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Seahawks trade up, quarterbacks go 1-2-3-4 in The Athletic’s latest 2023 NFL mock draft

Seattle moves up to select Florida QB Anthony Richardson.

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NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In what seemed like an inevitability, someone - in this case, Ben Standing of The Athletic - has released a mock draft that would make NFL history if it actually happened.

#1 = QB C.J. Stroud

#2 = QB Bryce Young

#3 = QB Anthony Richardson

#4 = QB Will Levis

And, at #5, the Seattle Seahawks Arizona Cardinals select Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr.

Yeah, as if having the distinction of having quarterbacks taken off the board with each of the first 4 picks weren’t enough, this particular mock draft also features an intra-division trade between NFC West rivals.

What did it cost the Seahawks to move up two spots?

  • Seattle gets #3
  • Arizona gets #5, #52, #123, and Seattle’s 2024 third-round pick

At first glance, I’d say that’s cheap.

Especially when you consider that Seattle is trading up to take a quarterback, and they’re making the trade with a division rival (which often carries its own premium).

I mean, the cost to move up to take a QB is supposed to be steep (see Lance, Trey), and this projected trade is anything but.

At least on the traditional (Jimmy Johnson) trade value chart.

Note: Rather than taking time right now to go down the rabbit hole of point values for picks and the different charts one can use, I’m going to toss that info in the Bonus Coverage section at the end.

Moving past the trade itself, here’s the write-up on Seattle’s selection of Anthony Richardson at #3 overall:

From the Seahawks’ perspective, Geno Smith’s new contract is about keeping a productive quarterback they know and taking advantage of a down NFC. The long haul is perhaps another story. While Smith leads the way, Richardson can hone his quarterbacking skills off-camera for a season with Seattle re-assessing things in 2024, knowing it can move off Smith’s contract in 2025.

The two-spot move without surrendering a future first-round pick allows them to have their cake and eat it, too, while avoiding another team jumping them for Richardson.

After the first 4 picks are used on QBs, the Cardinals take a victory lap by grabbing the best non-QB in the draft at #5 (!!).

The Detroit Lions take a cornerback (Christian Gonzalez) at #6, the Las Vegas Raiders take an EDGE (Tyree Wilson) at #7, and Jalen Carter’s slide ends when the Atlanta Falcons decide to keep him in-state and select him at #8.

The first Wide Receiver comes off the board at #14 when the New England Patriots select Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The Green Bay Packers, fresh on the heels of trading Aaron Rodgers, use their R1 (#15 overall) to select USC WR Jordan Addison (and the internet social media explodes with memes).

The Lions say the hell with conventional wisdom (aka positional value) with their second R1 (#18 overall) and welcome Texas RB Bijan Robinson to the Motor City.

The Buccaneers select an OT at #19 (Tennessee’s Darnell Wright) and then . . .

Seattle is on the clock at #20.

Rather than trading the pick and moving back a few spots to replenish some of the draft capital they gave up at the top of the round, John and Pete make a selection and the 12s welcome Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy to the Pacific Northwest.

From the mock draft’s write-up:

The Seahawks waited on fortifying their pass rush — and possibly replacing free agent Poona Ford — by passing on Jalen Carter. Here, they still land a front-seven prospect whom some mocks have in the top 10.

Personally, I’d have probably opted for Pittsburgh DT Calijah Kancey, who went to the Buffalo Bills at #27, or (maybe) Murphy’s teammate, DT Bryan Bresee, who was selected by the New Orleans Saints at #29. I would have also considered selecting a wideout (Quentin Johnston went to the Baltimore Ravens at #22 and Zay Flowers landed with the Giants at #25).

Still . . .

If the Seahawks exit Day One with a potential Quarterback of the Future and a player that improves the front 7 on defense, I think a lot of 12s will consider that a good start to the 2023 NFL Draft.

Go Hawks!

Bonus Coverage

Using the Jimmy Johnson Trade Value Chart to evaluate the projected trade between the Seahawks and Cardinals, Seattle is giving up 2,129 points in this year’s draft + whatever the 2024 R3 would be valued at (my own calculations would put it at about 169 points). The #3 pick is worth 2,200.

Minus the future R3, Seattle actually comes out ahead 71 points on the Jimmy Johnson Trade Value Chart, and even with the future R3, the values are still within about 100 points, depending on how one values future picks.

Putting that another way, the Seahawks would only be paying a premium of about 4-1/2% to move up 2 spots using the Jimmy Johnson chart.


Things start to change if you look at more recent trade value charts though.

  • On the Rich Hill Trade Value Chart, Seattle is giving up 599 points (plus the 2024 R3). The #3 pick is worth 514 which means that even before the future R3 is factored in, Seattle is at minus-85. A future R3 is worth about 50 points (midpoint of round, minus 10%) so the final score (so to speak) is 649 to 514 which would represent about a 26% premium.

  • Over on OTC, where the Fitzgerald-Spielberger NFL Draft Trade Value Chart originated, the premium lands at 47.39% (!!) and that’s before the future R3 is included (!!!!!!!). On the OTC chart, #3 is worth 2,443 points, #5 is worth 2,184 points, #52 is worth 998 points, and #123 is worth 561 points. My calculations put the value of the future R3 at 698 points (midpoint of round, minus 10% discount), which pushes the premium to 81.78%. Ouch!