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FTR’s second 2023 mock draft: The Seahawks go on the offensive

Picking defense in Round 1? Not so fast...

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NFL: NFL Draft Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Conventional wisdom dictates that the Seattle Seahawks need to address the trenches in this year’s draft, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

But Jimmy McGinty Pete Carroll is anything but a conventional guy. Therefore, in this mock draft, the Seahawks go in a somewhat unexpected direction - zigging instead of zagging, so to speak.

As with my first mock draft, there are some rules and background info:

  • PFF’s Mock Draft Simulator
  • Default settings
  • Maximum of two trades (and they have to be reasonable)
  • I’m only making picks for Seattle; the rest is the AI (or whatever PFF uses in their sim)
  • I’m working under an assumption that the Seahawks will have re-signed Geno Smith and won’t “need” to take a QB in the draft

Note: For those that aren’t familiar with the PFF simulator, it’s fairly easy to manipulate trades to give your team an advantage and, if the computer doesn’t agree, you can click the “force trade” button. Therefore, my mock drafts include an analysis of each trade using the Jimmy Johnson Trade Value chart in order to determine the reasonableness of the trade.

Also, for what it’s worth, this is the 431st mock draft I’ve done this year, but only the 2nd one I’ve published.

Trade #1

The top 4 picks are Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama QB Bryce Young, Georgia DT Jalen Carter*, and Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud.

*This mock draft was done before the news reports came out about Carter’s involvement in a speeding incident that resulted in two deaths and, as of March 3rd, PFF’s simulator still hasn’t adjusted for this which means Carter is usually a Top-3 pick.

At #5, there’s no one on the board that Seattle’s brain trust feels is especially “worthy” of a 4-year, $34M guaranteed contract, but there are several players that they like in the Top 10.

Fortunately, there are 7 teams with interest in Seattle’s pick, including the Atlanta Falcons (#8), the Carolina Panthers (#9), and the Philadelphia Eagles (#10), the Houston Texans (#12), the New York Jets (#13), and 2 teams that pick in the 20s.

Pete Carroll and John Schneiders prefer to remain in the Top 10 though, and, as fate would have it, the Eagles are willing to sacrifice their second R1 (#30) and an R3 (#94) to move up 5 spots. Seattle pulls the trigger and adds 344 points of draft value (1,700 vs. 2,044; +20.2%) which seems reasonable for a Top 5 pick.

Note: Moving back 5 spots saves the Seahawks almost $12M over the next 4 years, including a little over $2.1M in 2023.

Round 1, Pick 1

The Eagles select Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez with the pick they got from the Seahawks. The Detroit Lions take Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon at #6. QBs come off the board at #7 (Levis to the Raiders) and #9 (Richardson to the Panthers). Between QB3 and QB4, the Falcons select Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson at #8.

Seattle is on the clock at #10.

There is interest in the pick but John and Pete politely decline and turn in their card. The Commissioner strolls to the podium and says . . .

With the 10th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Wide Receiver Quentin Johnston, TCU.

Admittedly, this pick would raise some eyebrows.

FACT: The current regime has never used a first round pick on a wideout.

FACT: JSPC have only selected six wideouts on Day Two, the highest of which was Paul Richardson at #45 overall in 2014.

Here’s the thing though . . . Seattle needs a bona fide threat at WR3 who can replace Tyler Lockett in a season or three.

I know that no one likes to think about it, but the number of WRs who have been productive in their mid-30s can probably be counted on one hand and NoE is unlikely to evade Father Time very much longer.

Enter Quentin Johnston, a player that “enters the draft as one of the most athletically gifted receivers of the past decade.” (per the Draft Network’s scouting report)

Round 1, Pick 2

This pick will surprise exactly no one who has been paying attention to the fact that I am a HUGE fan of a certain blue chip talent and salivate over the idea of pairing him with Kenneth Walker III.

With the 20th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Running Back Bijan Robinson, Texas.

While it’s true that Robinson isn’t the highest-rated player on the board at #20 (that distinction goes to DT Calijah Kancey), that’s only because of “positional value” which, in my opinion, is often overrated. Most draft analysts will tell you that Robinson is a Top-5 talent and the fact that he’s still on the board at #20 has me (as JSPC’s proxy) running to turn in the card.

