up on all the different possibilities for Geno.

              Using the franchise tag on Geno would be so financially difficult that it is almost impossible to consider that an option at this time.

              • Daniel

                Is the restricted tender still a thing like what the Seahawks offered Steve Hutchinson when they lost him to the poison pill provision? A team could offer Smith a contract and then the Seahawks would have the right to match it if they wanted to spend that much?

                • cha

                  Yes. It is called the transition tag. It’s about $28m projected for 2023 and the Seahawks would get nothing if they decided not to match.

  16. BobbyK

    I’m hoping JS gets this QB thing right with the Denver pick. I’m all for drafting Nick Bosa or Aiden Hutchinson but they aren’t in this draft. They can still load up on defense with most of the other picks.

    There are two teams in the NFL. Those who have QBs. Those who don’t.

    I prefer to gamble with a QB over a potential Aaron Curry, Trent Richardson, Greg Anderson, etc. if JS is comfortable with it. Yes – we could get stuck with Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold, but we could get Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, or Joe Burrow, too.

    • God of Thunder

      “ Yes – we could get stuck with Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold, but we could get Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, or Joe Burrow, too.”

      We’d all like it if a top 3 or so draft pick was a sure-fire thing but they’re not.

      I’m happy with the 50% odds you’ve just posted BobbyK!

  17. Erik

    The 49ers may be evidence that you don’t need a star quarterback in the NFL as long as you have a dominant defense, competent QB (game manager), and creative coaching.

    • Rob Staton

      I find this kind of comment really frustrating to be honest.

      What you’re essentially doing is making light of the QB situation without acknowledging that San Francisco have also:

      1. Built an epic roster hitting on stars early and late in the draft over numerous years which is very difficult to emulate, while also spending big in FA and hitting, while also hitting on a big in-season trade

      2. Got a brilliant offensive minded Head Coach who basically seems capable of plugging any quarterback into his system and it works — something the vast, vast majority of coaches are incapable of doing

      3. The best defender in the NFL in 2022 to lead the defense on their roster and a player of his quality is not available in the draft most years (including this year)

      Alternatively there are other rosters out there that are not as good as San Francisco’s but the play is elevated by a brilliant quarterback.

      So let’s not make out like what the 49ers are doing is really easy to copy. It’s probably the hardest thing to copy imaginable.

      • Gaux Hawks

        I remember when people were saying this about our team : (

      • SoZ

        This is a great article thanks Rob. If we stay at 3 can we really be positive Chicago goes defense at 2? I mean Fields has been productive but more as a plus runner and they’ve still lost like 10 straight. If we’re picking with Stroud and Levis off the board do you take Richardson no regrets?

        Like some have mentioned I can envision a John vs. Pete struggle, with John wanting a QB. We might see then if the meetings with Jody have changed the power dynamics within.

        • Rob Staton

          Chicago won’t draft another QB

          The Bears have absolutely no infrastructure. It would be a wasted pick because the QB would be set up to fail and Fields would immediately demand a trade — creating carnage

          Plus the Chicago fans love Fields so they would riot too

          They’ll either take one of the defenders or trade down IMO

    • Mark

      So just looking at the Niners’ defensive line, you look at the investment in draft picks they’ve made over the last few years:

      2015 – Arik Armstead, 1.17
      2016 – DeForest Buckner, 1.7
      2017 – Solomon Thomas, 1.3
      2019 – Nick Bosa, 1.2
      2020 – Jevon Kinlaw, 1.14

      Arguably five first round picks in six years might be a bit extreme, but San Francisco was committed to upgrading that unit over a number of years. I agree, there’s more than one way to build a championship team. It’s just a little strange that people talk about investing picks in a quarterback when building that defense in San Francisco required a much more substantial investment in draft capital.

      • Rob Staton

        Brilliantly put, Mark

        And then we add in the fact that Kyle Shanahan is the reason they are plugging in cheap QB’s and succeeding. There aren’t many Kyle Shanahan’s around.

        BTW — the Niners also clearly thought they needed to go big on a QB. That’s why they spent three first round picks on Trey Lance.

        • Mark

          Rob, you stole my line! I thought you put it much more eloquently than I could have in your comment above. I type too slowly, lol.

          And you’re right about Trey Lance, of course. Talented as he is as a playcaller, Shanahan wasn’t resting on his laurels and assuming he could get by with a late round pick…

          • Rob Staton

            It’s something people need to remember when citing San Francisco in this way.

            The one Head Coach who has shown he can make his system work with any old QB running the show, literally spent three round picks on a young unproven quarterback with ONE season of college experience in an attempt to find something a lot better than ‘getting by’ at the position.

            • BK26

              Brilliant points. I have said this for years (despite it making me sick): they are a machine. All very good parts that together when all clicking, is a car coming at you. When they are on a roll and getting to pay their game, they might be the toughest team to beat. You need to disrupt early. It’s them playing Green Bay in the playoffs compared to the Rams.

              I can’t think of another team that good with quarterback being that high of a need.

  18. Spencer

    Great points. my biggest issue with the Seahawks fans base is the apparent assumption that Carter or Anderson will some how fix the defense overnight when they clearly need at least a little development.

    If I get instant improvements to the defense then I am shooting for QB to really set the franchises direction. I also wonder if Carroll sees the structure of Ohio State for Stround as a positive. Meaning I bet he thinks he could duplicate his success in Seattle by holding his hand in a similar way. Especially if he is feeling justified with how Wilson is doing in Denver.

    • Rob Staton

      my biggest issue with the Seahawks fans base is the apparent assumption that Carter or Anderson will some how fix the defense overnight when they clearly need at least a little development.

      This is exactly why I’ve written both this article and the QB article from the weekend.

      A ton of people think this

      • God of Thunder

        To see considerable improvement, we have to hit on at least 3 of our top 4 picks (I.e. 4 of the top ~50 picks).

        Last draft gives me a lot of confidence. But let’s not mention the previous 3-4 drafts. Or there goes my confidence.

  19. Gaux Hawks

    1) Really hoping that the Colts can get a win against the Jags… Bears and Cardinals look like long shots to win, and I’m very worried about the Broncos winning at home against the Chargers.

    2) Maybe the best outcome is Seattle beating LA and GB winning (culture building moment + positive draft positioning). But I wouldn’t mind making the playoffs.

    3) Thanks for a GREAT year Rob! I’m very excited about the chance to draft Levis/Richardson and still have 3 more high picks to play with, very much looking forward to draft season.

    • Gaux Hawks

      * Texans

  20. Erik T

    Can Carter be the same player and have same career as Cortez Kennedy?

    My fear with Carter is he turns into a Sam Adams type (quick first step!) who flashes but never puts it together .

    • Rob Staton

      I wouldn’t advise anyone saying he has a chance to be a Hall of Famer with 58 career sacks, no

      • Madmark

        Cortez Kennedy you talking a hall fame DL. I don’t see that Jalen Carter fires at 3.

    • Space Chief

      I would take a Sam Adams level player on this defense any day.

  21. Hoggs41

    Even though the front 3 is a more pressing need I would still pick Anderson over Carter. I love hearing a guy has a motor thats non stop. Dont hear that about Carter but do Anderson. Never know with Anderson as these guys who have monster Sophmore seasons sometimes are worried about getting hurt (Clowney). Still prefer a QB.

    • JimQ

      Perhaps Anderson has “under preformed” somewhat this year simply because he wanted to preserve his draft position and health before he gets drafted and gets his big payday? Just a thought.

  22. Charlie

    Hey Rob, great article, I have a question, Is there any possibility of having pick 4 and not 3? I think in that case many would forget about Carter and Anderson (probable #2 and #3) and think more about C J Stroud (if he is not chosen by the Texans), what do you think?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s very possible — the Broncos could win against the Chargers and I think we all expect the Niners to beat the Cards

      The thing is — the Chargers need to win to secure the #5 seed. It’s better for them to go to Jacksonville or Tennessee than it is to go to Cincinnati or Buffalo. So I would expect the Chargers to go for the win

      • Charlie

        In that case (if the broncos win and arizona lose), I would go for CJ Stroud at pick #4

        • Rob Staton

          Stroud might not be there at #4

  23. Rob Staton

    This really was a #1 overall pick performance:


    • Peter


      I want to say meh to Ohio state qbs.

