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Seahawks double up on Georgia talent in Mel Kiper Jr and Todd McShay’s mock draft

Mel Kiper Jr. takes the ‘odd’ picks; Todd McShay takes the ‘even’ ones

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 24 Kent State at Georgia Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As we all know, “mocking” a mock draft is easy.

Especially when the author(s) of the mock draft show no real awareness of your team’s needs, historical approach to draft picks, current roster, etc.

In an ESPN+ (paywalled) mock draft that was published on Tuesday morning, ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay took turns making picks in a 3-round mock draft. MKJ makes the first pick (Bryce Young) and all of the other odd-numbered picks; McShay makes pick #2 (C.J. Stroud) and all the even-numbered picks that follow.

As it turns out, the Seattle Seahawks’ first five picks alternate between odd and even numbers: #5, #20, #37, #52, and #83.

Before we look at who MKJ has the Seahawks taking at #5, let’s first look at the methodology and the rest of the first four picks . . .

(Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay) based picks on a combination of what they think each team will do and what they would do if they were playing general manager for all 32 teams. They used their personal rankings to guide them. No trades allowed here, either.

At #3, Kiper has the Arizona Cardinals selecting Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr., and at #4, McShay has the Indianapolis Colts choosing Florida QB Anthony Richardson over Kentucky QB Will Levis.

Same ol’, same ol’

The top four picks being a combination of Anderson, Richardson, Stroud, and Young is a fairly common theme in this year’s mock drafts (especially in the last month or so), and it’s arguably the worst-case scenario for the Seahawks . . .

Unless John Schneider and Pete Carroll are 100% comfortable with the idea of taking Georgia Defensive Tackle Jalen Carter at #5 . . .

Or really, really, really want to trade back and add some additional draft capital (in 2023 and/or in future drafts).

However, since trades aren’t allowed in this mock draft . . .

Pick #5: Georgia DT Jalen Carter

Kiper: If Carter falls to Seattle here, general manager John Schneider might rush the pick to the podium. Carter is a perfect fit in the middle of Seattle’s defense. He will eat up blockers and make everyone around him better.

FTR’s take: Given how the board fell and the “no trades” proviso, I’m okay with this. Could it blow up in John and Pete’s face? Yes, it absolutely could. But Carter’s selection could also make them look like geniuses a few years from now so . . .

I don’t hate it.

Picks #6 through #19

The next five picks are EDGE Tyree Wilson (Lions), CB Devon Witherspoon (Raiders), CB Christian Gonzalez (Falcons), OT Peter Skoronski (Bears), and RB Bijan Robinson (Eagles).

The Tennessee Titans, staying put at #11, land Kentucky QB Will Levis.

The Texans take JSN at #12; followed by OT Broderick Jones (Jets, #13), OT Paris Johnson Jr. (Patriots, #14), TE Dalton Kincaid (Packers, #15), OT Darnell Wright (Commanders, #16), WR Zay Flowers (Steelers, #17), DT Calijah Kancey (Lions, #18), and EDGE Lukas Van Ness (Buccaneers, #19).

Seattle’s second R1

Some really nice fits for the Seahawks came off the board in the last 14 picks. No worries though; McShay has us covered!

Pick #20: Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith

With the 20th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Todd McShay gives the Seahawks a matched set of Georgia players.

McShay: It’s a slight slide for Smith, but Seattle won’t be complaining. He showed off his explosion at the combine, and you see it on tape too, with his great takeoff speed and change-of-direction ability. The Seahawks have to focus on building up that defensive line, so even after you got them Jalen Carter at No. 5, I’m getting them a disruptive edge rusher here.

FTR’s take: I will be surprised if Nolan Smith is on the board at #20 but, as was the case with Jalen Carter at #5, this is a case of BPA matching need and I would be quite happy to see the Carter-Smith duo terrorizing offenses in 2023 (and beyond).

Jumping ahead to Round Two . . .

Um . . .

Pick #37: Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker

Kiper: This is where I’d feel comfortable taking Hooker if I were running a draft room. Seattle was able to fill defensive holes with its top two picks, and now it can try for its quarterback of the future. Geno Smith’s contract shouldn’t prohibit the Seahawks from taking Hooker if they like him.

FTR’s take: If John and Pete are convinced that Hooker has a higher ceiling than Drew Lock and believe that there’s at least a 50/50 chance that the Hookster could be a better option than Geno Smith within the next four years . . .

I would be semi-reluctantly okay with this pick.

But, I would cry knowing that TCU C/G Steve Avila was still on the board (and went to the Raiders at pick #38).

I would also cry when the Lions selected RB Jahmyr Gibbs at #48.

The wheels come off the bus mock draft

I absolutely agree that our second R2, #52 overall, is a good time to address a position of need, and would even be “okay” using it to select THIS position of need, but . . .

With Seattle on the clock at #52, the only wide receivers off the board are JSN (#12), Zay Flowers (#17), Jordan Addison (#21), Quentin Johnston (#26), Jalin Hyatt (#39), and Jonathan Mingo (#44).

Naturally, that means John and Pete should make a questionable choice.

