Post-Senior Bowl mock draft

It’s starting to feel like the first three picks will all be quarterbacks.

In an article by the Athletic’s Jeff Howe, the mood music in the NFL is being played:

Speaking with team executives — who were granted anonymity to speak freely — throughout the week, the consensus remains that Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Kentucky’s Will Levis are in the top tier with extremely high-end talent. Florida’s Anthony Richardson is also viewed as a first-round candidate.

We’ve had drafts before where two or three quarterbacks emerge as the ‘got to have’ group. In those instances, teams have been very aggressive trading up to make sure they don’t miss out. In 2023, it feels we’ll see that again.

Panthers GM Scott Fitterer is already talking publicly about trading up. Impatient owner David Tepper has been after a quarterback since buying the team five years ago. It feels inevitable that Carolina will do what it takes to get into the top three.

The Colts are in a similar position. After years of renting ageing veterans, they now need to invest in a young player for the long term.

Houston at #2 are also expected to draft a quarterback (but they could be a wildcard to go defense, we’ll see). Thus, it feels like Chicago’s #1 pick and Arizona’s #3 pick will be the prime trade spots.

In this mock I wanted to represent that thought and see what it means for the Seahawks. I also want to reflect on what happened at the Senior Bowl.

I think Seattle’s best plan would be to avoid spending millions on Geno Smith, invest in other areas of the team and draft a quarterback to build around for the future. I see no reason why any of the top four quarterbacks, for example, couldn’t do what Jalen Hurts has done in Philadelphia.

That said — if there’s a rush on the position, their options will be limited. Spending to retain Smith might be indicative of the situation they find themselves in. If they don’t view the fourth best quarterback as a good option at #5, they might feel like they’re left with little choice. That doesn’t mean they should be signing Smith to a ridiculous contract like some outlets are suggesting. But it might motivate them to find common ground.

Onto the mock…

The trades explained

I have the Colts trading up to #1 in a deal with the Bears. As part of the arrangement, Chicago receives Indianapolis’ first and third round picks in 2024, a third rounder in 2023 and DeForest Buckner. The Bears ensure they get one of the top-two defenders by sticking in the top-four.

Carolina moves up from #9 to #3, giving the Cardinals one of their second round picks (#61) and their 2024 first round pick. It’s cheaper than the Trey Lance trade because Arizona can stay in the top ten and get a second rounder this year.

First round

#1 Indianapolis (v/CHI) — C.J. Stroud (QB, Ohio State)
I think Stroud will emerge as the most coveted quarterback in the class. His touch passes, to all levels of the field, are the best I’ve season from a quarterback since starting the blog in 2008. He is physically impressive and has excellent character. The one concern was his ability to play outside of Ohio State’s scheme which held his hand for two years. Against Georgia, college football’s elite team, he put all concerns to bed with a creative, improvising, brilliant performance.

#2 Houston — Bryce Young (QB, Alabama)
I spoke to someone ‘in the league’ before the 2022 draft and he told me ‘the league’ was buzzing about Stroud and Young. The concerns about Young’s size are legit and don’t be surprised if he lasts a bit longer than some think. However, he has a winners mentality which will likely appeal to new Head Coach DeMeco Ryans and let’s not forget Ryans has just been coaching in San Francisco, where they’ve enjoyed success with non-prototypes like Jimmy Garoppolo and Brock Purdy.

#3 Carolina (v/ARI) — Will Levis (QB, Kentucky)
The Levis negativity has been preposterous at times. Kentucky were a shambles in 2022. When they had a semblance of an offensive line and a second round pick at receiver in 2021, plus a switched-on Sean McVay disciple at coordinator, Levis was outstanding. It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if the Seahawks had legit interest in Levis, due to his familiarity with their scheme. I think the Panthers will see an ideal fit and a player who can start quickly for a competitive roster that already has a defense and an O-line in place. They’re ready to win a poor NFC South.

#4 Chicago (v/IND) — Will Anderson (EDGE, Alabama)
If the Bears land DeForest Buckner by trading down from #1 to #4, their next aim should be to land a dynamic edge rusher. Anderson would provide a genuine threat.

#5 Seattle — Jalen Carter (DT, Georgia)
Many people consider Carter to be the best player in the draft. So why could he fall to #5? It’s not just Todd McShay referring to character concerns. Lance Zierlein in his write-up for Carter notes, “Scouts say maturity has been an issue for him at times.” Then there’s our own homework on this blog, discovering that Carter spoke last April about how improving his conditioning was a priority in 2022, only to see him look as tired as any player I’ve ever seen in college football half-way through the crucial Ohio State playoff game while also labouring during the first drive of the LSU game in the SEC Championship. The concerns are legit. However, the Seahawks have needed a player like this for a long time. They might be prepared to roll the dice, simply because he’s that talented. Don’t be surprised though if during this process, there’s increased chatter about how teams view Carter.

#6 Detroit (v/LA) — Bijan Robinson (RB, Texas)
Robinson will be the top rated player on many draft boards. He is exceptional — one of the best players to enter the league in recent years. The Lions snap him up and feel great about it. He is a complete playmaker and can mix Christian McCaffrey’s versatility with Saquon Barkley’s explosive qualities. He changes direction better than both players and accelerates in a way I don’t recall seeing before. A formidable talent.

#7 Las Vegas — Tyree Wilson (DE, Texas Tech)
I think the Raiders will solve their quarterback situation by trading for Aaron Rodgers. I don’t know what that deal would look like, given he’s 40-years-old this year and the Packers have a nightmare cap situation. He’s also coming off a middling season. Thus, it might not be that expensive to get him — with both player and team in Green Bay seemingly ready to part ways. This would free up Vegas to look elsewhere at #7. We all know Wilson has great length and size. He is unique in that regard. His testing will be key though because he won’t go seventh overall purely due to long arms and a great body. If he can show quickness, agility and explosive traits, look out.

#8 Atlanta — Anthony Richardson (QB, Florida)
I think there’s every chance Richardson goes earlier than this. Not enough people are focusing on his superstar potential. Instead they’re clinging to negatives for a player with one season of starting experience. When you look at him as someone with unlimited upside and the potential to be one of the faces of the NFL — it’s not hard to imagine him going in the top-five. Yes he has plenty to work on but so do most players entering the league. He could be a dynamo in Atlanta with the offense they’re building.

#9 Arizona (v/CAR) — Christian Gonzalez (CB, Oregon)
After moving down from #3, the Cardinals invest in a cornerback who is fiery and competitive, has decent size and is going to be among the best testers at the combine. He has playmaking quality and could go very early.

#10 Philadelphia (v/NO) — Brian Branch (S, Alabama)
A Rolls Royce of a defender who is so versatile and can do a bit of everything. He is going to rise and rise throughout this process. Both of Philly’s starters at his position are hitting free agency.

#11 Tennessee — Michael Mayer (TE, Notre Dame)
This would be a perfect pick for the Titans. Mayer is one of the best prospects in the draft and will be a very good player early in his career.

#12 Houston (v/CLE) — Luke Musgrave (TE, Oregon State)
When you watch Musgrave on the field, you see what a special athlete looks like at the tight end position. He’s so fluid and almost glides at his size. He’s also a good blocker and will be coveted by many teams. He could be Houston’s answer to George Kittle.

#13 NY Jets — Drew Sanders (LB, Arkansas)
Sanders is highly athletic, flies around the field, hits with violence and when you line him up off the edge, he can produce sacks (9.5 in 2022). There’s every chance he works into the top-15 range.

#14 New England — Myles Murphy (DE, Clemson)
Murphy is an overrated player, promoted beyond his means due to his outstanding athleticism and expected combine performance. However, someone is going to take a chance on him in this range because the positional value and the reward for the light switching on is too great.

#15 Green Bay — Keion White (DE, Georgia Tech)
The Packers are heading into a new era and it could be one that comes with a new identity. Loading up their front seven and continuing to add as many pass rush weapons as possible could be a post-Aaron Rodgers plan.

#16 Washington — Joey Porter Jr (CB, Penn State)
The Commanders need a corner and Porter Jr has the size, the physical tools, the competitive nature and a very balanced, well-spoken manner (he’s not like his dad as a player!) and teams will likely be very high on him.

#17 Pittsburgh — Devon Witherspoon (CB, Illinois)
The Steelers need to get a lot done on defense and the highly competitive Witherspoon would be a good fit in Pittsburgh.

#18 Detroit — Calijah Kancey (DT, Pittsburgh)
The Lions continue to add talent. If they are able to put Bijan Robinson and Calijah Kancey onto a blossoming roster — watch out.

#19 Tampa Bay — Darnell Wright (T, Tennessee)
Tackle isn’t an immediate need for the Buccs but due to their major cap issues, they might look to move Donovan Smith to save money and shift Tristan Wirfs to the blind-side. That would open up a spot at right tackle for Wright. Even if they keep Smith — they could slot Wright in at right guard and be a team that tries to stay competitive post-Tom Brady by winning in the trenches.

#20 Seattle — Dawand Jones (T, Ohio State)
John Schneider was recently interviewed by 710 Seattle Sports and he said, in relation to the 2022 draft, that they focused more on talent than need. It’s no coincidence that they had their best draft in years. So why do I have them drafting a right tackle, one year after hitting a home-run with Abraham Lucas? There are, actually, some valid reasons why this could happen. Firstly, Jones is a special talent. There simply aren’t many humans who are 6-8, 375lbs, have nearly 37-inch arms and carry minimal bad weight. If we’re talking best player available, he might be it here. Secondly, the Seahawks have been known to move their linemen around — rightly or wrongly. Damien Lewis excelled as a rookie at right guard, before being bumped over to the left to accommodate Gabe Jackson. It wouldn’t go against the grain for the Seahawks to shift Lucas from right tackle to right guard, where many NFL evaluators projected him a year ago. Finally, there’s the scheme to consider. The Seahawks have transplanted the Rams zone-blocking system. The Rams under McVay typically have lighter converted tackles starting at guard. They also like size at tackle. When they won the Super Bowl they had college tackles Austin Corbett (6-4, 306lbs) and David Edwards (6-6, 308lbs) at guard and Rob Havenstein (6-8, 330lbs) at right tackle. So it’s perhaps not a total stretch that Lucas could move to right guard with Jones taking over at tackle. It’s not necessarily what I would do but I don’t think it’s something to completely write-off as a possibility.

#21 Miami — forfeited
The Dolphins really needed this pick to kick on.

#22 LA Chargers — Quentin Johnston (WR, TCU)
Johnston is going to shine at the combine and when that happens, he will have a floor in round one and this might be it.

#23 Baltimore — Will McDonald (EDGE, Iowa State)
He performed well at the Senior Bowl and reminded everyone why he was so highly rated going into the 2022 season. He has everything to be an excellent edge rusher but needs to find a way to become consistent and make the most of his incredible athleticism and length.

#24 Minnesota — Cam Smith (CB, South Carolina)
The Vikings need a cornerback and I think teams are going to be attracted to Smith’s playing style and size.

#25 Jacksonville — Jalin Hyatt (WR, Tennessee)
He has a sixth gear that allows him to create late separation and it can be deadly on downfield shots.

#26 NY Giants — Zay Flowers (WR, Boston College)
Flowers is an incredibly talented player who could go earlier than this. His ability to change direction and accelerate is the best I’ve seen since starting the blog in 2008.

#27 Dallas — Peter Skoronski (G, Northwestern)
Skoronski is difficult to assess. He has to kick inside due to a lack of length and he can be out-leveraged due to his short arms. Is he powerful enough? There are things to like though — he’s a natural lineman with reasonable technique and he has NFL bloodlines.

#28 Buffalo — Jahmyr Gibbs (RB, Alabama)
Gibbs warrants consideration here as a major X-factor talent. He’s a tremendous receiver and could be reliably used in the passing game and during two-minute drills. At times he carried Alabama last season and was a threat to score every time he touched the ball. If he doesn’t run in the 4.2’s or 4.3’s it’ll be a surprise.