      But those throws with Georgia sometimes getting free rushes at him.

      Maybe Houston messes this up….

    • DJ 1/2 way

      Excellent article and even better video. I had seen the standard highlights, but this was way better. Just not having to listen to the yammering play by play made it better, but the perspective from over the head of the QB was awesome. It sure looks hard what these QBs are doing, and it is so fast with the reactions. I do not think that is easy to develop.

      Rob Said ” I’m not saying the Seahawks should definitely take a quarterback. I’m saying that QB or D-line makes sense and both should be considered.” Yes, maybe. Considered- then pick a QB, I think. Sounds like you think that too, Rob. Really, any of the four QBs might do. Young looked great again. He might go #2. Levis is still my first pick similar to some above. That interview with Rob sold me. What a great guy to root for. I think there is less projection than with Richardson. If Richardson works out he might be better, but Levis look good enough and more of a sure thing.

    • Steve Nelsen

      The comp for Stroud has been Jared Goff. But, Stroud showed the potential for more than that against Georgia. He will be one to watch at the combine.

    • Dregur

      Stroud impressed the crap outta me against a defense of Georgia’s caliber. I think he’s actually getting held back being in that Ohio State offense.

      • Rob Staton

        I don’t think the offense with all its talent holds him back but I think the coaches have held him back by not letting him control things this year. They can’t micro manage with a talent like that but it’s what they’ve done

  24. Trevor

    This MNF is exactly why you take a chance on a franchise QB with a top 10 pick if you like a guy. Both these QBs completely changed the franchises they were drafted to.

    Geno had a great year but if the Hawks get down by two scores I just assume the game is over. When you have an Burrow,Allen, Mahomes or Herbert you never feel out of the game. Even Russ in his prime was a completely different feel than with a guy like Geno who can play well when everything is on schedule and he can play within the system but he is not a dynamic game changing playmaker who elevates the entire team.

  25. QueenAnneGrizzly

    With all the focus on defense and understable, it appears the Seahawks have a lot of holes, they routinely get beat in both the defense and offensive trenches. So my question becomes with 5 picks in the 1st three rounds , how hard do you go after interior offensive lineman. Using last year as a blueprint as in going after 2 tackles, it would seem that 2 plug and play interior offensive lineman would be a very good move, if so , whom? And also does the Notre Dame tight end come into play early, is he a dominant type that elite teams all seem to have. The tight end from Utah was very impressive also.

    • Steve Nelsen

      You can justify drafting a center with a first-round pick but it isn’t clear that there is one of those guys yet. And, we don’t have enough experience with drafting centers for this new offensive scheme. The same is also true for guards. The history with the Rams was drafting tackles and moving them to the interior if they didn’t earn a starting OT job. So, Jake Curhan?

  26. 12thmanderson

    Yes. Let’s get back to bully ball. At 2 or 3, give me Tyree Wilson. Trent Simpson #2, and Siaki Ika at Top 2. I’d love it

    Plus the Fullback from NDSU, Luepke.

    • Rob Staton

      Simpson is not worth a pick that high

      • 12thmanderson

        Honestly Rob, I really have no clue where to go in the 20’s..? like complete dead land… Darnell Washington?

        I was just looking at the drop off of LB’s after Simpson or Drew Sanders.

        Also DTs after Ika and Mazi.

  27. Madmark

    When I first came on this blog. I never thought I’d be here reading this stuff today. You, Rob said,”If you are drafting in the later first round picks your getting a starting 2 rounder. Seattle I believe we win against LA the draft drops again.

  28. Palatypus

    I fear something horrible has just happened on Monday Night Football.

    • Big Mike

      Hopefully the fact that they were giving him oxygen means hes at least alive and has a fighting chance

  29. Romeo A57

    “Administering CPR” on the field for the SNF is something no one wants to hear. I hope Hamlin fully recovers.

    • cha


      Awful. Scary.

    • Big Mike

      I’ve been watching football since 1964 and have never seen CPR administered on the field. Never seen anything this bad.

      • Palatypus

        Did I hear Mike Tirico right when he said they were administering CPR for nine minutes?

        • Big Mike

          Joe Buck and I’m not sure but I think so

          • Palatypus

            My attention was divided. I was about to remind everyone that open Senior Bowl Practice is in four weeks.

            • Blitzy the Clown

              I think he said Hamlin was lying on the field for 9 minutes during which CPR was administered

              • Big Mike

                Yes, that’s it. Thanks Blitzy

                • Blitzy the Clown

                  Now Aikman is saying it was many minutes of CPR

                  • Palatypus

                    Not sure I trust Aikman on this.

        • Steve Nelsen

          Yes. There was nothing unusual about the hit/tackle that makes you think head/neck/spine.

          He popped up after the tackle like he was fine and took a step or two and then he just dropped like he fainted. My first thought then was concussion.

          Can a concussion or spine injury stop your heart? Because when I hear CPR, I think heart attack.

          I am a praying guy and I am praying for him.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        I think it would be a mistake to continue the game. I don’t know how they work out the rescheduling but they can’t continue

        For once I agree with Booger. Life and death make the game insignificant

        • Big Mike

          1000% agree

    • Romeo A57

      I hope the NFL steps in an postpones this game at least 24 hours. It isn’t fair to make the players go back out there tonight.

      • Big Mike

        I don’t think the players will go back out on the field anyway unless they get word that hes doing OK

      • Hawks4life

        This game needs to be postponed 100%, prayers up for Hamlin and his family

      • Palatypus

        I believe the NFL charter gives the commissioner the power to do this, but I think the NFLPA might want to be consulted.

      • Pran

        Call it a Tie and move on. It’s tough to play this game tomorrow or a day after without Damlin recovering.

        Hope Damlin recovers quickly.

  30. BoiseSeahawk

    The Truth is Tyjae Spears.

    really hope we pick him up in the 3rd-4th round.

  31. cha


    Joe Danneman
    I’m told Damar Hamlin has a pulse, but is not breathing on his own. He is being transported to UC.

    Needed AED and CPR on the field.
    6:20 PM · Jan 2, 2023

    • Blitzy the Clown


      • Big Mike

        Well said, sadly

    • KD

      Any idea what could have possibly happened? I just saw the clip, and that is really terrifying

      • Steve Nelsen

        AED and CPR signals massive heart attack.

        • Big Mike

          Makes sense I’m afraid

    • Denver Hawker

      Commotio Cordis

      • Palatypus

        It looked to me like he might have taken the crown of the helmet on the tip of his chin.

        • Denver Hawker

          I think it happened when he went to the ground, chest/neck area fall hard on the other guys helmet

          • Denver Hawker

            Scary play for 30MM people watching. It wasn’t some cringy targeting hit, or neck crumpling roll. Just routine tackle- awful. Praying for the kid to be okay. No way they can play this game tonight after this.

      • Cysco

        Seems to be the consensus.

        • Oly

          Jalen carter might be as good as hall of famer Cortez Kennedy and then the Seahawks can be as mediocre as we were during the entire Cortez Kennedy era. A pick this high is a gift and you have to use it to get a franchise QB. Or at least try to…

  32. Palatypus

    Coverage on CNN. Sanjay Gupta just mentioned Commotio Cortis as a possibility. Cited it in baseball.

    • Palatypus

      Now on MSNBC.

    • Big Mike

      Oh man

  33. cha

    Tricia Macke
    I am told that Damar Hamlin has been intubated and is currently listed in critical condition.
    6:53 PM · Jan 2, 2023


    • Doesnotmatter

      Thanks Cha for the updates. Appreciate them.

  34. Big Mike

    Bengals fans in the stadium were very classy tonight.

    • Palatypus

      “You’re not in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati !!!” – Sam Wyche

  35. Palatypus

    CNN now interviewing Donte Stallworth about this. Ironic because he famously got his helmet knocked off by a Seahawk named Hamlin, he later got head trauma outside a nightclub in Pioneer Square.

  36. Palatypus

    Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC reporting the NFLPA has made a statement. Prayers and such.

    • Elmer

      Cardiac Arrest. CPR was essential. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it.

