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ESPN debates ‘top need’ versus ‘best value’ for Seahawks with picks No. 5 and No. 20

Spoiler: A familiar name fills both conditions at No. 5.

Kansas v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

In an action green world, every pick the Seattle Seahawks make in the 2023 NFL Draft would be the perfect marriage of “best player available” (BPA) and team need.

At #5, Seattle would get Cortez Kennedy 2.0, and at #20, the Seahawks would find a player who seamlessly fused Steve Largent and Jerry Rice (with a splash of Doug Baldwin thrown in for good measure).

Hall of Fame, here they come.

Alas, those hypothetical players don’t exist and instead we’re left with . . . well, who are we left with?

To answer that question, ESPN, had Matt Miller and Jordan Reid identify the prospect that would best fill a team’s biggest need (Miller) and provide the best value (Reid) for each of the first-round picks in this year’s draft.

Sometimes, they’re the same player; oftentimes, they’re not.

The ESPN article is currently behind the ESPN+ paywall so unless you have access, all you’re getting today is the Seahawks portions . . . with one exception at the very end.

Note: Miller and Reid are limited to players who are “likely” to be available at a given pick so no one is getting Anthony Richardson at the end of the first round or Will Anderson Jr. with a pick in the the teens.

#5 overall

Pick that fills a big need: Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson

Here’s what Matt Miller based his opinion on:

The Seahawks have to find more juice in the pass-rush department, and Wilson brings plenty of that with his first-step quickness and length off the edge. Wide receiver or quarterback of the future are worth a look here, but the No. 1 need is to find a true starter on the edge, even after the addition of Dre’Mont Jones in free agency.

Pick that provides the best value: Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson

Here’s how Jordan Reid made that determination:

The stars align here, as Seattle also takes the best available prospect in the trenches. Wilson is the type of player the Seahawks tend to gravitate toward. His length, strength and physicality fit well with their defense, and even though he still has some developing to do, Wilson would be a big upgrade on a young defensive line.

FTR’s reaction: Blech! Admittedly, I do understand the logic that both Miller and Reid use; I just don’t like it, and I pray that’s not how the #5 pick plays out on April 27th.

#20 overall

Pick that fills a big need: USC WR Jordan Addison

Here’s what Matt Miller based his opinion on:

Wilson at No. 5 checked off the pass rush, so the Seahawks are free to focus on offense and adding a WR3 who can become a front-line starter once Tyler Lockett has moved on. Addison is an efficient route runner with sure hands and the ability to play immediately from the slot. He has great quickness and instincts.

Pick that provides the best value: Pittsburgh DT Calijah Kancey

Here’s how Jordan Reid made that determination:

Kancey isn’t quite the best player still on my board, but he’s up there (No. 22). And the Seahawks would be adding an explosive option on the inside. Kancey has the potential to revolutionize Seattle’s passing defense the moment he steps on the field as a rookie. His hand aggression and first-step burst are the best of any interior defender in the 2023 class.

FTR’s reaction: I don’t necessarily agree with Addison as the actual selection, but I do agree that addressing WR at #20 makes a whole lot of sense. As for Kancey, I have the same concerns as everyone else (T-Rex arms) but if he’s able to replicate in the pros what he did in college . . . LOOK OUT! No real qualms with either selection.

The one non-Seahawks thing . . .

For awhile now I’ve been hearing / seeing / reading that the Texans might not be locked into taking QB2 with the 2nd overall pick.

In the ESPN article, Miller identifies C.J. Stroud as the player that addresses Houston’s biggest need, but Reid identifies Will Anderson Jr. as the best value at No. 2.

That’s not to say that ESPN is promoting the idea of the Texans not taking a quarterback at the top of the draft, but . . .

It sure would make a mess of things for the Arizona Cardinals if the Texans steal their prize.

Go Hawks!