#29 Cincinnati — Dalton Kincaid (TE, Utah)
He had a tremendous 2022 season and he could be an absolute force in a Cincy offense that has so many ways to beat you already.

#30 New Orleans (v/DEN, SF) — Keeanu Benton (DT, Wisconsin)
After an excellent Senior Bowl, he’s trending upwards. The Saints badly need some interior defensive line help. Benton can contribute as a run defender and a pass rusher.

#31 Kansas City — Mazi Smith (DT, Michigan)
The Chiefs love big-time athletes and often draft combine stars. Smith is going to be one of the standouts in Indianapolis and could go earlier than this.

#32 Philadelphia — Lukas Van Ness (DE, Iowa)
He has plenty of flashes on tape but the fact is he wasn’t a starter at Iowa.

Round two

#33 Pittsburgh (v/CHI) — Jordan Addison (WR, USC)
In an attempt to make life easier for Kenny Pickett, why not add a receiver he helped to win the Biletnikoff in 2021?

#34 Houston — Broderick Jones (G, Georgia)
He keeps dipping his head into blocks and there are concerns about his size that could see him kick inside to guard.

#35 Arizona — Tuli Tuipulotu (DE, USC)
The Cardinals continue to build up their defensive front with a player who may be unorthodox but finished the season with 13.5 sacks.

#36 Indianapolis — Bryan Bresee (DT, Clemson)
After moving on from DeForest Buckner, the Colts bring in a replacement with a lot of athletic upside. Bresee falls, however, because he’s simply missed too many games through injury and illness, he is incredibly inconsistent and his arm length is a question mark.

#37 LA Rams — Emmanuel Forbes (CB, Mississippi State)
A long lean cornerback who has a knack for breaking on the ball to make interceptions (six in 2022 including three pick-sixes).

#38 Seattle (v/DEN) — Adetomiwa Adebawore (DE, Northwestern)
The Seahawks have a history of tapping into talent from the Senior Bowl and nobody impressed more than ‘Ade Ade’ this year. He was dominant at times in the 1v1 sessions — showing an ability to drive blockers back into the pocket, disengage and explode to the quarterback. He regularly had team-mates howling with delight at his reps. He lasts this long purely due to his tweener nature. At 6-1 and 284lbs he doesn’t have a natural home off the edge or inside. He’s going to have to be a rotational impact player. However, that’s justifiable for a team like the Seahawks who badly lack any kind of consistent disruption. His 34-inch arms at his height mean he wins so many leverage battles and with nearly 11-inch hands — he clamps onto opponents and finishes. He is expected to run a 4.05 short shuttle and a 6.9 three-cone, plus jump a 37.5 inch vertical. I almost feel like I’m talking myself out of putting him here and slotting him into round one. The size could hold him back — for Seattle though, this is another potential impact player for their defensive front.

#39 Las Vegas — D.J. Turner (CB, Michigan)
This is the type of corner Josh McDaniels drafted for Denver. Turner will impress at the combine.

#40 Carolina — Tucker Kraft (TE, South Dakota State)
Kraft is a highly underrated player who deserves top-40 consideration. He’s not far behind the top-three TE’s.

#41 New Orleans — B.J. Ojulari (EDGE, LSU)
As they reload their defense — adding a dynamic edge would be a wise move. Ojulari combines length, talent and leadership to make for an intriguing player.

#42 Tennessee — John Michael Schmitz (C, Minnesota)
I’m still not fully sold on Schmitz. He has the size for Seattle’s blocking scheme but I’m always left wanting a bit more from him. Good but arguably not much potential to be great.

#43 Cleveland — K.J. Henry (EDGE, Clemson)
Of all Clemson’s D-liners, he was the most disruptive in 2022.

#44 NY Jets — JL Skinner (S, Boise State)
Robert Salah brings in a player who somewhat resembles Kam Chancellor.

#45 Atlanta — Zach Harrison (DE, Ohio State)
Harrison will go to the combine, put on a show and some teams will throw out the lack of production and inconsistent play and believe they can make him a starter.

#46 Green Bay — Christopher Smith (S, Georgia)
He had such a good season for the Bulldogs — flying around as a free safety, running up to the line and hitting with a powerful punch. I think someone will fall in love with him.

#47 New England — Nolan Smith (LB, Georgia)
This is the type of tweener-linebacker-rusher Bill Belichick keeps drafting. His character will appeal to New England too.

#48 Washington — Trenton Simpson (LB, Clemson)
Simpson did not have a good 2022 season and will rely on good testing numbers to stick in round two.

#49 Detroit — Kelee Ringo (CB, Georgia)
Ringo is a great athlete with amazing size but he gets beat far too often — on both deep routes and shorter inside slants.

#50 Pittsburgh — Paris Johnson Jr (T, Ohio State)
I’ve always felt underwhelmed watching him.

#51 Tampa Bay — Steve Avila (G, TCU)
I thought he had a fantastic season and did enough in Mobile to go in round two.

#52 Jacksonville — Zacch Pickens (DT, South Carolina)
An athletic, strong player who is flying under the radar.

#53 Miami — Jaelyn Duncan (T, Maryland)
He did well at the Senior Bowl at tackle but his future might be at guard. He’s expected to perform well at the combine.

#54 Seattle — Josh Downs (WR, North Carolina)
The Seahawks need to find a proper WR3. They’ve been looking for a long time but have consistently fallen short. If Downs lasts this far, they should run to the podium. He is a Tyler Lockett clone. He is so dynamic to create separation on shorter routes, he can drive downfield and provide X-factor plays, he can shake away from tight coverage in the red zone and he makes improbable catches including high-pointing the ball beyond taller defenders. Downs has NFL bloodlines — his father played in the league and his Uncle is Dre Bly. His personality is mature and focused, also similar to Lockett. He would be the perfect WR3 and fit wonderfully in Seattle.

#55 NY Giants — Kenny McIntosh (RB, Georgia)
Kirby Smart called McIntosh a bad MF so that’s good enough for me.

#56 Chicago (v/BAL) — Luke Wypler (C, Ohio State)
I’ve always thought he was just steady but the Georgia game suggested he might be ‘steady’ even against top opponents and that has some appeal.

#57 LA Chargers — Byron Young (DE, Alabama)
He consistently pushed the pocket in Mobile having done the same all season at Alabama. He is big, disruptive and tailor-made for the league.

#58 Dallas — Tyjae Spears (RB, Tulane)
A ‘wow’ player who could lead Dallas’ running back for the next few years. He’s quick with an explosive lower-body and he can be a useful tool in the passing game. Love him.

#59 Cincinnati — O’Cyrus Torrence (G, Florida)
The Bengals tend to draft offensive lineman I think are overrated.

#60 Detroit (v/MIN) — Tank Dell (WR, Houston)
A late run on receivers starts with a player who did well to show crisp route-running and suddenness in Mobile.

#61 Arizona (v/CAR, SF) — Jonathan Mingo (WR, Ole Miss)
An underrated player who can help fill the void left when D’Andre Hopkins is dealt.

#62 Buffalo — Jaxson Smith-Njigba (WR, Ohio State)
Someone will eventually take him because he does have talent but his lack of speed and size limits his value, plus he missed virtually the whole of 2022 through injury.

#63 Kansas City — Cedric Tillman (WR, Tennessee)
A big, downfield threat for Patrick Mahomes.

#64 Philadelphia — Zach Charbonnet (RB, UCLA)
He’s explosive, well-sized, can run through contact and he can catch the ball.

Seahawks picks

#5 Jalen Carter (DT)
#20 Dawand Jones (T)
#38 Adetomiwa Adebawore (DE/DT)
#53 Josh Downs (WR)

Final thoughts

This isn’t necessarily the plan I would go for but it feels like the mock ‘fits’ what they might be planning to do. There’s no big reach here. They’re taking good characters aside from a gamble on Jalen Carter. They’re taking two players who excelled at the Senior Bowl. They add disruptive talent to the defensive front. They get a proper WR3 and eventual possible successor to Lockett. They fill a need at right guard.

There is good depth at defensive end to take one on day three to add to your pool of players there. There will be options later on at center and I wonder if they’ll consider signing someone like Garrett Bradbury in free agency. He has the ideal frame for the scheme. At linebacker, I think if you can’t get to Drew Sanders you’re better off waiting until later. That could be an area where they add a veteran player too.

The area not addressed is quarterback and the fact is if you don’t go early at the position, your options are extremely limited.

That said — I would keep an eye on Hendon Hooker. I think he’s a very scheme-dependant player who had a lot of wide open throws in 2022 and he might struggle outside of the brilliant Josh Heupel system. However, it was interesting that Jim Nagy said they don’t typically allow injured or non-participating players to attend the Senior Bowl just to be around teams and be part of it. According to Nagy, they made an exception for Hooker after he requested the opportunity.

That perhaps speaks to how teams are viewing him. Now — his ACL injury and age (25 already) work against him. He won’t play as a rookie and that will temper his stock in a big way. For that reason, he might last deep into round three or four.

The Seahawks might take a chance on him with a stash. He has 10 1/2 inch hands which, as we know, will appeal to John Schneider. If Geno Smith and/or Drew Lock re-signs, they can redshirt him. Just throwing it out there.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section…

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  1. Ian

    Where would you see them possibly taking Hooker? 4th round, 5th?

    • Rob Staton

      I wouldn’t take him earlier than R4

    • PJ in Seattle

      I’ve seen two different writer mocks this morning, both of which have us spending our 2nd round picks on Bryan Breese and Hendon Hooker.

      While an argument can me made for Breese early in the second, it’s an expensive gamble in my view. I’d probably smash my TV if we took Hooker in the second. Not that he’s a bad player, but a spread system QB with a blown ALC who will redshirt as a 25-year old when we have so many other glaring needs would feel like a seriously blown opportunity.

      With one of our 4th rounders? That would be fine.

  2. Thomas

    It would be frustrating if they passed on Richardson. I would think they would take him but I could see them doing what you put here. I still think they could pass on Young.

    Based on your evaluation of Avila, I think he’s their must have guy. You know he would work out. I think Avila at 38, maybe 20 if Drew Sanders is gone.

    • Sean

      People are getting way too caught up in Richardson’s splash plays. The guy is incredibly raw and has a ton of work to do before he is ready to shoulder the load week after week. I’d be fine if he is sitting there early round 2, but top 10 would be insane.

      • Rob Staton

        On the contrary Sean, people are getting way too caught up on the notion he’s ‘raw’. It’s just become group-think and a thing people say. He’s inexperienced and will benefit from more time but ‘raw’ players don’t run the offense like he did at Florida, play in that kind of system and show the kind of nuanced progression work he did.

      • Peter

        The plan is richardson #5 ? And have him sit for a year and get a top ten talent qb when you get a free lottery ticket.

        As opposed to not him or someone else and next year be picking at 14-20 (7-10 wins) and now being out of qb range unless you burn multiple picks.

  3. Peter

    Absolutely appreciate the work you’ve put into this.

    And as a long time follower I can see much of this.

    Will be very disappointed if they select Carter over Richardson. There are, to me, better options later for true NT’s and other dlinemen that are just as interesting without to cost.

    True to form I can honestly see Seattle moving a very, very good RT inside for another one while curiously passing on center for “veteran presence,” unless they look into the third round.

    Not my choice for reciever but makes tons of sense.

    Hooker. Yeah maybe late. Like fifth round. Essentially a redshirt pick and he won’t be ready until he’s about 27, 28.

    • Peter

      As long as Carter is in the running for DROY then I’ll be good with the pick.

    • Seattle Person

      I would be excited if Carter falls to the Seahawks. He is not really a NT. He offers rare size/speed/power at the 3T position. This is the position pretty much every team needs. Yes…it’s a concern that he played 40% or whatever the % was of the snaps last season. The goal is to build a rotation anyways.