  37. cha

    Needed a distraction from the Damar Hamlin coverage, so I PFN’d up the craziest three-round mock I’ve ever seen. It would take 2 or 3 full home-run drafts to get this much talent in real life:

    SEA 10. C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State trade icon
    SEA 19. Bijan Robinson RB Texas trade icon
    SEA 35. Calijah Kancey DT Pittsburgh
    SEA 36. Sedrick Van Pran OC Georgia trade icon
    SEA 40. JL Skinner S Boise State trade icon
    SEA 53. Siaki Ika DT Baylor
    SEA 66. Jordan McFadden OT Clemson trade icon
    SEA 68. Jonathan Mingo WR Ole Miss trade icon
    SEA 85. Byron Young DT Alabama trade icon
    SEA 95. Luke Musgrave TE Oregon State trade icon

    2024 LV 1st
    2024 CAR 1st
    2024 IND 4th

    This is real. It really happened. I’m not making this up.

    I traded down to #5, 7, 8, 9 and then 10. The package each time was too good. Stroud and Levis were still available every time I traded one spot down. I stopped falling when Philly drafted Trenton Simpson of all people at 9. They gave me their third-round pick to move up one spot to take him.

    • clbradley17

      Did this one on 12-18-22, with several trade downs as well. Couldn’t believe how many 1sts I was able to acquire for next year, and it was before DE Trice announced he was coming back to UW.


      Will Levis
      QB Kentucky
      trade icon

      Calijah Kancey
      DT Pittsburgh
      trade icon

      JL Skinner
      S Boise State

      Michael Mayer
      TE Notre Dame
      trade icon

      John Michael Schmitz
      OC Minnesota
      trade icon

      Siaki Ika
      DT Baylor

      Bralen Trice
      EDGE Washington
      trade icon

      Zach Charbonnet
      RB UCLA
      trade icon

      Jonathan Mingo
      WR Ole Miss

      Mike Morris
      EDGE Michigan
      2024 DET 1st
      2024 CAR 1st
      2024 JAX 1st
      2024 TB 1st
      2024 KC 1st

      • clbradley17

        What a dream and great strategy to draft a lot of great players and pick up additional #1s the following year. And it could be a perpetual cycle, where you trade down a few picks with the #1s every year and get starters, if not pro bowlers and also add more top picks in the next years’ draft.

        • clbradley17

          Of course it’s just a PFN fantasy mock draft. Not only wouldn’t it happen in real time, but you wouldn’t want to take the chance of missing out on Levis, Stroud, Richardson or another top 5 pick by trading down several times.

      • ImUrHuckleBerri

        I’ve noticed that over the past couple weeks using PFN that it offers an over abundance of trades. You can get some ridiculous deals sometimes. I’ve mostly been liking the Lions dealing #6 and #17 for #3.

  38. Christon

    Great article per usual Rob!

    I can’t stop thinking about CJ Stroud as a Seahawk after that game against Georgia. I’m hoping for either Stroud or Anthony Richardson with their first pick. I’m afraid that if we don’t take a QB with the first pick we could turn into a team like the Jets with plenty of talent on the roster except at the QB position which dooms them every year.

  39. Palatypus

    I guess the game is cancelled?


    “Source: Bills are flying home. They are not staying in Cincinnati.”

    • Matt

      Crazy situation – all of our hearts go out to Hamlin and hope for a recovery. But I do find it odd how people were so quick to crap on those asking “so how does this work moving forward?”

      NOT my intention to sound callous, but how the heck is the NFL going to handle this. It’s not like this game doesn’t have MAJOR ramifications for the Super Bowl.

  40. Doge

    To preface, I have’t ever scouted NFL prospects and don’t really watch college football so my takes may be off. For fun I grinded NBA and college bball tape for a couple of years and came up with some takeaways which I think apply to all sports.

    There is no such thing as a safe pick, there is so much risk simply due to player personality and makeup that we just don’t have. I wish we could because I really think player fit with an organization’s culture is a top 3 factor in their success.

    You draft for what the player can be, not what they are. There are many many factors that contribute to a player’s success on one team or another, Its important to consider what a guy will look like with a chance to develop on your team, thats the question you ask yourself.

    In regards to the debate about what to do with the Denver pick, I think this means a couple of things. Regarding Carter, I don’t really care about the lack of production and snap counts because when he plays he consistently does things few other guys can. Conditioning is something that can be improved and considering his position, the talent around him and injuries playing in a rotation isn’t a huge red flag. I would however really want to do my research. Not here to judge people on lifestyle or anything, but its hard to win championships if your best guys don’t fully buy-in.

    Regarding Anderson, I really see the appeal. I’m not adept enough at watching film to know if his process is top tier (which admittedly is a big deal), but hes a rare talent. Yeah he goes untouched in a lot of his highlights, and he needs to be coached up before being a complete player, but you only get athletes and talents like him high in the first round.

    I would definitely prefer one of those guys. Yeah, Geno is older but he doesn’t have much wear and tear, so I expect he can continue his high level play for another 3+ years. I’d personally take that over trying my hand at finding the next Mahomes. I don’t really think you can draft a QB top 5 while keeping Geno, I cant see that working in the locker room. Keep a young developmental guy, either Lock or a later pick, and build out a kickass defense. If Geno walks for more money than you can give him, sure, no problems drafting a QB, but not my first choice.

    • Rob Staton

      Conditioning can be improved but let’s not underestimate how much effort is required there and some people simply will not do it

      As for wear and tear, for me it’s irrelevant. You age with or without playing regular football. Geno isn’t more likely to defy Father Time.

      And even he plays for three more years. He isn’t playing for the 10-15 you might get out of a high draft pick. We can’t think short term here.

      • AlaskaHawk

        How so we know he doesn’t have a heart condition that is affecting his playing ability? Seahawks have been burned on this issue before. Things don’t always show up in medical evaluation but they sure show up on the playing field.
        I would prefer someone who has proven themselves in college – and frankly I didn’t even notice Carter in his last game.

        • Rob Staton

          Well I don’t think we need to consider a heart condition when the likelihood is he’s just a crap trainer

      • Matt

        If I could just expound Rob – the most concerning part about “conditioning” issues is that conditioning is an ongoing thing. It’s not just a one time solution and it’s fixed. It requires consistent effort. And why would his effort in this regard be more AFTER he gets paid a boat load of money?

    • Peter

      I have to be honest one of the odd things to emerge this season is a reticence to draft a qb high and sit them because of geno’s “feelings,” or similar verbiage.

      Whether geno stays or goes getting a qb in maybe one of the better qb classes in a while and that benefit of paying them half or less than Geno and/or doing the thing few teams get to do sit them see: Rodgers and mahomes…is baffling to me.

      Geno has had a very, very, good year.

      But in sports you need to be constantly reevaluating and looking for ways to get better.

      • UkAlex6674

        100% this Peter. If anything Geno would embrace that situation after sitting for so long. I can’t see him being anything other than supportive of a drafted QB. He more than anyone understands the process and the grind.

        • Peter

          I’ve thought this as well. Say he gets paid and he should, just what degree to be determined, geno has not struck me as someone who would care and may in fact embrace actually being a qb leader for a few years.

    • Matt

      Posted this below but applies here…

      Why wouldn’t you worry about Carter’s numbers? It’s kind of a massive thing to just toss it aside for snap count and conditioning. If he isn’t motivated to get in shape for a National Title run – what makes you think he’s gonna get in shape *AFTER* you give him $30M?

      I don’t mean to be rude, but there’s a human nature angle here that has been completely tossed to the side. He hasn’t done something in a scenario in which he would be most motivated to make the change. But we are going to put him in a scenario where he will be even less motivated to make the change and the expectation is that he will change?

      I get we all have our draft preferences and will absolutely twist what we can to justify it, but the Carter stuff is reaching a level I haven’t seen in awhile. Nick Saban has a great quote that he tells scouts about his players: “you’re either a ‘yea AND’ guy or you’re a ‘yea BUT’ guy.” Carter has a lot of “yea buts” that his advocates act like are a non-issue.

