What if there is some chaos at the top of round one?

Bryce Young, future #1 overall pick?

There are certain reporters who make you sit up and take notice. Especially when they declare something. Chris Mortensen is one of those reporters. He’s not a talking head, offering an opinion. For him to come out and flat out state what he did in the video below is worth paying attention to:

His ESPN colleague Adam Schefter did something similar when the Panthers moved up to the #1 pick. Schefter said Bryce Young was the player they traded up to get.

He qualified his statement by saying Young could end up being Carolina’s version of Mac Jones. The 49ers traded up to #3 in 2021 with the intention of selecting Jones — an ideal fit for Kyle Shanahan’s scheme. Between executing the trade and making the pick, they’d talked themselves into taking Trey Lance instead.

It’s possible, therefore, the Panthers experience a similar shift in opinion. You can imagine why, given the way C.J. Stroud has conducted his pre-draft process. That game against Georgia will get a fair few viewings over the next three weeks.

I got the sense during my interview with Scot McCloughan that the unnamed quarterback he spoke about in the most glowing terms was Young. The size and durability concerns are legit and will be discussed by every team thinking of drafting a quarterback early. The natural talent, football intelligence, accuracy, leadership and ability to carry a team are most definitely not in question.

It simply comes down to the size and frame, at a time when players like Tua Tagovailoa are at a career crossroads due to the number of concussions and other injuries he’s experienced. Meanwhile, there are three other hulking, prototype athletes in the same class. There’s no right or wrong answer here because it’s impossible to predict how Young will translate. I’d say any opinion is justified, for or against.

For the purpose of this article, let’s say it is Young who goes first overall.

Lance Zierlein’s latest mock draft was an interesting read. Lance is based in Houston and whether it’s through sources or simply understanding the Texans mindset, he’s had a lot of success projecting their moves. For example, he got both of their first round picks correct in his final mock draft a year ago.

He had the Texans taking a defensive lineman at #2 in his new mock.

Not Will Anderson.

Tyree Wilson.

It’s worth noting at this point that Lance rates Wilson very highly and the quarterbacks, not so much. Wilson is his #5 overall graded prospect. Stroud is only ranked ninth. Anthony Richardson and Will Levis aren’t even in the top-20. It’s possible that played a part in this projection.

I spoke to someone in the league recently who said Anderson would be “hands down the top defender taken”. That’s from the same source who told me last year’s quarterbacks were a bunch of third rounders and accurately confirmed exactly where the three top tackles would be drafted in the top-10 (he also had Lewis Cine as a fourth rounder, for the purpose of transparency).

The same source told me it was a ‘certainty’ four quarterbacks would go in the top-10 this year and it was very possible four go in the top-five.

Chris Mortensen, in the same broadcast where he claimed Bryce Young would be the #1 overall pick, also declared Will Levis wouldn’t get out of the top-five, indicating the likelihood of four very early picks at quarterback.

Even so, I want to consider chaos today. On March 9th I published a mock draft that had the Texans taking Anderson at #2, noting:

Everyone assumes they’ll go quarterback. DeMeco Ryans succeeded in San Francisco due to the D-line. GM Nick Caserio is from the Patriots way of doing things and they’ve always been happy to draft for scheme fit later. Anderson’s A+ character and talent could tempt the Texans to launch their new era with a different approach here.

Granted, I made that prediction with the thought that the Texans could try and sign Jimmy Garoppolo. They reportedly were in discussions with Garoppolo but he ultimately chose ‘Patriots West’ instead of ‘Patriots Texas’.

That they’ve only signed Case Keenum instead suggests to me the Texans are all-in on a quarterback at #2. They’ve signed a lot of veteran offensive players too — plus re-signed their left tackle to a massive extension. It feels like they’re setting the table for a rookie.

Even so, that rookie doesn’t have to be taken at #2. Zierlein had the Texans trading up from #12 to #7 to select Will Levis. If Levis is a top-five lock, as Mortensen claims, I’m not sure this tactic is going to work for Houston. If they want a quarterback they’re going to need to either trade back into the top-five, take Hendon Hooker at #12 or hope nobody else takes Hooker and then move back into the late first from the #34 pick.

It all seems very convoluted just to avoid taking Stroud at #2. Especially when defensive linemen will be readily available at #12 and #34.

I’ve wondered whether the Shanahan scheme, which is used to dealing with scheme fits at QB, might go cheap at the position. They could persevere with Davis Mills but that seems a long-shot for the long-suffering Texans fans eager for some excitement. Neither is there anyone worth waiting to take later on. I like Dorian Thompson-Robinson but he’s not a Shanahan type. The source I mentioned earlier described this QB class as the top-four, Hendon Hooker, then a bunch of six and seven rounders (for what it’s worth). The league really felt the blow of virtually an entire middle-tier of quarterbacks choosing not to declare.

Mac Jones trade? It would make sense if New England had a viable replacement lined up. I’m not sure Bailey Zappe qualifies. Again, is it really worth trying to sell that to Texans fans just to avoid taking Stroud?

Let’s run with it though. Carolina takes Young. Houston only has eyes for Young and pivots to Anderson rather than Stroud or Wilson at #2.

What then?

Arizona would be even more desperate to trade down. They’d be in a rotten position having to choose between a bad bargaining position and the aesthetics of a mediocre offer to trade out of #3, or taking a player (Wilson or a cornerback) who could be available later on.

This is why I wouldn’t be so quick to rule out the Seahawks having interest in trading up to #3. In that scenario, with Stroud available, why wouldn’t you try and jump the Colts? You have more stock than they do. The Cardinals would still pick in the top-five. In that situation, it would make most sense for Arizona to either move down to #4 or #5 or just say, to put it violently, ‘f-it let’s trade down into the mid-teens and get what we can’. Either way, they wouldn’t be in a great negotiating position with Anderson off the board.

If Stroud lasts to #3 — someone will make a move. Even with Anderson leaving the board, the chances of four of the top-five being quarterbacks remains likely, unless the Cardinals only drop to #4 or #5.

My prediction isn’t changing though. I still think it’ll be Stroud and Young in the top-two, whoever is taken first. Then it’ll come down to whether someone makes the move up to #3 or whether the Cardinals stick and pick Anderson.

The fact that Anthony Richardson is meeting with the Raiders, Falcons, Titans and Ravens is indicative of the intrigue in him. It won’t be a surprise if any of those teams ultimately move up.

The Colts, meanwhile, appear to be preparing to draft Will Levis. I think they’ve settled on that for a while, which is why they didn’t make a bigger push to get up to the #1 pick.

Ultimately I think for the Seahawks it comes down to this. Did someone move up for Richardson, pushing Anderson to Seattle at #5? If not, do they just pivot to Richardson?

As I wrote a couple of days ago, I think it’ll be a huge shock if the Seahawks were to take Jalen Carter — given the pattern of poor decisions he’s made that have led to legal issues, the reported concerns about his football character (including poor practise habits, lack of effort, difficulty to coach — basically doing what he wanted) and the lack of seriousness with which he’s taken his college career (April 2022 — ‘conditioning is my top priority this year’, December 2022 — admits he was embarrassed by his performance against Ohio State where he was struggling to remain on his feet he was so gassed, then the pro-day shambles).

I’ll just go back to what I said on Wednesday. Reportedly they took Kayvon Thibodeaux out of consideration in round one last year. It was reported by multiple people that teams were concerned by how often he talked about his ‘brand’ and money-making potential in the NFL. No other character issues were reported and like Carter, he was a fantastic talent at a key position of need. If that was enough for the Seahawks to not consider Thibodeaux in round one, it’s impossible for me to imagine they’ll look at the extensive baggage surrounding Carter and think ‘that’s our guy’.

We’ll see what happens but I think Carter will be taken at #9 by Chicago or #10 by Philadelphia, with the Eagles the most likely suitor. Detroit could be a wildcard but looking at the players they’ve taken since the current regime took over — they seem to want glass-eating all-football types.

I think, like the Raiders, Falcons, Titans and Ravens, the Seahawks have had their heads turned by Richardson. I sense they’re intrigued. They’re open to the possibility. Their ideal pick — and I’ve thought this for a while — is probably Will Anderson. I do think, however, that John Schneider will be enamoured by this QB class. That’s why I’ve been projecting Anderson or Richardson at #5 — whoever lasts.

If the Texans pull off a stunner and take Anderson at #2 — and if Stroud lasts to #3 — I think the Seahawks should be on red alert to pounce.

Ian Rapoport mentioned this week that the Texans’ priority in this draft is to add difference making talent. I listened to that and thought, that should be Seattle’s priority too. I keep seeing people touting trading down, getting even more picks, having more picks next year. Eventually you need to acquire some stars — and as the Seahawks know, the top players don’t tend to last into the 20’s.

Having a whole bunch of picks is great. It’s nice to add talent at a variety of spots, look at the roster and feel various holes are filled.

That’s not often what it’s about though, is it? Ultimately when it gets down to the wire, it’s who is the healthiest team and who has the players capable of winning you a big game when it matters most.

The Chiefs roster has a few holes. Their defense lacks any stars. Yet they have Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, an offensive line and a great offensive minded Head Coach. They’ve been to three Super Bowls. They were aggressive to get Mahomes, seeing through his well discussed issues in college and believing he had star potential.

The Bills would be thoroughly average without Josh Allen. They had to be aggressive to trade up and get him.

San Francisco spent a decade building their defense and even then, without Nick Bosa it’d be half as dangerous. Their offense clicks because they have a genius working the controls. This isn’t easy to copy.

The Eagles needed their GM to go on an unprecedented run of success, highlighted by his incredibly aggressive and highly productive trading strategy.

I’m not sure the Seahawks can build a Championship roster ticking off needs by having the most picks possible. They have good players and will likely acquire more this year. How many elite players do they have? Who on Seattle’s roster is a top-five at their position currently?

Clearly the Seahawks have holes to fill and they’ll do that with 10 picks. They also need to find at least a couple of players who end up being elite, top-level, feared players who drive you forward.

You aren’t getting that trading down from #5 and taking Peter Skoronski. You aren’t getting that from taking Tyree Wilson at #5 simply because he’s big, long and plays on the defensive line.

If you get a sniff at Stroud, go for a full nostril instead. Richardson has the potential to be special. I don’t think Anderson is necessarily a ‘special’ talent but I think he can be very, very good and improve the team in a multitude of ways with his attitude and leadership.

Carter would be on this list too but for me, you simply cannot trust him to deliver on his potential. He is telling you with his actions that he can’t be trusted. The only thing worse than squandering this rare top-five pick on an average player would be blowing it on someone who is giving off all the signs he’s not in any way, shape or form, taking this process and his career seriously.

Some risk is required here to elevate this team to the next level. Taking the right risk is key. Moving up to #3 if C.J. Stroud is available? Worth it. Hoping Will Anderson can elevate your defense to another level? Worth it. Taking a shot on developing Anthony Richardson, knowing what his physical talent is? Worth it. Thinking Jalen Carter is going to completely transform himself with a guaranteed $30m in the bank, playing on the other side of the country, with months between the draft and his first training camp? That’s one to sit out.

If I’m right and it’s likely that one of Anderson or Richardson will be there at #5 — it’s a great opportunity for this team. They will have four more picks in the first three rounds, with a chance to acquire more, to get the best of both worlds — a top talent in the class plus filling out the roster.

This isn’t just about 2023. It isn’t just about five years down the line.