      I did ask Rob about Wright falling to us at #20 or the 2nd round not too long ago and I”ll support Jones falling to us as well.

      Ade Ade is a weapon on the defensive line. I don’t know even know if he has a position. Roll the dude out on passing downs with Darrell Taylor and Nwosu.

      I like Downs but Tank Dell is also sitting there. I would be down with both players.

      All in all — you get 4 really talented players if you follow this plan. It’s not sexy but it doesn’t have to be.

      • Peter

        I don’t know if he’s worth it at five. I’ve watched some games. Some good. Some inconsistent. Sure they need a rotation. But I need wow factor at five. Maybe he’s on the level of Hutchinson, suh, Mccoy.

        I’d be happy if he’s at least Sheldon richardson.

        I’d like a player at five who doesn’t need to be spelled for lack of conditioning.

        It’s not sexy is right.

        Would rather go super big and go up and get a qbotf. Or richardson.

        • Seattle Person

          We are doing a lot of nip picking because it’s a top 5 pick. As we should. It’s a pick that we all want a big impact from. However we are doing this “he isn’t this, he isn’t that” thing to Jalen Carter that the national media is doing to Anthony Richardson or Will Levis.

          Carter is still a rare talent at DT who is quick, big, and powerful. Most years, a player with Carter’s traits will go in the top 5 or top 10. A disruptive interior linemen is as rare as it gets.

          I’m not all the way sold on Jalen Carter either but I am trying to keep an objective view of what he is and what he is capable of now and in the future. I’ve rewatched some of his reps against Ohio State. He had winning reps vs Dawand Jones, Paris Johnson, Luke Wypler. All of whom are future NFL players. Carter also had a good amount of wins vs O’Cyrus Torrence and wins vs Darnell Wright as well. If the Seahawks do net him then I think it should be considered a “wow” pick. Just my opinion though.

          • MyChestisBeastMode

            And whose to say after taking Carter at #5 the Hawks don’t do something wild and trade up with #20, a 2nd, and some other mid-round pick to nab Richardson in the late top 10 range.

            Filling out biggest hole on D and getting QBotf sounds great to me. Of course this’ll be unlikely.

          • Peter

            I think we’re cutting is and isn’t arguments both ways.

            Maybe he really is hyper athletic. I compare him to players in his range because they were often much more dominant than him.

            Maybe it’s not fair to compare him to great dline players. I think he’s getting rated so high because the class is pretty soft all together.

            I’ve said all along that if he was there at 20 I’d be very happy. At five for a guy who knows he needs to get into game shape and didn’t plus compared to others taken in that range when you’re not in their sphere it doesn’t sit with me.

            Maybe he gets better conditioning and can play more than 40%. A guy like Bennett played almost double that. That’s the output I need from a top five pick. No doubts.

      • Seanmatt

        One of my concerns with Carter is scheme. He seems like the ideal 3-tech in a 4-3 scheme, but not really ideal for a 3-4 scheme. If I was to drat someone that high, I would want them to be more of a 5T/3T. It seems like having him two-gap would waste his skills and I think that IDL players in this scheme need to be able to do that (even if they don’t exclusively do it)

        • Peter

          Scheme is a great point. Is he a 3-4 end? What is he in Seattle?

          • Seattle Person

            Carter at his best is a 3T in a 4-3. Georgia also played a decent amount of 2-4-5 and have aligned Carter in the 4i and 5T at times.

          • Steve Nelsen

            Carter would play 5-tech DE in base 3-4 and 2-gap and kick inside to 3-tech DT in 1-gap. His physical frame would work for both. I think part of Carter’s perceived value is his pass-rush/disruption potential. But playing early downs in 5-tech to set the edge and shut down the run is very physically demanding. Carter can play 3-4 but it will challenge his conditioning more than 4-3.

      • TatupuTime

        I’m hoping it’s not Carter, but I think some of the dislike for Carter in these comment boards has gone too far. He’s boom/bust based on motivation, but on talent people Lance Zierlein has him rated better than any player in the 2022 draft. I think he’s a top-10 pick most years. He has the potential to do things from the interior D-line that only a handful of NFL players can do. I don’t think he’ll have an immediate big impact, but if he can grow into a Quinnen Williams, Simmons, Chris Jones, Payne etc. that is one of the most impactful types of players you can get. They are pretty rare – an interior gamewrecker has incredible impacts throughout the line. It’s a riskier pick than I’d like at 5, but I could get excited about Pete Carroll getting an incredibly talented guy that just needs motivation to buy in.

    • BK26

      We have very very similar ways of thinking. Would prefer Richardson as well (would actually be pretty pissed if we pass on him) but I can see this route and actually expect it.

      It’s a solid early draft to make us better, but still work to do. And personally I wouldn’t touch Hooker until round 6.

      • Peter

        I’ve quickly grown on the draft as a whole.

        I still have big doubts that Carter is miles better than most of the dlinemen from around 20-53. That’s it.

        Passing on richardson. If he works out that’ll be a complete bummer.

  4. Roy Batty

    What I’m most intrigued by is if Jones continues to make a mark at the combine like he did at the Senior Bowl, will he be available at #20?

    Some tackle-needy team would surely grab him, if that’s the case. On the one hand, he dominated in a live scrimmage. On the other, his sheer size, as compared to his fellow linemen at the combine, has the potential to drastically raise his stock.

  5. Matt

    Who in Seattle media is going to write the “Geno’s flag football pro bowl performance cements contract status” article?

    You know it’s coming

    • Hawksorhiking?

      Hahahahaha! That’s hysterical

      • Matt

        Jesus God…the whole cult is actually going with this. I legitimately wrote this joke not actually believing it would happen.

    • Matt

      Mike Salk…please come claim your prize.

  6. Trevor

    If the Hawks want to become a physically dominant team again then the first 3 picks would be home runs. Love the Downs pick as well.

    Would love to see Anthony Richardson in a Hawks uniform but it would be hard not get excited about those 4 picks.

  7. BobbyK

    I can totally see why they could/would/should take Carter there, but I’d be so disappointed to get a lazy fat slob with character concerns at #5 while passing on a potential franchise QB who has no character issues that I’d be quite disappointed. I can see this mock happening, just hoping it doesn’t. Thanks for all the work you do, Rob!

    • Seattle Person

      I don’t think it’s fair to call him fat, lazy, and sloppy. There are some concerns but we should view Carter in an objective way. That means talk about what he can do and what he needs to improve on.

      • BobbyK

        If you’re on record as saying a year ago that you need to mature and better work on your conditioning and it’s crystal clear he hasn’t let his action speak louder than his words in that time – that means he’s lazy.

        • Ghost Mutt

          He’s also 21 years old. I completely agree that his maturity is a concern, and I’d also rather take a QB.

          But it’s silly to write the guy off – he’s immensely talented. Calling him lazy is premature, but calling him a fat slob is asinine.

          • Peter

            Well if not fat slob….lazy? Does that work.

        • Peter

          If you need to condition any you simply don’t I don’t know if you have the fire to succeed.

          Not sure I remember the last top five dline pick who wasn’t a dawg.

        • Roy Batty

          1) Lazy, fat slobs don’t play on the best defense in college football. They just don’t.

          2) Guys who rely strictly on their innate physical talent and lesser competition do thrive there, though.

          Carter isn’t the first, but he could very well be the 2nd. That allows ample room to not only mature, but also ample room to learn and improve his skill set.

          • Peter

            Let’s hope so and not have him one of many players who never get better in tge pros because it’s now the very best of the very best.

        • Seattle Person

          I guess it’s fair to question his maturity and motivation. But have you actually seen a picture of him? I don’t know how you call him fat. Dude is really well built. He carries his weight around really well. He should absolutely continue to work on his body though because he wears down too quick.

    • Henry Taylor

      There is a way to talk about concerns about players without using this kind of language. You just sound like a troll.

    • pmoney

      There’s really no need for this type of disrespect when talking about these young men.

    • TatupuTime

      He’s fat?? I haven’t seen a single shot of him where he looks fat. If anything I’ve seen the criticism that he’ll need to bulk up a bit. But he has a good frame and doesn’t look to be carrying a lot of bad weight.

      It’s fair to question his conditioning and motivation. But the only people that are going to be make a judgment call on that are the teams and their psychologists in team interviews. He’s not the first 21 year old that has gotten by purely on talent and needs a kick in the ass. Are we really betting against Pete if he thinks he can motivate a guy with character concerns?

      I’m still team draft a QB and don’t pay Geno more than a bridge contract. But I do think there is a reason Carter is considered a top-5 pick by a lot of people.

  8. Hawksorhiking?

    If they took Richardson at 5, do you think they go defense at 20? Maybe a team would trade up for Carter and we could get maybe a 2nd or early 3rd rounder for a short move back and still get Richardson? Maybe the Falcons, who definitely need D, would give up pick 45 to move up.

    • Rob Staton

      If they took Richardson at 5, do you think they go defense at 20?

      I think that’d be very likely

    • Roy Batty

      Vegas is my only concern. Schneider’s team would have to be fielding calls about that #5, and parse who those teams covet. Imagine a scenario where Vegas and the Falcons want Carter? Both teams would be trying to get ahead of Detroit. The Hawks could get a bit more from Vegas and still pick AR at #7. Unless, of course Detroit screwed it up and sniped AR. Worst case, they have another 2nd rounder and start going BPA, possibly even making another trade.

      The maneuvering during those first 5 picks is going to be fun to watch.

  9. Trevor

    Two players I am excited to see at combine that I think are really under rated are Kayshon Boutte and Zach Harrison. Both guys should test well and have tremendous upside. Think both will have profiles that appeal to Seattle in Rd 2,3.

    Tuli Tuipulotu is another guy Rob has ranked higher than most and I agree completely. He could end up being a stud.

    • Rob Staton

      Boutte had a honking season in 2022 though — really poor. Then he flip-flopped on turning pro. He needs a good combine to get people believing in the upside again

  10. Zxvo3

    Great work Rob. To be honest, if the Seahawks came out of the draft with this after the Russel Wilson trade, I would be disappointed. But I do understand the approach and that’s honestly the important point of mock drafts.

    I think the thought process will change about Anthony Richardson when we get to the combine. That’s where I think his stock will be boosted the most. His tape right now only screams “needs time” and rightfully so. But I could well imagine him wowing everyone at the combine the same way Josh Allen did in 2018.

    • Rob Staton

      I think that’s very possible and I won’t be surprised if he goes top-five by the end of the process

    • TatupuTime

      Queue the twitter clips of him tearing up the combine and then launching absolute rockets downfield at his pro day.

  11. Happy Hawk

    Thanks Rob – you are truly the best at this and i can’t tell you how much everyone anticipates your post senior bowl mock. Outstanding. Thinking out loud:
    1. This mock seems like a worst case scenario – all the coveted ideal best players for the Hawks gone right before they pick – gives me night mares and reflects how the last 2 weeks of the regular season and draft slot changes were simply horrible for our future!
    2. Given that in this mock that Arizona and Chicago will most likely go defense why wouldn’t Carolina trade with the Hawks at #5 for less draft capital- assuming as you did that the Hawks do not want Richardson in their future.

    Thanks again Rob for your personal sacrifice, time, and this blog!

  12. DriveByPoster

    Like others, I am not sold on Carter for the #5 pick. There’s no denying his talent, but one of the things the ‘hawks did to get their draft strategy back on track was to reduce the number of players on their big board; dropping off anyone with injury or character concerns. So a lot will depend on their character assessment of Carter. If there is any doubt whatsoever, they won’t be taking him at 5. Based on your mock, I would guess that Richardson would be the likely choice instead but also, assuming best player available, Michael Mayer might come into play. In any other year Bijan Robinson would also have been in the picture, I think, except that I think they are happy with their running back stable.
    I really like the Josh Downs pick though as they absolutely need cover for Tyler Lockett.

