As a result of the Russell Wilson trade the Seattle Seahawks own the Denver Broncos first-round pick next season, and thanks to Denver’s collapse Seattle is likely to own a top-10 pick in the 2023 draft. It is a bit up in the air as to where exactly the pick will land as there are nine 3-win teams and four 4-loss teams, meaning the pick could be as high as 3 or as low as 13.
There is some uncertainty as to who is going to be taken at the top of the draft due to question marks surrounding many top prospects, and stock fluctuates usually at the NFL Combine. Despite that though there are two certainties as to who is going to be taken at the top of the draft in Alabama’s Will Anderson and Georgia’s Jalen Carter. Down below we are going to do a quick rundown of what both players bring to the table as well as their ceilings and floors as prospects.
Edge - Third year junior - 6 foot 3 inches - 245 pounds
Games watched 2022 - Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi St. and Tennessee
- His hand placement is perfect as he strikes blockers right in the chest at the point of contact. When blockers show their hands early, Anderson is quick enough with his to swipe them away to give him a track to either of the blocker's shoulders.
- Anderson features a very quick and tight swim move that he beats blockers with, with relative ease at the point of contact.
- He uses his lower half with regularity as a pass rusher as he often incorporates stutter or jab steps right off of the line of scrimmage to throw off the timing of the blocker.
- Anderson is a weapon on stunts and twists thanks to his patience as a pass rusher as well as his overall football intelligence (FBI).
- When blocked by one player Anderson is almost impossible to move as he at worst stays at the line of scrimmage and works his way down it. He does a great job of staying parallel to the line of scrimmage on runs ran away from him.
- Anderson has great contact balance on running plays, very rarely losing his center of gravity even when taking on two blockers.
- Despite getting good leverage on most pass rushing plays he struggles to generate the leg drive to continually move defenders back when stood up.
- An additional area of concern for Anderson is he lacks a true counter move.
- Anderson was rarely used in coverage at Alabama, which does ask a slight question of whether he is 3-4 vs 4-3 scheme fit at the next level.
- Anderson is a questionable tackler near the line of scrimmage as well as in space. He misses far too many tackles that he simply has to make.
Anderson’s blend of FBI, excellent hands, and twitchy athleticism gives him the ceiling of an All-Pro edge; however, his suspect tackling, average motor and lack of a true counter move gives him the floor of a low-end starter.
Interior defensive lineman - Third year junior - 6 foot 3 inches - 310 pounds
Games watched - 2021 Kentucky - 2022 Oregon, Florida, Tennessee
- Carter’s best skill against the run is his ability to shed blockers. When slanting down against reach blocks Carter’s first step quickness allows him to beat blockers to the spot consistently. When he is cut off from attacking their inside shoulder Carter uses his blend of upper body strength, quick hands and upper body balance to move blockers aside.
- When engaged with blockers or when tackling right at the line of scrimmage Carter is extremely sticky and difficult to run through. Carter has the upper body strength to stick out an arm in the run gap and stop the ball carrier in their tracks right at the point of contact.
- His hand strikes were placed perfectly as they were almost always in the chest which did set up his repertoire of moves.
- Carter’s best attribute in the passing game is his hand usage which sets him up for multiple moves.
- He has a great rip move that he uses to beat blockers to their inside shoulder when he is initially held up at the point of contact.
- His get off is quick enough to the point where he is able to beat double teams, although when doubled he does have the hand usage and upper body strength to continue to work through them and get to the quarterback.
- Carter does need to incorporate his lower half a bit more in the running game to drive blockers backwards as there are times where he gets a bit too upright.
- Despite having quick hands that allow him to swim or rip blockers in the running game his hands weren’t heavy as they didn’t set blockers back at the point of contact.
- Carter does not have any type of bull rush move as he struggles at times to get into his lower half to generate enough power to drive blockers back.
- Carter does have a tendency to lean on blockers on passing plays, which does occasionally cause him to lose his balance or get dragged down and pancaked by the blocker.
Carter’s very good hand usage, motor, upper body strength and balance will allow for him to become a potential All Pro interior defensive lineman; however his lack of a true bullrush, softer hands and lower half drive give him the floor of a solid starter.
(Editor’s note: I know it’s November but Devin will look to make this a regular series so that by the time we’re closer to the NFL Draft, there will be a lot of intel on prospects and potential Seahawks players)