It’s about working towards a Championship team. Sometimes you have to consider the long and short term. That’s what the Chiefs did with Mahomes and the Bills with Allen. It took years for the 49ers to grow into what they are. The Eagles didn’t just draft Jalen Hurts in round two and they were off. That was a process that took time.

The reason Seattle might draft a QB is no different, really, than the reason why they might draft a tight end. It’s about thinking about today and tomorrow.

That’s the essence of the draft.

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  1. Blitzy the Clown

    Amazing new content while you’re away on holiday

    But then, I suspect you can’t stop thinking about it all either. SDB -what a port in a storm!

    I posted this about trade up scenarios in the last thread so I’ll reposit here, which is basically the same thing — move up for Stroud — but I advocated paying the price to trade with Houston.

    Gaming out and ranking some trade up scenarios

    I’m more in favor of spending a little more to trade up with Houston if Carolina do in fact take Young over Stroud.

    I think Stroud is pretty clearly QB1 given his athletic and physical edge over Young. I don’t mind if others disagree and I respect the argument that Young is the top QB.

    But if Stroud is available at 2, I’d want to trade up to get him. Both R1 picks this year plus a 2024 R2 pick should do it I think.

    If Stroud goes first overall as I suspect he will, then I hope we trade up with Arizona for Richardson. 5 + two R2 picks (one this year one next) should do it. Or perhaps both 2023 R1s.

    Otherwise, I’m totally cool sitting tight at 5 and taking either Anderson or Young, if he were to fall.

    Or Levis at 5. That goes without saying. But I’m saying it anyway.

    One other option would be for Seattle to trade down from 20 first. Again, there’s buzz around Buffalo being aggressive in R1. If they’re a trade partner, make that trade first, then trade both R1 picks — in this case 5 + 27 — to Arizona for 3 (or Houston for 2).

    • Rob Staton

      I suspect you can’t stop thinking about it all either

      24/7 🙂

      • Justaguy

        Nailing this draft is the only shot at a championship caliber team in the near future. To do that they hold tight at #5 and draft the best quarterback left. Hit on a defensive line and fill in the rest with team building pros ready to play in any way they can.

        • Palatypus

          I don’t think it’s the only one. But we are really well set up for it. We CAN be flexible.

  2. Ben

    The Mort report smells like drumming up intrigue, but the idea that Bryce was 1A when the move was made is interesting.

    I’m definitely team chaos on the first 4 picks, let’s just have pick 5 be nice and straightforward. Can’t say I’d mind trading up for Stroud! I just can’t see it. Though in the back of my head, I do wonder if the Georgia game is burned in the mind of the media more than the decision makers.

    • Malanch

      On the Bryce Young stature issue, Todd McShay insisted awhile back that Young won’t be hit nearly as much in the NFL as he was in the SEC, due to the NFL’s extreme protection of quarterbacks. As evidence, McShay said he counted something like 14 hits Young took at Alabama that would have been illegal hits in the NFL. Given the league’s extreme approach to quarterback (over)protection, I think he’s on to something. Quarterbacks are allowed to slide later and later while still drawing unnecessary roughness penalties, while defenders are routinely penalized for roughing the passer in situations with just the slightest incidental contact at the moment of release—even when a defender’s last-second momentum is clearly unstoppable or when a defender is pushed into the quarterback by an offensive player. The flag-footballization of the game is an evident agenda, and Young seems perfect for today’s (and tomorrow’s) watered down product. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he were ultimately to log 200-plus starts over the course of his career…

      …Anthony Richardson and Will Levis, on the other hand, I see as less likely to hit this threshold. They love contact too much.

      • Rob Staton

        Tua says hi

        Levis didn’t love contact. He had no choice. Richardson? I didn’t see him seeking out contact. No more than Young who loves to get out of the pocket

        • Malanch

          Tua’s injury proneness is not germane here, because Tua wasn’t undersized like Young. Alabama listed Tua at 217 pounds, and that’s what he was at the combine, too. As differently sized prospects, one’s potential size-related injury proneness cannot shed light on the other’s. What does Tua have to do with the point, anyway? I mean, he did go to the same college as Young…

          But to re-phrase my point: Bryce Young has been mastering the art of avoiding contact all his football life, while Levis and Richardson haven’t had to (contact inside the pocket excluded). For Young, this is a highly developed talent by this point, and it will serve him well in the modern NFL. He might just pull it off.

          Richardson’s cat-like nimbleness features prominently in his open-field running, so yeah, I shouldn’t have lumped him into this; I’ll cede there. Levis, however, has no problem bulling into contact (ala Josh Allen and Cam Newton) when he’s in downfield rumble mode—which is an admirable quality when that last inch is needed—but his future coaches would be wise not to use and abuse him the way the Bills are doing with Allen. The latter has ‘truncated career’ written all over him, hulking physique notwithstanding.

          By the way, LOL with the Tua comment—yeah, Bryce Young’s Jim Burt moment does seem somewhat inevitable, sadly. I am concerned, though, about the direction the game is continuing to head (protecting quarterbacks is one thing, but at some point the game itself has to be protected), and.


          • Rob Staton

            Tua is a smaller QB though

            He isn’t a prototype

            Neither is Young

            That’s the point

            • Malanch


          • Malanch

            Whoa—accidentally hit submit prematurely, like a sailor in a whorehouse after four weeks at sea. Anyway, to be clear: Richardson is still my guy among this year’s crop. I do think Young could have the longer career of the two, but when that Jim Burt moment does arrive, I can’t help but want the guy who’s 50 pounds heavier.

  3. Blitzy the Clown

    Probably don’t have to worry about the Titans trading up with Jeffery Simmons as part of the deal


    More about the Tennessee Titans and Pro-Bowl DL Jeffery Simmons agreeing in principle to a four-year, $94 million contract extension, via


    1:00 PM · Apr 7, 2023

    • Rob Staton

      They were never going to trade him

      Imagine trading AJ Brown and Simmons in back-to-back years

      The last GM got fired for trading Brown!

    • cha

      Guessing the Titans are able to reduce his 2023 cap hit from $10.7m to about $7.8-$8m with this new contract.

  4. cha

    Good read Rob.

    It’s funny to me that people are saying the Seahawks should trade down and acquire more stock, when the team that really needs to do that is in their division and sitting at #3.

    If it’s 1-Young, 2-Anderson as you gamed out, I could see Arizona trading to #5, and then auctioning off #5 to the highest bidder for the last top QB available. And if the Seahawks go Stroud at 3 and Indy takes Levis at 4, that is Richardson, who all the teams below them up to #12 would probably love to move up for.

    Arizona could walk away from the draft with Tyree, a top corner, a BPA pick like a WR-DE-TE and 2024 stock.

    • Peter

      Interesting take Cha.

    • Geoff u

      Indeed. Just as the Bears were originally planning on trading down once with Houson and then down again with Carolina. But apparently Houston wasn’t interested enough, which begs the question of what exactly is it Houson wants? By picking Anderson, and tanking for another year, they’ll have two first rounders next year too, to land a QB then. They have a ton of options.

    • Palatypus


  5. samprassultanofswat

    Rob: I totally agree with you on everything you have said about Richardson.

    Bryce Young’s bug-a-boo is his physical frame. But Richardson’s bug-a-boo is his accuracy. Was listening to Brock Huard. Huard said that Richardson does have accuracy issues. He can hit the bomb. Then on the next play overthrow a pass by 10 feet someone on a dig route. How does that happen?

    Now maybe he will overcome it in the NFL. I actually believe he will overcome his accuracy issue’s. But it is going to take a while. The question is: How will the chips fall. On NFL draft John Schneider is one of the best. But even he has gotten burnt.

    Just my opinion. Whenever the seahawks (for the most part) had a bad pick/bad trade Pete Carroll was behind it. Just my opinion.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      Richardson’s bug-a-boo is his accuracy

      I dunno about that. Richardson can put the ball on a spot. Rather I think his bugaboo is consistency, possibly (probably?) borne of inexperience.

      And given the small sample size, and upward trend of play across that sample, I think the accuracy concerns are overstated.

      • samprassultanofswat

        Hopefully it is his consistency.

      • Rob Staton

        I dunno about that. Richardson can put the ball on a spot. Rather I think his bugaboo is consistency, possibly (probably?) borne of inexperience.


      • cha


        Add a year behind Geno, with Olsen as his coach, bookend tackles, Ken Walker, 2 top WRs, and potentially a young center, TE, and/or WR to grown with and there’s ample room to tap the upside successfully.

        • Blitzy the Clown

          It’s almost too perfect a scenario for him. And us.

          NGL, Stroud is the safer pick, but darned if Richardson isn’t too sexy for his shirt, too sexy for his shirt

          • cha

            FWIW trading up for Stroud vs Richardson could open up $3m in cap space, depending on what pick they use to move up and how comfortable they would be with moving on from Drew Lock.

            • Blitzy the Clown

              Now that is interesting. Not to mention the smaller draft class to salary.

              Could go on a post draft FA bargain shopping spree

          • Big Mike

            Right said, Fred……I mean Blitzy.

          • Thomas Wells

            He ain’t too sexy for that redshirt baby

      • Geoff u

        He’s inconsistent in many ways, including reading defenses. Nearly half of his plays were play action. The Florida offense was mostly chuck it deep or check down, with few intermediate passes. That’s another blot. He shows flashes in every area though, so the question is, is he going to be able to learn and put it all together? That is the big risk and it’s going to come down to his mental capabilities moving forward. This is why Seattle could be an ideal fit, he can sit and learn for a year and QB friendly system will go a long ways to making him successful early on.

        • BK26

          Just an additional thought: the kid has NEVER had a quarterback coach. At any level. He did it all last year by himself. Just think of what consistent, every-day coaching could do for him. Wow.

      • TatupuTime

        Definite accuracy issues that I’d expect to improve with reps and coaching. That said, he doesn’t have to get himself to pin point accuracy to be successful, he just needs to improve from where he’s at. Josh Allen isn’t super accurate and Cam Newton never was either. The ability to flick it deep and do all kinds of quarterback runs goes a long way. If he can get himself close to NFL average on short/intermediate throws he could be the best QB in the league.

    • dregur

      I have pivoted. Richardson’s biggest weakness isn’t accuracy, it’s inexperience. His short throws are where his accuracy is bad, and that has a lot to do with experience and feel for short throws. His accuracy in intermediate throws (10 yards downfield) are similar to Geno Smith. And his deep balls are in the mid 40%.

      Of course if Stroud is in fact there at 3, the Seahawks need to trade up.

  6. Huggie Hawks

    Great stuff Rob… this line in particular was fantastic: “If you get a sniff at Stroud, go for a full nostril instead.” 😅

    • KennyBadger

      Tony Montana, huge football fan.

      • cha

        ‘In this league, you gotta get the quarterback first. Then when you get the quarterback, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the championships.’

        • KennyBadger

          The World Is Yours Curtis 😆

      • BK26

        Then we have to draft Young at all costs. “Say hello to my LIDDLE FREN!”

  7. Jabroni-DC

    All of our heads are going to explode by April 27th!

    If I’m Houston I’d consider trading up from #12 with AZ and picking at #2 & #3. Get your QB & top Defender.

  8. LouCityHawk

    Great write up, and tapping in to what we are all thinking.

    When JS is aggressive and trades up to get his man it usually works out.

    Why not here? Why not now? Why does anything about last year tell you to tuck tail and turn turtle?

