If you missed my second mock draft yesterday don’t forget to check it out
There’s something we probably need to be prepared for that we aren’t really discussing.
There are a lot of Seahawks fans who want the team to draft a top defensive lineman with their first pick — currently #3 overall courtesy of the Broncos.
The feeling is picking in the top-three will guarantee one of Jalen Carter or Will Anderson.
There is a scenario where that isn’t the case, however.
After writing my mock draft yesterday I went and had a look at what other teams’ fans are talking about on their forums. The Texans’ forum made for interesting reading. There seems to be a groundswell of support for Houston to take one of Carter or Anderson with the top pick, while adding a ‘stop-gap’ quarterback for 2023.
The feeling is the team is at the start of a massive rebuild. They have very few assets to actually build around. It’s plausible to launch a build with a top pick at quarterback. Yet it might actually be the worst environment for a young signal caller to come into.
If we assume the Texans are going to struggle for at least another year or two, they’ll be in position to add a top quarterback in future drafts.
Further to that — while I think this is a reasonable quarterback class in 2023 with four players worthy of being taken early, none of the quartet has truly separated from the pack. There isn’t a ‘must have’ player to select first overall. Neither, arguably, is there a player worth trading major stock for to get into the top-two picks to select one.
I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility that Carter and Anderson, in either order, go first and second overall. That would leave the Seahawks in a tricky situation if you are rooting for a defensive lineman with the #3 pick.
Despite a lot of hype in the mainstream media, I don’t believe you can justify taking Myles Murphy that early. I watched every Clemson game in 2022 specifically to observe their D-line talent. Murphy plays soft off the edge and you can target him in the running game. He looks like a great athlete who plays in flashes but he’s not someone in college who took over games or ever really dominated.
His frame is unrefined and lacks muscle definition which is an alarm bell for me. I think he’s just a natural athlete who is superior athletically to the competition in High School and college and ‘gets by’. When you get to the NFL, you can’t rely on that. Your power, technique, determination and consistency has to complement your athletic profile.
Murphy didn’t even start some games for Clemson this year because of his play. He was also spelled a fair bit and the hammering at Notre Dame was ugly. I don’t know how anyone can watch that game, where Murphy had his arse kicked for four quarters, and think ‘this is a guy I want to take in the top-five’.
On a supposedly super talented D-line (which so often flattered to deceive) he only had 6.5 sacks in 2022.
In a situation where Carter and Anderson are off the board, you almost have to consider taking the top quarterback. That is probably where the value is. Unless you see Tyree Wilson’s length and size as suitably unique, it’s a hard sell to go for the third D-liner available. While Wilson’s play is very good in flashes — he too is inconsistent and might struggle to be more than ‘good not great’ at the next level.
It’ll no doubt be pointed out that trading down would be a good option in this scenario. Perhaps. If someone isn’t prepared to trade into the top two picks, however, and with Arizona at #4 unlikely to draft a quarterback given their massive financial commitment to Kyler Murray, a great offer might not be forthcoming.
This is the problem with this draft class. There aren’t a cluster of top-10 worthy players. There are basically the four quarterbacks, Carter and Anderson and then two players at lesser positions — Bijan Robinson and Michael Mayer. There are no offensive linemen worthy of the top-five or any receivers or cornerbacks — three positions seen as premium picks in the modern NFL.
In previous drafts it’s probable that players like Carter and Anderson would go between #5-8 in the top-10. Due to the thin number of blue chippers, they could end up being the two ‘must have’ talents.
This is why I’d propose not getting your hopes up for one position or another and keeping an open mind. Don’t pick ‘team D-line’ or ‘team QB’. Be open to either. It’s not impossible for the top two picks to both be quarterbacks — with Houston taking one and then another team trading into #2. It’s also possible that the top two defenders come off the board before Seattle picks.
It might be worth rooting for the Texans and Bears to finish with a flourish. Chicago appears determined to lose out but Houston have somewhat winnable games against Jacksonville and Indianapolis. If they win both and the Broncos lose to the Chiefs and Chargers, the Seahawks will pick in the top-two. Houston has a great record against the Jaguars and the Colts are imploding. So there’s cause for optimism.
Meanwhile, I’ve never been one to root for ‘tanking’. It never interested me this year. It was more a case of if the Seahawks are bad, at least the reward is a high pick. That said, I’ve very little interest in Seattle backing into the playoffs as a bad seventh seed. The NFL has diluted its post-season with this seventh seed nonsense. It’s not just the Seahawks — you could argue the Packers, Commanders and Lions also have no business putting in a late tilt for the playoffs.
I think it’s overblown to think there’s anything to gain from playing in the playoffs. It’s often said the Seahawks have a young roster but in reality they have the 11th oldest roster in the NFL this season.
If they were winning as many as they were losing to end the season, you could probably muster some enthusiasm for a post-season run. Any given Sunday and all that. Yet with the team on a 1-5 run that includes a solitary victory against LA’s backups plus chastening defeats to Carolina and Las Vegas at home and numerous arse-kickings in the trenches, it’s hard to imagine anything other than a potentially embarrassing wildcard loss to the 49ers or Vikings.
Seattle currently has the #12 pick in the draft. Qualifying for the playoffs would mean, at best, having pick #19. I know you’re supposed to sit here and say you want the playoffs etc and be a good old fan. For me, I’d rather have another high pick. The higher the better. This team needs the best possible opportunity to add talent far more than it needs a wildcard game in the post-season for ‘experience’.
Get the ‘experience’ with a better team in the future when you’ve got a chance to actually win something.
Some other quick notes…
— If the Seahawks don’t take a quarterback early I’d be fully prepared to select Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the third or fourth round range. He’s been a blog favourite for some time, he’s a brilliant playmaker who can throw to all areas of the field and be creative with his legs. He’s not the big, tall, strong-armed dynamo that many teams are looking for but I do think he can become a Jalen Hurts type player in the right situation.
— Without wanting to sound like a stuck-record, I couldn’t help but watch the Eagles vs Cowboys game with some envy on Christmas Eve. Two highly competitive teams full of creativity and ideas. Even though both defenses gave up a lot of points, you saw numerous big plays. The Eagles had six sacks and a pick-six. The Cowboys had two interceptions. Both teams had over 400 yards on offense. It was a proper contest full of excitement. Watching it just made me think how boring it’s been to watch the Seahawks at times over the last few years, aside from a few flashes such as the four-game winning streak this season. For all the hand-wringing over Dallas’ lack of playoff success — the Seahawks only have three playoff wins in the last eight years. It was very easy to imagine Jonathan Gannon coming in to be Head Coach in Seattle to bring some of Philly’s philosophy to the PNW, or Kellen Moore coming in to run a dynamic offense with an experienced defensive coordinator by his side. I am so ready to see something different and new in Seattle.
— I think it’s time to consider getting rid of the Bowl games now that the playoffs are being expanded. They used to be much-watch TV — a final opportunity for players to finish a college career on a high or showcase their talents. Now most games are treated like a hindrance at the end of a long year. Top players sit out. Those who do participate often have an eye on the off-season and avoiding injury. I haven’t watched a single Bowl game so far and feel like I haven’t missed out at all.
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