    • Mel

      Not that I’m pounding the table to spend a top 5 pick on a RB, but I think the room is in need of improvement. Walker is fantastic, but got nicked up last year. Penny got hurt again and is a FA. Everyone else is special teams fodder

      • DriveByPoster

        Well, it could certainly be improved, I agree. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. But I think that what they have is better than just serviceable. Maybe they draft someone later on but not, I think on day 1 or 2 as they have a greater need for improvement in other areas.

        • Mel

          Completely agree. There’s work to be done, but ideally with a Day 3 pick

  13. Jabroni-DC

    Love Robinson to Detroit at #6. That would be brilliant for the Lions.

    • Seattle Person

      Robinson and Kancey? That’s one hell of a first round.

  14. JamesSelvin

    I really appreciate your hard work, Rob. It makes it so much easier + more fun to be an informed fan.

    There are a few R1 names with blurbs like, “could go higher than this if X,” which makes a ton of sense. What are a few names that you think could slide a lot lower than you have them mocked? I assume the RBs in case there’s aversion to drafting that position high, but curious who else.

    • Rob Staton

      I suppose Kancey due to his size but for the most part, I don’t think I’m projecting anything that ‘out there’ where a player could dramatically go lower

  15. JamesSelvin

    A couple questions after listening to your 49ers reaction:
    1. You mentioned the top four QBs in this draft would likely be able to play at a Hurts-like level on a rookie deal and get a team to the SB. Price aside – or at his 2022 contract – do you think Geno has that talent level if surrounded by a team like the Eagles have built? Or, put another way, could the Eagles have gotten to the SB with Geno instead of Hurts?
    2. What does Penix need to do to show that he could be a starter in the NFL while playing on a team that is very scheme-heavy, gives him specific reads, and protects him quite well?

    • Rob Staton

      If Geno Smith was earning $4.8m a year, maybe.

      Not sure there’s much Penix can do to show that. All he can do is have a great year, build momentum around his stock and try and get UW to the PAC-12 title. The scheme will churn out production so he will end up being overhyped although he does have a NFL arm

  16. Big Mike

    As several people said above, I would be extremely disappointed if they passed on Richardson for Carter. We’ve seen this movie before where a DT with character concerns was drafted by this team and it turned out very poorly. Granted McDowell’s concerns were greater than Carter’s, but his are legitimate concerns none the less. And as has been mentioned here before, when was the last time someone’s work ethic improved when they sign a contract for millions of dollars when they have issues to begin with?

    I actually think Lucas would adjust to G fairly well. I mean he’s a Coug after all. 😀

    I do have a question for you Rob: why, when you are convinced they traded Wilson with the intention of drafting a QB this year, do you feel like they would take Carter over Richardson?

    • Rob Staton

      I just think it’s possible they, like the article I linked to suggested, see three top-QB’s and those three were gone

      • Big Mike

        Yeah I got that. Maybe I’m living in fantasy land but I gotta believe they’ll either a) like Richardson’s upside enough to roll the dice with him especially since they have bridge possibilities or b) trade up into the top 3 (I know, very unlikely but a guy can dream).

      • Steve Nelsen

        The one point that Seattle coaches kept mentioning about Geno’s success is his ability to make reads and go through progressions. Anthony Richardson’s crap OL didn’t really give him a chance to clearly demonstrate that ability. The athleticism and arm talent is clear. The combine and the private workouts/interviews will be important. He is a first-round talent but there might be scheme-fit concerns for some teams.

    • Peter

      Honestly I don’t dislike Lucas to guard as much as I thought I would. Give me some fight on the oline anyway they can get it.

      Carter to me is such a meh pick.

      People just keep saying there’s no denying his talent. I do. 3 sacks. 3. That’s it. 7 tfls.

      I get Georgia is a deep as the ocean program but that is just non existent production. And the rest is just average dline tackle numbers.

      • Peter

        Just for comparison jordan davis and wyatt both went later and both had near the same stat lines.

        Travon Walker obviously higher but better stats (slightly so) and a freak show athlete. Maybe Carter is going to put on a clinic at the combine?

        Better start the wind sprints now.

        • fudwamper

          I guess my thoughts on this is how is the best DT in this years draft not really dominate?

          Rob or anyone, would it surprise you to see hime make a big drop? Is he the cant miss guy that drops like a stone because of interviews and performance/production vs potential? I guess another way to phrase the question would be, why he should go this high?

          • Peter

            Because the dline class is poor. And if you watch his highlights he truly looks awesome.

            Per production I’m not sure why that’s not more of a consideration.

            I’ve already noted how quinnen Williams, Mccoy, suh were miles ahead of him but apparently that’s negatively comparing a player and not seeing what he can be…..

          • TatupuTime

            Jalen Carter had 6 college sacks. Quinnen Williams had 10, Daron Payne had 3, Chris Jones had 8.5, Dexter Lawrence had 4, Jeffrey Simmons had 7.5. Daron Payne had just 1 TFL and 1 Sack in his draft year in 14 games.

            Carter has absolutely disappeared for big stretches and the TFL are a concern. You can’t disregard the lack of production, but I don’t know that it’s fatal. He has the tools to be successful at the NFL level.

      • Big Mike

        Difficult to have better production when you’re gasping for breath on the sideline 40% of the snaps cuz due to being sadly out of shape.

  17. Matt

    My basic stance on pick 5 is either QB, Anderson, or Carter. If you’re not doing one of those guys; have to trade out.

    No way on earth is there any other player that seems remotely worthy of such a high pick.

  18. Jared

    I find the difference of opinion in regards to Myles Murphy and Tyree Wilson. When looking at the Tape Murphy looks like he’s shot out of a cannon. Wilson has no hurry in his getoff. The two were only separated by half a sack but Murphy is getting dinged for not being productive? Bit odd imo..

    • Rob Staton

      Murphy is not only being dinged for a lack of production. I’ve written about him a lot over the last few months. His run defense is poor and he got run all over by Notre Dame, he doesn’t have much of a plan when he engages, his frame lacks muscle definition and I think he gets by on athleticism (OK in college, not in the pro’s), I don’t think he’s ‘shot out of a cannon’ at all really. He has flashes. He didn’t start two games for Clemson this year. KJ Henry was consistently more disruptive.

      But on the topic of production — Murphy played on a loaded D-line for a front-running team. Wilson played for Texas Tech as a one-man band. Big difference.

  19. Matt


    Superb as always. Would love to hear what YOU would do if the draft goes either way in the top 4:

    1) Stroud, Levis, Anderson, Carter
    2) Stroud, Levis, Anderson, Young

    In either case above what would you do at #5…?

    T. Wilson
    Trade down


    • Rob Staton

      I think at #5 you need to take one of the top four quarterbacks if you believe in them (I do) and if you don’t, take one of the top two defenders.

  20. Zane

    I love how you marry such an in-depth, passionate Seahawks perspective with a realistic, objective understanding of the draft at large.

    What do you think the odds are the Hawks might trade up to 1 or 3 to ensure they get Stroud/Levis? Seems like they wouldn’t have to give up a huge haul for such a small move (maybe a 2nd & 3rd?)

    • Rob Staton

      I’ve dabbled with writing about it. Because I do think when they traded Wilson, they likely had the 2023 QB class in mind. And with the stock, they likely felt they had the ability to trade up. Yet all I’m hearing at the moment is they want to pay Geno Smith so…

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        That does seem to be the narrative in local media, does it not? Even in national media (FS1, ESPN, CBS, etc), I’ve heard NOTHING about Geno’s prospects outside of Seattle. Everyone seems to consider a reunion a certainty.

        You’d think that SOME local media would generate articles or content to the contrary, if for no reason than to generate hate-clicks.

      • Ryan

        Maybe just wishful thinking, but if I was John and I wanted a QB, I’d do what I could to broadcast that I do not intend to take a QB at 5 so that Carolina, Las Vegas, and Atlanta wouldn’t feel the need to jump ahead of me to get one.

  21. Matt

    So despite all your mentions about Carter’s character/motivation concerns, end of day you’re not that concerned? Or are you concerned, but Carter’s upside is so great that you’re willing to risk a top-5 pick on him being a bust?

    And is there any circumstance where you’d support a trade?

    • Rob Staton

      I am not acting as the Seahawks GM here Matt so my personal concerns are irrelevant. It’s a mock draft. A projection of what might happen. My concerns are there for all to see. But we see teams roll the dice all the time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

      • Peter

        I thought this mock fit squarely in the “what Seattle would do,” vein.

  22. ShowMeYourHawk

    Lots of thought and work put into this mock. For that Rob, I thank you. 👍🏽 It’s completely possible, if not likely.

    That said, if this is how the first two rounds shake out, I’m tearing my TV off the wall and smashing it. Presumably, this draft haul would also preclude that Geno was resigned? Extra 🤮.

    I hope this was the “worst case scenario” mock and that it’s now out of your system. 😂

  23. Cysco

    Man, if we were that close to Kancey or White, I would hope JS is hopping on the phone to move up a few spots.

  24. Henry Taylor

    If it played out like this I’d be very keen on taking Quentin Johnston at #20. I’m down on him as a top top pick to be a WR1, but as the third weapon in this offense with DK and Lockett he’d be awesome. We don’t have enough RAC in the group atm.

    • Ben

      I hear ya, but think of the type of run game we’d have with Jones and Lucas on that right side. Our only weak spot would likely be Center.

      That might serve very well to open up the passing game too.

      So really, I guess you win either way. QJ and DJ are both solid picks.

  25. Dubb

    Nice mock! Does anyone think the history with Malik McDowell would scare the Hawks off Jalen Carter?

    • Peter

      McDowell had pretty big , like might not care about football, concerns.

      Carter for all I fault him seems like a guy who might just need a push to get more serious about putting his traits together with the game readiness.

      Easier to deal with potentially.

      • All I see is 12s

        I could be wrong, so please Rob or experienced SDB posters tell me if I am. But I cannot recall Rob ever writing a separate article about a player that checked as many boxes as McDowell did and then going on to conclude that the Seahawks absolutely should not draft him- for a litany of character concerns. Personally, I screamed at my TV when I saw the pic. I tried to make myself feel better about it later but it just got more and more disastrous. The consequences of that pic are still being felt.
        Carter is not that. It’s really just a matter as to whether Carter is worth a top-five pic.

        • Peter


          For myself I have repeatedly said if Carter was around #20 I would be stoked on the pick.

          I’m nearly done watching every snap of his last season. Mostly because I wanted to really view the play and not feel like I was projecting something.

          From my vantage I really do see a powerful player. But…this is also Georgia and I see a ton of great players. I don’t see him command more less attention than anyone else on their dline. At times he’s almost getting there by himself on a double teams. Totally impressive. Other times 1v1 I see, per example, plays where Tenn linemen control him by themselves.

          Rob is a million times the evaluator I will ever be. But I do spend a decent amount of time watching games and rarely watch highlights. I’m just not seeing anyone with the consistent wins.

          Bluntly I think it’s two things: one. Players get deemed great and that’s that. Two, the dline class this year is very poor.

          And I truly feel like you could draft Richardson and get the exact same results as carter with about six or so other players starting at 20 and going to the 50’s.

          • Roy Batty

            Comment sections on so many sites were blowing up as the video of Carter picking up the RB was shown over and over. People became enamored by him at that point. They never really looked at his snap count and what he actually accomplished with those snaps.

  26. Gross MaToast

    Great stuff. If they walk away with this draft class, it’s a huge win.


    I believe they HAVE to come out of this with their QB of the future. Another top 5 pick (hopefully) won’t happen again for quite a while. I’d offer Chicago 1 & 38, maybe even 1 & 20 & 2 safeties. The Bears still get their guy and another premium player, Seattle gets Stroud and then BPA the rest of the way. If there’s a chance to get a QB, you go get a QB. (I don’t consider giving Geno $99m over 3 years, “getting a QB.” It’s kind of the opposite of that.)