    • Malanch

      “When JS is aggressive and trades up to get his man it usually works out.”

      Corbin Smith just published an article on this, showing how John Schneider’s trade-ups deliver impact starters (except for the Cody Barton selection, but that was only a hop from #92 to #88), while his trade-downs generally do not.

      “Why not here? Why not now?”

      Because trading up in the first round would be unprecedented for Schneider, and as we all know, the word ‘unprecedented’ doesn’t exist (I made it up just now). Everything that has ever happened already happened before, thus Seattle moving up to #2 or #3 is literally impossible. It cannot physically happen, because it hasn’t happened before.

  9. KennyBadger

    If the draft plays out like this, specifically stroud available at #3, then what is it going to take to move up? I feel like there’d be more competition for a trade in that scenario so do people think #1 offering 5 and 20 is a good idea and #2 would that be enough?

    • LouCityHawk

      I would offer number five and number 37 win for the cards on both of the major trade charts, easy, sell to their fans as a win.

      I assume JS knows their GM, so perhaps he would offer 52 and a 2024 3rd. Which I believe, also works out on the charts.

      • Old but Slow

        If Stroud is available at #3, I think you can throw the charts out the window.

        • Malanch

          “If Stroud is available at #3, I think you can throw the charts out the window.”

          Exactamundo, ObS.

          For one thing, the charts have always been bad in the upper half of the first round (tending to overvalue those picks) and from about the fifth through the seventh rounds (tending to undervalue those picks). The Rich Hill chart is much better at that latter point, but still hasn’t been very predictive of the former.

          Also, the charts must be adjusted annually according to the value shelves unique to a given draft, and I still haven’t found a chart that does this worth a damn. I have a hunch that NFL teams’ charts are much more current than ours.

          Another thing to consider is how draft pick values fluctuate within the same draft once draft day arrives and the countdown starts clicking. John Schneider recently alluded to this, describing how teams clutch their picks tightly to their chests throughout a league year, but then suddenly spring into freewheeling dealmaker mode once the draft is up and running and picks start flying off the board. The microeconomics of the NFL Draft couldn’t be more fascinating, and here we see product demand (i.e. the price of picks) actually rising as a function of time constraint.

          Further, the bilateral association specific to any two teams considering a draft trade must be considered when speculating on cost, such as Arizona theoretically charging Seattle a “divisional rival tax” to move to #3. There are probably plenty of teams that will not deal with certain other teams simply on principle, or perhaps even due to some lingering sense of disapprobation or enmity.

  10. Thaines

    It seems to me, a more realistic scenario would be us trading directly with Houston if they are wanting Wilson. Easier to make a deal with an out of conference team, and Wilson would absolutely fall to 5 if that took place. Houston needs all the picks they can get, doesn’t make sense for them to stay at 2 if that is their guy.

    • Rob Staton

      I suspect he won’t be their guy but we’ll see

      • Geoff u

        Texans may prefer him since they run a 4-3. Although you could fit Anderson into either defense and he’s a far better player.

  11. Scott Bailey

    Great stuff Rob,
    Last year, you were very very high on Will Levis. If Young is 1, Stroud is 2, and Anderson is 3, what would you be hoping the Colts do? Take Richardson or Levis? Meaning, of course, we get who they don’t pick. We could also just trade out but assume they want a QB. Thanks for everything you do.

    • Rob Staton

      I like all four of the top QB’s so I’m easy

      • KennyBadger

        You indicated you’d trade for stroud at 3 if he was there Rob, so what do you think is worth offering? I think stroud is the better qb but if you told me I’d get stroud/Levis/Richardson at 5, I’d be inclined to stay at 5 and keep the picks.

        • Rob Staton

          I’d need to know what others were offering

          • KennyBadger

            This is a cheek-free question, I’m being serious— does anyone know how much GMs are privvy to competing offers in such a situation? Like do they have sources in other organizations, would AZ just lie about what they’ve been offered, or is it more intuition with facts at hand (assuming FOs have more info than we do)?

  12. Allen M.

    💯 AGREE.

    Trade up for Stroud if there’s a chance. Trade up for Richardson if you love him and think he might be gone by #5. This is the year to make the big move. While I also would be happy with Anderson if it comes to that, this is the year to get your QBOTF. For the team to squander a chance at setting is up for the next decade at QB would be a total waste of an opportunity.

    Stroud/Ade Ade or W. Anderson/Hooker (or Dorian TR), for example is an easy choice. Elite QBs win championships. This is our chance.

  13. Brandon B

    Rob – I’m a long-time reader and fan of your work. It’s well thought-out and easy to understand. On the topic of Jalen Carter, I want to offer a different perspective…

    First, let’s all understand that while we think we know what Pete and John mean when they speak publicly about character, we likely can’t take everything they say as “in stone” truths. This is important to note regarding the Seahawk’s perspective on Carter. Let’s remember that he is 21, and while we are comparing him to others due to his age, maturity isn’t linear and differs from person to person. We don’t know what his childhood was like and how it may vary from a Will Anderson or Bryce Young. Maybe college was the first real place he’d had structure. Perhaps he loves football but was burned out on how the more prominent SEC football programs operate their football programs. As someone who has personally worked in the league (with Philly), I can personally tell you that many of those players aren’t having fun…

    Second, let’s take into account the timeline of events. Carter made comments about his conditioning before the season and absolutely destroyed people during the season, then had a long break during which he was involved in a major incident where people died. I would not fault someone who likely didn’t have the structure and support to manage his emotional state after the incident. Football probably hasn’t been the top thing on his mind. Maybe he’s coming to grips with his role in someone’s death – not from a legal perspective, but from a human perspective. I know I’d be shaken up and probably would need to talk to a therapist for many months.

    Last, I can’t see Philly being a better place for Carter than Seattle. Again, as someone who was in that organization (on the business side) and worked with the GM daily, I can firmly say that Philly’s culture is very similar to the SEC football culture. It’s not fun. Seattle (specifically Pete’s culture and dedication to teaching GRIT) could be exactly what Carter needs.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. I just don’t believe in writing off 21-year-olds in this situation. Has he made bad decisions? Yes. Had there been a series of them recently? Yes. Does that make Carter a bad person or someone with “poor character”? Hell no. It means he’s 21 and in the process of growing up and maturing, admittedly later than most of his peers. I don’t think teams should hold that against him as firmly as you’ve portrayed.

    • Rob Staton

      First, let’s all understand that while we think we know what Pete and John mean when they speak publicly about character, we likely can’t take everything they say as “in stone” truths.

      I accept that. But when they say the success of their last draft was down to, in their words, re-emphasising character ‘without compromise’ — are we to go with the angle that they’ve now abandoned that? After one year and the best draft they’ve had in years? Or were they lying? Because let’s be fair, the 2022 group all seem like great character players.

      Not to mention the report (not their words) on Thibodeaux. As I keep saying, if he was off their board for R1 — are we seriously expecting Carter to be on it?

      Let’s remember that he is 21, and while we are comparing him to others due to his age, maturity isn’t linear and differs from person to person.

      I wouldn’t dispute that. But you also have to agree that he might be incapable of changing. And we’re here to determine whether it is likely the Seattle Seahawks, based on what we know about him, are likely to spend a top-five pick on him and pay him $30m guaranteed based on what they can only judge him on, which is his behaviour as of today.

      We don’t know what his childhood was like and how it may vary from a Will Anderson or Bryce Young.

      I do have some idea on this — which I’m not going to go into detail here. But he’s had a very different upbringing. That unquestionably plays a part. But there’s not much you can do about that now. Our upbringing shapes us as people and they have to make a decision based on the information they have now.

      Maybe college was the first real place he’d had structure. Perhaps he loves football but was burned out on how the more prominent SEC football programs operate their football programs.

      I’m afraid this isn’t the case.

      Second, let’s take into account the timeline of events. Carter made comments about his conditioning before the season and absolutely destroyed people during the season, then had a long break during which he was involved in a major incident where people died. I would not fault someone who likely didn’t have the structure and support to manage his emotional state after the incident.

      I’m afraid this isn’t the timeline of events and with respect, I feel like I’ve been through this a lot. He said in April conditioning was his priority, his coach also told him this. He played the first four games, then got injured. In those first four games, he had zero sacks and a grand total of five tackles. He returned after three weeks and began to play his best football, flashing a series of splash plays. He was still spelled a lot. The benefit at Georgia is they always have a loaded D-line. So he was not playing a heavy workload and it worked well. He was impacting games without exerting himself.

      He still had quiet games too, namely Kentucky and Georgia Tech. You wouldn’t have known he was playing against UK.

      Against LSU in the SEC Championship, he was visibly gassed during the opening offensive series. LSU led a long drive. I noticed straight away — and commented at the time — his conditioning looked concerning. That was the opening series and he looked exhausted.

      Then, the Ohio State game, where he had a now infamous display that led to him admitting he was ’embarrassed’ by how exhausted he looked. It seriously looked like he was going to fall over between snaps. He was gasping for air, hands on hips.

      That’s the timeline.

      The incident with the crash happened after the National Championship game. All of these issues came before the crash and therefore none of the conditioning problems can be blamed on that. If people want to excuse his abysmal pro-day performance because of the arrest and legal trouble, that’s fine. But we should also acknowledge that his conditioning problems didn’t start at that pro-day. Teams already had those concerns and the pro-day increased those concerns.

      The reality is, as Todd McShay has reported, this is an individual with concerning practise habits, with questionable effort, who hasn’t taken to coaching and frankly did whatever he wanted at Georgia. All of those questions existed before the accident — which, incidentally, followed a brush with the law for speeding weeks earlier.

      So there’s a concerning pattern here it seems you’re unwilling to acknowledge.

      Last, I can’t see Philly being a better place for Carter than Seattle. Again, as someone who was in that organization (on the business side) and worked with the GM daily, I can firmly say that Philly’s culture is very similar to the SEC football culture. It’s not fun. Seattle (specifically Pete’s culture and dedication to teaching GRIT) could be exactly what Carter needs.

      I never passed comment on what’s ‘better’ for Jalen Carter. I simply offered a detailed opinion, backed up with evidence and quotes, as to why I don’t think the Seahawks will draft him. What’s best for him is neither here nor there in this debate.

      Anyway, sorry for the long post. I just don’t believe in writing off 21-year-olds in this situation.

      Why are you couching this like I have some moral responsibility ‘not to write off a 21-year-old’?

      I’m here to talk about, project and discuss who the Seahawks might take.

      Me giving a detailed opinion on why they might not draft Jalen Carter has nothing to do with ‘writing off 21-year-olds’. It’s about providing an argument to back up a decision I think this team will make and why.

      Has he made bad decisions? Yes. Had there been a series of them recently? Yes. Does that make Carter a bad person or someone with “poor character”? Hell no.

      When has anyone said he’s a ‘bad person’?

      It’s quite possible, even likely, making a series of bad decisions — including having awful practise habits, questionable attitude/effort/application, bad conditioning/not taking your career seriously enough and having issues with the law — is enough to pass judgement on whether a team will draft someone.

      Whether he’s actually a good or bad person is irrelevant.

      It means he’s 21 and in the process of growing up and maturing, admittedly later than most of his peers. I don’t think teams should hold that against him as firmly as you’ve portrayed.

      Ah yes, the classic ‘he’s 21’ excuse, which you’ve now used several times.

      There are plenty of other 21-year-olds in this draft who don’t have the issues I’ve spoken about.

