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NFL Mock Draft 2023: Seahawks take surprise defensive lineman in latest Draft Wire projection

One expected pick at 5th, and then one out of nowhere at 20th overall.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 01 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It wouldn’t be a Seattle Seahawks draft without an eyebrow raising pick towards the back-half of Round 1, and I think this could qualify if it comes to fruition.

USA Today’s Draft Wire released its last Pre-NFL Combine mock draft on Sunday, and three quarterbacks go in the top four picks: Bryce Young at #1 to the Carolina Panthers (in an obvious trade up), C.J. Stroud to the Houston Texans at #2, and Anthony Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts at #4. Jalen Carter went to the Arizona Cardinals at #3, which leaves the Seahawks with Alabama EDGE rusher Will Anderson. I think between him and Tyree Wilson we’ve had plenty of discussion about those two as potential franchise pass rushers for a team that has struggled to get after the quarterback for several years.

Where this mock draft takes a turn is when Seattle is up at #20. It’s another defensive lineman, but it’s not one of the featured draft prospects. Here’s Draft Wire’s reasoning for the Seahawks taking 6’5”, 286 lbs DL Keion White.

The Seahawks already added one edge rusher in Anderson earlier in the draft, but they decide to double-dip here and get a guy who can play on the edge or kick inside to rush the passer. White is versatile and athletic enough to get to the quarterback from anywhere, and has a lot of upside, so this is a home run pick for a position of need in Seattle.

A former tight end in high school and at Old Dominion, White recorded 7.5 sacks in his redshirt senior year with the Yellow Jackets and had 14 tackles for loss overall. He was one of the standouts of the Senior Bowl, and his draft projection seems to range from late first-round to anywhere in the second round.

Of course, when I say “redshirt senior” that means he’s up there in age for a college player. He’s already 24 and had very limited playing time in 2021 when he broke his ankle playing basketball before the start of his time at Georgia Tech. White also skipped the 2020 season as a COVID opt-out, so in effect he played four games from 2020-2021, then emerged in 2022. We’ll get measurables on White later this week at the NFL Combine.

Senior Bowl standout? Check. Well into his 20s? Check. Worrying injury not too long before declaring for the draft? Check. Actually he ticks all the boxes to be a Seahawks draft pick.

(I’m only joking. I think.)

Over the next several weeks there will definitely be more names added to the mix as potential first-round targets for Seattle.