    Alright…on to the combine.

    • cha

      Adetomiwa Adebawore

      I am particularly missing John Clayton today.

      • Rob Staton

        Oh that would’ve been an all timer

      • Steve Nelsen

        Thank you for making me smile with that one cha 🙂 I think there is an Ule Ule and one other double tongue-twister that will be at the combine. The anticipation of hearing announcers and interviewers handle that has been one of my secret draft pleasures.

        Love the Josh Downs pick and analysis Rob.

      • Matt

        Oof! Hilarious but oof!

        “Attababy Alacatraz.”

        Hell…Will Anderson would’ve been “Bill Sanders.”

      • Palatypus

        I think Jim Nagy helps us all out immensely by calling Adetomiwa Adebawore “Ade-Ade.”

        Although, I think Atomic Abbs-whore works too.

  27. Palatypus

    You know, a lot of the Broncos people gave me dirty looks at the Senior Bowl practices in my Seahawks gear. Imagine the gasket they’d blow if we took Anthony Richardson with their pick.

  28. Sean-O

    Another great article! Love the content.

    I see ATL linked to QBs possibly at #8 in other mocks besides yours. Ridder was a top-75 pick last season. Would they move on that quickly from him? To go from a 3rd round pick, a four-year starter in college to an athletic freak who’s started one season in college would make for an interesting debate. It’s not like they’ve had a regime change. The current GM & coach were in place when they drafted Ridder.

    • Big Mike

      Perhaps they saw enough of Ridder when they played him later in the season to feel he’s not the answer?

    • Rob Staton

      Would they move on that quickly from him?

      No question in my mind, if they saw a QB worthy of #8

  29. Jim H

    I’ll be disappointed with Carter. Kid was told if he got in shape he could make millions more in the draft and he still couldn’t do it. I also didn’t see him wrecking games despite a very talented GA line. Just don’t see pit bull in him; IMO he likes football and is naturally good at it and that might be enough for him. At No. 5 I want someone with the motor of Kancey, or a trade down to take Wilson.

    Happy to roll the dice on Richardson; I could see him playing like Hurts, with potentially more dangerous legs. We need a qb in this draft. Geno won’t win us a SB. Hugh Millen’s calculation of Smith’s “turnover-worthy plays” is pretty sobering and helpful in understanding Geno’s actual play with the variables of the DB’s luck in dropping an Int thrown in. Robb, how do you view that stat, if you’re familiar with it?

    Finally, Robb and others: do you feel it’s reasonable for this fan base to demand a change in defensive scheme, DC or a change in HC? Carroll is a defensive HC and his defenses have been atrocious for a long time. Is it not reasonable to demand coaches who get better production out of their D than their roster ranking suggests? I scratch my head to understand why we’re not demanding Clint Hurtt’s firing based on his lack of ability to adapt and throw various pre-snap looks at opposing teams. He gets out-coached IMO, and that theme goes back through Richard and Norton and now Hurtt, which says Carroll needs to own it. 🤷‍♂️

    • Chris

      “Kid was told if he got in shape he could make millions more in the draft and he still couldn’t do it.”

      This is getting repeated too often. The kid DIDN’T get into shape and is still going to make millions and likely be around the #5 pick in the draft. The fact is that he clearly DIDN’T need to get into shape to make millions, so this whole narrative that gets repeated here quite often doesn’t make sense.

      • Rob Staton

        Ah yes, the classic word of the use ‘narrative’ to try and imply there’s some irrational thinking or fake news going on

        It’s not a ‘narrative’ to talk about legit issues with players. The point is simply this. He highlighted and identified conditioning as the key area he needed to improve in 2022. It was put to him that his coach had also said that publicly — and he agreed it was his top priority to improve his conditioning.

        He didn’t do it.

        Raising that as a fact and talking about it isn’t creating a ‘narrative’

  30. Mr drucker in hooterville

    I understand your thinking, but why not Schmitz or a Center at 20? Or Aba Abe at 20 and Schmitz at 38?

    • Rob Staton

      You’re focusing too much on one player

      And I don’t rate Schmitz that high

  31. Mr drucker in hooterville

    Ok. I will say it. Trade DK for a 1 plus? Move up. Get a QB and a WR.

    • Rob Staton

      Trading DK would cost you $20m in dead money

      • Mr drucker in hooterville

        So the contract and all the implications doesn’t go with the player?

        • Rob Staton


          • Mr drucker in hooterville

            That is messed up

    • Roy Batty

      So take on a $34.5 million dead cap hit?

      DK is only counting $13.72 million against the cap this year, which means you now have -$20.28 million to spend AND are now without a near guaranteed 1,000 yard receiver. A guy who routinely is shadowed by the other teams best CB. And, if you draft someone, you are now taking a gamble that he can be anywhere near as productive as DK.

      I get that people like having picks, but if you are going to “move on” from him, and you really, really shouldn’t, you only save $1.5 million. Antics aside, the guy is a good teammate, good community member and the only true national star on the current roster.

      • Roy Batty

        *save $1.5 million in 2024.

    • GrittyHawk

      Uhhhhh what? Why would we trade DK?

      • Mr drucker in hooterville

        He is paid like a tier 1 but isn’t. He seems like a volcano about to implode. Just trying to get more draft capital to get studs with rookie contracts. Getting ready for 2024

        • Seattle Person

          Who would replace DK? It doesn’t make sense to trade him financially or team-wise.

          • Mr drucker in hooterville

            I just think he is over paid now by ROI. I like rookie contracts for skill players.

    • 509 Chris

      I think the unsportsmanlike penalties he drew this year are getting blown out of proportion a bit. He’s not Justin Jefferson but he’s still a great reciever. He’s the best of the second tier at least, or bottom of the first tier. He’s still somewhat young and hasn’t had serious injury issues. I think any incoming rookie qb needs all the weapons they can get as well. Let him play out his contract and then we can start the discussion on his future.

  32. Hoggs41

    Carter at 5 scares the crap out of me but I for sure see the pick. I badly want Sanders at 20 but he is gone here. I like Jones but do they want to move Lucas,? If not your spending pick 20 in a guard which isnt terrible as they are at least addressing the trenches. I would be good with Ade at 37. Im really torn on WR in first two rounds.

  33. Ashish

    I see mock drafts from Packers trading Rogers for multiple first round to Hawks or Raiders i mean after Russell trade every team will think twice.
    Rob great mock i would love Richardson over Carter want Hawks to grab opportunity to have QB for next 10 years. Good there is no big competition at #5.

    • Ben

      Multiple 1sts for a 40 year old, below average QB coming off his worst season ever?

      They’re clearly not fans of the Hawks or Raiders, as I’m sure both teams would rather have back Geno or Carr at $35 mill than do that trade.

    • 509 Chris

      I saw one of those mocks too and it’s just ridiculous. I don’t know what trading him does to the cap for GB, but I assume they’ll get a third rounder for him at best. He’s owed some pretty serious money and didn’t have a great season this year. Honestly I have to tune out the noise from social media and news sites constantly or I lose my mind. It’s crazy toxic the kind of nonsense we consume into our minds constantly. I think people have become zombies. Sorry for the rant!

  34. samprassultanofswat

    Rob: Just curious. Who would YOU take at five. If both Carter/Richardson were still on the board at 5.

    BTW: Assuming the Clint Hurtt and the defensive line coaches can motivate Carter. And that is a BIG if. The first four picks are outstanding. If there were a human being that could move mountains. It would be Dawand Jones.

    Tyler Lockett isn’t getting any younger. He has taken some vicious hits over his career. For Seattle, wide Receiver is not out of the question. Adding Carter, Jones and Adetomiwa Adebawore will definitely beef up both sides of the defensive/offensive lines.

    Last year the Hawks went talent over need. It paid off big-time. Hopefully the trend continues.

    • Jabroni-DC

      I saw it as a pairing of talent and need. They definitely needed OTs, a RB & CBs. The roster was so devoid of talent that it would have been a challenge not drafting a need.

  35. Spectator

    Would feel positive after a draft like this. Even with my disdain for Carter, the boom potential is there. Would rather one of the two QBs (Stroud/Levis) but they are likely going top3.

    The Downs pick tho, I see the reservation with Jaxson Smith-Injigba and not knowing his athleticism, but what he did in 2021 is hard to forget. Reminded me of Cooper Kupp in his intangibles. If he’s there and available, I’d feel ecstatic grabbing him over Downs. Was reported that when Olave, Wilson, and Smith-Injigba were asked, together, who the best athlete was in the WR room, all three immediately pointed to Smith-Injigba. I vaguely remember you questioning both those players speed before they ran fast at the combine. Maybe we see Smith-Injigba also surprise with a 4.49. Tho that probably puts him in the first round.

  36. SomeDude

    I may may missed this so I apologize in advance but what are your thoughts on Jake Haener? As a Beavers fan, I was impressed by him at Fresno St and he seemed to have a good senior bowl. Possibly a mid round option?

    • Rob Staton

      Lacks the arm strength to drive the ball into tighter windows. Will need to go somewhere where scheme is king and just be on top of everything. For me he’s a late round pick.

  37. Bertelli

    I would enjoy your feedback on this scenario:

    Trade up to #1 with CHI immediately. I understand the cost will be heavy, #5, #20, next year’s #1 and change, but stay with me…

    You now have the #1 pick in a market that wants QB’s. We could dangle that carrot to the highest bidder and if we can get anything close to the haul that you mentioned from Indy (#4 pick, Buckner, plus the pick we gave up to move to #1), I’d be all in. There’s risk involved, but it would be fun for once to have control of the draft and see what other teams might be willing to give up. Any thoughts?

    • Simo

      It would be exciting to see this type of movement at/near the top, but the problem I see is that Chicago will be talking with all the teams who desire to move up, including Indy, and will simply take the offer they like best! Seattle probably can’t/shouldn’t match the offers from desperate teams like Indy or Carolina!

    • Jim H

      We give up No. 5, No. 20, next year’s #1 and change only to dangle the number 1 pick and hope we get far more than this offered? That’s a big and risky bet. You only go to number 1 if there’s someone you have to have that you see as the next Mahomes.

  38. swedenhawk

    Rob, I’m curious: Do you see Seattle’s next RB2 coming from this draft? Did you see enough from, say, Rodriguez or Hull during Senior Bowl week to justify a mid-round pick? Or would you be content to resign Penny (or even Mike Davis) to back up Walker, or is it simply time to move on? Thanks for all the great insight during Senior Bowl week!

    • Rob Staton

      There’s a lot of depth at RB in this draft and they should be able to get one they really like after round three

      • PJ in Seattle

        This draft looks absolutley loaded at RB. Might be the only reason a talent like Bijan falls into the 2nd round this year (I wouldn’t bet on it, but would not be surprised).

        I like Chris Rodriguez a lot and could see him as nice complement to KWIII and Penny. Was actually kind of glad he had that flukey fumble in the Senior Bowl. Otherwise, it feels like most of my sleeper targets are picking up hype so quickly that they won’t represent the same amazing value come draft day and will most likely be playing for other teams. See: Keion White, Zay Flowers, Keeanu Benton, Julius Brents, Daiyan Henley, etc.

      • Doge

        Have you gotten a chance to study Zach Evans from Ole Miss? Matt Waldman (who puts in as much work studying skill position players as anyone) has him as his second best RB. It sounds like he may have some maturing to do, based on issues with coaches and some recruiting drama. He also doesn’t have a ton of college touches between missing some time in 2021 and taking a backseat to Quinshon Judkins (who is one of the top RBs in college football).

        Haven’t seen much about Evans, and I’m wondering if Matt is way off from an on field talent perspective or if the narrative around him may make him undervalued.

