Seahawks Draft Goals and First Round Scenarios

What do the Seahawks want to have at the end of this year's draft? That's the question that I've been thinking about for the past few weeks, and while the funny answer is "everything", I think the realistic answer is still really interesting.

Obviously the most important thing that the Seahawks need is some kind of clarity at quarterback. Whether that's Geno Smith back on a multi-year deal, bringing back Drew Lock and giving him the reigns, taking a chance on one of the QBs in this draft, be that at number 5 or later, or going after a more established player in free agency/the trade block. It's the most important position on the team bar none, and this is a really interesting (and stressful) position to be in.

The second thing the Seahawks want is an improved defensive line. The most obvious problem during the post-bye-week part of the season was the absolutely abysmal run defense, but rushing the passer was not a real strength of the team either. While the Seahawks were 8th in the league in sacks, they were still bottom half of the league in pressure percentage. I think there's a good argument to be made for pressure percentage as the more important of those two statistics. The good news here is that there's a really obvious solution to this one. This draft, from what I can see, is incredibly good and deep on the defensive line. I'll go into this more later on. but holy cow there's so much talent out there this year.

Third place for me is the defensive backfield. Gotta get some light across from our Shadow on the defensive right side. Also I wouldn't mind grabbing a more experienced nickel corner, and safety could be a need depending on what comes of Jamal Adams' and possibly even Quandre Diggs' contract situations. There are some real athletes and players at each of these spots, and even if I've got my favorites, there are plenty that I wouldn't complain about seeing in Seahawks blue and green.

Tied for fourth and fifth in my priority list this year are linebackers and skill positions not named quarterback, but for two different reasons. For linebackers...the group just isn't very strong this year. There are plenty of rush backers, and maybe someone like a Nolan Smith could develop that way in the future, but there are very few guys that will be able to play that role right out of the box. For skill positions I want to look toward the future. Tyler Lockett isn't getting any younger, and his collision avoidance tactics are only going to keep him going for so long. A wide receiver should probably be on the shopping list somewhere, but is unlikely to be a priority. Running back and tight end even less so.

There are obvious exceptions to all of this: if value for a player is exceptional, then obviously that's fine, but the idea is to have a plan for what you need and want each scenario. Let's think about some of those scenarios.

Staying put:

There are basically two scenarios that can happen if the Seahawks stay put, and weirdly, both of them should probably give the same reaction. If all 4 top QBs are gone and there aren't good trade suitors, you take Will Anderson. If one of the top QBs are still there, you take that QB. This is a bizarre draft in that I'm actually pretty high on every single QB in the draft. I definitely have my own preferences, but even my least favorite QB would be worth the #5 overall pick in the draft. I'm not even joking about that. They're all dang good.

Now, something to point out is that there has never been a draft that has seen 4 QBs taken in the top 4. I point that out because it will be pointed out in the future, but also to say that even though it's interesting to think about, it also doesn't matter at all. I don't like saying that "we've never seen [insert number] of [insert position] taken in the first [insert number] of picks in the draft." Each draft is unique, and should be treated as such. (also the Falcons should have taken Justin Fields or Mac Jones at pick 4 in 2021. They had a 36 year old Matt Ryan and were coming off of a 4-12 season. What on earth possessed them to take a TE of all things?! I don't care how good he is! Priorities people!)

Rants aside, this is the easiest scenario. Let the draft come to you, don't over think it. The top value in this class is in the defensive line and Quarterback. You'd like to have more control over it (why did Denver have to win that last game? So frustrating), but you take what you can get.

Trading down

This is an interesting place to be. I honestly can't remember another time there was this much chatter about trades at the top of the draft. If there was going to be a flurry of trades in the top 4, we'd likely be seeing Chicago trade back either once or twice, and then Arizona would also be really likely to trade back in that scenario as well. That, combined with the Seahawks trading back, would be the most trades in the top 5 picks (either 3 or 4) that I could find in the very short search that I did. Again, that doesn't matter, but it is neat.