      My reasoning for projecting the Seahawks won’t take him is sound, backed up and reasonable. By all means disagree but I think it’s fair to request a bit more than ‘he’s 21’ to counter the points I’ve raised.

      • jed

        You’ve made very logical and consistent points about why the Seahawks wouldn’t draft him.

        I guess the argument for drafting him comes down to a few things.

        1. He’s great at football.
        2. The Seahawks desperately need interior pass rush, even with the Jones addition.
        3. Pete’s system and culture can change Carter’s off-field issues that Carter admitted multiple times that he has.

        I have no idea if 3 is true. I wouldn’t risk the amount of money and missed opportunity cost from drafting other players to find out if Pete can work his magic.

      • PJ in Seattle

        With just with a quick perusal I can come up with an entire round of 21 year olds I would rather spend a draft pick on than Jalen Carter.

        To me, he;s a fairly high-cieling guy with a tremendously low floor. That’s late first material – AT BEST.

        • Hawkdawg

          Isn’t AR 21? Seems clear from the outside that the Hawks have not “written off 21-year olds.” That would be dumb.

          This business is about rebuttable presumptions. A very young age creates a presumption of immaturity. But facts can defeat that presumption. Carter’s facts stink, no matter the extent to which they are a function of a difficult upbringing OR of bad choices on his part. AR’s facts are much, much better.

      • Andrew M

        The draft cannot get here soon enough, if for no other reason than all of us can stop listening to/reading about Carter going at number five. The justifications for Carter went beyond absurd weeks ago, the kid has major issues and if some of us have forgotten Malik McDowell I’d place a friendly wager that JS/PC have not forgotten. The McDowell draft set our team back in a huge way that I think we are still paying the price for, and you better believe a similar situation with Carter, if he’s drafted at 5, means quick regime change. And I think JS is starting to show his love for Seattle finally, he’s been more public front-facing these last couple months than ever. He wants to stay here, he wants to build a contender, and I am certain he does not want to gamble that opportunity on a guy who has shown all the disregard and entitlement that Jalen Carter has. #richardsonlevisorandersonatfiveplease

      • Andrew M

        The draft cannot get here soon enough, if for no other reason than all of us can stop listening to/reading about Carter going at number five. The justifications for Carter went beyond absurd weeks ago, the kid has major issues and if some of us have forgotten Malik McDowell I’d place a friendly wager that JS/PC have not forgotten. The McDowell draft set our team back in a huge way that I think we are still paying the price for, and you better believe a similar situation with Carter, if he’s drafted at 5, means quick regime change. And I think JS is starting to show his love for Seattle finally, he’s been more public front-facing these last couple months than ever. He wants to stay here, he wants to build a contender, and I am certain he does not want to gamble that opportunity on a guy who has shown all the disregard and entitlement that Jalen Carter has.

      • Andrew M

        The draft cannot get here soon enough, if for no other reason than all of us can stop listening to/reading about Carter going at number five. The justifications for Carter went beyond absurd weeks ago, the kid has major issues and if some of us have forgotten Malik McDowell I’d place a friendly wager that JS/PC have not forgotten.

        • Andrew M

          Uh- sorry for the repeat posts. Don’t know why that happened.

      • Jim Kelly

        This was cool.

        You’ve spoken at length why you don’t want, or think the Seahawks will draft, Jalen Carter at 5. You took the time to reply, in kind, to a reasoned post. I didn’t agree with everything either one of you said, but it was great to see neither of you being flippant or truly dismissive.

        You’ve only hinted at how you’d feel if Carter was available in round two. I’m pretty sure the Hawks would trade up then in order to go after him. One time my step dad looked at a motorcycle, and said,”If that guy had a feather up his a**, and I had his bike, we’d both be tickled.” Well, I’m pretty sure that you’d be tickled to death if the Seahawks got Carter at 52.

        Thanks for all your work.

        Go Hawks.

    • cha

      I just don’t believe in writing off 21-year-olds in this situation

      Please for the love of God do not term an NFL team deciding not to draft someone and hand them tens of millions of dollars as ‘writing them off’ ever again.

      This is not some low-funded charity deciding who gets enough assistance to put food on the table or a parole board hearing.

      This is professional athletics at the highest level.

      • Rob Staton


      • Peter

        Perfect Cha.

        Dude is literally days a way from making life changing money. Whether its 5 or Mr. Irrelevant. Getting into the league and getting a second bigger contract outside of injury is nearly entirely on the player.

        I’m so sick of this that I’ve become maybe a bit Pollyanna ish to tge extreme the other way. Bit while we hem and haw about Carter why don’t we spend the same bandwidth to rise up players who overcome?

        Whether it’s serious injury, family life, whatever….

        I actually think Philly would be a great fit for him. Lots of pieces to rotate. Former teammate. Seattle might actually suck for him. First Seattle is way different city, culture, etc than a lot of the other places.

        Second. Very practically. We need guys that are Dawgs and can play a boatload of snaps. We have a very thin dine and that 17th game isn’t going to do him any favors right away. Even great rookies get caught at a wall jumping up to the old 16 game season.

        • TheVolcanoKid

          Yea, this “write him off” narrative is silly. This is really about risk management with capital. Sounds gross with human beings, but in the context of the game that’s exactly what this is.

          Malik McDowell was a risk. Some risk don’t pan out. If you’re drafting this high it’s incredibly difficult to take on more risk due to things that are very much in Carter’s control. Geoff has a great comment here – the only one taking away this money from Carter is Carter.

          If I’m taking a risk at 5 – it’s a risk not based on poor practice habits, conditioning against stated priorities, inability to take coaching, etc. I’m taking that risk on high upside athletes that haven’t had to the opportunity to show of their stuff for multiple seasons, but has A+ character, drive, and approach – that’s the kind of risk I’m into taking.

          Athletics, like academics in some ways, you can get by being smarter, faster, stronger, than what is required to a point. Eventually, you hit a wall and you have to work hard to compliment your abilities. Some do and become special. Some don’t and washout because the NFL is filled with professional athletes. Grit, drive, determination, attitude, leadership, competition, effort, consistency – don’t risk it on these traits because once their in the crucible or they hit a wall – these are the traits that will push them beyond.

          Appreciate the article Rob. I can’t tell you how much this is a haven from the madness of life.

      • Geoff u

        Seriously this. And the only one who lost Jalen Carter tens of millions in guaranteed money was Jalen Carter.

    • Mark Miller

      Well in fairness we are talking about a team making the person you just described a multi millionaire – someone with obvious work ethic and maturity issues.

      I submit its not a wise investment that high in the draft.

      I would also be more than happy to be entirely wrong about that for everyone’s sake, but don’t think I am.

  14. MontanaMike

    Rob amazing content, especially for a guy who doesn’t know how to enjoy a vacation!
    I would be through the roof for Stroud, Levis or Richardson, then i’d like Ade Ade and Wypler, after that it’s all gravy. Cherry pick BPA…. 3 more weeks!!!!

  15. Geoff u

    Getting Stroud would probably blow my mind into several orbits.

  16. Kerren

    I believe a wise man said pay the iron price. If Hou take Anderson as you say AZ could easily trade down twice (or possibly 3x) say IND is set on Levis and offer next year 2 just to guarantee. I would give 2024 1 from Sea to get Stroud and AZ gets the QB needy to pony up one more time while they get Wilson at 7,8, or 11. But if CJ goes 3 overall (to whomever AZ traded with) than I take Levis or Richardson without any trade necessary Great to be guaranteed Anderson or a QB with no trade but I would as you say pay the iron price for Stroud.

  17. Blitzy the Clown

    Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks

    This is a bad year to need a safety in the NFL Draft. Paper thin.

    2:50 PM · Apr 7, 2023

    He means at the top, right?

    • Rob Staton

      Probably hasn’t watched most of them

      It’s very deep — and people in the league think it’s deep

      • PJ in Seattle

        Looks way better than last year’s class to me. But let’s say he’s right – please explain why the FA safety class is so dirt cheap right now? I feel like we might’ve even overpaid for Love. Not that I doubt he will earn his money.

        If this saftey class was hot garbage, paper thin, whatever, you’d have to think the market price for FA vets who have proven they can play would be better than it is.

        • Peter

          Dj, dj, dj,

          Just come on over to SDB and crib your notes from Rob.

          He’s saying paper thin. Some here are talking double dipping at the position? Which is it.

    • LouCityHawk

      Jeremiah has been on cruise control for awhile now.

    • Brodie


      Top-heavy, no. Deep, yes.

      I am finding almost zero reason to listen to DJ these days. The flip-floppy nature of his ‘scouting’ and the fact that he tends to drop the line ‘just watched so-and-so’s tape and ______”

      You’ve been doing mock drafts, writing articles, providing ‘expert analysis’ as the #1 draft guy for NFL.com and you’re just watching film on top 50 guys? What are we doing here?

      I feel like I’ve watched more tape than DJ sometimes and I’m certain that Rob and number of other analysts have. He has his bona-fides, but it sure seems like he’s coasting on them these days.

  18. John

    Given the importance of the QB position over all others, can we afford to not move up and secure one? I guess we just assume Geno is a long term solution in that case?

    • Wilson502

      IMO no we can’t afford not to move up and get 1. Given Geno’s contract structure and his age, he’s not a long term answer. Rob may disagree, but a QBoTF has more value than a good edge rusher. Even if Will Anderson is good, he still doesn’t change the long term trajectory of the team like a a potential QBoTF would.

  19. cha


    T.O. podcast asks Uchenna what the Seahawks need to get to the next level.

    Interesting answer.

    Uchenna says lot of guys in contract year last year and were more focused on that than team.

    D’s in contract year: Poona, Barton, Neal, Collier, maybe Sidney Jones.

    • Gaux Hawks

      Didn’t listen yet… but he’s going to need to put his money where his mouth is pretty soon : )

      • Ben

        So guys playing out of scheme in order to make splash plays is perhaps the insinuation? I assume being in contract years, doesn’t mean they aren’t working hard?

        LJ’s agent and QJeff both alluded to being put in a better position.

        Wonder if it was hard to convince guys to have to do more read and react than 1 gap?

    • Jabroni-DC

      And now Uchenna is in his contract year…

    • Big Mike

      Sad. So much talent

    • PJ in Seattle

      Ok. happy to take Richardson at #5 then. See you and Hooker in 5 years, whoever you are.

    • Geoff u

      That would be awesome if true, especially if those teams were in the top 4. However, Richardson is a sure thing compared to Hooker. Talk about risky.

  20. PJ in Seattle

    Love you posting new content on holiday while I’m busy throwing my 2 cents in on old posts. Hope you’re having a great vacation, Rob.

    If Stroud is there at #3, absolutely we are making a deal with AZ. If Houston gets jiggy and takes Anderson, I think it hurts our leverage but hoping they have a hard on for Tyree Wilson, who they would have to know they could grab at #5. I honestly don’t care (within reason) what we have to cough up to secure either Stroud or Richardson in this draft class. I’m not hating on Levis – he’s the guy I’d be very happy with at #5, Just not willing to cough up capital to move up to get him.

    Stroud has flashed enough to tell me he hasn’t peaked yet. Ohio State system QB stank and all that – his touch is amongst the best I’ve seen in years. He is no Justin Fields. The Georgia game tape alone has to give you major Pat Mahomes vibes. Not as mobile as AR or Young maybe even Levis but I don’t think the world has the best of this young man yet.