  39. Trevor

    If JS does not like the QB options at 5 then the only player I would even consider is Anderson who I think will the first defender off the board to Hous or Arizona. Really hope they draft Richardson , Levis or Stroud but getting worried that they are going to pay Geno big $ which is a huge mistake IMO.

    If Carter is gone and they don’t like the QBs then putting #5 on the auction block should be option #1

    My prediction for the top 5

    #1 Indy – Will Levis (Ballard falls in love with Levis and trades up to get him)

    #2 Hous- Will Anderson (Ryan’s is a defensive coach with a background at Alabama and knows the impact of a stud pass rusher. He focusses on fixing the defense this year)

    #3 Carolina- CJ Stroud ( The Panthers trade up to get a QB for Frank Reich to develop)

    #4 Bears – Jalen Carter (Bears get the guy they wanted all along)

    #5 Washington- Bryce Young ( The Commanders give up #16, #48 and a 1st in 2024 to move up and get a new face of the franchise as Dan Synder looks for a buyer.)

    Hawks Draft
    #16 Drew Sanders (LB -Arkansas)
    #20 Keion White (DL- GTech)
    #38 Mazi Smith (DT – Mich)
    #48 Josh Downs (WR – NC)
    #53 Cody Mauch (OL- NDSt)
    #84 Julius Brents (CB / KSt)
    #125 Cammeron Young (DT / Miss St)
    #154 Payne Durham (TE / Purdue)
    #157 Chris Rodriguez (RB / Kentucky)

    • Mick

      I get what you’re saying, but I have the feeling it would not be enough to have traded Wilson only to get Sanders, Smith and Downs. Unless they all prove to be generational talents. I’d much rather trade up and get one of the QBs, and I’m no fan of trading up.

      • schuemansky

        They also got Cross, Mafe and a 2024 1st.

        • Peter

          2024 first?

          • schuemansky

            Doing Trevor’s proposed trade with WAS.

            • Peter


    • Matt

      Love the idea behind this mock (especially since Washington could be top-10 bad next season when the QB class might be even better).

      That said really hard to get behind a linebacker with a 1st round pick. Given how many great LBs were taken later in drafts and the need to shore up the DL and OL, hard to feel great about Drew Sanders mid-first even with all his buzz. For me to feel good about the Hawks taking a LB round 1 he better be like a Ray Lewis.

      • Trevor

        I agree about Sanders. Would prefer Mayer, Kancey or Branch but think all would be gone by 16.

        Branch is actually my favorite defensive player in the draft and I think he will be a perennial pro bowler. Like him a lot more than Minkah Fitzpatrick who played a similar roll for Alabama and has been a stud for Pittsburgh.

    • Matt

      My only quibble is that I’d rather have Keanu Benton over Mazi Smith.

  40. Palatypus

    2/06/2023 Pensacola, Fl.

    My sources, from deep inside a bathroom stall at Hancock-Whitney Stadium in Mobile, are telling me that NFL referees are disappointed in yesterday’s Pro Bowl game because “There were not enough flags.”

    These complaints come in the wake of injuries to Tony Pollard and Patrick Mahomes due to “hip-drop tackles.” These “hip-drop tackles”, also called “tackles”, are under consideration to be banned by the NFL in the upcoming season. In response, Private Frost from the movie Aliens, by James Cameron, responded, “What are we supposed to use, harsh language?”

    However, Commissioner Roger Goodell was quick to point out that the league has already banned the use of harsh language with the proliferation of taunting penalties this year, sponsored by Draft Kings. This was done in the interest of player safety.

    Consequently, Seahawks General Manager Grand Champion Luchador John Schneider has rethought putting the franchise tag on quarterback Geno Smith. He said, “$34 Million? We could buy 34 refs for that!”

  41. Matt

    Here’s an interesting thought exercise – I’m not saying this is happening or even realistic…but what if…

    The Bengals offer 29 and 90 for Abraham Lucas – are you taking that?

    Why would they do that? Desperate for OL help. Willingness to overpay in draft capital for a cheap solution. They are absolutely win now and HAVE to fix their OL.

    This came from Rob’s idea of Dawan Jones at RT. You might ask, well why wouldn’t the Bengals just draft him instead? Simple – Lucas has proven it at the NFL level and is a cheaper alternative. I don’t think the Bengals can afford any more guessing on the OL – it’s the singular reason they are capped. At the moment.

    Anyways, just a thought. I think I’d be inclined to take that deal, as much as I like Abraham Lucas.

    • Palatypus

      No. Not enough value at 90 this year. Lucas should have been a first-round pick last year.

      • Matt

        What if it was pick 60 instead of 90?

        I think this is a fascinating hypothetical – not that I’d ever expect it to happen.

    • Jabroni-DC

      We finally got something right on the OL after a decade of futility. If they throw in Burrow I’d say yes.

      • Matt

        LOL – fair enough.

        The only reason I’m intrigued is because I don’t think we are anywhere close to contending.

        • Palatypus

          If you land Lawand Jones, I could see maybe making that move.

          But why?

          • Matt

            My scenario is not predicated on using pick 29 at RT. It was just a random thought that came about with Rob’s mock – and I think it’s an interesting scenario, more from the Bengals side about how to resolve their issues without breaking the cap.

    • cha

      I don’t think so.

      Having 7 picks in the first three rounds would be a blast. However, at some point you have to quit fooling about with draft picks and build a team. And Lucas should be part of that.

      (((ask me again when Bijan, Richardson or Kancey is there at 29 though…*cough*)))

      • Palatypus

        And you are paying Lucas 3rd round money.

      • Matt

        Totally get it – the guy that pops into my head is Michael Mayer. I really think teams are gonna overthink that one.

    • Scot04

      I’d hang up the phone. Keep going BPA, if it’s Jones or Wright great.
      We can figure out who fits better where in camp.

    • Big Mike

      Fun rosterbation tho Matt. 😀

  42. Doge

    Appreciate the work, Rob. Odd time of the draft cycle where all the “analysts” haven’t caught wind of where teams will actually draft players so most mocks are laughable. Can always tell you put the work in.

    Love the haul for Seattle too. Hadn’t considered a right tackle but you give highly compelling rationale. Goes to show the merits of BPA. Personally really hoping Mayer slips to 20, think our offense with Geno could turn him into a star.

  43. Mick

    I see we’re trading everyone for picks.

    • Roy Batty

      It happens every year.

      Fans get greedy for more picks and think up scenarios where we trade underperforming players and, strangely, good players for picks.

      Trading good players is the way you become a cellar dweller. You are, quite literally, trading away a sure thing for a gamble.

      • Matt

        I wasn’t advocating the trade; it was an idea that popped up in light of Rob’s mock. And really, the thought experiment is interesting from the Bengal’s POV because they have 1 massive hole and this is a possible solution for them that doesn’t break the bank (cap wise).

        Again – don’t interpret entertaining scenarios as advocating for such a move.

        • Mick

          I wasn’t pointing fingers at your idea, I just don’t like the general story. We had a great draft last year but if our players kept playing all their career like they did in their rookie year, it would turn into a bust. Even when it comes to Woolen and Walker, as Cross, Mafe, Bryant and Lucas were at most decent starters. They only get better with experience, and you can’t get rid of a player who’s shown promise and is already familiar with your system and has been through some battles, just to bring another rookie and start from square 0. The same with DK, we extended him, he will be one of the most producing WRs in Seahawks history if not the best production ever, a trade should be off the table, at this point.

          I wouldn’t be too delighted with moving Lucas at guard either, though I understand the rationale and it might turn out to be a great idea actually.

  44. Happy Hawk

    Trading Wilson and not coming out of the window with at least a quarterback with a chance to go for a title would be tough. The Hawks most likely will not have another top 5 pick anytime soon. The thought of trying to get back to the Superbowl with the likes of backup guys like: G Smith, C McCoy, D Lock, T Bridgewater, and the like is depressing.

    What this mock does demonstrate is that the Hawks can rebuild their trenches and hope and pray we can find a late round QB – take a flyer – and luck into another QB option. The question I have is who ( besides Hooker ) is a possibility? DTR at Ucla? McKee at Stanford? Hall at BYU? Tune? Bennet? A small school QB?

    Free agency and the combine will help to give a clearer picture of what could be in store at #5. Just hoping we can get out of QB purgatory sometime soon.

  45. HawkFanGA

    I absolutely love Josh Downs and he would be an ideal fit as our WR3 next year (and eventual Tyler Lockett replacement). Great job, Rob!

    • Blitzy the Clown

      I’d take a shot at Bresee at 37.

      I’d be happier about that than Wilson at 5.

      No thanks to JSN (or any WR) at 20. And Hooker at 52 is a bit rich for a 25 yo rookie coming off an acl.

    • Rob Staton


    • Matt

      Dear God I hate it, lol.

      I’m not on board with Wilson at all, at 5. Just can’t do it. JSN is such a low ceiling player. Bresee…I’ll let someone else take a chance. Hooker in R2…again…he’ll be 26 before he can play – why would we do this?

      • BK26

        *26 before being HEALTHY to play. Then he will probably need at least 1 more year to actually learn how to run an offense. But to too many fans, that is the route they want to take for the future of the position.

        • Peter

          Exactly. 27-28 before starting….yowza. 6th round priority udfa pick for me.

    • Mick

      Is this guy a 49ers fan? That would be a great way of messing up our rebuild.

  46. Blitzy the Clown

    For me this is a tale of two mocks — there’s the first pick, and then there’s the rest of it.

    I like the rest of it. I’ve no problems whatsoever spending 20 on essentially a guard. The thought of pairing Lucas and Jones (both of whom are legit R1 OL talent) on the right side is…tantalizing, to say the least. You want to be bullies up front? How does nearly 700 lbs of snarling sweaty snorting beasts crashing the strong side sound? Add a TE to the formation and dominate in the run game. Add Nick Saldiveri at C on Day 3 (or Nick Broeker if he can snap the ball and call the protections) and boom! That’s a pro-bowl OL for the next 5 years.

    I’ve taken a bit of a draft crush on Ade Ade. He’s so damn versatile. Another commenter said he’s like Michael Bennett that way. I suppose, but physically he reminds me a lot of Brandon Graham. Only with even longer arms and more raw athleticism. I like him over Kancey (not absolutely but relatively for Seattle) because he’s truly inside out. He has enough sand in his pants to play inside early and the athleticism and length to play outside. Kancey has a little more bulk, but he lacks the length to set the edge.

    I’m not super opinionated about the WRs, which is to say I like Downs fine. I wouldn’t mind a RB in this slot either. Someone with pass catching ability, like McIntosh or Spears. But then, I think the RB class is a little deeper than the WRs, so maybe WR first makes more sense.

    About that first pick…

    I don’t profess to be any kind of expert on Zierlein’s ranking system, but I can adapt my thinking to fit a scale. Anything over 7 is elite. Lance has Jalen Carter at 7.10, which would make him elite.

    I admit I’ve seen flashes of an elite player in Carter. I’ve seen downs, even a series or two, where he’s been the best player on the field. I’ve even seen him end an offensive drive all by himself. Not many, but I’ve seen him do it.

    What I haven’t seen him do, not once, is take over a game. I’ve not seen him be the best player on the field for 60 minutes. He’s not been an elite player in any game I’ve ever watched him play. Let alone any stretch of games or season.

    Flashes? You bet. And very tantalizing ones at that. But that’s it.

    And that’s just not for me with the highest pick Seattle have had in more than a decade.

    I realize Carter may catch fire and go on to become the next Fletcher Cox. And to that I say bully! to him and whichever team took the risk.

    But I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. And I don’t want to be anywhere near him when it doesn’t.

    FWIW, I’ll be gobsmacked if Schenider doesn’t rate Anthony Richardson high enough to snag him at 5. If both Richardson and Carter are available and the pick is Carter, it’ll tell me that Carroll is very much still in control of the organization.

    Having said all that, wonderful mock. Enormously entertaining. As has been all your content!