Some will say that Seattle doesn’t need to draft a running back after selecting K9 in the 2nd round last year.

I obviously disagree.

Walker was very “boom or bust” last year. Rashaad Penny is a free agent (and only appeared in five games in 2022). Right now, the 2nd-best running back on Seattle’s roster is DeeJay Dallas and, no offense, he’s not RB1 or RB2 material.

So, yeah, running back IS a need.

And if it’s a need, why not pick the best one in the draft (and some would say the best one available in the draft since Saquon Barkley went #2 overall in 2018)?

Round 1, Pick 3

If having two first round picks is good, having three is even better.

Especially in this mock draft.


Because the best Tight End in the class is still on the board.

Yep, that’s right . . .

With the 30th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Tight End Michael Mayer, Notre Dame.

Jaws hit floors.

Draft analysts are in disbelief.

Day One ends with the Seahawks having selected zero defensive players.

Note: For those that are interested, the full list of Round 1 picks is in the Bonus Coverage section at the end of this article.

Round 2, Pick 1

Having addressed three of the four skill positions on Day 1, Seattle turns its attention to the trenches with the R2 they got from the Denver Broncos in the Russell Wilson trade.

With the 37th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Defensive Tackle Mazi Smith, Michigan.

Judging by their reaction, the Seahawks fans in attendance at the draft like this pick.

And why wouldn’t they?

The Seahawks need a Nose Tackle and Mazi Smith is a beast. In fact, he’s such a beast that he’s listed at #1 on Bruce Feldman’s 2022 Freaks List.

Since the list is behind a paywall, I’ll share some relevant details:

The 6-foot-3, 337-pound senior has rare power and agility. So rare, in fact, it’s hard to find the right superlative to begin with. But let’s start with this: Smith does 22 reps on the bench press, but that’s with 325 (not 225). He close-grip benched 550 pounds. He vertical-jumps 33 inches. He broad-jumped 9-4 1/2.

“Mazi’s rotational strength is ridiculous,” said longtime Michigan strength coach Ben Herbert, who said Smith is the strongest defensive lineman he’s seen in 25 years in the business. “He is an incredible combination of rare traits packaged into one player. He is just ridiculously strong and powerful.”

Trade #2

Seattle has had interest in each of their picks but with the self-imposed limit of 2 trades maximum, they’ve resisted the urge to move back from #20, #30, and #37 since there were very specific players that they were targeting with each of those picks and trading back wasn’t worth the risk of “losing” any of those players.

At #51 though, there are a good half dozen players that interest the Seahawks and odds are pretty good that at least one of them will be available if JSPC make a trade.

  • Carolina gets #51 (390 points)
  • Seattle gets #61 (292) and #93 (128)
  • Net result: 420 vs. 390; +30 for Seattle (7.7%)

Seems reasonable.

Round 2, Pick 2

Three of the six players Seattle had an interest in at #51 are still on the board. The highest rated of those is the pick.

With the 61st pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Center Luke Wypler, Ohio State.

Personally, I would prefer Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz but he went off the board in the late-40s and Wypler is hardly a consolation prize given that he’s PFF’s top-rated Center at #47 overall (Schmitz is #52).

For what it’s worth, even if Austin Blythe hadn’t retired and Seattle had re-signed him, this would still be the pick at this spot because Seattle needs a quality center that can help solidify the O-line for the next however-many years.

Note: Wisconsin Center Joe Tippmann was also available so if you’re not a fan of Luke Wypler, just pretend that the pick was Joe Tippman instead. Or whoever else you like - other than John Michael “Jingleheimer” Schmitz since he was off the board.

Round 3, Pick 1

In a perfect world, the Seahawks would move back roughly a dozen spots before making this pick. Alas, we’ve already used our 2 trades . . . and no one was interested in the pick even if we hadn’t.

No worries though; positional value more than justifies this selection.

With the 83rd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Quarterback Hendon Hooker, Tennessee.

Hmmm . . . .

