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12 Thoughts a week before the 2023 NFL Draft

A collection of FTR thoughts that weren’t turned into their own articles ...

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It’s hard to believe that after writing 40 41 articles since April 1st, I still have enough content for a fresh 12 Thoughts piece.

It’s even harder to believe that this is the first 12 Thoughts I’ve written since January 6th.

Not all of these thoughts are Seahawks-specific, but I think the 12s will enjoy them nonetheless.

Let’s begin.

Thought #1

Earlier this month, I wrote about North Carolina WR Josh Downs having not had any ‘official’ visits with NFL teams. That seemed odd to me, but there was still a couple of weeks for that to change.

Here’s an even wilder NO-VISITS report:

Kancey is a player that often comes up in connection with the Seahawks, typically as a late-R1 or early R2 selection.

C.K. did meet with some teams - at the NFL Combine, for instance, but the 2022 ACC Defensive Player of the Year not making any Top-30 visits?

That is mind-boggling to me.

Thought #2

This thought was going to be about Maryland CB Deonte Banks visiting “nearly every team”, but I turned that into a standalone article so instead I’ll use this thought to give a shout out to this year’s NHL Champions! (we hope)

This is the first headline that greeted me when I woke up on Tuesday morning: Kraken make successful playoff debut, beat defending champ Avs.

Talk about a GREAT way to start the day!

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Seattle Kraken at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2 is tonight at 6:30pm PDT. I’ll probably watch it live.


Note: According to, there are watch parties at six King County Libraries (libraries? yes, libraries!), including Auburn, Bellevue, Bothell, Federal Way, Kent, and Renton. Who knew?

Thought #3

My favorite non-Seattle team is the Detroit Lions.

Guess who else likes the Lions . . .

Sports bettors.

Despite only having the 10th-best odds to win the Super Bowl (at +2,500 according to DraftKings Sportsbook), some sportsbooks have reported that say 47% of all NFC Championship bets are on Detroit.

That. Is. Crazy.

Note: For those that are curious, the Seahawks Super Bowl odds are currently +4,000.

Thought #4

I personally hope that the Seahawks select Florida QB Anthony Richardson if he is still on the board at #5 - primarily because Quarterback of the Future (QBotF) is the most valuable play there, but also because the more I learn about Richardson, the more I like him.

However, if John Schneider is looking to leverage a QB to add additional draft capital, the Tennessee Titans are a team to keep an eye on.

In my fourth mock draft, I had the Titans sending the Seahawks their R1 (#11), their R3 (#72), and their 2024 R1 to move up to #5 for Alabama QB Bryce Young.

I spent parts of four days working on that mock draft.

It was published on Monday (4/17).

The same day, Cameron Wolfe of the NFL Network reported that Anthony Richardson was visiting the Titans.

Since then, I’ve seen multiple reports (and mock drafts) that indicate the Titans are heavily invested in drafting a quarterback and willing to trade up if they feel they need to.

My guess is that they’ll need to.

I mean, unless they want Will Levis for some reason, then maybe they can stay at #11 and still get their guy.

Thought #5

I think everyone knows that I am hugely in favor of the Seahawks drafting Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs in the 2023 NFL Draft.

You know what else I’m in favor of . . . if we don’t draft Robinson or Gibbs?

Trading for Austin Ekeler.

Super amusingly, I know that just by saying that, I am giving the perfect piece of ammunition to anyone who isn’t down with the idea of using a Day One or early-Day Two pick on a running back.

Yeah, that’s right, a running back who had 1,637 all-purpose yards last season (and 1,588 all-purpose yards the year before) was an Undrafted Free Agent in 2017.

Want to know what’s even more amusing?

  • Ekeler’s 2023 cap hit if we trade for him: $6,250,000
  • Bijan’s 2023 cap hit if we take him at #5: $6,183,723

That is a difference of $66,277, and that similarity in salaries is why I’m willing to give some of y’all the UDFA argument.

Note: Ekeler is a free agent after the season.

Thought #6

Continuing the Ekeler theme . . .

My interest in trading for Ekeler is the same as my interest in drafting Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs.

All three are above-average running backs and above-average receivers.

To see what I expect from Robinson and Gibbs this year, let’s look at Ekekler’s stat lines from 2021 and 2022.


  • Rushing: 206 carries for 911 yards (4.4 average) with 12 touchdowns
  • Receiving: 70 receptions on 94 targets (74.5%) for 647 yards and 8 touchdowns


  • Rushing: 204 carries for 915 yards (4.5 average) with 13 touchdowns
  • Receiving: 107 receptions on 127 targets (84.3%) for 722 yards and 5 touchdowns

I believe that Bijan Robinson will top those marks as a rookie, and Jahmyr Gibbs will come tantalizingly close.

But, if you’re the type that thinks we should not draft Bijan Robinson (or Jahmyr Gibbs) . . . FINE!

Let’s trade for Austin Ekeler instead.

Thought #7

I have been saying since February that the Houston Texans aren’t locked into taking a quarterback at #2. Even with that personal certainty, this ‘NFL on ESPN’ clip caught me by surprise:

Adam Schefter, on live TV, dared to say that the second quarterback might not come off the board until #4. Dan Orlovsky disagreed and they ended up making a $10 bet (with Schefter getting 10:1 odds).