    • Matt

      I’m in agreement, however, I’m taking Carter over Tyree Wilson 100/100 times. As much concern as I have about Carter, there’s a possible grand slam in that pick. I just don’t see it for Tyree. I really don’t. I see a prototypical body type that puts up 6-8 sacks a year and you’re always waiting for him to “turn the corner.”

      I’m not advocating for Carter, but he and Will Anderson are the only 2 defenders worthy of 5. The other guys…not even sure they sniff the top 10 in normal years.

    • Ben

      It’s not just Zierlein’s ranking. PFF has him as the top interior DL for this draft.

      I will say, he played about as many snaps (392) as Kancey (454) and Ojomo (376). It’s not abnormal for even good players to rotate, the big question mark is how he’ll handle more snaps. It could just be that he’ll always look tired, but as long as he’s still competing until the end, no complaints.

      I also want to take the chance on a QB at #5, so to me Carter is the #6 pick in the draft, #7 if Detroit goes with Bijan Robinson first.

    • Scot04

      I think it all will come down to how Carter interviews with teams. He needs to convince them he will be legitimate in shape & stay motivated to be the best NFL player he can be.
      There’s no denying the talent is there.

  47. Scot04

    Amazing work Rob;
    It’s truly incredible how many people are starting to jump on the Darnell Wright band wagon now.
    You continue to be ahead on so many, just like Kancey & others.
    Looking forward to the combine & how many more from your board jump up.
    In Regards to our #5 pick, I imagine Carter’s in person interviews will be huge.
    I Remember your hypothetical Richardson mock draft with him going #1 draft.
    Seems you could build an offense around his running ability, while his accuracy & touch developed.
    Huge upside at only 22, & is one the most accurate of the 4 on deep passes over 30 yards.
    I know many analysts have Stroud & Young as 1-2; a couple with Levis at 1.
    It seems possible we could see Levis & Richardson going off the board as the top 2.
    Too me it just shows how close these 4 are. Like you said all top 6 players have their possitives & negatives.
    I’m truly hoping Schneider sticks to BPA & not position of need as he said he planned on doing.
    If true, it would be hard to believe a QB is not in the conversation.
    Yet it seems like an infinitely small % of analysts want to even entertain us taking a QB.

  48. Palatypus

    Somehow, some way, give me Keion White and Ade Ade instead of Jalen Carter.

  49. Ben

    “Seems you could build an offense around his running ability, while his accuracy & touch developed.”

    This is what I’d love to see. He may not be the most accurate, but putting the read-option back in play could really open up the field to make easy passes. The fact that teams will have to put a spy on the QB will help him find open players on a good team.

    If they go Jones at #20, he’ll likely have plenty of time to find receivers and play-action will be a beauty to behold.

    • Ben

      Missed the reply button for Scot04.

  50. Palatypus

    BTW, three weeks and one day until The Underwear Olympics (cue music.) Just enough time for Rob to make an amazing horizontal board, and then throw it in the trash.

    Also, I think underwear olympics is available as a domain name. I don’t think Mark Sclereth has copyrighted it yet either.

  51. Stephen Pitell

    What makes Aaron Donald so great is that at the end of a game, when everyone is tired, he can elevate his game and take a game over. Carter sounds like the opposite of this. Assuming Carter will change is asking a lot for a 1.5 draft pick. As much as we need defensive line help, I would pass on Carter and let some other team assume that risk. Intelligence, character, and maturity are all factors that are mostly hidden from us, but not from the Seahawks scouting group. In the end, I will trust their judgement. I think they have learned a lot of valuable lessons about these things, and will put them to good use.

    • DC1234

      I dont think Carter will change. Money and fame will only highlight what you already are.

      I agree, Carter is a complete opposite with Donald. Donald is a workout warrior, look at his body for a interior dlineman.

      If the Seahawk’s dline room is like the eagles, then i would draft Carter. He will have players to hold him at a higher standard.

      I want seahawks to go back to drafting players that love the game and have a chip on their shoulders.

  52. JimQ

    Anyone have any opinions about the NFL Pro-bowl “skills” broadcast? I thought it was pretty crappy.

    I think it has now become a “made for TV” production & not worth the half hour of my life that I used up watching it. I won’t bother watching that silly crap fest next year.

    • Palatypus

      It’s the future of football. When the league has made all tackling illegal, Cody Barton will be All-Pro.

      • Big Mike

        I literally LOL’d re: Barton
        Then I cried

  53. cha

    Good news: The Big6 go in the first 7 spots. AR at #7 is closer to reality than some of the others we’ve been seeing.

    Bad news: The Seahawks don’t get any of them, preferring to trade down to 9 rather than take Stroud or Richardson. They select Murphy at 9 and Bresee at 20.

    • BK26

      Once again, an assumption that we aren’t even looking at quarterback… If we pass up on a quarterback for Myles Murphy…I might have an aneurysm.

      (Just finished looking at the round for us). And then Bresee…? I will have an aneurysm.

    • Mick

      As bad as we’ve been at drafting, we’re not gonna be that bad this year. I trust John to do better than drafting an “unfinished product” and a “he’s not consistent”. And if Stroud is still there at 5, no chance we miss on him.

      • BK26

        People are looking at what Seattle has done for years, like trade back and value having as many picks as possible. Getting twitchy athletes instead of badass football players. Last year was an outlier, but I also think a change of the times. If John is in charge of the draft now, then their past plan is nothing to go by anymore.

    • Spectator

      And all we pick up is an extra late second and 4th? Ridiculous.

      • Ben

        It aligns with the draft value charts, but those don’t take into account the talent dropoff that occurs after #5 or #6. I guess if you’re not a fan of both Richardson and Young, then there’s a drop after 4, but there’s definitely more consensus around the top 5 picks.

        So, the draft value should be more aligned to #9, #61 and 1st round next year in my opinion. If you’re moving up to take a possible franchise QB that could have easily gone #1, you’re going to have to pay like he’s Trey Lance or get lost.

    • Scot04

      If Schneider does as he says, & truly stays at BPA; Too me that’s Definitely Stroud or Richardson over the remaining DT’s & Edges.
      Not a fan of either pick in this scenario, especially with better players available at both spots.

    • Ashish

      I read the justification oh Hawks realized they trade down and missed the QB. Damn why they will trade down if they like QB in first place they know teams picking next need QB.

  54. Robert Las Vegas

    Rob I have a question for you do you have any thoughts on Trey Dean 111 the safety out of Florida. And what round do you think he might fall to

  55. cha

    Jack Heaps won’t have a parking spot at the Broncos complex….

    • Hoggs41

      Damn. Jake just moved his family down there to. Wonder if he just employs him outside of the building.

    • Roy Batty

      I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the office is nixed, too. Next up, the entourage. Revoke those key cards, parking spaces and all access to anything franchise related.

      Payton was brought in to get the franchise in order and the first order of business is to put his QB on notice.

      It’s just what Russ needed. A reality check from someone with credibility.

      • Big Mike


      • Mr drucker in hooterville

        Whats Paytons policy on high knees?

  56. Julian L

    My case for signing Garret Bradbury

    One of the little addendums to the Mock which interests me is the potential for signing Garrett Bradbury the Center of the Minnesota Vikings, a free agent this off season.

    As Rob says he defines all the measurables and athletic traits required of the scheme currently deployed on the offensive line and he’s 27 years old so the next few years will be his prime.

    After struggling in Pass pro his first few years he took a step forward in this area in 2022, grading 10th of all Centers per PFF, his strong suit is run blocking, 9th per PFF and was the 10th best Center overall in 2022.

    He’s a good character and has a reputation for displaying good leadership on the Offensive Line, an important trait where possibly he could be the most experienced player.

    The Vikings are in Cap hell and will need to move on from him. They’re paying Brian O’Neil one of the highest salaries in his position on the O line already and will need to look at extending Justin Jefferson soon, which won’t be cheap. He’d have to go back to the Vikings on a very heavy discount, which I’d think the Seahawks could beat.

    The Seahawks won’t be paying anyone particularly on the O line next season and could create cap space in this area by cutting Gabe Jackson. Cutting Jackson would create $6.5 million, which I’d suggest is what it might cost in Yr 1 to sign Bradbury. I’d suggest a 3 year contract with between $18 to $21 in guaranteed money, is realistic? He might have looked at costing a little more, but missed a few games towards the end of last season with a back injury, that he recovered from in time to play in the play off loss against the Dallas Cowboys, when again he gave up no sacks.

    Perhaps one of the most important points, is signing Bradbury would mean that Seahawks would only be looking to draft a guard to start this year, meaning most early picks can be targeted elsewhere. Whilst not turning down the chance to take a Steve Avila or even a Darnell Wright if they fell into Seattle’s gift!

    It’s been a while, but really Seattle can alter perceptions this off season and provide a dominant Top 10 Offensive Line moving forward from 2023. They’re close, grab the opportunity.

    • Old but Slow

      I am not familiar with Bradbury, but I like your line of thinking. Similarly, and I believe Rob broached this earlier, I would want the team to look at the free agent defensive tackles and maybe adding another one in the middle rounds. A high value veteran and a promising rookie could make our defense better.

    • bv eburg

      Like the thought also from a pass protection set up. If they draft a young QB at 5 an experienced center would help him with protections.

  57. Old but Slow

    I have a rather idealistic, naive approach to the draft (multi-decade draft junkie). First, there is a difference between dealing from strength as opposed to weakness. A team that has only a couple of spots to fill will approach the draft differently than a team with lots of needs.

    Drafting in the top 10 is a responsibility. Hits and misses at that level are important to development. Strong teams will be able to focus on need above all. Weaker teams should focus on value.

    Players are commodities. Cold. Quarterbacks are Rolls-Royce. Kickers are Schwinns. So, if I want to add value to my 52 car garage, do I get a Rolls, or a Kia? I already have an old Rolls, but no Kia. Value?

    If I am picking in the top 10, I will immediately eliminate considering kickers, punters, long snappers, centers, tight ends, safeties and guards. And fullbacks. I am also considering the “transcendent” player, the Aaron Donald, Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor as automatic at the top.

    I rely on expert opinions (looking at you, Rob) to tell me what players might be considered as worthy of first round picks, and some idea of rankings. In my limited view, any QB who is generally rated in the first round is a good top 10 pick simply because of the value of the position.

    Frankly (please don’t call me Shirley), if at #5 if we had Mahomes or Burrows at QB, I would still take one. Even if never needed he will still have value in a QB hungry league.

    With that thought, and not knowing what our future needs will be, if no QB is available I would take the best player regardless of position? Running back? No problem. Offensive tackle? OK.

    Simply add value. Thank you, I’ll see myself out, if I can find my way….

    • Big Mike

      “Don’t call me Shirley”

      A hospital? Doctor what is it??!!
      It’s a building with patients but that’s not important now.

  58. DC1234

    Boy i hope Mina Kimes is wrong.

    She was on Chris Long’s podcast. She thinks seahawks will resign geno at the low $30mill/year. Based on info from seahawks, geno, and insiders. She did speak with geno at the pro bowl.

    Said seahawks lost leverage because Broncos’ pick went from #2 to #5

    She did say a chance geno wont sign with the seahawks is if the seahawks fall in love with a qb in the draft. And they offer geno a shorter term deal and Geno doesnt accept. (I hope for this outcome personally)

    She did want seahawks to draft defense instead of qb.

    Chris Long called Levis “mayo boy.” Its a joke from him, but who cares if Levis likes mayo in his coffee. Mahomes likes ketchup with his steak.

    • hoggs41

      Not sure how much Mina actually knows. She likes to think she does but does she really. My dad puts ketchup on steak and its a bit weird but putting mayo in your coffee is down right ludacris.

      • Rob Staton

        The mayo in coffee thing was a joke Levis and his GF did for a laugh on social media

        • Palatypus

          Yeah, it’s his girlfriend that takes her coffee with mayo.

