The Seattle Seahawks are on the cusp of what very well could be a lengthy rebuild with their lack of high-end tradable assets outside of DK Metcalf. Seattle does pick ninth overall in this year’s draft, although it might be in the best interest of the organization to trade back and in an attempt to try and accelerate the rebuild. This draft is not particularly deep in high-end talent, with the top ten being a bit of a question mark overall. Although, where it makes up for that is the overall depth of the class through the early part of Day 3. We’re going to evaluate three teams Seattle might trade back with in the first round, what they could get and who they would be targeting at each pick.
Baltimore Ravens receive 9th overall
Seattle receives 14th overall, 76th overall and 119th overall.
The target: Drake London
Considering the rumored uncertainty surrounding DK Metcalf’s future with the team paired with the report that the organization might be open to trading Tyler Lockett, Seattle needs to add a receiver at some point on the first two days of the draft. With the increasing likelihood the Jets could take a receiver at ten, and the possibility that a team like the Packers or Chiefs trade up for a receiver as well, Seattle could be left with whomever of the big three does not get picked. Jameson Williams and Garrett Wilson would also be great options here at 14 but out of the three I think London is the most likely to slip down the board to this pick.
Quick scouting notes
- London makes the large majority of his impact within twelve yards of the line of scrimmage. He excels in the quick game whether that be RPO’s, slants, outs or curls. He does a great job of being physical at the stem of the route and fighting through the corner to create a bit of separation for tight window throws.
- London’s hands are inconsistent and are something that is going to need to be cleaned up. He excels at working back to the quarterback to both make it an easier throw and make it more difficult for the defender to make a play on the football. Rather than letting the ball catch him and securing it with his body he brings his hands out to meet the ball, catching it away from his body. He can make difficult catches due to his great body control as well as ability to track and high point the football. Although, on some of the easier catches over the middle London does struggle with concentration drops having the ball squeeze through his hands.
- When London gets pressed by an opposing defender he displays an extremely advanced release, often taking one to two jab steps to either reduce the space between him and the defender. He does a great job of using his hands and physicality at the line of scrimmage as he can consistently swim or swipe the defender's hands to avoid the press.
- As a route runner London shows off multiple advanced qualities throughout the course of his route. When against zone coverage he has a great overall awareness of where to sit down or slow the route down when finding a soft spot over the middle or down the sideline. Outside of his high zone IQ London also does a great job at adding some subtleties throughout the route to change the eyes or the hips of the defender. Despite the majority of his routes coming within twelve yards London still displays an ability to run the entire route tree as well as double moves.
- With the ball in his hands London is a massive threat to break a big play as he possesses a unique ability to run like a running back as he can make players miss at the point of the catch. He is an extremely physical runner who can fight for extra yards after the first point of contact and displays fantastic contact balance as he rarely loses his balance at the point of contact.
New Orleans Saints receive 9th overall
Seattle receives 16th overall and 49th overall, 2023-day three pick
The target: Devin Lloyd
Devin Lloyd perfectly fits the modern NFL mold of a linebacker. He can do anything that he is tasked with whether that be play the run, blitz or cover and he would be a major get for Clint Hurtt’s new look defense. Linebacker is not exactly a major need for the Seahawks with a linebacker room that features Jordyn Brooks, who is coming off a 125-tackle season in 2021. However, when you can get a player as talented as Lloyd in the middle of the first round who can change a defense, the pick has to be strongly considered at the minimum.
Quick scouting notes
- As a pass rusher Lloyd is able to generate high pressure and blown block rates because of his downhill quickness, play strength and ability to shoot gaps. His best way of getting after the pass rusher when attacking the A or B gap is simply beating the lineman out of their stance. In situations where Lloyd is stood up as a blitzer, he shows his football IQ in either getting his hands up in the passing lane or by disengaging with the blocker and becoming a QB spy.
- When in zone coverage Lloyd is very disciplined. He never panics and calmly hands players off who cross his zone into the next zone. He understands the depth in which he has to drop to if the offense is running a deep cross behind him and a drag or curl in front of him. In man coverage Lloyd does a good job of deciphering the route and reacting to it.
- Lloyd consistently displays fantastic downhill quickness and first step explosiveness on run plays which often allows him to split the gap. Although, this can be a bit of a problem at times, as rather than staying patient, waiting for the runner to make a move into a gap or into the second level, Lloyd often comes right down which causes him to get engaged with linemen moving up the second level.
- When Lloyd does become engaged with a blocker it is very easy for him to shed off of them using a combination of his length, hands and power. He also shows an ability to move lineman that he is engaged with as well as getting across the face of them on reach blocks.
- As a tackler Lloyd is rather sticky and sound, often tripping players up in the open field and sticking to ball carriers that are running in between the tackles. He does a good job of keeping a strong base width as well as staying on his toes, so it is very difficult for him to be juked in the open field causing a missed tackle. When Lloyd does miss a tackle, it is either because he simply throws his shoulder into the ball carrier, or he over pursues the runner.
Pittsburgh Steelers receive 9th overall
Seattle receives 20th overall, 52nd overall, 2023 third
The target: Desmond Ridder
With Seattle’s ever-present need for a quarterback, Desmond Ridder has to be viewed as a very realistic option in a trade back scenario. He has the mental makeup as well as the leadership abilities that teams covet from their signal caller. He is not a flashy player, nor is he going to produce the eye-popping numbers that we see from some of the other quarterbacks in the division. Although, at his peak, it is relatively easy to envision him sitting around the twelfth best quarterback in the league. A quarterback in that range can easily reach the postseason and make a push for the Super Bowl with the right pieces around them.
Quick scouting notes
- In the short to intermediate game, Ridder makes a very strong impact. He almost always hits his target in the first two levels of the field, consistently showing an ability to layer a ball over a backer. When he struggles with his accuracy in the short to intermediate game it is more so putting the ball on the wrong shoulder or not hitting his receiver in stride rather than just completely missing them.
- Ridder’s deep ball is inconsistent, it often floats, allowing the defender to reduce the amount of separation created by the receiver or the safety to come over and make a play on the ball. His front shoulder/hip are too open at times, and he consistently throws deep balls flat footed which is a reason for it floating. His deep ball placement also leaves some to be desired, as rather than placing it over the outside shoulder of his intended target it has a tendency to float more towards the middle of the field.
- Ridder’s footwork is very good as he stays on the balls of his toes. He is consistently able to slide in the pocket from spot to spot allowing his eyes to stay downfield but also putting his lower half in a position to take off if needed. Outside of rushers coming from his blindside he has a very good feel for the blitz and his eyes rarely drop. He also keeps two hands on the football at nearly all times which should help prevent fumbles.
- He does not have strong zip on throws to the opposite sideline although he has a strong enough arm to fit balls into tight windows down the seam and boundaries against cover 2 or 3. At times he locks onto his targets although for the most part he displays good enough eye discipline to look off safeties and backers.
- Ridder is a significant threat for defenses with his mobility. He does not possess high end speed but he is extremely athletic and should be able to outrun most defensive lineman and some linebackers. He is a quarterback who can participate in read option players to help keep backers and edges honest in setting the edge. When the play breaks down Ridder can tuck it and run to rip off seven plus yard plays. He likely will not make players miss in the open field, although he will almost always be able to fall forward or fight for extra yards if needed, especially on QB sneaks.