      Furthermore. I’ve seen the “well his rate production stats are similar to Quinnen Williams.” Sure…on a much lighter snap count. Would anyone expect someone to keep the same rate production with much higher snap counts? I wouldn’t bank on it. It’s like saying a closer in Major League Baseball would definitely keep their 14K/9 inning rate if they magically had to throw 7 innings compared to 1.

      Not my intention to come across rude here – I just think the Carter dialogue is unlike anything I’ve seen in awhile. I get it, I’d love to have Aaron Donald – but we are wishing it into existence rather than analyzing reality

  41. Mick

    I really hope Hamlin can have a normal life after today, even if he has to drop football.

    Back to every day, this is yet another great article. Rob, I’m curious who would you pick between the two, or would you go for a third player if we weren’t to take a QB at 3? I’d say we need Carter more if he delivers, but Anderson would have a higher chance of becoming a contributor.

    • DavidM2

      If he doesn’t suffer brain damage there’s a chance he could play again. There was an NHL hockey player that took a slapshot to the heart back in ’98 he was revived and ended up playing another 12 seasons.

  42. JR

    Arm talent wise how do these 4 QB prospect compare to Drew Lock? I am not looking for decision making but the ability to make all the throws necessary at the pro level.
    I am sure there will be a push to sign Drew once off season starts, then they will have a better bargaining position in dealing with Geno.

  43. Stephen H

    Given the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ case scenarios for draft position and what teams take before us what can you see happening?

    Best case. Seahawks pick 2nd. Texans draft Bryce Young.
    Worst case. Seahawks pick 5th. Stroud, Anderson, Carter and Levis are taken.

    • Peter

      I don’t know if that’s the worst case.

      I mean none of us really know how highly they rate Richardson. Draft him and sit him. Bad teams never get to do that. This team isn’t great yet but it’s not objectively bad.

  44. 206


    Great Doug Baldwin interview

    • TomLPDX

      Thanks for posting this 206. Was a really good interview.

  45. GoHawksDani

    I’m positive between Carter, Anderson, Stroud, Lewis, Young and Richardson one will fall a bit and be available around 8-9-10. If the Hawks would pick #2 or #3 and between #10-14 I wouldn’t mind getting Carter or Anderson with #2/3 and trade up for a QB.
    Moving from 12 to 8 shouldn’t be that pricey. Even trading up to #7 or if they’d pick #14 trading to #8/9 could be done with an R2 pick.
    Between these QBs none of them is a finished and sure product. All has some upside. My least favorite is probably Young because he cannot change his frame, but I’d be happy with an Anderson-Young duo in R1.

    Carter will likely be a boom or bust player. If he takes the challenges well he could be a true chess piece in a couple of years. But he could be a huge bust too. I wouldn’t worry about his numbers. Those are product of his snapcount and maybe conditioning. The question is, why the low snapcount and could he elevate his stamina? If yes, I’d take him in a heartbeat.
    With Anderson, I think it’s a question about the scheme. If you can scheme around him, or he fits perfectly, he can be the answer. If not, probably just a 4-7 sacks, 6-10 TFL YAG.

    Gonna be a super interesting draft. #2-3-4 will be interesting because how high is that pick. #10-17 or whatever will be the next pick could be interesting for the trades. Hawks could stay there but also move up or move down and select maybe Mazi or Kancey for example.

    On one hand I feel there are no (close to) sure things in this draft and Hawks has ton of holes, so I wouldn’t mind multiple trade backs and picking like 8-9 times in the top100; but on the other hand it’s rare you can pick twice in the top15 and they have bad track record in late or mid-late 1st so I wouldn’t mind staying put or trade up even.

    • Matt

      Why wouldn’t you worry about Carter’s numbers? It’s kind of a massive thing to just toss it aside for snap count and conditioning. If he isn’t motivated to get in shape for a National Title run – what makes you think he’s gonna get in shape *AFTER* you give him $30M?

      I don’t mean to be rude, but there’s a human nature angle here that has been completely tossed to the side. He hasn’t done something in a scenario in which he would be most motivated to make the change. But we are going to put him in a scenario where he will be even less motivated to make the change and the expectation is that he will change?

      I get we all have our draft preferences and will absolutely twist what we can to justify it, but the Carter stuff is reaching a level I haven’t seen in awhile. Nick Saban has a great quote that he tells scouts about his players: “you’re either a ‘yea AND’ guy or you’re a ‘yea BUT’ guy.” Carter has a lot of “yea buts” that his advocates act like are a non-issue.

      Furthermore. I’ve seen the “well his rate production stats are similar to Quinnen Williams.” Sure…on a much lighter snap count. Would anyone expect someone to keep the same rate production with much higher snap counts? I wouldn’t bank on it. It’s like saying a closer in Major League Baseball would definitely keep their 14K/9 inning rate if they magically had to throw 7 innings compared to 1.

      Not my intention to come across rude here – I just think the Carter dialogue is unlike anything I’ve seen in awhile. I get it, I’d love to have Aaron Donald – but we are wishing it into existence rather than analyzing reality

      • Peter

        Aaron Donald. Hell give me any of the players Rob listed….


        Yes. Stats aren’t everything. On the other hand they are in fact something. And that something is to broadly look at a few data sets and see what’s out there.

      • GoHawksDani

        I’m not worried about his numbers, because he doesn’t play 80+% snaps.
        I’m worried about his conditioning and attitude. But if that wouldn’t be an issue and he could play 80-90% snaps even (and with a high motor) I think his numbers would rise to the other guys mentioned by Rob.
        The question is: Can he play that many snaps without too much drop in his production. And is he willing to put in the work?
        If the FO think yes, we can double his stats (TFL, sacks) and those aren’t bad numbers then.
        If I couldn’t say with decent certainty that he’ll rise to the occasion and work hard, I wouldn’t draft him before mid/mid-late R1.
        You can get bigger to some extent, you can work on your technique, you might be able to get a bit faster, but if one is not willing to change a bad attitude that’s gonna be a huge problem.

        So if I’m JS and think it’s just some scheme/bad conditioning that comes from his college coaches/trainers, but he’ll legit work hard, then the mehh stats wouldn’t pull him from my board/early prospects. But if it’s on him and he doesn’t seem to be willing to change, I’d push him down on my board because of that

  46. GoHawksDani

    Who are the BAMF bullies in this draft?
    The WRs/TEs who drive people to the ground when blocking. The safeties, LBs who hit like Kam. The OGs and Cs who will drive DTs to a couple yards back then climb one level and destroy the LBs. The RBs who just wanna run through some mother f’in faces.

    I don’t care much about position, I want guys who’ll build culture, be strong, agressive (not by making penalties or flying around senseless), who can dominate other guys.
    I’m fine getting an RB, a TE and trade up from R2 to take an LB and a safety if those guys will punish others. They’ll tackle hard, put fear to the opponents or break tackles, block hard and can be unstoppable.
    Doubt this will happen, but I still count too few BAMF-like guys on this team (in size or attitude). Maybe Lucas? But I don’t really see it. Woods has some BAMF to him. Sometimes Neal. DK is BAMFy but too emotional and can do stupid 💩.

    QB pick is good too, but if they go different route I want some bullies

  47. Rick


    If you have a chance with your next horizontal board, could you produce a vertical list of your thoughts.
    Mock drafts have a team influence to them.
    I would be interested in what you see are the top 20 or 50 players for the Seahawks if you were to create a draft list.
    Would you go QB and then DL or the opposite. Which of the QB’s would you take having seen Stroud perform on the weekend. From a Seahawks perspective is it better not signing Geno and going with Lock and a more ready QB and let them determine who starts?

  48. cha

    PFF team


    • cha

      PFF Offense (can you please draft a center Seahawks)


      • cha

        PFF Defense


        • GoHawks5151

          I kinda like what I’ve seen from Muse

      • Blitzy the Clown

        DJ Dallas has played very well this season. He’s a quality RB3 and a serviceable RB2.

        Also nice to see Colby Parkinson come into his own as well. We talk a lot about the untenable cap space allocated to the safety position, but TE is also a concern. I don’t see how they keep both Fant and Dissly, especially with Parkinson developing so nicely and with a solid TE draft class.