          • Rob Staton

            I think they were just joking around

            • cha

              I always wondered if that mayo thing was a little sneaky counter-programming. Some kind of way to take the edge off the pressure of being a star, and avoid the media attention getting out of hand.

              • Rob Staton

                I think they were just pissing around on social media and didn’t expect it to go nuts

          • ShowMeYourHawk

            Not sure if this is factual reporting, or some really vivid innuendo. ☺️

  59. Hoggs41

    Interesting listening to Louis Riddick on with Brock and Salk. Spoke very highly of one Darnell Wright.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s about time

      We’ve been talking about Wright for months

      • Rob Staton

        Riddick also hailed Tyjae Spears

        Quick reminder… a certain horizontal board already had him in R2 before the Senior Bowl

        And back on Wright — I had Darnell Wright and Dawand Jones as OT1 and OT2 for weeks… feels like that’ll be the consensus soon

    • cha

      I didn’t get the whole conversation, but did Riddick seriously say he’d rather have Geno Smith at a big salary than Drew Lock at QB and adding Daron Payne and Maxx Crosby to the defense?

      Did I hear that correctly?

        • GoHawks5151

          Brock has been acting a little strange in the recent weeks I’ve been listening. Some of his segments have been the love child of SDB and Seahawks Twitter like this interview.

          • Stigs


            It’s like either he, or one of the producers, are reading this everyday and making it the talking point the next. VERY uncharacteristic.

        • Aaron Bostrom

          Wow, quite a statement. His argument didn’t really makes sense. He recognizes paying Geno would restrict them elsewhere but says rookies can help. But rookies could help with free agents and qb on a rookie deal too. Then he says “look to the chiefs” and then immediately concedes they have the best qb in the league who can cover for the team’s deficiencies.

          • Rob Staton

            It sounded a lot like LR hadn’t really given it much thought and was saying what popped into his head at the time

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      Riddick may be on Geno’s PR payroll.

  60. Henry Taylor

    I’m starting to think Jalen Carter is now getting underrated by some on here. The man has monstrous upside and is a legit top 10 talent. His wins are downright dominant.

    I’m all for raising valid and under discussed concerns about a player, but based on some of the comments it’s like he’s a worse Malik McDowell.

    • DC1234

      I think fans see Carter as a risk because of his lack of conditioning. And his lack of production, especially playing for a talent rich defense in college. And also worry he wont be a top defensive talent, or an all pro. Which you expect being picked at #5

      Everyone will be estatic to draft Carter if he was chosen the same pick as Malik McDowell. Or if he was picked with the seahawks #20. This is just hypothetical. carter wont last past top 10.

    • Ben

      I agree, but then the concerns are real. If he’s only going to play 40-50% of snaps because of conditioning, is that really worth a top 5 pick? I’d say no and snap up the best QB on the board because of the cost savings that can be gained from it.

  61. Robert Las Vegas

    As far as a day three pick I like emari demercado the running back at TCU.

    • Seattle Person


      I don’t think I have ever heard of him.

    • vanhawksfan

      He was amazing in the Michigan game.

  62. KD

    (apologies, I posted this in the wrong post last night, so I’m just re-posting here)

    Off topic, but has anyone else here been watching The Last of Us on HBO? As a big fan of the video game, I was cautiously optimistic about it going in, but it has blown away my expectations and has generally been outstanding. Episode 3 was the biggest deviation from the game, but so far it has hit every major story point and is progressing right along with the game with some changes that should be expected when adapting a TV show from a video game.

    Overall, terrific show.

    • Rob Staton

      I will probably watch it eventually. I loved the ‘Last of us Part 1’ but when I heard about what happened in the second game, I didn’t buy it. If the TV show sticks to the essence of the first game, then it’ll be brilliant.

    • Palatypus

      Millie Bobby Brown was crushed when Bella Ramsey beat her out for the part of Lyanna Mormont, the Lady of Bear Island, in Game of Thrones. If you have seen her in it, you know why.

      Millie’s consolation prize was Stranger Things. It sucks to be her.

      • Roy Batty

        It’s always amazing watching an unknown little girl steal the scene when surrounded by veteran, well regarded actors.


        • Palatypus

          And now she finally has a project worthy of her talents.

          • Rob Staton

            I’m not a big fan of the casting though

            Will be interested to see what she’s like in TLOU because she doesn’t strike me as an Ellie. If she plays the role without any vulnerability it won’t work

  63. Peter

    For Henry Taylor or anyone wondering why Carter might be getting downgraded. Like a total weirdo I went and looked at the draft history from 2010 to present to look at top ten talents. I started with everyone listed as DL, DT, and DE but thought that was unfair to carter. So I just looked at the DT or DL listing.

    Since 2010 there have been seven total picks for DT/DL. A ton for DE not much for DT. When people say he’s a top ten, sure fire talent I present this as a counter point:

    Ndamukong Suh 49.5 TFL. 24 sacks. 4 years playing
    Gerald McCoy. 33 TFL. 14.5 sacks. 3 years
    Tyson Alualu. 26 TFL. 16 sacks. 4 years

    Marcel Darreus. 20 TFL. 11 sacks. 2 years

    Quinnen Williams. 26 TFL. 10 sacks. 2 years
    Ed Oliver. 53 TFL. 13.5 sacks. 3 years

    Derrick Brown. 33 TFL. 12.5 sacks. 3 years.

    Jalen Carter. 18.5 TFL. 6 sacks. 3 years

    Tyson Alualu is the lowest performing player on the list. 6.5 tfl per year. 4 sacks per year. Carter isn’t even performing at that level. With sub 6.5 tfls and averaging two ( 2!!!) Sacks a year.

    If anyone can explain to me why I should be more excited by Carter than I was surprised by the Alualu pick in ’10 I’d love to hear it. Because unlike Carter some of these guys were one man wrecking crews like Oliver ( or even alualu) where they were the show. And still did better than him.

    • Zeke

      I wonder what the snap counts look like in comparison with those other guys…….maybe if he finally gets his conditioning up to par, he can stay on the field and get the production

    • Seattle Person

      All fair points. I’ll try to rebuttal.

      Carter’s production is lower than what you expect. He doesn’t have the flashy sack numbers or TFLs. One of the reasons why is because he faces a double team nearly almost every single snap.

      However when you dive deeper into his advanced numbers it shows his true impact. He takes on double teams which frees up the other pieces on defense. He is actually really efficient as a pass-rusher and is a damn good run defender too.

      Like you mentioned, conditioning is a huge part of his lack of production. He needs to put it all together to become a real force and if he does, he is really impossible to stop.

      I’m not saying he is perfect or I want him personally with the Hawks. But we should be careful about trashing a player that legit should go in the top 5 or top 10 in most drafts. There is a reason why he is so highly regarded. Yes there is the bad but he does make a real impact for a defense with his talent.

      Here are some interesting reads that dives deeper into what his impact is and can be.

      • Rob Staton

        One of the reasons why is because he faces a double team nearly almost every single snap.

        Did he?

    • Henry Taylor

      Tbf I did say there were valid criticisms that were being brought up and his low production is one of them. I just feel the pendulum has swung too far for some people. I don’t want to be that guy, but watch the tape, he is capable of doing spectacular things on the field.

      • Peter

        I’ve watched all but two games from last year at this point.

        Against Tennessee he has some really great plays. He foes take in double teams.

        There are also plays where Tennessee’s RG, I haven’t checked his name though I should, wins a good deal of snaps 1v1.

  64. Steve Nelsen

    A couple of random items:
    1. Quandre Diggs contract vests on the 15th so any thoughts s of cutting him to save cap space will be cleared up one way or another very soon.
    2. When (not if) Seattle releases Gabe Jackson to clear up cap space, Seattle will not have a Right Guard under contract. They might try Jake Curhan or Greg Eiland.
    3. Seattle does not have a center on the roster. When the Rams first drafted Austin Blythe, he played at guard for a year before moving in. Maybe they sign Blythe for one year and draft his replacement to play right guard like they did with Blythe…?
    4. Cha did a fantastic write-up earlier this year about how impossibly tight the cap would be if Seattle used the franchise tag on Geno. But, the math shows that Seattle’s cap will be stretched super tight even if Geno’s first year cap hit us a modest $15 million. Even if you do all the cuts and extensions that make sense it is barely enough to pay for the rookies and the free agents they will want to keep. There is no money for splash free agents this year.
    5. Seattle’s 2022 draft was notable not only for how many picks became key contributors but for how those rookies filled “value” positions like OT and CB and Edge. Adding some more value contributors at positions like another Edge, another CB and WR in 2023 would really set Seattle’s cap flexibility up well for the next 3 years even if Geno is being paid $30 million.

  65. Gary

    This is the draft I hate for Seattle, especially Jalen Carter at 5. In your final thoughts you described himself as a “gamble” which is something they just cannot afford. Especially with Anthony Richardson still on the board. If they roll the dice on a QB at 5 and it comes up a bust, you can live with that as a shot at greatness. But to go full Malik McDowell at 5 would be devastating.

    • DC1234

      A lot can happen from now to the draft. We are still at a early stages of mock drafts. Combine and pro days hasnt happened yet. Players can jump to the top. Like trayvon walker last year

      Its not so doom and gloom.

  66. Paul

    The Colts would be giving up a lot to get CJ Stroud. They could effectively block Carolina from trading into the top three by working out a much less costly deal with Arizona to swap first round picks, then take Stroud or Young depending on who is available. Then you’d have:

    1. Chicago: Carter
    2. Houston: Stroud or Young
    3. Indianapolis: Stroud or Young
    4. Arizona: Anderson
    5. Seattle: Levis, Wilson, or—most likely—trade down (if at least two of the next four teams want Levis, there could be a bidding war)

    • Rob Staton

      So because the Colts move to #3, the Panthers suddenly can’t trade up to #1?

      How does that work?

      • DC1234

        I think that depends on how far Chicago wants to move back. Maybe moving to #9 is too far for them. Maybe for them moving to #4 or #5 is best. They can still grab one of Anderson or Carter..

        If colts dont want to trade up to #1, I wouldnt mind if the seahawks trading up to #1.

        What is the trade package for seattle moving up to #1?? Based on point system

        Is seattle #5, 2022 2nd and 2023 1st for chicago #1 fair?

        • Rob Staton

          But it doesn’t stop Carolina trading up to #1, as suggested

          • DC1234

            I agree, it doesnt stop Carolina from trading to #1.

            But if Chicago doesnt want to move from #1 to #9, then Carolina will have no deal.

            Thats why in this scenario, I wouldnt mind seattle trading to #1. If chicago is willing to move from #1 to #4 or #5

    • hoggs41

      If I was the Colts I would 100% look to go to 3 and not 1. Would cost you much less and you still get one of the big three unless you have your heart set on someone.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Yeah, but you aren’t Jim Irsay

      • 12sAre Us

        I love your blog Rob! You really do your homework unlike a lot of other guys who just pick a name out of the hat. Your mock this time made me real nervous. I want a QB at #5 in the worst way. I feel like Carter could be a huge bust if he’s not motivated. Jones at #20 wouldn’t be the worst pick. I live in Ohio and I’m a huge Buckeye fan so I know all about Jones. There is a reason they call him Thanos. He is a monster and might be better than Paris Johnson. I would prefer we go QB early and then come back with the best player available at #20. A dream scenario for me would be to snag Sanders, White, Kancey or maybe even Branch at #20 but I’m afraid all of them will be gone by then. I also would like Skinner or Byron Young with the first pick in the second and then maybe a WR like Downs or Mingo with the later second.

  67. DAWGFan

    I would much prefer the Hawks to go after Charbonnet than Downs in the 2nd round, a 2nd running back for this team is a higher priority than a 3rd WR. I am not sold on Downs, short with a slight build and he doesn’t have great hands. I could deal with his measurables if he was consistent catching the ball, but he has way too many drops.

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