    Richardson is such the ultimate scratch-ticket. His size, speed, arm strength, and mobility are off the charts. Looks like his character is is inline as well. If not A+ then a solid A. If you can’t get Stroud, you get ARich. If you can’t get either, then you pray you can get Anderson or Levis. Currently, I lean Anderson over Levis not because I’m down on Levis but when you can get the #1 def player who fits your scheme like a glove, you really can’t pass that up for the last QB left.

    Otherwise, major trade down because the draft Gods are just not on your side this year.

    Just grateful we have this top 5 pick to wank over. We could be easily looking at 2 picks in the 20’s. Let’s just be glad we have this wonk over!

  21. Henry Taylor

    If the draft were to go like you have suggested here, Young then a defender and Seattle trading up to 3, I’d still be wanting to take Richardson over Stroud.

    If I’m taking a QB, I’m taking the moon shot. I think Stroud can be good, very good in fact. But I think Richardson could be the best.

    • BK26

      100% agree.

      Richardson’s ceiling is so high it can’t be seen. Saw someone post on another website that his ceiling is “NFL altering.”

      I honestly don’t have much worry with Richardson.

  22. Sluggo42

    Year after year for like forever, I have waited and waited for the draft so I could be ecstatic and wonderous about what was going to happen that year. Year after year, after the first one or two picks, I sat bewildered, wondering what the hell had just happened.
    Then last year happened, and all those things I had hoped for, for all those years, had finally happened. We had moved on from the ever-increasing egomaniac, and secured a spectacular draft.
    Suddenly, the draft has real meaning again to me, because it seemed there was actually a plan.
    Expecting nothing this year, the Hawks exploded and most all our draft picks blossomed to have way better than average years.
    Hope was restored.
    Now, the second half of the RW draft stock suddenly looms before us and with the #5 pick, true chaos HAS happened, with all of our brains, and the myriad of possibilities and players before us.
    Sit or trade up? Do NOT trade down as has happened for untold years, and I actually think JS will not trade down, because he has no reason to.
    We have sliced and diced to death every which possible way to get one of 5 players.
    We are in a position to strike gold by doing nothing, and then to get 2or 3 more super highly skilled players at 20 and 37. The ability to secure some serious players at serious positions, and to set the team up for years to come.
    And it’s still possible that one of the 4 QB’s makes it to us, without sacrificing a crucial second, third, or even our 4th pick. To me, especially with a strong d-line class, and that being a severe weakness of the team, would be the area those picks would fill with some quality players. And trading away any of them just to move up 2 slots, doesn’t seem to be worth the risk in my eyes.
    Yes I understand AR is appealing, but what if he can’t get control of his accuracy issues, and we instead lose 2-3 high picks that could have been very solid players.and if he is there at 5 after all, then it’s a complete win win.

    • Peter

      Alternately….you give up a single draft pick this year and you still have a ton of picks.

      I’ll play alternate seahawks sites for a second: I see skoronski, van ness, JSN often. And honestly specifically those three and many others I see I think “meh.”

      I get Richardson or Stroud or even Levis who I think is going to kill it with weapons and a line….or I miss on a slot reciever? And I know full well Seattle needs a slot reciever.

      I just try to frame as qbotf future vs position/player x.

      Obviously we can all do the thing where we talk about what player they should get after the fact and I get that as well.

      I’ll take a blog favorite: Mayer. How good will he have to be at pick #20 for us to care IF ( big if because I also get bust rates) we land the qbotf?

      I love, love , love Keion White. I haven’t been as stoked on a draftable dlinemen in years. Draftable meaning they were in play with our pick….but he would have to turn into something resembling Chris Jones at #37 and our pick will have to be an actual bust for me to care.

  23. IDhawk

    I wonder if Houston would be open to a trade back to 5. I mean they could essentially do what we’ve been speculating Arizona might be willing to do, especially if their target is Tyree Wilson.

    • PJ in Seattle

      If AZ does a pre-draft trade to a QB needy team, this could be a very shrewd move on Houston’s part. Let Seattle or someone else jump up take Stroud, Young, or AR, and hope Anderson is there for you at #5. If the expected QB frenzy unfolds, you’re golden and you’re taking Anderson where you would have been happy to at #2. If not, and if you have a couple of other players you feel good about at #5 then you take them or even trade back again still holding #12.

      If they are sold on one QB on this class (let’s say it’s Young and he’s goes #1), with the rest bunched a tier below, a trade down to #5 makes all kinds of sens for them.

      • 805Hawk

        I think that is exactly why we won’t see AZ trade their pick until they are on the clock. They want to see what Houston does, as do all of the teams trading up with them.

  24. JJ

    I see hawks worked out Hassan Hall. Coul he be a fall back if they don’t get spears?

    • Brodie

      I really like Spears, but I would say there are probably a dozen RB’s that could make a lot of sense in round 3-7.

      Spears or not, we need a capable RB2 and Hall is more of a special-teams RB4 to me. If I’m betting, we take 1-2 RB after round 2 and Hall could be the 7th/UDFA option.

      This is a nice, deep RB class regardless.

    • 805Hawk

      I think it’s incredibly hard to predict which RB in this draft will be snagged, but I’m sure we will take one in the mid rounds and take another flyer late/UDFA.

  25. Denver Hawker

    Is Stroud worth giving up 20 or 37 vs taking Richardson/Levis at 5?

    • PJ in Seattle

      Posted this in another thread but I would give #5 and #20 for Stroud. #5 and #37 for Richardson. Would stand pat and take either Will Anderson or Levis at #5.

  26. Hawkster

    If SEA struggles, and Geno’s crazy uncaught pickable throws get picked, and a #2 Stroud is on the bench, starts to get tough seeing a full redshirt. Seems easier to stick with redshirt with Richarson at 5.

    • PJ in Seattle

      All things being equal, I’d rather run Stroud out onto the field mid-season next year than Richardson.

      Richardson could be elite in a couple of years, but I think if he gets rushed out there before he’s ready, he could be ruined. That risk is real – either through mental/confidence collapse or injury when he is just running scared and trying to make something happen.

      Stroud is way ahead of him in that regard. Richardson has the higher ceiling long term but is way more susceptible to going out there and throwing a bunch of picks and losing his mojo much quicker than Stroud. What if he starts “seeing ghosts” like Sam Darnold, who was forced to run an offense before he was equipped and confident to do it. It becomes like the Yips in golf, Once that has a hold of you, you can spend a whole career trying to shake it.

      I think Stroud is better equipped to be rushed into action and weather the inevitable rookie speedbumps than AR is. He won’t bring the elite upside AR has. but I think he can run a highly effective offense from the minute he’s asked to.

      That said, you have to draft for maximum potential and not with an eye toward ‘who can best keep us in contention in 2023 if Geno goes out and Lock is hot garbage?”. I feel like all the stars are aligning for us,, and for him, for Anthony Richardson to be the nuclear weapon we are going to roll out on the NFL a year or two from now.

  27. Peter

    1. Pete probably won’t care and just keep rolling with Geno unless it’s like 1:1 ratio.

    2. Stroud doesn’t need a redshirt year. One would be great. But if Geno really struggles and I don’t think he will, putting in Stroud probably would be just fine.

  28. Hawkster

    I am completely on board with full redshirt, particularly with Richardson. Just saying the closer one picks to #1 the more likely a “QB controversy” if the team and the incumbant are performing poorly.

  29. LouCityHawk

    Here is a thought exercise for everyone… if the draft turns into madness, which teams are best positioned to turn madness to their advantage…

    I’d argue the Hawks, Lions, Eagles…. Maybe some others

    I’ve been thinking about the strategy I would use if I were JS, high leverage negations are a part of my day-to-day. I’d be in daily communication with both the Texans and Cards, not making offers but just having discussions. I’d simultaneously be having discussions with the teams. I viewed as likely to trade up with those teams.

    From a bargaining perspective, I would do exactly what they’re doing. There are four QBs I love and will Anderson. I’m happy with any of the five and I’ll get them by staying right where I am.

    With the teams wanting to trade up potentially to 5 I would be starting to talk specifics, if they could be baited into it.

    Ideally, you set it up, so that no moves occur until draft Day. This is when you put on your Loki horns so to speak.

    If I’ve done my job, right, both the Texans and cardinals have an unrealistic expectation as to the compensation, they should be expecting from the teams who want to trade up. I also should have convinced every other team, other than the Cardinals and Texans that I have zero intention of trading up so many mention of a trade package from me is just gamesmanship by those franchises.

    Assume the Panthers pick Young, and Young is not my guy, I’m now trying to pay the iron price to get my guy, and this means getting him by hook or by crook. All I need is for one of two, first year GMs to panic and trade for less than value.

    A swap of 5 and 52, plus a 2024 4th, and I am stolen CJ Stroud. Start building my statue. Because here is the rub, regardless, if my guy is Stroud or Levis, even if I give up five and 20 for him I still have taken him without proper compensation.

    • LouCityHawk

      I apologize for the length, and for the likely chance, the bourbon is talking, but the night there is lovely, and so is the cigar

      • PJ in Seattle

        Glad there are other posters like you and me and cha who will puke our thoughts up, brevity and inabilty to edit be damned. I feel you the bourbon and cigars. I am guaranteed at least 1 typo per post I’ve ever made here, and most of those are when I’m sober.

        I’m 100% with you on this hypotheis tho. I think draft day 2023 is going to be crazy and if Goodell hasn’t tee’d up cameras rolling in war rooms and doc crews running all over Kansas City for an epic NFL films doc on how this draft unfolds, then he’s an idiot. There is money to be absolutely MINTED with a boil down of the drama that I believe will unfold in this first round this year.

        • PJ in Seattle

          And yeah. I’d give up #5 and #52 and a 2023 4th in a hot minute for Stroud. Frankly, same or maybe a little less for Richardson, Fact is, there are 3-5 legit franchise QBs to be had here and the fact that we would absolutely bury Denver (who I grew up hating with every fiber of my football being) in the hindsight trade comp would be pure gravy.

          • PJ in Seattle

            Errr… 2024 4th. Damn no edit capabilty. Give me 30 secs at least. 🙂

            • Sea Mode

              I guess I don’t get why people like to read their own comments only after they post instead of before… 😁

              • LouCityHawk

                Half the time I’m using speak to text. 😂

                Phone keyboards were not made for hands like mine.

          • LouCityHawk

            My old AFC west hate will not die

            KC only gets a reprieve because I like Andy Reid.

            Embrace the chaos, and let’s walk away taking what we wanted.

            • BK26

              I live down here. They deserve no reprieve.

              Interesting fact that I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned. Went to fall training camp Mahomes’s first full year he started and he looked HORRIBLE. Missed most of his throws and they weren’t close.

              Then he threw for over 5k yards and 50 touchdowns. Turns out that he was literally practicing his touch. His draft red flags had been going off in my head.

              • PJ in Seattle

                Touch is everything and is hard to objectively quantify, My eyeballs tell me Stroud is clearly the #1 QB in this regard, Young next, followed by Richardson and Levis, who are basically neck and neck.

                Levis has all the tools, but needs to be coached on touch, which I think is entirely possible, He reminds me a bit of Favre the way he smokes every throw regardless of the situation.

                ARich is already ahead of Levis in that regard, but raw AF at reading D’s and throwing his guys open. Both can get there – just need time and study. Levis less than ARich. Both have legit franchise QB traits. Levis is prob the safer bet but the ceiling for ARich is so high it’s hard not to fall in love with that potential.