        • Peter

          I’d think they let fant go. Though he’s been good he’s not a true game changer.

          Before folks start minus everetts bone headed plays which there were a ton….what if I told you fants production wasn’t all that much better.

          I’d keep fant but in a numbers game they might have to go with cost effective.

      • Old but Slow

        Pass blocking really fell off in the last 3 games.

      • Big Mike

        Why would we need a center when we can draft a small constantly injured wide receiver?

    • Mick

      Thank you for these, cha. Our coverage grade is better with Brooks missing and Muse taking over.

      • Peter

        I got no dog in the brooks/ no brooks fight. First round pick to fill the shoes of a legend is no easy task….

        Maybe muse is the upgrade they need. Hard to Guage against Mike white and his broken ribs.

  49. GoHawks5151

    Harbaugh to Denver if he wants it. Russ can’t escape these old school coaches haha. I don’t think Jake Heaps will be allowed in the QB room anymore.


    • ShowMeYourHawk

      How’s Harbaugh’s relationship with Irsay? Indy would seem a more natural location, given his history there. A chance to shape a roster in his image, including bringing in his own QB without any previous baggage.

      However, Denver has that D and the Waltons as owners.

      • Big Mike

        He’s smart enough to steer clear of Indy imo. Irsay is ruining that franchise.

    • Peter

      He’s already not in the qb room. Russ pays him. This has been reported ad nauseum.

      • Big Mike

        Ah don’t let facts get in the way of some good Russ hate Peter.

  50. Big Mike

    Just announced that last night’s game will not be resumed. Have no idea if it will be considered a tie or if they will just have 16 games while everybody else has 17.
    “No change in week 18 schedule”

  51. Blitzy the Clown

    The replies to this tweet are discouraging


      • Blitzy the Clown

        I mean..duh

        There are only 2 QBs in this draft who could I think could play in their rookie year: Levis and Young

        And even then they too would benefit from a redshirt year behind Geno

        This “all or nothing” attitude just confounds me

    • Big Mike

      Are the shorts a new Hawks uniform look?

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Knee pads? They don’t need no stinkin’ knee pads

    • Rob Staton

      I have a nearly daily exchange on Twitter that goes like this:

      ‘Why do you want to get rid of Geno?’

      ‘I don’t. It’s a great chance to draft a QB, let them learn and secure the long term future at QB while keeping Geno for the next couple of seasons.’

      ‘Why would you do that? It would be a wasted pick!’

      ‘How is it ever a wasted pick to invest in your future at QB?’

      ‘You don’t need a QB! Just draft defense! Look at the Niners they are amazing and they drafted Bosa!’

      ‘Well, Bosa isn’t in this draft. They also pumped multiple first round picks over half a decade into their defense, then were able to steal elite players like Deebo and Kittle and their linebackers, then found a top level safety in round five, and they pulled off magic tricks in FA for people like Trent Williams. And despite all of that, in the end, they still felt like they needed to spend three first round picks to get a quarterback, despite Kyle Shanahan consistently having success with lesser talents.’

      ‘OK — well just wait until next year to draft a QB’

      ‘You mean when you don’t have a #3 overall pick?’

      ‘If you don’t go defense it won’t improve’

      ‘They have another first, two seconds and a third to spend on defense’

      (This goes on forever)

      • Matt

        “There’s nothing riskier than drafting a QB high.”

        “Just trade a bunch of picks to get the QB you want the next year.”

        “Next years QB class is way better – two sure fire studs.”

        -Same People

        Do these people plan on is having a top 2 pick? Or do they plan on bad teams passing on Joe Burrow or Andrew Luck?

        This is going to be such an un-fun off-season which is crazy considering how great it could be for the franchise. It is so frustrating how little thought these people put into this stuff yet how sure they are that they are in fact right.

        • Rob Staton

          That’s the thing for me. It’s not about someone preferring to go defense. It’s the utter stupidity of completely refusing to accept that a quarterback pick should even be considered. To the extent that you almost wonder sometimes if you typed the word ‘punter’ instead of ‘quarterback’ by accident. That’s how much some people are against drafting a quarterback early.

          • cha

            Haven’t you heard? PC can magic up a 70% passer that doesn’t turn the ball over for $3.5m.

            Quit worrying about quarterback. Sheesh.

        • Peter

          Matt how about some 4d chess for you that you might be missing.

          Maybe we go all defense.

          Then geno gets hurt.

          Then we get our own native top two pick in next draft. Get a young qb and the defense that is some how very young and promising but is also so bad we lose 14 games.


          I think my favorite people are the ones that think we found a great qb at three and then a very good career backup who became a good starter so we should *easily* be able to do that again.

          Yet crickets when you try to find out why we’ve never had a Kam, wagner, Wright, Avril, Bennett, Unger, or Lynch on the team in all this time.

          It’s like finding woolen after a decade of looking proves you can find the same value ad infinitum if you wish hard enough and wait a decade between go arounds.

          • Matt

            Great post – totally agree. Your 4D Chess (I know joking) is exactly why I say if you have the chance at a QB you should seriously consider it. That’s it. We can’t predict next week let alone next year and there’s the old adage of one in the band, two in the Bush.

  52. cha

    Whatever happened with Odell Beckham?

    Jerry Jones has been sending him roses for like a month.

    Is he not ready to come back and play yet?

    • Big Mike

      I think I heard he wanted some guaranteed dough for next season. I think.

  53. Robert Las Vegas

    Rob tremendous article I have a question for you I realize that Russell Wilson has had great success against the 49ers and I have been thinking why? Maybe a mobile quarterback who can throw deep is the answer. Rob any thoughts on Brian Branch?also I can see Denver winning this week if I am the chargers some starters maybe resting if the Seahawks draft 5th in the draft does that change any of your thoughts

    • Peter

      My thoughts on five….

      Hopefully the teams in front are more in love with Carter, Anderson, and the cardinals go with a wildcard and one of levis, richardson, or Stroud are still sitting there.

    • Rob Staton

      I like Branch but wonder what he is at the next level. He plays a lot in the slot and while his tackling, hitting and coverage is good — is he a corner, is he a free safety, is he a big nickel? He’s a very versatile player but not one with a clearly defined role at the next level unless you’re the kind of team that really features this kind of player.

  54. Blitzy the Clown

    Corbin K. Smith

    The #Seahawks look like they really have found something in Myles Adams, who keeps getting better each week. This is a hell of a play splitting a double

    1:31 PM · Jan 3, 2023


    Myles Adams wasn’t just Seattle’s 3rd best defender overall yesterday per PFF, he was Seattle’s 2nd best pass rusher behind Darrell Taylor (more on him in a moment)

    If I recall correctly, Adams’ PFF grades started out pretty dismally, but have risen over the course of the season. It’s almost as if playing in games helped Adams get better. I know that sounds crazy, but there it is.

    And now about Taylor…

    I’m not one to cite HawkBlogger, but he pointed out Sunday after the game that Taylor now has 8.5 sacks on the year and 15 sacks in his first two seasons (not counting his medical redshirt ‘rookie’ year), trailing only the great Jacob Green who had 18 in his first 2 years.

    Maybe Taylor is a pretty good pass rush specialist.

    In a sense, it’s a relief to see the player emerge that Carroll obviously saw in him when Seattle moved up to take him. And I’ll leave it at that.

    • Mick

      I’m a fan of Taylor but whether it’s the scheme or something else, he has 3 good games per season with 3 sacks per game and the rest of the time he bumps into Oliners.

    • 12th chuck

      I think the biggest issue, the sacks and pressure come from the same games. More consistency would be a huge plus

  55. olyhawksfan

    Excluding the Pete factor for a minute, I bet JS will be very torn during this draft (If they get a top 3 pick). Finally have an opportunity to draft a stud QB, or accept a trade down deal from a desperate team. He loves to accumulate picks, but RIchardson, Levis, or Stroud? Trust your gut John!!! Put some Murder She Wrote on in the corner for Pete and go to work.

    • Peter

      John “I’ve not had high enough picks to get good players,” Schneider better not trade too far down. If they pick right they aren’t drafting top ten again while they are employed here.

    • cha

      He can ask Pete to tell him the time he caught the ferry over to Shelbyville.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Oh man that story is a legend!

