The SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft has made it to pick 20, where the Seattle Seahawks are scheduled to make their second pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.
For those who may not recall, Field Gulls managing editor Mookie Alexander used the fifth overall pick to address the defensive line, adding Tyree Wilson to the ‘Hawks rotation in the trenches. Now, fifteen picks later Field Gulls is once again on the clock, and this is how the top 40 of the SB Nation Big Board looks.
CJ Stroud Bryce Young Will Anderson Anthony Richardson Tyree Wilson Jalen Carter Christian Gonzalez Bijan Robinson Paris Johnson Jr. Nolan Smith Jaxon Smith-Njigba Jordan Addison Peter Skoronski Broderick Jones Myles Murphy Devon Witherspoon Joey Porter Jr. Darnell Wright Calijah Kancey
- Bryan Bresee
- Brian Branch
- Will Levis
- Quintin Johnston
- Kelee Ringo
- Cam Smith
- BJ Ojulari
- O’Cyrus Torrence
- Clark Phillips III
- Michael Mayer
- Noah Sewell
- Zay Flowers
- Josh Downs
- Jordan Battle
- Derrick Hall
- Antonio Johnson Jr.
- Jahmyr Gibbs
- Drew Sanders
- Isaiah Foskey
- Darnell Washington
- Jalin Hyatt
Certainly a lot of potentially attractive options, but none which truly scream to be selected. Bresee lacks the college production Pete Carroll and John Schneider tend to look for from first-round picks. Torrence would have been an option if Mike Solari were still the offensive line coach, but under Andy Dickerson they have moved away from linemen of this mold. Ojulari has attractive traits, but not necessarily the production wanted from a first rounder, and he would join an already crowded field that includes Uchenna Nwosu, Boye Mafe and Darrell Taylor at outside linebacker. Levis is, well, just watch the tape. And on and on.
So, in short, the pick made at one of the positions with the lowest expected returns, but with hopes that Mayer can develop into the third receiving target for Geno Smith. Mayer fills a role the Seahawks have long needed behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, while also providing support as a blocker as needed.
In addition, it’s a selection that not only considers 2023, but also looks forward to 2024. With both Colby Parkinson and Noah Fant set to be unrestricted free agents next offseason, the Hawks will need to address the position, and the sooner the better. Many fans will likely argue that the team can wait until 2024 to replace Parkinson and Fant, but the reality is that rookie tight ends often don’t provide significant production. Since the 2011 CBA reduced offseason practice time and slowed player development curves, 169 tight ends have been drafted. Of those 169, just 35 recorded 250 or more receiving yards as rookies.
Even looking at just the tight ends selected on Day 1 and Day 2 of the draft since 2011, only 25 of the 60 tight ends selected recorded 250 or more receiving yards in their rookie season. Some of the players who failed to break even that threshold in their first season in the league include the likes of Kyle Rudolph, Gerald Everett, Eric Ebron, Mike Gesicki, Hayden Hurst and others.
So, while it’s certainly not a sexy pick, it’s a pick that gives Seattle a player who can contribute right away on special teams and situationally as a second or third tight end, without pressure to produce right away. In addition, the selection of Mayer gives the Hawks the ability to shop Noah Fant, and trading Fant and his fully-guaranteed $6.85m 2023 salary would go a long way toward creating the cap space the Seahawks will need this season.
Measurable Stats (NFL Combine)
Height: 6’4 1/2”
Weight: 249 lbs.
Arm Length: 31 5/8”
Hand: 9 1/2”
40 yard dash: 4.70
20-yard split: 2.75
10-yard split: 1.61
Pro Football Network’s Scouting Report
Mayer entered the 2023 NFL Draft cycle as a near-consensus TE1 prospect and with the potential to return the position to the first round of the draft following a barren year. Mayer’s play in his junior season enforced the opinion that the Notre Dame tight end possesses incredible ability, but does his scouting report live up to the preseason expectation?
At 6’4 1/2″ and 249 pounds, Mayer already has the look of an NFL tight end. He puts this size and apparent functional length to good use as a dangerous pass-catching target at TE for Notre Dame. Meanwhile, he’s demonstrated impressive aptitude in multiple aspects of blocking from the position. As one of the top all-around TE prospects we’ve seen for a long time, Mayer has a scouting report that should leave NFL scouts salivating.
Strengths (via NFL Draft Buzz)
Mayer fights his way off the line of scrimmage against press coverage, showing quick, violent hands and good balance.
Mayer plays with smoothness and balance, and Mayer shows a knack for setting up defensive backs.
Good quickness off the snap. Has good speed for the position to attack the seam. Shows burst out of his breaks to gain separation.
Knee-bend and technique are good and he shows decent power when his hands hit the target.
Has the burst off the snap to be split out wide in the NFL
The best blocking Tight end in this year’s class
Mayer has soft hands and excellent ball skills
He effortlessly catches the football away from his frame
Mayer releases from in-line alignments effectively
He has a well-rounded set of tools as a pass catcher
Possesses mismatch size and is adept at going up to make contested catches
He high points the ball well and has strong hands to control the ball while getting hit
Mayer has a nose for the end zone and should be an asset in the red zone
He has a nice feel as a route runner and knows how to separate
Weaknesses (via NFL Draft Buzz)
Athletic profile limiting factor - Lacks Run-Away Athlete Speed
Nightmare to fight at catch point
Functional strength is good but not dominant
Blocking technique not always clean
Not likely to win foot races with defensive backs
Does not have an expansive route tree
DraftKings Sportsbook has Mayer at +135 odds to be the first tight end taken off the board, only behind Utah’s Dalton Kincaid.
And now it’s on to the second round for the Seahawks.
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