                But if you somehow have a shot at Stroud, I think you have to sell the farm.

              • LouCityHawk

                That is something I’ve heard before, a good reminder to us fans that we know less thsn half of what is really going on.

                I feel bad sometimes because I have friends who are Raider fans, and we are literally Raider Nations second team. They hate everyone we play, and they feel some sort of lost kinship over the 1980s, like something great was taken from them.

        • LouCityHawk

          I will be in KC for Days 1&2, and am looking forward to taking everything in.

          I’m hoping to meet up with some friends from the 2005 Super Bowl, and doing it up like proper old boys, hopefully toasting the QBotF

          • BK26

            Get all of the bbq that you can man.

            I really really debated about going since it’s right here and I think it will be historical for us: a legit QBotF.

            But I don’t want to deal with the insane crowd (had a client mention the chaos in Nashville a few years ago) and if they pass on quarterback…I’d rather be at home than in public hahaha.

            • LouCityHawk

              I’ve been to 3 super bowls, so I’m fine with crowds and crushing disappointment.

              It is ecstatic happiness where I need support of those around me. It is a small miracle I survived the night following the 2013 NFC Championship Game.

    • Hawkster

      The iron price is 5, 20, and 123. Id do ir

      • PJ in Seattle

        For who? I’d do it for Stroud, for sure. For Richardson, I think #5 and #37 is more than fair.

        • BK26

          Personally I would do it for Richardson too. I just don’t see his issues as these giant problems. I saw enough progression last year with that bad a team and coaching that I don’t think we can pass on him.

          I won’t be disappointed with either one however. It’s really 1A, 1B, 1C for me.

  30. 12th chuck

    You have outdone yourself this year Rob, love all the content this off-season. I am amazed almost daily with the new and fresh content, thank you

  31. PJ in Seattle

    Agreed. Rob is killing it.

  32. Stuart Erickson

    Trade up to 3 for CJ Stroud scenario:

    – Trade #5 and Drew Lock to Arizona for #3 and a 4th round pick this year

    • Sea Mode

      Would obviously be great for us, but do you really think they have any interest in Drew Lock?

      • Roy Batty

        There isn’t a team in the league that would do that trade. Lock is a known talent. He’s going into his 5th year and hasn’t been able to do much. No team is going to include him in a bundled trade, unless it’s Seattle just throwing him in to lessen the amount or level of picks needed to make th trade.

  33. samprassultanofswat

    Just a couple of words on Jalen Carter. Jalen Carter has BUST written all over him. The guy has trouble working out with no money in his account. In fact the two MOST IMPORTANT games of his career he was out of shape. Carter got winded in both the College Football semi-final. And the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.. Then he couldn’t even make it through his pro day Now all of a sudden he is going to bust his behind when he signs a $20-30mil deal.

    I hope I am wrong. I hope Carter has a fantastic caree.

    • Josh

      Technically, he has made over a million in NIL deals, so he does have money already.

  34. Michael M.

    Starting to get pretty pumped for this one! I hope there is some chaos – that makes for a much more enjoyable watch. Speaking of which, does anyone know some good spots in Seattle to watch the draft? Are there any bars that you know will have it on, or that make a big deal out of it? I feel like you can go anywhere on Sundays and they’ll have the game on, but is there anywhere that really get into the draft? Thanks!

  35. samprassultanofswat

    Can you imagine what kind of pass rush the Hawk could have for along time. If they were able to snag both Will Anderson Jr. and Adetomiwa Adebawore. Having an interior pass rush with Dre’Mont Jones and ADE ADE plus Will Anderson Jr. and company on the outside (on passing downs). Both Anderson Jr. and Adebawore are two high character people/players who absolutely need NO one to motivate them. The interview that Rob had with Adetomiwa Adebawore was off the charts.

    Whoever snags ADE ADE is going to get a great player and a fantastic human being.

    • Dutchenstein

      Right? No hate towards Bruce, but can you imagine replacing his snaps last year (which were actually quite a few) with Will Anderson? That addition on top of Dre and Love, would make our defense exponentially more explosive. If Jamal can stay healthy (which probably won’t happen) plus the continued growth of our corners, we could be a scary defense. All of a sudden Nwosu, Mafe, Taylor, and Reed get to be complimentary pieces.

      We will still need some meat on the d-line, but there will be plenty of options to do that. Oh, and Bobby will thrive in a role with that much speed and playmakers around him.

    • LouCityHawk

      Might be time for people to start looking at whether Ade really can translate to a an odd front DE, battling double teams most of the time. His frame looks like he could add weight, and he is likely coachable. He has some embarrassing moments setting the the edge though, so 3-4 may help alleviate those concerns.

      I saw him play in person once, I wasn’t watching for him and he didn’t pop off the field. I was only familiar from watching Northwestern against superior competition as well. Liked his interview here.

      I would be slightly concerned with him at 20, ok at 37, I want to watch more Keion White. Zacch Pickens might still be my top for that 3-4 DE with Carter off the board.

    • Sneekes

      That drill footage of Ade Ade at the Senior bowl has me hooked. QB and Ade Ade would have me in dreamland.

  36. Sean

    When the dust settles, I think it’s hard to justify Richardson as a top 10 pick. See Michael Lombardi tweet from today. Way too many holes and bad tape of Richardson to justify a high first round pick. If he is hanging around in the late 1st or 2nd and the Seahawks want to take a flier, I would get it but still wouldn’t be thrilled.

    Stroud on the other hand would be a fantastic choice if the board happens to fall that way. Great touch and better improvisation skills than he gets credit for. Can’t jump as high as Richardson or do round off backflips, but actually knows how to play quarterback and can consistently put throws on the money.

    • Rob Staton

      We could go through most of the first round and find reasons not to take a player early

      Like I say, people were saying exactly the same things about Mahomes and Allen

    • BK26

      I would say that someone failed to either watch tape, or understand how to watch tape.

    • Mr drucker in hooterville

      Lombardi? Really? Why not quote Daniel Jeremiah for a two-fer?

  37. Karlos

    If your picking a D Line player in the top 5 they need to be a game wrecker and way you described Anderson he is not that. Rather McDonald at 20 then Anderson at 5. If Richardson available take him if not trade down.

    • Allen M.

      If we get a QB at 5 then Mcdonald would be especially fantastic to add. One of my favorite players on tape. A little light, perhaps, but QBOTF/Mcdonald > Anderson/x

      • Sea Mode

        Agree here.

    • LouCityHawk

      With McDonald’s buzz, I’m wondering if he will be on the board at 20, literally every fan base is excited about him. He is on my list of *surprise* top 10 picks.

      I’m really interested in someone breaking down Anderson, McDonald, Hall (who seems to be under the radar), etc…

      More and more I am feeling that 20, and maybe 37 should be offensive weapons. Dream combo would be Mayer and Downs. But that might not be realistic.

  38. Troy

    Will Hewlett, a QB coach that’s been working with Richardson recently (last year worked with Purdy) stated that Richardson is “elite” when it comes to translating information to the field, an “elite learner”… I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong, but Purdy was top marks for QB’s coming into the 22 draft in testing for game recognition situations.

    I heard Pete say something along the line of JS is excellent at knowing how the top of drafts will fall.
    If that’s the case he will already have the package ready to go if he thinks CJ would be there at 3….but if he thinks Indy is locked in on Levis – then does he just hang on to 5 and see where a rocket ship like AR might take you.

    Either way, it’s a great time to be a Hawks fan. In my 35 years of being a fan, and 25 of really paying attention to the draft – this is by far the most exciting year.

    Great job Rob, love the blog.

    • McZ

      So we have Brock Purdy with a rocket engine. How can this not be a #1 pick?

      If AR goes #1, what will happen next is the Texans switching to Stroud. Indy will then call AZ to secure Levis. AZ can then take calls of any QB-needy team.

      If the Seahawks like AR or Levis, they have to act now.

      If they come out of this draft having traded Wilson for a middling Cross and a defender, they gonna get fired soon.

  39. Kip Earlywine

    Agree with all of this.

    Since I don’t comment here often I wanted to say one other thing, that I think Seattle’s interest in trading up to #3 is very real, and that the photo ops with the 4 QBs was sincere, but also a form of using the media to send a message to Arizona in trade negotiations, that Seattle is fine with walking away from the table because they genuinely like the top 4 QBs + Anderson.

    • Huggie Hawks

      Interesting angle on it

    • Sea Mode

      I still think it was just a bit of fun.

      If anything, just trying to get the fans hyped up for the draft after 10 years of not sniffing the top 10.

    • LouCityHawk

      Exactly what I saw when the first one popped up.

      Lets you bluff where your BAFT really is, as you can say, sticking at 5 we may get the guy we really want anyways.

      Also for all the 12D chess and smokescreen arguments, the simplest explanation is the most logical: a bit of fun, a chance to see how the QB handles something different, and a chance to increase chaos – and the Seahawks are best placed to make chaos a ladder.

    • Hawk Finn

      Good to see you again, kearly.

      I tend to agree with this, but with a strong preference for coming away with a QB.

  40. Old but Slow

    I guess I am old-school. Levis is my #1, then Richardson and Stroud. Not unusually, I am fine with any of the top 5 players (QBs and Anderson), just not in the accepted order.

    Levis has all the physical skills, gets high marks from coaches and teammates, is unusually intelligent and driven (a masters degree in finance while playing football?), and seems to love to compete. And that is not to forget that he played with a broken toe last season and was under constant pressure.

    Richardson is just potential in a bundle, and worth a shot. Stroud seems to have it all but has only one game, apparently, when he was allowed to step away from a script, albeit very successfully. In some other games he looked quite ordinary to me.

    • LouCityHawk

      You may be old school, but I’m here with you.

      Levis – Stroud (for me) – Richardson – Anderson – then Young.

      I think the top 3 names in that list have superstar potential. Stroud may be the closest to tapping it already, Levis is the guy who could opposing D coordinators nights sleepless. Richardson could be something we’ve never seen before and could only imagine.

  41. Olyhawksfan

    If we didn’t have the 5 pick I bet most Seahawks fans would trash Jalen Carter.

  42. Julian L

    Though my personal preference is for the Seahawks to pick at #5, I’ve thought for a long time the natural trading partner for trading up is the Houston Texans.

    The Texans at #5 would still be in a great position to either trade back with Arizona to #3 to get a QB or stay at #5 and take one of the top Defensive players in the draft, possibly Will Anderson if Arizona trade out at #3.

    • Rob Staton

      I think, when all is said and done, they’ll just take a QB at 2

      • samprassultanofswat


      • Julian L

        Yep. It’s a great dynamic Seattle sitting at #5 with Arizona at #3.

        From a Cardinals perspective to have more draft capital to rebuild with they could;

        Trade with Seattle and still have the top Edge Rusher to rush our new QB (in a year or so),


        Trade below #5 and have even more draft capital but Seattle will then likely pick Anderson and the Cardinals will have the top Edge rusher rushing their QB.

        What’s the better propect, having the top Edge rusher or more draft capital? As Rob states, take the blue chipper over more draft picks. Building a roster is a long term project. If I were the Cardinals, stay at #3, unless Anderson goes #1 or #2.

        I think we might have to wait until the draft before Arizona potentially trades.

  43. Sea Mode

    What if we take the chaos even a step further just as a thought experiment?