        What happened, see, is Pete needed a new heel for his shoe, so he decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So, Pete tied an onion to his belt, which was the style at the time.

        Now give me five bees for a quarter!

  56. Julian L

    A tremendous read as always Rob.

    Perhaps whilst Will Anderson projects as an OLB in a 3-4 system, he might be a better Leo on a 4-3 front, especially if the necessary coverage skills in a 3-4 system aren’t up to much ?

    Could Jalen Carter really be a 10 to 15 pick kinda prospect ? Pundits last year were saying Carter was the better of the three DTs at Georgia last year. Well Davis and Wyatt went later than 10, so perhaps that’s about where he would probably be in other years with greater talent in other positions?

    If there becomes a consensus during the draft process that within the top 5 prospects there are 3 QB’s (WL, CJS, AR), Anderson and Bijan, before quite a drop off in projection to the other prospects, I think just on where Seattle’s longer term interests are best met ,a QB should probably be the target. My preference would be Will Levis if Geno goes or Anthony Richardson if Geno stays.

    If Seattle end up picking at #5 and Bijan was the last of these Top 5 prospects, I wouldn’t be devestated if he became the choice, though I’d probably prefer to trade back with another team hungry to trade up for Bryce Young or Jalen Carter. All my scouting is done via SDB by the way!

    The Carroll, Schneider philosophical battle will also play so much into what happens over the off season, and Free Agency may offer us some clues to draft preferences. Even without actual A.Football, the NFL intrigues all year round.

  57. Trevor

    If the Hawks like one of the QBs then they absolutely should be the pick at 2-5. It is the single most important postion in professional sports and they have a rare top 5 pick.

    If they don’t like the QB class then I hope they trade back with a team like Indy between 6-10 to add another 2nd round pick and 1st in 2024. They could go Tyree Wilson of Brian Breese after a trade back and then pickup a guy like Van Pran in round 2 and still have an extra 1st rounder in 2024. Would prefer that all day to Carter or Anderson if Pete stays on as coach and they keep the same defensive scheme.

  58. KD

    Just out of curiosity, what is everyone’s thoughts on Andre Carter II? I watched some of his games and i had a few initial takeaways:

    PROS: Incredible length at 6-7. Wouldn’t be surprised if his arms were 35-36 inches. Even though he had a severe decline in production, he still has a really good motor and can get into the backfield. Army is exactly known for NFL talent, so he could probably benefit tremendously by being surrounded by NFL talent and coaches.

    CONS: I noticed that he has a tendency to over pursue and isn’t overly powerful. His frame looks quite wiry and seems like he relies on his length too much whereas he could afford to add some muscle to his frame to add some power to that length.

    Looks like a late 2nd to mid 3rd project type player based on length physical traits alone. Combine will be huge for him, but seems to be an early day 3 project type player with low risk but a potential for big upside.

    • Rob Staton

      I was a bit underwhelmed watching Carter

  59. Rob Staton

    New mock coming tomorrow

    • Big Mike


    • Madmark

      Nice! I imagine as far as our draft pick may drop to the 20 range for a Center hehe.

  60. Madmark

    It was the crazies mock simulation. The Denver 3rd pick keeps giving to Seattle. I traded it to Atlanta who got 3 C.J. Stroud and pick 85. Seattle got 7, 40, 71, and 2024 1st rounder. Here we were with Will Anderson Jr ready to take but Denver wanted him more. For 7th pick Seattle got 28, 66, 68, and I got Denver’s 2024 1st and 3rd round pick again. Total bill 18, 28, 35, 40, 53, 66, 68, 71, 119, 146, 150, and 177. The bonus is next year two 1st and 3rd, crazy!

    • KD

      Hence why I only allow myself one or two trades because things just bet too nuts. PFN’s simulator is a lot of fun to play with.

  61. All I see is 12s

    So many thoughts, but these are the two that most come to mind.
    If I recall, in the 2014 draft Clowney went #1 after a down season. If I recall, it was why they believe that his numbers were down as he wanted to preserve himself for the draft. could this be the same possibility for Will Anderson? I mean, prior to this year, he seems like a lock for the number one barring a quarterback needy team. I guess the question will be if teams still view him as the guy who got 27 sacks last year?

    Those who pay attention, know that the Seahawks seem to love Drew Lock. I keep wondering if the plan will be to let Geno walk and let Lock have a shot to be the guy. We always talk about Schneider‘s appreciation for Alan and Mahomes but forget the following year Lock was his guy. At least, that’s what I gleaned from the press conferences. I am fully prepared and perhaps even ready to predict that they will use their early pick for a quarterback and let Lock have the initial crack to be the starter the way they did Geno this year. Lock brings the system familiarity as well as the traits Schneider looks for. If they sign the Lock to a modest contract for two years, and then draft a quarterback it would’ve solved the cap issue while giving themselves multiple opportunities for the quarterback of the future.

    • BK26

      Lock wasn’t their guy the next year. Pete said he liked him in college but what is Pete going to say about a player? “Eh Denver didn’t want him so they threw him in. He won’t best out a rookie and then there goes your plan to let them sit. If he does start, I have zero faith in him and then more pressure on the rookie. He’s nowhere close to Mahomes, Allen, even Derek Carr.

      If Lock is considered any part of the future then they’ve already messed up. Get a veteran, whether it’s Geno or someone else. Not a guy who couldn’t beat his shadow out in Denver.

      • All I see is 12s

        No evidence supports what you just said. Bringing Geno back is fine except for the fact that he will cost likely 30,000,000+ especially when approximately 1/4 of the league needs a quarterback which will certainly drive the price up. Is Rob has properly pointed out, part of the benefit of treating Russell still not have that premium quarterback cap hit. There have been numerous interviews where they have discussed Schneider and the Seahawks organization in general, fondness of Lock pre-draft during some of his time with the Broncos and especially within the Seahawk organization. The idea of him assuming the Geno Smith role next season is not insane especially if they double dip and draft a quarterback as well.

        • BK26

          Not insane at all. I think if Pete had his way, he would bring Geno and Lock back. I think he would rather not have to worry about quarterback. That’s what worries me. I have no faith in Lock because he has done nothing in his career.

          I do think that Geno won’t make any more than 25 mil a year, and I think that is still on the very high side for a too-desperate team.

          I would just rather have someone maintain the level the team is at so they are still competitive for (hopefully) a rookie qb to get some time to sit. Someone that he can actually watch and learn from.

          • All I see is 12s

            I agree that it would be great to draft a quarterback and give him some time to sit. Regarding Smith, it took until the summer for him to resign with Seattle. This tells us that he leveraged Seattle as much as he could. I get the impression it was a contentious negotiation. Now that he’s a pro bowler and more than likely will break Russell Wilson’s season yardage record, I suspect he will want to be paid. There are several teams that could use his services such as the commanders or the Colts or even the Jets. Lock as a bridge QB with the opportunity to be the full-time guy and a corresponding rookie to develop would not be a bad situation at all.

  62. Jessie

    So if bears were going to trade the 2nd pick so another team like the panthers or falcons could draft stroud at 2, how would you feel about trading the #3 and one of our 2nd rounders or alternatively our 3rd + 4th for the #2 to draft stroud.

    I can’t help but feel like trading essentially a 2nd round pick (would probably just take our mid 2nd) to get a guy who could very well be in the tier 1 of qbs in 1-2 seasons from now is a no brainer.

    Not to mention I have to imagine a team out there would give us atleast 2 3rd rounders for Geno smith so if we really felt hurt by the loss of the draft Capitol instead of sitting him behind Geno for a year we could tag and trade Geno and make him compete with drew lock.

    But the main point is would you trade our 3rd plus a 2nd for Cj stroud? Because I would even though fans would all cry but in 2 years we would be looking back like that was nothing to get our qb for the next 10-15 years

    • Jessie

      Oh also remember when I said I’m not saying it’s going to happen but I wouldn’t be shocked if the coaching staff in Chicago drafted a qb?

