PFF’s Mock Draft Simulator was recently updated to include a turbo button, making drafting even faster. That makes for a lot of fun if, like me, you love exploring team-building scenarios.
The Seattle Seahawks have two of the first 20 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and will have plenty of options in a quarterback-hungry market. Here, I explored how they can stick at the No. 5 pick and select a top defensive player, move down or even go quarterback themselves.
OPTION ONE: TARGET DEFENSIVE LINE AT PICK NOS. 5 AND 20
At least one, if not both, of the top defensive players on PFF’s big board will likely be available with the Seahawks' first pick. In this scenario, Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. came off the board at No. 3 to the Arizona Cardinals, but Georgia’s Jalen Carter was still available.
Carter’s 92.3 PFF grade in 2022 was the highest among draft-eligible interior defenders, and there appeared to be some clarity to his legal issues this week, with him being sentenced to a year’s probation. Despite a poor showing at Georgia’s pro day, it’s still likely that he hears his name called early on Day 1.
At the No. 20 pick, the Seahawks go with edge defender Nolan Smith, Carter’s Georgia teammate. Smith never played 500 or more snaps in a single season at Georgia but registered 84 total pressures from 135 pass-rushing opportunities in his four seasons with the Bulldogs.
OPTION TWO: STICK WITH THE TRENCHES BUT FLIP THE ORDER
Perhaps the Seahawks might want to target an edge defender with their first pick. Should Will Anderson Jr. not be available, the most likely candidate here would be Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson. He improved consistently over his final three seasons in college, finishing his final year with 50 total pressures from 257 pass-rushing snaps.
That would allow them to go for a player on the defensive interior at the No. 20 pick, and here they draft Clemson’s Bryan Bresee. He lacked consistency in college, but the raw tools are there, and he racked up 24 total pressures from 203 pass-rushing snaps in 2022.
OPTION THREE: TRADE DOWN FROM PICK NO. 5
Here, the Seahawks took advantage of the market with quarterback Will Levis still on the board and moved down with the Tennessee Titans, getting the No. 11 pick and a 2024 first-rounder in return. Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski was the pick here, though he would likely kick inside to guard after the Seahawks drafted Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas in Rounds 1 and 3 last year.
Georgia’s Nolan Smith was again the pick here at No. 20, with his athleticism too good to ignore.
OPTION FOUR: DRAFT A QUARTERBACK AT PICK NO. 5
Yes, the Seattle Seahawks signed Geno Smith to a three-year deal prior to free agency. And yes, Smith had an impressive 2022 season. But quarterback should still be in play with the fifth overall pick if one of the top prospects falls. Smith is 33 years old and his contract doesn’t prevent the Seahawks from moving on, with the potential upside of a quarterback on a rookie deal so valuable in today’s NFL.
Florida’s Anthony Richardson is an electrifying player, forcing 39 missed tackles on runs in 2022 and producing 19 big-time throws. The high-end play is there to see on Richardson’s film, and while he does lack consistency, his floor is higher than he gets credit for thanks to what he can do in the run game.
With Nolan Smith gone by the No. 20 pick, Maryland’s Deonte Banks was the selection here. Banks put on an incredible showing at the NFL combine in Indianapolis and is coming off a season where just 43.3% of the passes thrown into his coverage were caught.