    1. CAR- Young
    2. HOU- Wilson
    3. ARI- Anderson

    My questions are:

    – Does Indy pick Stroud over Levis at #4?
    – If they were to stick with Levis, does Seattle take Stroud or Richardson at #5?

    (I’m firmly on the Stroud train myself.)

    • LouCityHawk

      Or take it a step further and have Indy work out a deal for Lamar that only costs them this years first.

      Maximize the chaos!

      Indy has done extensive scouting in both Stroud and Levis, both would be good fits, my brain says Stroud as they could more comfortably start him right away.

      • Sea Mode

        I guess I’ve just completely ruled out that possibility in my mind already. I just don’t see why Indy would pay a king’s ransom in picks and cap when they have the “holy grail”, a top QB prospect on a rookie deal, available to them in to draft. (not to mention the injury concerns and gtd money Lamar is asking for)

  44. Patrick Toler

    In my heart of hearts I think that if they love a quarterback (Richardson) they will learn from 2017 and not sick back and hope the value falls to them. I also can’t get it out of my mind how glowingly John talked about the dynamic of the QB room and think they would love to add a developmental QB to learn in that environment.

  45. Sea Mode

    The closer we get, the more I get the feeling it’s not a matter of “if” but just of “when” the Seahawks select JMS…


    (also, the “QB” in the Nagy clip they are replying to is hilarious! 😂)

    • Julian L

      If these things are quantifiable, how much better is JMS than Evan Brown or Ricky Stromberg for example?

      Does the value add up to his added value being greater than selecting one of the top Tight Ends, Wide Receivers or Interior Defensive players at #38.

      I’m not enough of an evaluator to tell, but I feel there could be Better Players Available at #37 than JMS, with Stromberg or Juice Scruggs a good alternative Center later?

      • Sea Mode

        The good thing is, with Evan Brown they at least have a hedge with some upside and don’t have to force a center pick too early if there is a better player available.

        And I personally actually prefer that they go DL/TE/WR in R2, but I’m just going off Pauline’s report of their interest in him and highlighting how he perfectly fits their character profile.

        You do well though to ask the question of how much he would upgrade our roster, because JS has talked many times about how they grade players against their own roster.

      • LouCityHawk

        Evan Brown is better than all of them in 2023, I’m a fan of his game and think he could be a long term answer.

        I see her little difference between the top 5 big ten centers and would like to see the Hawks wait until the 3rd or preferably 4th to select a Center prospect.

        Seahawks fans are acting like JMS is Creed, Ann’s he just isn’t, not even if you squint.

  46. Shibu

    If we do stand pat at 5, would love to see a draft that looks something like this:

    5. QB, Will Levis/Anthony Richardson
    20. DL, Ade Ade
    37. OC, John Michael Schmitz/Luke Wypler
    52. WR/TE, Jonathan Mingo/Tucker Kraft
    83. S. Sydney Brown/Ji’Ayir Brown
    123. DL, Zacch Pickens/Cameron Young/Jaquelin Roy
    151. Edge, Yaya Diaby
    154. OG, Anthony Bradford/Emil Ekiyor/Nick Broeker
    198. RB, Chris Rodriguez
    237. BPA

    • PJ in Seattle

      That would be a fantastic draft.

    • Sea Mode

      Sign me up! I was going to write up a quick one myself, but yours pretty much hits exactly what I was looking to do. I would add in Will McDonald as a fallback if Ade Ade is gone before #20. And if the board fell a different way, I wouldn’t mind this at all either:

      5. Anthony Richardson
      20. Michael Mayer
      37. Mazi Smith
      52. Luke Wypler

      After watching them, I do think this is the draft to possibly pass on the WR class altogether and just grab a TE. Then see what you can get out of a veteran at cutdowns or Eskridge/Dareke Young finally developing at WR3. The only WRs I ended up liking for the Hawks are Downs and Mingo, but neither of them is a “must have” for me and I’d rather wait to see if next year’s crop goes back to the standard of the past couple years.

      BPA all the way is what I say!

    • Peter

      Nicely done.

    • Ashish

      Looks perfect better take WR/TE at 37 good chance Wypler available at 52. At 37 want to take best WR Downs or TE.

  47. AC

    First four goes – Young, Anderson, Stroud, Levis.

    *Ring ring* JS gets a call.

    “Hey, this is Nick from Houston. We really want AR. How about 12, 32 and 2024 1st for 5”

    What do you do?

    • Gary

      “Thanks for the call Nick, always good to hear from you. But I have to get to the podium, we’re taking Richardson.”

      • Peter

        Loved the “good to hear from you,” ha!

    • Peter


      The Texans division sucks. That future first could be anything from top five next year to 20.

      • Sea Mode

        Well, the Texans also… suck.

        As others have said, if JS believes in Richardson you just hang up the phone and happy dance on over to the podium.

        But if he’s on the fence… dang if that 2024 R1 from them wouldn’t be tempting. Especially if they take Richardson, they’re unlikely to improve much right away next season. Could realistically be another top 3 pick, in a draft with Marvin Harrison Jr and (likely) a couple more very good QB prospects.

        Can I try to squeeze them to take on Jamal Adams’ contract and throw in their 2024 R2 as well…? 😂

        • Peter

          While it was fun watching Denver implode it the opposite of fun watching us give the jets a great pick because we sucked.

          I’m just not a fan of the future first talk. Since I’ve lived it both sides of the coin.

    • PJ in Seattle

      I would stand pat and take Richardson. But would JS?

      I suspect he would but we’re only guessing at what he thinks about AR. But he sure looks like the kind of player he would try to move up to secure, so can’t imagine he’d trade down if he fell into his lap at #5.

    • LouCityHawk

      New phone, who dis?

    • Sea Mode

      “Then you should have taken him instead of Will Anderson.”


  48. Gary

    Rob, I’m a huge fan of your work. Thanks for another great post, I loved the chaos theory. However, I’d like to offer a counter-narrative. If the draft unfolded this way, with Young at 1 and Anderson at 2, wouldn’t the last thing we’d want to do is trade up with the Cardinals for 3?

    For the record, I am squarely in the QBOTF camp, and as soon as Goodell announced the Texans taking Anderson, I’d be doing cartwheels as we’d be guaranteed one of Stroud, Levis, or Richardson. You’ve suggested this would be a worst-case scenario for Arizona who would then be in desperation mode to trade down. But I think it would be a best-case scenario for us. Why would we want to be the ones to bail AZ out of their jam? If another team trades into 3, we are still in the same boat and are guaranteed one of the three top QBs. But if they can’t find a suitor, and we agree that the horrible Kyler contract prevents them from taking a QB, then they’re stuck selecting Wilson or over-drafting a CB or other position, and Indy has three QBs on the board. It just gets better and better for us as even drafting at 5 we would get to pick from whichever two QBs the Colts don’t take, presumably Stroud and Richardson. This sets us up for an incredible draft as we get QBOTF without surrendering valuable draft stock to further the rebuild. I truly hope they keep their powder dry and let the draft come to us. Praying for chaos theory to prevail!

    • Sea Mode

      Why would we want to be the ones to bail AZ out of their jam?

      Not Rob, but I think it’s more about us than Arizona. In that scenario, we would be moving up to make sure we get the QB we want out of the three if JS has a strong preference. (I think Stroud would be a dream pick for the Hawks)

      Because I’m pretty sure they will find plenty of suitors if the board falls that way. Someone will sell the farm to move up ahead of us and Indy and make it well worth it for Arizona.

      • EIEIO

        @ Mode – Totally agree. Cardinals will not have trouble trading down. Plus, I don’t think we need to worry about “bailing them out”. They seem to have a knack for finding sh*t in a rose garden. It (sh*t) appears to flow downhill from the owner, and not necessarily targeting AZ. The NFL is loaded with capricious billionaires to whom their franchise is but a plaything to be meddled with – as is certainly their right. Makes one appreciate the Allen’s.

        BTW, what is a Sea “Mode”? The only conclusion I can come up with is a boat. Also, if you had a doppelgänger who was a Washington Commander’s fan, would he be a Comm-Mode?

        • Sea Mode

          Haha. I just made it up. Seahawks + Beast Mode = Sea Mode, back in a time under PC when Seattle actually had a clear identity of running the ball and ball-hawking on defense.

    • Rob Staton

      If they viewed all three QB’s the same, then you don’t move up

      If you value one QB higher than the others and can exploit Arizona to make sure you get them — I think that’s a win

  49. Peter

    Corbin Smith had an article and then did his daily pod about trades in the JS era. Confirmed my suspicions…that nearly every trade up was a hit and that nearly every trade down was a miss.

    Still people arguing that we should trade down to save money. “What if your guy is still there but cheaper….” crickets on who that player would be. Myles Murphy is basically will Anderson? Why take will Anderson when you can pay less for skoronski?

    I’m still into trading #20 to get the qbotf.

    Robs mentioned it so I looked.

    When you look at the chiefs trade to the bills for mahomes, the bills recieved Tremaine Edmunds. Great player. From that pick to the chiefs next pick there are quite a good deal of players. You guessed it. None of them have mattered to the degree of Mahomes.

    Looked at the Bills trade to the bucs for Allen. Every pick from #53 to to the bills next pick has meant anything near Josh Allen’s value.

    Qbotf….or…. one of the following JMS, Mayer, Macdonald, Downs/JSN, Ade Ade, jones…..if you hit on the qb none of them will matter.

    • PJ in Seattle

      You’re right that if you hit on QBOTF, whatever you had to give up to do it is irrelevant.

      The jury is still out on Trey Lance, but if he actually becomes the guy there this year and balls out for SF, even that abymsal trade will look brilliant. He’s still only 22 years old.

      If the guy you take busts, at whatever position, it always becomes a game of “we could’ve had…” If whomever we take at QB turns out to be another Tim Couch or Sam Bradford or Baker Mayfield, well, them’s the breaks. You still have to take the shot because the value of hitting on a franchise QB is life-changing for your team.

  50. TheOtherJordan

    So much of the success of these 4 QB’s will be determined by what organization they go to, the fit of the offensive system to their skill set, and how they handle the adversity and pressure. The Seahawks are in a great position in several regards.

    There are terribly run franchises that have been very difficult for any QB to succeed at. The desire to win has always led to high turnover of coaches in the NFL but recently it’s in overdrive. The NFL even recently warned about how much teams were paying former coaches as a result. Coaching turnover usually messes with QB development. Teams usually have a high pick to draft a QB because they suck. The roster usually isn’t in a place for the young QB to succeed. And the ones that don’t suck usually have to give up a king’s ransom to go get one. Either way it adds to the pressure of the young QB to perform and often times for all kinds of reasons they’re thrown out there before they are ready. Whether it is to justify the investment, sell tickets or prevent the the GM/coach from getting fired, patience doesn’t exist in the NFL.

    And even after getting all that right there’s still the mental part and the desire to be great. An organization doesn’t know for sure that a player wants to be great and how that individual will handle life changing money. I remember Steve Young talking about how by the time he felt he had finally figured out the mental part of the QB position his body could no longer physically do it.

    Take it all together and it’s one of the biggest reasons why the Seahawks should take a QB this year. Seattle has stability with their GM/coach that isn’t common today in the NFL. They have the ability to sit the rookie QB. Their offensive system was good enough to make a 33 year old career back up look good. The quality of their roster on offense isn’t the usual profile of a team picking at 5.