      These guys work insane hours a week 60 hours for years to one day get a head coaching gig. Are you going to mortgage your future on a qb you inherited when you have a chance to get “your guy”? I know bears have tons of holes but their coaching staff might legit think the qb room has a hole and your never going to be able to recoup more draft Capitol for Justin fields then right now when he still has 3 years of club control available and the blinders of “upside potential”.

      I still wouldn’t rule out bears just drafting Cj stroud or will Levis and trading Justin fields. They have 6 other rounds in addition to 100 plus million in cap space to fill their needs as well as this clearly being a multi year rebuild down there a new qb buys you an extra 2 years or so.

      • Rob Staton

        Jessie, the Bears are not going to draft a quarterback.

        We don’t need to keep coming back to this

        • Jessie

          Can you comment on the above please -2nd rounder plus the 3rd pick to move up one spot for ch stroud.

          On the bears thing I just can’t imagine Rob working my whole life for an opportunity , 60 hours a week on low pay (before being a head coach a lot of other jobs are low paying) , getting that opportunity and then mortgaging it on a guy I inherited who has terrible mechanics and probably won’t improve much over the years because of it

          I want Seahawks to get Cj stroud so I hope bears go jalen carter over us tbh but I just can’t fathom it not being a conversation the bears front office will be having together before the draft. To say they won’t even consider it is a bit bullocks imo

          • Peter

            I don’t understand this comment.

            Guys like the seahawks Aaron curry and shead haven’t worked their whole lives for low paying jobs as assistants.

            In the case of the bears who is mortgaging their future on the staff to work with fields? The qb coach? Maybe.

            The coach and offensive coordinator get paid well by any metric.

            And the people of Chicago love fields. Alternately if they turn fields into something it will look good on them.

          • Blitzy the Clown

            Game your scenario out Jesse:

            Let’s say you’re right and Eberflus/Poles are dead set on drafting a QB (doesn’t matter which one because this is just a hypothetical).

            They get their guy and bench Fields (because let’s be real, nobody is going to trade anything of value for Fields).

            So now they have their shiny new QB and then go on to dwell in the basement of the NFC North for the next few seasons because they cant’ score any points due to their shitty OL, no running game (highly doubtful their top runner this year — Justin Fields — would be willing to move from QB to RB) and of course, a rookie QB who no matter how much you love right now, isn’t capable of stepping into the pros and taking over a team like the Bears would need him to do.

            Moreover, they won’t be able to stop opponents from running up scores on them because right now the Bears defense is in bad shape — way worse shape than the Seahawks’ defense. Seriously, go check out their defensive depth chart. https://www.chicagobears.com/team/depth-chart

            So if you’re an NFL coach who’s worked “insane hours a week 60 hours for years to one day get a head coaching gig” would you abandon all reason and good principles of roster building to draft a position that isn’t even near the top of your team’s many glaring needs?

            It’s just not going to happen. And quite frankly, if it does, it’ll signal the beginning of the end for Eberflus in Chicago in only his second season.

            • Rob Staton

              The GM and coach would be fired within two years if they draft a QB.

          • Rob Staton

            Nobody forced the Bears GM or Head Coach to take a job where they knew the team had just spent two first round picks on a QB

            Fields is the only positive they’ve had all year

            They have no assets on the roster outside of the QB

            Please, can we just stop with this Bears QB stuff. We have too much to discuss without shoe horning this in there too

    • Scot04

      If JS thinks Stroud is far above the other 3 QBs he definitely should think about it.
      I personally wouldn’t trade up. Your likely to get 1 of Stroud, Levis, or Richardson if you want a QB even at 5.

      • Scot04

        Only because someone might trade into #2. I agree with Rob, No way Chicago goes QB.

  63. HOUSE

    I really like this write up. I for one have leaned on the side of draft a QB and when we had our winning streak, I thought “man, adding a killer to the DL would be solid”. The team struggled (primarily on defense) and I just find it hard to believe a DT will drastically change the entire defense.

    I’ve talked to so many fans down here in Dawg Country and even die hard fans aren’t big on Jalen Carter. He doesn’t bring the same energy as last years’ Davis or Wyatt. I don’t know what to think… Is it good that he’s got potential and hasn’t fully scratched the surface yet OR is it bad cause he has gotten away with sliding by?

    I think the Pick from DEN (at worst would be #5), realistically has us picking between 3-5 and a difference maker can be found there. I’m still learning towards QB (Levis, Richardson or Stroud) and I think adding heavily in this draft on the defense gives us young/cost controllable talent that can build together. With the exception of CB (and I still think we need one more), the entire defense can be upgraded.

    I think if the opportunity to select the QB that JS covets is there with the Broncos pick, we gotta take the arm

    • Matt

      Interesting perspective from people you know down there. I’ve been pretty outspoken about my concern with Carter – and what you mention is what gives me the most pause and why I prefer Will
      Anderson…it’s that fire, leadership, energy that is just not there. And by leadership, I don’t necessarily mean Team Captain. But I do mean that guys feed off you.

      I coach baseball – one of my players reminds me a lot of Carter in that the individual parts are just…oh my goodness how could you not love it (this kid is a 1st round MLB Draft talent). Everything you could ever want in my guy is there, from a tool box standpoint. The problem is…you have to make a lot of excuses why it’s not clicking. And a lot of it comes down to the person. I love this kid, dearly – but he absolutely doesn’t have that fight/claw mentality that it takes to get to that potential. He’s a great kid. He’s not a great worker. And that drive to make the most of his talent…just not there.

      The reason I bring up this example…I just think there are certain things that a coaches hubris thinks they can do; and the two things that coaches assume they can fix (and never do) is consistency and motivation. That has to come from the player. Carter could absolutely kick it into gear and become an elite DT – the skills are there. I’ve just been around sports long enough to say, “I’ll let someone else take that chance.”

  64. Zorn Is King

    Darkhorse pick for Seahawks: Owen Pappoe, LB, Auburn.
    6’2, 225… runs a 4.3?! Benches 430, and is a twitched up rock. He’s going to have to move to Safety, as he’s easily washed out in traffic. But give him to Carrol.. could be used in the role Jamal Adam’s had…

    • Scot04

      Definitely not a darkhorse. Fits what Seattle likes testing wise. Plusp he’s just a good football .player. i don’t think he’d need to move to Safety either, maybe outside Linebacker. However, he hasp the attitude & instincts of someone who could still play MLB.
      Get him into a pro weight room; you could dd can add 10-15 pounds to his frame easy.

    • Big Mike

      You’re assuming they get rid of the pompous peacock?

      Not so fast my friend…..

      • Ashish

        Big Mike, the buzz killer.

        But yes Pete was so excited to just mention Adam presence before the game 🙁 If GB wins and Pete retries that is a big win. That means no one stopping Adams to let go.

    • Peter

      Not a normal dig on Adams but I would hope this team isn’t drafting players for a single role.

      Having adams in that spot doing do a thing for Seattle. He had sacks and the defense was a mess.

      Probably good testing numbers but pretty light for a Seattle linebacker. The goal as it were with adams was blitzing safety.

      If you put pappoe on the field has does he defend against te’s? The other team will read blitz and adjust accordingly.

    • GoHawks5151

      Pretty much same size as Malcolm Smith, so not out of the question he stays a LB

      • Peter

        Fair if he’s an essentially priority udfa and they spend a middle 7th round pick on a role player.

  65. Rob Staton

    I might the delay the mock draft folks

    We will have a confirmed draft order in five days

    We have Georgia playing again on Monday

    I am not 100% satisfied with the mock today

    So I will postpone until next week if that’s ok

    • Bmseattle

      Of course!
      Gives us something to look forward to.
      Plus, the more up to date, the better.

    • cha

      Sure that makes sense.

      I remember March 8 you published a mock and like an hour later it was swept away in a landslide because RW got traded.

    • Julian L

      Makes sense Rob.

      I have a couple of questions for the SDB community that I can’t seem to resolve through Google.

      Do the Chargers have anything to play for this weekend? Is it important for them in order to gain a home field or lower ranked opponent playing advantage, that they don’t lose against Denver this weekend?

      Does Darryl Taylor’s effective Red Shirt first season in Seattle affect his Free Agency status after next season? Will he be a Restricted or Unrestricted free agent or something else?