Pick #52: Michigan State WR Jayden Reed

McShay: Reed is one of my favorite prospects in the class. He is so good after the catch and can line up inside or outside. He would be the perfect complement to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in an offense that loves receivers who can generate separation.

FTR’s take: On the one hand, it’s cool that Kenneth Walker III gets to play with a former college teammate; yay! for them.

On the other hand, here are four of the next five prospects selected:

  • #53: DT Mazi Smith
  • #54: DT Keeanu Benton
  • #55: ILB Drew Sanders
  • #57: OC John Michael Schmitz

Is Jayden Reed really a better pick at #52 than ANY of those four players? (My answer is obviously, “NO!”)

In fact, I would argue that Jayden Reed isn’t even the best WR option on the board at #52, with Josh Downs (#59), Cedric Tillman (#66), A.T. Perry (#71), and Rashee Rice (#76) arguably being better choices.

More to the point, there’s a receiver who ends up still on the board at #83 that I would (personally) be just as happy with as Jayden Reed, and waiting until R3 to take this “mystery” receiver would have allowed McShay to have the Seahawks select Mazi Smith, Keeanu Benton, Drew Sanders, or JMS at #52 instead.

Round Three

Before diving into who Mel Kiper Jr. selects for the Seahawks at #83, let’s chat about the “mystery” receiver mentioned above.

Houston WR Nathaniel Dell

This is the relevant portion of Kiper’s write-up about Nathaniel Dell:

Dell had 199 catches over the past two seasons, and he was used inside and outside. In fact, 61 of those catches came when “Tank” was aligned wide right, while 60 receptions came when he was in the slot on the left side of the field. That’s versatility. At 5-foot-8, he isn’t big, but he has some ability after the catch.

And here’s the relevant portion of McShay’s write-up about Jayden Reed:

He is so good after the catch and can line up inside or outside. He would be the perfect complement to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in an offense that loves receivers who can generate separation.

Both players are able to line up both in the slot and outside, but Dell’s stats over the past two seasons dwarf Reed’s:

  • Receptions: Dell = 199 | Reed = 114
  • Yards: Dell = 2,727 | Reed = 1,662
  • Average: Dell = 13.7 | Reed = 14.6
  • Touchdowns: Dell = 29 | Reed = 15

Admittedly, some of that can be attributed to the level of competition with Dell playing in the American Athletic Conference and Reed playing in the Big Ten.

And, yes, Dell is smaller than Reed, so there’s some question about how well he will adapt to the NFL came.

  • Height: Dell = 5 foot 8-3/8 inches | Reed = 5 foot 11 inches
  • Weight: Dell = 165 pounds | Reed = 191 pounds
  • Arm length: Dell = 30-1/2 inches | Reed = same (30-1/2 inches)
  • Wingspan: Dell = 72-5/8 inches | Reed = 73-18/2 inches
  • Hand size: Dell = 8-5/8 inches | Reed = 9-1/8 inches

However, speed-wise, both Dell and Reed are similar:

  • 40-yard dash: Dell = 4.49 | Reed = 4.45
  • 10-yard split: Dell = 1.50 | Reed = 1.53
  • 20-yard split: Dell = 2.57 | Reed = 2.55

And, as noted earlier, Dell’s stats are much, MUCH better than Reed’s from 2021-2022:

  • Receptions: +85 (78% more)
  • Yards: +1,065 (64% more)
  • Touchdowns: +14 (1 shy of 2x)

Now let’s look at who Mel Kiper Jr. has the Seahawks select at #83 . . .

Pick #83: Syracuse CB Garrett Williams

Kiper: Williams tore an ACL in October, so he hasn’t been able to work out for NFL teams. I love what he showed before his injury, though. He isn’t very big — 5-foot-10 — but this would be an upside play for the Seahawks, who are only looking for rotational corners.

I understand the logic, and I even sort of agree with it.

But . . .

Do we really want to draft a cornerback coming off a season-ending ACL injury?

And, more to the point . . .

Is WR Jayden Reed at #52 + CB Garrett Williams at #83 a better use of draft resources than any of the following?

  • DT Mazi Smith at #52 + WR Nathaniel Dell at #83
  • DT Keeanu Benton at #52 + WR Nathaniel Dell at #83
  • ILB Drew Sanders + WR Nathaniel Dell at #83
  • OC John Michael Schmitz at #52 + WR Nathaniel Dell at #83

I know my answer; how about you?

And, yes, I agree . . . this looks like a golden opportunity to end the article with A POLL.

Question: Which of these five combinations for Seattle’s picks at #52 and #83 would you prefer?


Which of these combinations would you prefer for picks #52 and #83?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    WR Jayden Reed at #52 + CB Garrett Williams at #83
    (13 votes)
  • 32%
    DT Mazi Smith at #52 + WR Nathaniel Dell at #83
    (233 votes)
  • 2%
    DT Keeanu Benton at #52 + WR Nathaniel Dell at #83
    (19 votes)
  • 13%
    ILB Drew Sanders + WR Nathaniel Dell at #83
    (99 votes)
  • 49%
    OC John Michael Schmitz at #52 + WR Nathaniel Dell at #83
    (363 votes)
727 votes total Vote Now

Go Hawks!