    All four QB’s have flaws but all four could also be a franchise QB. They’re all a lottery ticket just as every QB is every year. But the odds this year are a lot higher than most. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Seahawks take any of the four. (For all his flaws, I still think Schneider is gonna pick Richardson who is probably the biggest lottery ticket of them all) But even if they stay at 5, I think the organization is set up to help that QB succeed better than any of the other four organizations that would draft one ahead of them. It doesn’t happen often at QB but the stars are aligned and I trust Schneider will pounce if he finds his guy.

    • EIEIO

      “Coaching turnover usually messes with QB development.”
      This^^^^ see Drew Lock.

  51. PJ in Seattle

    This could happen.

    CAR – Young
    HOU – Anderson
    AZ – Carter or Wilson
    IND – Stroud

    Would be really interesting to see what we do given a choice between Levis and Richardson at #5.

    • Troy

      I really hope Levis is not the choice here. I saw Dan Orlovsky bend himself into a pretzel trying to explain, rather defend some of Levis questionable decision making. Levis processor (brain/intuition/vision) is more comparable to former high draft picks like Wentz, Trubisky, Bortles….he “looks” like a pro QB, and has great arm. I’d be shocked if we took him.

      Richardson is a freak, has an incredible processor and his only “fault” is being raw/inexperienced. He’s more of the Allen, Rothlesberger comp. He can climb the pocket, same time use his eyes to move defenders, and rocket dimes into the middle of the field. Next throw he can miss a wide open target. That’s coachable. The processing is not.

      • PJ in Seattle

        I agree with you 100% and my guess is that is how JS sees it as well. Probably would be happy to take Levis and work with him if that was his remaining option, but I think he would run to the podium for Richardson.

        If IND somehow went with Levis and now we had a choice between Stroud and Richardson… even more bizarre and difficult. I still think AR is the guy. He just screams everything JS has coveted in the franchise QBs he hasn’t been able to put himself in a position to draft.

        • Troy

          If it goes 1/2 Stoud, Young 3 Anderson 4 Richardson then despite the 99.5% confidence Rob has it won’t happen it will be Carter….Im not sure Indy is all in for Levis. You know PC and JS will run the whole gambit on digging with Jalen and might be ok with him.

          • PJ in Seattle

            Please Lord, no. I think JS will sell the farm to Arizona to move up to #3 if Richardson is there. And they’ll take it, being almost assured that Anderson can be had at #5 when the QBs go 1-4.

          • Rob Staton

            I just wrote 3000 words why they won’t feel that way

            • Troy

              Just guessing that they don’t rate AR and Levis equally, and if deciding between Will vs Jalen OR trading back to a team desperate for a QB. Best choice might be to take the talent at DT. JS on Wyman indicated they made a special trip to meet with a prospect. Brought team physc to interview. Could be Jalen if they bring the psych evaluation team. What they determine from that is anyone’s guess

              • Rob Staton

                I’ve already explained in great detail why I think Jalen Carter won’t be considered.

                I don’t mind debating that and have had some lengthy conversations with people challenging me over the last few days.

                But let’s not just act like that post wasn’t written. If you want to debate with me about Carter, at least do me the courtesy of fleshing out why you think he’s an option. ‘I think they won’t be able to resist’ isn’t a counter to a long-form article explaining why I think they’ll find it very easy to resist.

                And FWIW — it could’ve been someone totally different and not Carter. My guess would be Tyree Wilson, given he couldn’t do his pro-day and was scheduled this week to be doing private workouts for most of the top-10 teams.

                • Troy

                  I hear ya Rob. Synthesizing all points of views that’s all.

                • Blitzy the Clown

                  I finally got around this morning to listening to Schneider’s appearance on Wyman & Bob, specifically the part where he supposedly hints they held a private workout with Carter

                  It was Wyman I think who brought up Carter and the issue of questions, and all Schneider did was agree that if you have questions about a prospect, you need to dig to get the answers, including post Combine in-person interviews and workouts, and oh by the way we just did one and the guy did well.

                  And that was it. No mention of that guy being Carter. No association to Carter beyond Wyman using him as an example.

                  My thought also was Tyree Wilson. They went and had a private interview/workout with Wilson and he did fine. Doesn’t mean they’re gonna take him period, let alone at 5.

                  And that applies even if the mystery prospect was Carter (which I highly doubt). They may very well be doing a final check on him, and he may have done well in Schneider’s eyes. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to draft him.

                  • Rob Staton

                    I thought it was obvious it was Wilson

                    Schneider mentioned in one of the earlier shows they were going to Texas Tech’s pro-day. Then it was announced Wilson wasn’t able to workout, so they didn’t bother in the end. They just went to Florida that week.

                    So it would make sense that they were one of the teams visiting Wilson for a private workout and chit-chat, as they’d done with the other candidates (four QB’s & Anderson) earlier.

      • Rob Staton

        It’s funny how any analysis that tries to provide context on Levis gets washed away as ‘bending yourself into a pretzel’

        • Peter

          Dan viens does a podcast that I like. And instead of making himself into a pretzel laid out pretty much what’s been said here for a football season. Dude threw 65% in the sec vs. Allen sub 60% in the big sky.

          And had exactly zero oline help, or wr options if note. When he had literally ONE wr of note he curiously looked a ton better.

          I’m getting a little tired of the stink faces and Lee vies jokes. If you can’t see the difference between some of the worst offense assembled in the SEC and Tennessee’s simple Simon offense complete with a good reciever and a mid first round oline talent….I don’t know what to tell ya anymore.

          • Rob Staton

            I’ve not seen any of the Lee Vies stuff. But it can get in the sea.

            2021 — Levis had some O-liners, a NFL receiver and he played in Seattle’s offense. He looked terrific.

            People used to act the same way about Josh Allen, both pre-2018 draft and during his first two years in the NFL. They soon STFU when he settled down. I didn’t see any crow being eaten, though.

      • McZ

        The same crap has been written about Justin Herbert. Cannot throw short and intermediate, not a leader, no intuition, doesn’t see obvious plan B targets, football intelligence “overstated”, aso.

        He has shown not only to deliver all this but also constantly adapts his game. If a QB fails to reinvent his game from time to time, he will fail in the NFL.

        Richardsons comparison is Cam Newton. Fizzled out after a couple of seasons. Being a freaking athlete can become a burden, quickly.

  52. Palatypus

    I had a vision the other day.

    While driving back from Bulf Breeze with my dog Daisy over the new Pensacola Bay Bridge, an osprey flew over my car. In its claws, the Seahawk was a giant fish.

    Later that day, at Bayview Dog Beach, I ran into one of the regulars who told me that the cobia had been running. Unfortunately, a swarm of Black Tip sharks tore his bait box to shreds. He had a video on his phone he showed me to prove it.

    I think it’s going to be that kind of draft.

    Oh, and here is a live cam of Pensacola Beach to start off your Easter weekend.


  53. Paul

    ” teams were concerned by how often he talked about his ‘brand’ and money-making potential”

    In the NFL no less. I’ll retire to Bedlam.

  54. Sea Mode

    Hmmm… as always “sources” with a grain of salt…

    Miller: Northwestern defensive lineman Adetomiwa Adebawore was the talk of the town following his impressive combine performance, which included a 4.49 in the 40-yard dash at 282 pounds. But his stock has come back down to earth in recent weeks, according to some scouts around the league. One NFC scout said Adebawore had a Round 3 grade on his team’s board but believed the versatile defensive lineman would be “overdrafted in the early second” following his workout. With no clear-cut position and spotty college production — he had 9.5 sacks the past two seasons combined — teams are preaching caution with Adebawore.

    Reid: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan. […] Scouts I’ve talked to say Smith is likely to go in the Nos. 25-31 range at the back end of the first round. All of the teams in that range have needs along the interior defensive front.


    • PJ in Seattle

      This was interesting too.

      “Miller: Jonathan Mingo , WR, Ole Miss. The buzz started at the Senior Bowl, when scouts and coaches were talking about Mingo’s build looking like A.J. Brown ‘s. At 6-2 and 220 pounds, he does resemble Brown or Alshon Jeffery when watching him in person. And like those big-bodied wideouts, Mingo has the power to box out defenders and is a menace on breaking routes, helping him to 16.9 yards per catch last season. He ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the combine and elevated his status to Round 2 target. Teams such as the Dallas Cowboys , Bills and Chiefs all make sense for him at the end of the second round.”

      I doubt Mingo lasts to the end of the second. I think it would be really tough for Seattle to pass on him at #52.

      • Rob Staton

        Only months behind again

    • Peter

      Damn if that’s spotty production what’s carter’s production?

      No no I get it. Georgia used their best talent sparingly in a deep rotation where he played 0 tech and it wasn’t his role to be a weapon.

      But clearly with the loaded Northwestern famed defensive front Ade Ade is just a try hard JAG who lacks production because he sucks and not because northwestern is playing against football factories of Ohio, Michigan, Iowa.

  55. Southern Canuck

    Players like Josh Rosen, Brock Osweiler and Jamarcus Russell had draft boards moving them up based on their combines and pro-days but when you looked at the tape there were real warnings. Richardson is an amazing athlete but not an amazing quarterback….at least not now and it might take him 3-4 years to get there if he does. Draft defense and take a flyer on Hooker in round 2 who was at least a good quarterback on film.

    • Rob Staton

      How are any of these players even remotely similar to Richardson?

      And I must’ve missed the great, impactful combine/pro-day combos from Rosen and Osweiler.

      • Jack Frost


    • PJ in Seattle

      Hooker will go in the first round, The 5th year option is too valuable. If he’s still there late in the first, someone will roll the dice on him, either with a native pick or trading back into round 1 to snag him ala Bridgewater.

      I think saying Richardson is 3-4 years away IF he ever gets there is exceedingly pessimistic.

    • Peter

      I don’t get the JaMarcus comps. Dude threw 67% for 28:8 ratio in his final year. Had a cannon. Was not athletic. And literally did not give a crap about football.

      Richardson is a project. Has great energy. Clearly has some great self awareness about how he needs to get better. Feels very different to me.

      • Peter

        These russel/ Willis comps are wild. I’m not sure if people even know who JaMarcus Russel or Malik Willis are.

        JaMarcus Russell to quote Houston rapper Paul wall was built like “an obese hippopotamus”

        And Malik Willis is a little dude compared to richardson and others who never dominated a sub level of a sub level football conference.

  56. Madmark

    Watching NFL Access on tv yesterday they had 4 people talking about Seattles pick at 5. The first was Bucky talking about Carter to improve the defensive line. The next guy had Seattle picking Joey Porter jr. The woman on the show was next and I think her answer was the best. She said, the best thing Seattle is they are predictable unpredictable that they could go in any direction. The 4th guy agreed with her and pointed out the QBs and edge guy. It seems the media really has no clue as to what Seattle really going to do.

  57. Mr drucker in hooterville

    One positive that has come feom this media psychotics is I now can easily identify those that havenput effort into it and those who haven’t. If Carter is mocked, DELETE. If they discuss QB’s in top 5, keep watching. Rob is the best of all.

  58. Forrest

    Richardson is my pick for the Hawks. He’s just two perfect for their scheme (run and take deep shots, tilt the field), Schneider loving Mahomes/Allen and their contract setup with Geno to red shirt Richardson for a year.

    I would be sad if we end up with Young (been there done that with Wilson) or Stroud (he had too many great receivers and a solid line at OSU, and to me has less upside).

  59. Seattle Murphy

    Just outstanding insights in this piece, Rob. Thank you.

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