      • jed

        Not sure about Taylor, but the Chargers do have something to play for. If they win, they’ll play the 4 seed. That’s going to be Jacksonville or Tennessee. If they lose and Baltimore wins, they play the 3 seed which would be one of KC, Buffalo, or Cincinnati.

        • Julian L

          Thanks, hoping for a Baltimore win then.

          • Julian L

            I meant to add, hoping for a Baltimore win then, as they play before the Chargers. We haven’t been helped by the scheduling on this final weekend.

            • Troy

              Exactly. Can’t help but be pissed off by this. Not only are the Seahawks-Rams not playing at the same time as Packers-Lions, the Ravens-Bengals are playing before the Broncos-Chargers. If the Ravens lose in the Sunday early game, the Chargers will have the #5 seed locked up and will have NOTHING to play for against the Broncos. The NFL is giving the Seahawks 2 middle fingers with the scheduling this weekend.

              • Peter

                Disagree a bit.

                Chargers, ravens is about playoff seeding.

                The seahawks, lions,packers is not about seeding its about who gets in.

                I think the nfl will always look for the match-up that has the most on the line.

                And while I think its more fair for all those games to go on at the same time. It creates more fan interest regardless if Seattle wins or loses for the late game.

      • cha

        Taylor will be a restricted free agent in 2024 because he did not get an accrued year for 2020 due to being on NFI. The Seahawks can control his rights by tendering him at his original-round level which is the 2nd round. The 2023 number is projected to be about $4.3m so I would guess the 2024 number would be $4.6-4.8m.

        • Julian L

          Thanks; That 2024 number looks like good value for Taylor especially if he keeps up his first two years of production next season.

          Will Anderson and Taylor would make an exciting edge combination, if that’s where we end up! However, would drafting Anderson with Mafé and Nwosu also under contract next season and Tyreke Smith coming back into the picture make that too many edge pass rushers?

          • cha

            No such thing as too many pass rushers!

            • Julian L

              Yes that’s what I thought too! I’m also high on Anderson as a prospect, he seems a high character guy, so if he ends up as the pick, I’ll be pretty excited to see what comes of it in Seattle.

    • Big Mike

      Totally logical Rob.

  66. Blitzy the Clown

    Is anyone else interested in opening a discussion about crowdfunding Rob’s travel expenses to go to Mobile for Senior Bowl Week?

    Assuming of course Rob is able to go to this year’s Senior Bowl.

    I would very much enjoy watching live streams from the stadium, analysis of drills and the game, and of course Rob’s fantastic interviews with players.

    What a week to look forward to that would be!

    • dand393

      I would be all over this of course if Rob could even do it logistically but I love this idea

    • Rob Staton

      I looked into it and even booked the time off work just in case.

      However, it is expensive. I would not want everyone to pay for that — I don’t expect anyone in this community to prop up my passion project. It’s up to me to make this happen financially and see if I can get out there.

      Also, I would need to fly out on my daughter’s birthday (30th) to be there for the first practise on the 31st.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        I understand that last point is a priceless sacrifice.

        But if you do want to go, I want to participate in the effort.

        Not just because I’m a long time supporter of you and the blog, but because I’m a rapacious yet discerning consumer of all things related to the Seahawks and the NFL Draft. And you provide the best content out there for consumer fans like me.

        But mostly, I’m genuinely excited to see what you would produce during a week in Mobile. I think your work deserves a broader audience. And I think I’m not alone.

        • Peter

          Agree about robs daughters birthday.

          But if as a fanbase we are going to future cast about players such as procise,, Thurmond, eskridge, etc, etc

          Then I’ve always sort of future cast what would happen for Rob if he got to be in mobile face to face with Nagy, et al.

          • Rob Staton

            I’ve always dreamed of going — mainly so I can do the one thing I always want more than anything. Filmed footage of the ENTIRE 1v1 drills from the offensive and defensive linemen. I would be there in a flash to record those and upload to YouTube as soon as the session ended.

            Would also be some good interview opportunities but there’s also a very real chance it rains, they move the sessions indoors and I don’t see anything from practise. They had two indoor sessions last year and only one outdoors.

            My daughters birthday could cause some issues although her party isn’t on the 30th. I could be there for the morning but not in the evening.

            The cost is too much though. Even if we started to raise funds we likely wouldn’t reach the total. I also don’t want to rely on the community to prop me up. I need to make this happen myself. It’s my passion project, I can’t ask you guys to sacrifice anything for me.

    • Peter

      I love people calling for skip to be fired because we have no idea how the English language works. What elipses in writing means. Nor do we understand things like subtext because we think every dumb thought in our brain needs to be parsed down to x number of characters.

  67. CJ

    I know it depends on who is available but purely based on positions the following would be nice:

    – Rd 1 QB (I like Levis if he is there)
    – Rd 1 DT (I’ve got my eye on Kancey but maybe too undersized?)
    – Rd 2 WR (we are thin outside of top 2. (Will Addison last or Njiba?)
    – Rd 2 LB (Cannot count on Barton and an injured Brooks. Will Sewell or Sanders last?)
    – Rd 3 IOL (Center or Guard. I also like the idea of an athletic Tackle to convert to Guard)
    – Rd 4 RB
    – Rd 5 Dline again
    – Rd 6 IOL again

    • Rushless pass

      We also have an extra 5th rounder

    • Ben

      I’d think Rd2 instead of WR we’d go Safety or IOL there. R2 LB seems too soon. It feels like we don’t see a WR or RB before the 4th round.

      R1. Richardson/Levis/Stroud
      R1b. Kancey
      R2. Van Pran
      R2b. JL Skinner


      Van Pran and Skinner might not last to those picks according to Rob’s projections, so tough to say how we’d get all the guys we’d want.

      Question for Rob, if Dawand Jones if available later R2 or R3, do you draft him and move Abe Lucas inside?

      • CJ

        I don’t see the need for safety early. You never know but I think that Adams will be back *ahem* and I think Diggs will be back too despite a mediocre season. He is really such a Carroll guy and a key leader too. Especially if they restructure his contract. I think Neal has played himself into a starting role if anyone doesn’t get back and Abrams has quietly come in and played like a decent backup at least. They may take a late rounder but I would be very surprised to see one that early. Just my take.

        WRs are just too valuable in this league to pass on one two drafts in a row. Locket isn’t getting any younger and there really isn’t anyone else stepping up into the #3. I can get behind IOL in RD2 but I would bet my savings account (small that it may be) that they take a WR with one of the top 4 picks unless they go all in for one in free agency.

    • Spectator

      I think this would be a solid take. My personal *IDEAL* draft would be:

      Nolan Smith
      John Michael Schmitz
      Keeanu Benton

      Football players, with upside.

      • Rob Staton

        Benton is really underrated

  68. Ben

    Hey Rob, would you prefer Venmo to Patreon? Not sure how much Patreon takes as a cut and prefer you get all of it if possible.

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not aware of Patreon. If you prefer I have a PayPal — if you want to email me I can send you my details. But I appreciate some people don’t use Paypal either. But don’t feel obliged to send me anything, I simply appreciate you reading.

  69. Denver Hawker

    I’ve been watching Will Anderson this last week and thinking about fit with the Hawks.

    I’m struggling to convince myself that he’s even available at #3. While not a Garrett or Bosa, a Mack or Von physical profile would fit on any team just as well. I still like Von coming in to the league a little more, with more refined pass rushing skills, but Anderson’s makeup will still have a huge impact on any defense. Speed, power, explosiveness is so disruptive. I think the Bears take him at #2 if Texans don’t. He’s exactly what they need on their defense.

    It would be an extremely difficult choice to make at #3 for the Hawks if their QB is also on the board. This may sort itself after testing and pro days, but right now, that’s my view of Anderson.

  70. David B

    Rob great stuff like always what’s your thoughts on Andre Carter III? he’s got intriguing size and skills

    • Rob Staton

      I was underwhelmed watching him

  71. Big Mike

    So smarter people please clue me………if the Chargers don’t play their key players and Denver wins while AZ loses to SF as expected, the Denver pick drops from #3 to #5 correct?

    • Rob Staton

      It will drop to #4

      If the Colts also lose the Texans it will drop to #5

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