I think this is maybe the most likely scenario for all the QBs to go in the top 4. I'm not gonna like, that would suck. I like Will Anderson, but let's not try to pretend that he's some kind of generational pass rushing prospect. He's a good athlete, not a great one. He's got good tape, not dominant tape. He's a good prospect. He seems like a genuinely phenomenal person. I hope the best for him. I just wouldn't be very excited about him at 5, and I'd love to let someone who would be excited about getting him there have that chance. Does Philly love him? Awesome! Picks 10, 62, and 93 please, and we'll throw in 195 (btw, I'm using this chart for trade value). Houston wants to add another stud at the top of the draft? Great! 12, 65, and 73, if'n you don't mind. From there you've got a chance at really exceptional value, depending on who gets to you there, and someone will get to you there. From what I can see, the best place to be in this draft is either from 1-3 or from 10-20, so maybe we wouldn't get a great return, but more chances to succeed is never a bad thing.

Trading up

Having said that, this is also an option. I said that I would be fine with any of the quarterbacks in this class...but there are some guys that I'm actually excited about, and more importantly, that I think Pete and John will be interested in. If that's the case, they're gonna have to get their guy. Seattle has two first round picks. If they want to get their guy for sure, they have the draft capital to try and get there. They've got more draft capital than any of the other teams that have been floated as possibly trading for the #1, #2, or #3 overall picks and would still leave the Bears, Cardinals, or Texans in a place where they could potentially grab one of the top 4 QBs if they want one of them, or one of the defensive linemen if they don’t.

I don't want to say that it's likely that they'll trade up, but the move is possible, and Seattle might be in the best position of any team except maybe Detroit to do so. If they want one specific player to play QB, and I think they might, this could be the way they get him. according to the draft chart, 5, 20, and 37 are just a bit over the cost for the #1 pick, and even though I'd prefer to spread out the cost over two years (maybe with pick 51 from this year and a third from next year?) or even trading up with Arizona instead of with Chicago, I think this could be an option for them if there's that one guy that they really feel like they need.

Pick 20

Weirdly, this pick is the crux of the entire draft. The fact that the Seahawks have 2 picks in the first round was something that we all knew coming into the year, but I kind of expected that we would have been supplying the top-5 pick. Pleasant surprises, I guess. This is the part of the year where we all half wish that the Seahawks hadn't made the playoffs, that Geno Smith hadn't been so good, because that would have made things so much simpler. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast this year. Maybe the most fun of any seahawks season since 2012, but dang it would've been nice to have picks 5 and...I don't know, like 7 or 8.

Now here we are. Pick 20 is where I think there's going to be a lot of fun speculation. There is just SO. MUCH. TALENT. on the defensive line this year. A stunning amount of excellent athletes that fit any defensive line. Adetomiwa Adebawore showed out at the combine, Calijah Kancey had a similarly impressive showing. I'd be shocked if this pick went toward anything that wasn't either a trade or something in the trenches. Frankly, if you wanted, you could build a whole new defensive line core with picks 20, 37, and 51. There are enough solid prospects in this draft that the Seahawks should be able to build a brick wall if they want.

That said, there are other players that would be interesting at this part of the draft that aren't in that position group. Bijan Robinson, if he's still somehow there, is a major draft crush of mine. Michael Mayer is an excellent player at TE. Who knows who else might rise as time goes on and interviews and pro days and more intensive film study and...good lord a lot of things go into this.

After the first round

Despite the obvious importance of the first round, the whole draft is what counts. there are countless prospects that won't go in the first 10, 30, 50 picks, but will still impact their teams, heralded or no. I've got my favorites (Moro Ojomo, Julius Brents, Jack Campbell, and a bunch of others), and I'm sure Pete and John have theirs. Ultimately it's out of our hands and we don't get any kind of say in it, but that's no fun, now is it? So, speculate away my friends! What're your favorite prospects and which are your least favorite? Any scenarios that I should've covered?