As mentioned in the intro, I’m assuming that Seattle re-signs Geno Smith.

Regardless of that though, the Seahawks would probably be wise to select a quarterback in this year’s draft.

Round 3, Pick 2

This is the pick Seattle got from Carolina by trading back from #51 to #61.

With the 93rd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select EDGE Karl Brooks, Bowling Green.

This seems like a very Seahawk-y pick to me.

Brooks is #48 on PFF’s Big Board but was still on the board at #93. Why? Who knows; the simulator can be weird sometimes. Seattle takes advantage though and adds a pass rusher with athletic potential who had a solid showing at the Senior Bowl.

Round 3, Pick 3

This pick was part of the trade that allowed the Eagles to move up to #5.

With the 94th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, Texas.

A converted defensive back who is one of the best linebackers in this year’s draft? Yes, please!

With Cody Barton a free agent and Jordyn Brooks a question mark for the start of the 2023 season, linebacker is very much a position of need for the Seahawks.

And, given Brooks’ injury, that’s likely the case even if the much-hoped-for reunion with Bobby Wagner occurs.


The Seahawks enter the 2023 NFL Draft with 5 picks over the first 2 days, execute two trades, and end up with 8 picks in Rounds 1 through 3, including 3 picks on Day One.

  • #10: WR Quentin Johnston, TCU
  • #20: RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
  • #30: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
  • #37: DT Mazi Smith, Michigan
  • #61: OC Luke Wypler, Ohio State
  • #83: QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
  • #93: EDGE Karl Brooks, Bowling Green
  • #94: LB DeMarvion Overshown, Texas

Bonus Coverage

As promised, here are the full results from Round 1, plus a look at the Seahawks entire draft class at the end.

Full Results from Round One

  1. EDGE Will Anderson Jr. (CHI)
  2. QB Bryce Young (HST)
  3. DT Jalen Carter (AZ)
  4. QB C.J. Stroud (IND)
  5. CB Christian Gonzalez (PHI, via trade)
  6. CB Devon Witherspoon (DET)
  7. QB Will Levis (LV)
  8. EDGE Tyree Wilson (ATL)
  9. QB Anthony Richardson (CAR)
  10. WR Quentin Johnston (SEA, via trade)
  11. OT Paris Johnson Jr. (TEN)
  12. EDGE Myles Murphy (HST)
  13. OT Peter Skoronski (NYJ)
  14. EDGE Lukas Van Ness (NE)
  15. WR Jordan Addison (GB)
  16. S Brian Branch (WAS)
  17. CB Joey Porter Jr. (PIT)
  18. DT Bryan Bresee (DET)
  19. WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (TB)
  20. RB Bijan Robinson (SEA)
  21. WR Zay Flowers (LAC)
  22. OT Broderick Jones (BLT)
  23. DT Calijah Kancey (MIN)
  24. CB Cam Smith (JAX)
  25. TE Dalton Kincaid (NYG)
  26. EDGE Nolan Smith (DAL)
  27. CB Tyrique Stevenson (BUF)
  28. OG O’Cyrus Torrence (CIN)
  29. RB Jahmyr Gibbs (NO)
  30. TE Michael Mayer (SEA, via trade)
  31. CB Kelee Ringo (KC)

The Rest of Seattle’s Picks

I usually do 7-round mock drafts but only publish the first 3 rounds. Here are the rest of the picks from this mock draft:



  • #10: WR Quentin Johnston, TCU
  • #20: RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
  • #30: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
  • #37: DT Mazi Smith, Michigan
  • #61: OC Luke Wypler, Ohio State
  • #83: QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
  • #93: EDGE Karl Brooks, Bowling Green
  • #94: LB DeMarvion Overshown, Texas
  • #122: EDGE Colby Wooden, Auburn
  • #153: DT Moro Ojomo, Texas
  • #156: RB DeWayne McBride, UAB
  • #197: WR Ronnie Bell, Michigan



  • QBs: 1
  • RBs: 2
  • WRs: 2
  • TEs: 1
  • OL: 1
  • DT: 2
  • EDGE: 2
  • LB: 1
  • DBs: 0