I am going to laugh my ass off if Shefter is right (and wins $100).

If so, I’ll also be hoping that the Colts take C.J. Stroud (or Will Levis) at #4 so that Seattle can at least have the option of drafting Anthony Richardson at #5.

Thought #8

Speaking of Richardson, this quote from analytics expert Cynthia Frelund might be the best description I’ve seen of him as a prospect and the inherent “danger” in selecting him in Round 1:

“Richardson is a tough one for me to project; he’s generated some of the most volatile data I’ve seen in the 15-plus seasons of information I’m considering. “The relatively small sample size only increases the uncertainty. Because of positional value, Richardson seems likely to be drafted in the first round — and if he hits his ceiling, he’ll be worth it. But the potential floor means there’s a level of risk to drafting him anywhere before Round 3.”

As for Richardson’s “best fit”, Frelund picked the Seahawks:

“I’m not suggesting the Seahawks should immediately replace veteran QB Geno Smith, who just signed an extension. Rather, Smith could be part of a long-term plan to develop Richardson for at least one season, if not longer. With two first-round picks, Seattle is among the teams in position to take a smart swing on Richardson’s upside.”

Source: NFL analyst compares Anthony Richardson to Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts combo

Thought #9

Here’s a semi-dramatic (and super click-baity) headline from The Spun:

Veteran NFL Running Back Was Released on Monday

I instantly clicked it . . .

. . . and instantly regretted it.

The running back in question? Darwin Thompson.

Yes, he’s a veteran having appeared in 26 games with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019 and 2020.

But he has a total of 187 offensive snaps (plus 230 special teams snaps) with 64 carries for 225 yards (3.5 average) and 2 TDs.

Was it really such a slow news day that Darwin Thompson deserved his own headline after playing exactly zero snaps last season?


Thought #10

Who else is rooting for the Aaron Rodgers trade between the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets to completely implode?

I was sort of in favor of this trade at one point but it has now officially dragged on long enough that I’m hoping both teams walk away from the bargaining table and wish Rodgers well in retirement.

That obviously won’t happen (not with the way it would affect Green Bay’s cap), but I am starting to wonder if it would make sense for the Jets and Packers to wait until June 2nd to consummate the trade . . . ?

If the two teams make the trade now, Green Bay loses $8.69M in cap space this season, but if they wait, Green Bay gains $15.79M in 2023. That’s a cap swing of $24.48M for Green Bay this season (with a $24.48M cap swing the other way in 2024).

For the Jets, waiting until after the draft would mean they get to hold onto all of this year’s picks, which would make it easier to agree to give the Packers an R1 (since it would be a future R1, instead of #13 overall this year).

Even better, from the Jets’ perspective, is that it could be a late-R1 if Aaron Rodgers leads them into the playoffs in 2023.

Bottom line: It might be worthwhile to both teams to wait another six weeks before scratching this particular itch.


In related news, Zach Wilson showed up to the first day of New York’s offseason workouts on Monday (because of course he did).

Thought #11

How much does it suck to be Matt Corral the last 12 months?

The Carolina Panthers traded up to take him at the end of the 3rd round last year (#94 overall). Unfortunately, Corral suffered a foot injury during the preseason, had Lisfranc surgery, and was put on season-ending IR.

And then . . .

On March 10th, the Panthers traded for the #1 pick in the draft, and before the excitement from that move died down, the Panthers agreed to terms with Andy Dalton on a 2-year, $11M contract (with $8M guaranteed).

That’s gotta hurt!

In a span of less than 100 hours, Corral went from QB1 to QB3.

And now there are reports that the Panthers are willing to trade him for a Day 3 draft pick.

If Seattle doesn’t take a quarterback on Day One (aka Anthony Richardson), and doesn’t take a Quarterback on Day Two (aka Hendon Hooker), it might not be a bad idea to call the Panthers GM (aka Scott Fitterer) and offer him their “extra” 5th-round pick.

It is worth noting that right after the Giardi tweet went out (and I mean RIGHT after), a counter-tweet went out saying that “the team is not shopping” Matt Corral.

Of course, “not shopping” doesn’t mean “not listening to offers.”

Thought #12

Speaking of “not shopping” (but definitely listening to offers) . . .

Could the 49ers join the dumpster fires that are the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams this season?

Yes, please!

That’s not to say that trading Trey Lance is a bad idea. It would, however, paint the decision to trade three R1s for him (plus an R3) as a terrible choice.

Through two seasons (34 possible games + playoffs), Lance has made 8 appearances (4 starts) and has thrown a total of 102 passes, completing 56 of them (54.9%) for 797 yards with 5 TDs and 3 INTs.

Lance has also carried the ball 54 times for 235 yards (4.4 average) with 1 TD across two seasons.

And for that stellar production, the 49ers have paid him a hair over $25M (cash flow, not cap hits) with another $9M and change (cash flow, not cap hits) due over the next two years.

Cap-wise, the Niners have incurred $13.95M in cap hits through the first two years of his fully-guaranteed contract with a cap hit of $9.3M this year and $10.85M next year.


And, Go Hawks!